Side Bends with Weights?

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    Side Bends with Weights?

    So I'm making my way through Express Tone and I'm reminded of something I've questioned for a while. If I'm doing side bends with dumbbells, should only be using one dumbbell at a time? By that I mean a dumbell in the hand on the side I'm bending towards, with no dumbbell in the opposite hand. It feels like if I have a dumbbell in each hand, the weight of one will counteract the other, so I'm basically pivoting my bodyweight only around my midsection. Am I off with this?

    #2
    I can totally see where your coming from. Harder with single dumbbell, more core required.
    weight in both hands has strength through stabilising, but the weights do not cancel out each other out.
    Experiment with some heavier weights, feel the contraction. Pull strong as you go back to standing straight.

    In babbling my guess is that it's to do with the weights your playing with.

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      #3
      LongSlowBurn great question and intuitively yes, it appears that when you hold a weight in each hand, each one counteracts the other. In actuality this is not how it works. The lateral movement of the body is enabled by the action of the Abdominal external oblique muscle and the Abdominal internal oblique muscle. Popularly, they are both referred to as "the obliques" and their specific action is to counteract each other so one bends the body and the other one straightens it. When you add weights on each hand consider that the countering action is also harder so weights automatically make both bending and straightening the trunk of the body harder.

      But why do we not feel the effort? Now, that has to do with balance and core strength. And the core is represented by the Transversus abdominis muscle (popularly referred of as "core") which sort of joins the pelvis to the spine.When the body feels an imbalance (like carrying a bag of groceries in one hand only) it activates its core and uses the external and internal obliques to maintain direction, which is why when we do carry a bag of groceries in one hand we do not become unbalanced and end up walking in circles forever.

      When you have one weight only on one side you are basically creating the same imbalance. Your body then has to work against that as well as the lateral movement from side to side. This makes it harder. Is it better than say doing this with a weight in each hand? Wellllll, that is hard to say. There are no studies that I am aware of that actively look into this. My guess (albeit an educated one) is that with one weight only the exercise is different, not better. It spreads the results it produces between three abdominal muscle groups, as opposed to two by including the Transversus abdominis muscle (i.e. the core). I really hope this helps.

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        #4
        Yeah, that makes a lot of sense! One side pushes while the other side pulls, so weights on either side provide resistance, just in opposite directions/vectors. Thank you!

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          #5
          I gradually gain during training
          on one, on both with the same weight, and then with different

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