Cable side bend exercise

Cable side bend

Exercise details

  • Target muscles: Internal and External Obliques
  • Synergists: Quadratus Lumborum, Psoas Major, Iliocastalis Lumborum, Iliocastalis Thoracis (all deep core muscles)
  • Mechanics: Isolation
  • Force: Pull

Starting position

  1. Attach a stirrup (handle) to a low cable pulley.
  2. Grasp the stirrup with your right hand and stand with the pulley to your right side. Your torso should be laterally flexed (bent sideways) towards the pulley, and your arm should be straight and close to your body.


  1. Exhale as you bend your torso away from the pulley, pulling the stirrup upward.
  2. Inhale as you slowly lower the stirrup back to the starting position by bending your torso towards the pulley.
  3. Repeat for the prescribed number of repetitions.
  4. Turn around and repeat the cable side bend with your left side.

Comments and tips

  • For the safety of your spine, perform the cable side bend in a slow and controlled manner.
  • As you perform the exercise, you should feel only a slight stretch in your side. Do not laterally flex beyond this point.
  • Keep your arm close to your body and your hips still throughout the exercise.
  • A common myth is that exercises that target the abdomen or core, such as the cable side bend, reduce belly fat or ‘muffin top’. The truth is that, the only way to lose belly fat or muffin top is to reduce overall body fat through proper diet and exercise. See the Weight Loss Guide for assistance.
  • If you do not have access to a cable machine, see the dumbbell side bend.

Cable side bend video


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