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I did this standing ab exercise every day for a week — here’s what happened

As a fitness editor, I’m no stranger to a workout challenge. Stick around on Tom’s Guide long enough, you’ll realize that I say yes to just about every weird and wonderful fitness challenge we think up in our planning meetings. From doing 100 single-arm clean and presses a day for a week, to trying Lily James’ 600-rep ab workout, I’ve tried it all, and on my list this week was standing dumbbell side bends. 

This exercise is often included in standing ab workouts and is sometimes called an oblique bend. To do a dumbbell side bend, start by standing with your feet hip-distance apart, and with one of the best adjustable dumbbells in one hand, resting against the thigh.

Next you engage your core, and bend at your waist, lowering the dumbbell down along your leg, towards the floor. Then engage your oblique muscles on the opposite side to the dumbbell to raise your torso back to your starting position. Repeat for the desired number of reps, before switching sides.

an illo of a woman doing a dumbbell side bend

(Image credit: Shutterstock )

Read on to find out what happened when I added this exercise to my ab workouts for a week, and why I don’t recommend it. As a reminder, what works for me might not be right for you and your body, and if you’re new to an exercise, or returning to exercise following an injury, it’s a good idea to ask a personal trainer to check your form before adding weight, or reps.

I did this standing ab exercise every day for a week — here’s why I don’t recommend it

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