How To: Offset Overhead Side Bend

January 19, 2023 by VAHVA Fitness

Developing the obliques with the steel mace. This exercise is exceptionally effective due to the uneven weight loading.

Before we get to the actual exercises, I recommend checking out the articles/videos below for more information regarding to the mace and club training:

When it comes to athleticism and martial arts ability, your obliques are behind lots of power. After your hips and lower body, your core is where the torque comes from and how power is generated. 


Surprisingly, training the obliques is not very common among most fitness enthusiasts or martial artists. Abs are emphasized but often the obliques are overlooked.


Moreover, the obliques have many functions in the body. Your obliques not only rotate and stabilize the spine but the obliques also bend the spine laterally as demonstrated in this offset overhead side bend.


Obliques also consist of upper and lower obliques which both require different forms of training. In Athlete 20XX (mobility and stability) and Movement 20XX (mainly thanks to animal movements) we do extremely versatile core training.


Side bend with a dumbbell or a kettlebell is a good exercise but this exercise is on a different level.

Offset Overhead Side Bend

steel mace side bend obliques

In the full version of the offset overhead side bend, you are holding the weight overhead. This will provide the most stretch to the obliques and the most resistance. The easier variation is to hold the weight on your shoulders which is still effective.


The same exercise can also be done with a barbell and it will work as well. However, due to the even weight loading, it's not as effective as the offset overhead side bend.


The secret behind this exercise is really the uneven weight loading. It's simply because one side of the mace holds so much more weight and thus makes the exercise a lot more challenging for the obliques.


In the beginning, focus on having a slight stretch in the obliques and then slowly pulling yourself up. It's crucial to do this exercise with control and avoid any excess movement from the hips.


You can easily ruin the exercise by either moving your arms or by manipulating the weight by moving your hips. It's vital to hold your body tight and just generate the movement from your side obliques.


This is one of the secrets behind Athlete 20XX Method - a careful activation of the targeted muscles while stabilizing the rest of the body. Together with control and mind-muscle connection you will be able to produce astonishing results far faster than usual.


Stay strong.



samuli jyrkinen

About the author 

Samuli Jyrkinen

Samuli is the ninja behind the scenes (photography, videography, websites, program platforms and more). He has been training religiously for over a decade and has a firm grasp of physical and mental fitness. You will find our story here.

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