Standing Side Crunches

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Standing side crunches ab exercise

Standing side crunches (also known as standing oblique crunches or knee to elbow) is a functional standing ab exercise targeting oblique muscles. Use this ab exercise as more effective alternative to a regular side crunches done on the floor. Or add it as a variety in your regular ab routine.

This exercise will help you to burn more calories, build up the core strength and improve your balance. Thanks to many other muscles involved in the movement.

Standing side crunches are more lower back and neck friendly as well. There is no need to pull the neck or lay on the back. Thereof this exercise suits poeple who avoid abdominal exercises due to the pain and discomfort experienced in their neck and back during an ab workouts.

This exercise is ideal for dancers, fighters and other athletes. It is great for those who are not able to get down to and up from the floor easily as well.



  • Less strain on the neck and lower back.
  • Burns more calories than side crunches done on the mat.
  • No equipment needed. You can do it anytime, anywhere.
  • Great exercise for a high intensity interval training.
  • Promotes development of functional body.


Standing side chrunches Step 1

First, get in a starting position. Stand with your feet about shoulder-width and your toes pointing forward. Place your fingertips behind the neck with your elbows flaring out to your sides.

Now lean your bodyweight on one leg. Pull your stomach muscles in toward your lower back to engage your core. Ihale. This will be your starting position.

Standing side chrunches Step 2

To begin the standing side crunches bend to your side to lower your elbow while exhaling. Simultaneously bring your knee up to meet your elbow. Then straighten back up and tap your free foot to the floor to complete the rep. Repeat the movement.

Do desired number of reps; switch sides and repeat on the other side.


  • To activate more oblique muscles perform slow and controlled movements.
  • To use this exercise for a cardio, perform reps faster to raise your heart rate up.
  • To inrcrease the resistance use ankle weights. Or take a dumbbell/kettlebell/plate in the opposite arm and hold at your side.
  • When you do perform the exercise, keep your hips in place. Do not swing them back and forth.
  • Also avoid pulling your head forward or sideways with your hands.
  • Avoid bending forward at the spine.
About Matiss Bartulis

Sweets and pizza addict. Online and real-life fitness coach. Author of the "From Fat To Six Pack" E-mail training course. You can find him on Google+ and Facebook.