Side Bridge: A Great Way To Tone Your Core And Stabilizers

Do you struggle with lower back pain or poor posture? Do you find yourself slouching at your desk or during daily activities? You may be experiencing the effects of weak core muscles, particularly your obliques. The side bridge exercise is a common and effective way to strengthen these muscles and improve your overall posture and lower back health. Many people spend long hours sitting at a desk or in a car, leading to weakened muscles in the core. But don’t worry, with regular side bridge exercises, you can strengthen your obliques and reduce pain and discomfort. In this post, we will break down the benefits of side bridges and provide a step-by-step guide to help you incorporate this exercise into your routine.

Side Bridge Summary

  • Primary Muscles: Obliques
  • Secondary Muscles: Adductors, Hip, Gluteus Maximus, Gluteus Medius, Gluteus Minimus, Gracilis, Iliocastalis lumborum, Iliocastalis thoracis, Latissimus dorsi, Levator Scapulae, Pectineus, Pectoralis major, Pectoralis minor, Psoas major, Quadratus lumborum, Tensor Fasciae Latae, and Triceps
  • Equipment: Body Weight
  • Mechanics Type: Isolated
  • Force: Pull
  • Utility: Auxiliary
Graphic image of a fit woman performing alternate cable triceps extensions.

Side Bridge Instructions

  • Place one forearm on the ground with your legs out to the side, one leg on top of the other.
  • Place your free hand on your upper hip and raise your hip and waist upward by lateral flexion of your spine.
  • Hold this position for your side bride.

Video Tutorial

SIDE BRIDGE Exercise For Women | How To

Side Bridge Muscles

Target (Agonist)


Dynamic Stabilizers

  • None


Antagonist Stabilizers

  • None
Image of the skeletal muscular system with the muscles used in the side bridge exercise highlighted in red and the rest in blue.

Benefits of Side Bridge

The side bridge exercise is an incredibly effective strength training exercise for targeting the obliques. It is a static exercise that works the obliques in both a concentric and eccentric motion, which helps to build strength and stability in the core muscles. This exercise also helps to reduce back pain and improve posture. Additionally, it can help to improve balance and coordination, as well as promote better breathing and increased flexibility. The side bridge is a great way to strengthen the obliques and build core stability.

Tips for Performing Side Bridge

You’ve landed at the right location if you desire to forge ahead your capability to conduct side bridge. These tips can get you the most from of this amazing workout, while helping you reap all the benefits it has to give. In addition to shaping your obliques muscles, increasing mobility, and even a lower possibility of injury can all be accomplished with this exercise. So let’s begin right now and see what these tips may accomplish for you.

  • 1. Practice Proper Form – Side bridges require proper form to maximize their effectiveness and avoid injury. Make sure to keep your body in a straight line from your shoulders to your knees and keep your core engaged throughout the exercise.
  • 2. Start with Short Intervals – Beginners should start with short intervals, working up to longer holds as their core strength increases. This will help build endurance and stability as well as help prevent any potential muscle strains.
  • 3. Focus on Your Breathing – Focusing on your breathing during side bridges helps you to remain in control and is essential for a successful workout. Inhale deeply and exhale slowly as you hold the position, allowing you to increase the intensity of the exercise while maintaining proper form.

Benefits and Tips Video

How to do the perfect Side Plank and most common mistakes

Frequent Mistakes To Avoid

When performing side bridge, avoiding typical errors can be the difference to achieving optimal results and avoiding injury. From bad form to not engaging your core, these errors can reduce the productiveness of the exercise and can even increase your risk for injury. But relax, it’s not as challenging as it might seem. By knowing the errors to avert and taking the right actions, you can execute the exercise securely and successfully. Thus, it is now your turn to maximize your results from this exercise and experience the benefits of a successful workout.

  • 1. Not engaging the core muscles properly: The core muscles are essential for a successful Side Bridge, but many people forget to engage them correctly and end up straining their back. This not only defeats the purpose of the exercise but can also cause injury.
  • 2. Not using proper form: Proper form is key to getting the most out of the Side Bridge. Many people make the mistake of not keeping their hips square or their arms and legs in the right position, thus reducing the effectiveness of the exercise.
  • 3. Not holding the position long enough: Holding a Side Bridge for an extended period of time can be difficult, but it is necessary to get the full benefits of the exercise. Many people don’t hold the bridge long enough and fail to get the desired results.

Find More Bodyweight Exercises Here

Variations and Complementary Exercises

The Side Bridge is an excellent exercise to strengthen your core and glutes. But if you’re looking for a change of pace or something a little different, there are variations, complementary, and alternative exercises that you can do to target the same muscles. Here are some of our favorites:

Oblique Crunch

Graphic image of Oblique Crunch.

The Oblique Crunch is a great exercise to target your obliques and is a complementary or alternative exercise for the Side Bridge. This exercise requires you to lie on your back with your legs bent at 90 degrees. From this position, you curl your upper body towards the side of your bent knee while keeping your lower back pressed against the floor. This exercise helps to strengthen the core muscles and will help to improve balance and stability. It also helps to target the obliques, which can help to reduce the risk of lower back pain. This exercise is a great way to supplement or replace the Side Bridge in an exercise routine.

