Weighted stability ball side bend exercise

Weighted stability ball side bend

Exercise details

  • Target muscle: Internal and External Obliques
  • Synergists: Quadratus Lumborum, Psoas Major, Iliocastalis Lumborum, Iliocastalis Thoracis
  • Mechanics: Isolation
  • Force: Pull

Starting position

  1. Lie on a stability ball on your side, with the ball under your lower waist and hip.
  2. For stability, extend your legs and position one in front of the other.
  3. Hold a weight plate with both hands either on top of or behind your head.
  4. Allow your upper body to bend over the surface of the ball.


  1. Holding the weight plate in place, exhale as you raise your upper body off the ball by laterally flexing your waist.
  2. Hold for a count of two.
  3. Inhale as you slowly lower your upper body to the starting position.
  4. Repeat for the prescribed number of repetitions.
  5. Repeat the exercise on your opposite side.

Comments and tips

  • Keep your neck neutral. The distance between your chin and sternum should not change.
  • Keep the movement slow and under control.
  • As with all side-bending exercises, ensure that movement occurs throughout your spine and isn’t concentrated in your lower (lumbar) spine. Since the thoracic spine is designed more for mobility than the lumbar spine, which is designed more for support and stability, more movement should occur in the former.
  • The weighted stability ball side bend is effective at activating the obliques and other important muscles of the core, strengthening the lateral flexion movement pattern of the spine, improving the mobility of the spine, and helping to develop a strong and stable core.
  • You can improve your stability by positioning your feet against a wall.
  • You can make the weighted stability ball side bend easier by positioning your hip lower on the ball or by simply not loading with a weight plate. See the stability ball side bend.
  • Also known as the weighted Swiss ball side bend and the weighted stability ball side crunch.

Weighted stability ball side bend video

Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a decent video that properly demonstrates the weighted stability ball side bend. The video below is a demonstration of how it’s done without loading with a weight plate.


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