Legs Up Twist Crunch

Graphic image of Legs Up Twist Crunch.

Legs Up Twist Crunch is a great alternative or complementary exercise to the Side Bridge. This exercise strengthens and tones the abs, obliques, and lower back muscles. To perform this exercise, start by lying flat on your back with your legs bent and feet flat on the floor. Then, lift your legs up so that your knees are bent and your feet are off the floor. Next, twist your torso and reach both arms out to the side. Finally, crunch up to bring your shoulder blades off the floor and hold for a few seconds before releasing. This exercise can be a great addition to any core workout routine, helping to target all of the abdominal muscles for a stronger, more toned core.

Bicycle Twist Crunch

Graphic image of Bicycle Twist Crunch.

Bicycle Twist Crunch is a great exercise to help strengthen the core muscles and improve balance. It is an effective alternative or complementary exercise to the Side Bridge, as it works the same muscles, but in a different way. The Bicycle Twist Crunch requires you to lie on your back with your hands behind your head, lift your legs off the floor, and twist your torso and legs from side to side. This exercise helps target the obliques, hip flexors, and other core muscles. Additionally, the twisting motion helps to improve balance, coordination, and stability.

Check Out These Top Bodyweight Exercises

Twist Crunch

Graphic image of Twist Crunch.

Twist Crunch is a great complementary or alternative exercise for Side Bridge. It works the same muscles in the lower body and core as Side Bridge, but with a different approach. With Twist Crunch, you lie on your back and lift your legs up, then twist your torso to one side while crunching your abs. This exercise strengthens your core and lower body while also stretching your obliques. Additionally, Twist Crunch is a low-impact exercise that can be done anywhere, making it an ideal alternative to Side Bridge.

Star Plank

Graphic image of Star Plank.

The Star Plank is a great complementary or alternative exercise to the Side Bridge. This challenging yet effective exercise engages your core and shoulders as you hold your body in a star-shaped plank position. It requires you to lift your arms and legs off the ground while keeping your chest and hips steady and in line with your spine. This exercise is an ideal way to increase your core strength and stability as well as improve your balance and coordination. It can also be modified to make it easier or more challenging depending on your fitness level.

Side Plank Star Abductor

Graphic image of Side Plank Star Abductor.

The Side Plank Star Abductor is a great complementary or alternative exercise for the Side Bridge. This exercise works the same muscles in the hips and glutes but with a slightly different motion. The Side Plank Star Abductor involves lying on your side, with one arm propping up your torso, and your legs and feet together in a star shape. You then raise your top leg up and out to the side and back, repeating this motion until you’ve reached your desired number of reps. This exercise also helps improve balance and stability in the core muscles, making it a great choice for those looking to improve their overall strength.

Find More Abs Exercises Here

Opposing Complementary Exercises

The Side Bridge exercise works your hip abductors, glutes, and lower back muscles. To complement this exercise, it is important to focus on working the opposing muscle groups in order to achieve balance in your body. Here are a few exercises that will help you work the opposing muscles:

Straight Leg Cable Pull Through

Graphic image of Straight Leg Cable Pull Through.

The Straight Leg Cable Pull Through is an effective exercise for targeting the hamstrings and glutes. It is a great complement to the Side Bridge, as it works the opposite muscle group. The Straight Leg Cable Pull Through helps to strengthen the posterior chain, which includes the glutes, hamstrings, and lower back. This exercise will help to improve overall strength, balance, and stability of the body. It also helps to increase hip mobility and reduce lower back pain by strengthening the muscles in the posterior chain.

Bird Dog Plank

Graphic image of Bird Dog Plank.

Bird Dog Plank is a great complement to the Side Bridge exercise, as it works the opposing muscle group. The Bird Dog Plank focuses on strengthening the core, while the Side Bridge works the glutes and hips. By alternating between the two exercises, you can ensure that both sets of muscles are receiving an adequate workout. Additionally, by performing Bird Dog Plank after the Side Bridge, you can help to stabilize the hips and lower back, helping to prevent injuries.

45 Degree Twisting Hyperextension

Graphic image of 45 Degree Twisting Hyperextension.

The 45 Degree Twisting Hyperextension is a great exercise to complement the Side Bridge as it works the opposing muscle group. It targets the glutes, hamstrings, and lower back by having the individual lie on their stomach on an angled back extension bench and twist to one side while extending their legs. This is a great way to increase stability and strength in the core muscles, as well as providing a great way to strengthen the hip extensors and abductors used in the Side Bridge exercise.

Get Stronger With Side Bridge

Looking to strengthen your core and improve your overall stability? Look no further than the side bridge! This exercise targets the obliques and transverse abdominis muscles, which are essential to maintaining good posture and preventing lower back pain. By adding the side bridge to your routine a few times a week, you’ll notice improved rotational power and better stability in your core. So grab a mat and give this simple yet effective exercise a try!

References: Wikipedia | | | Comprehensive List of Abs Bodyweight Exercises

Pin image for side bridge post. With an image of a woman performing the exercise on Top and a graphic of the exercise on the Bottom.

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