There are many variations of the side crunch exercise. This exercise works the oblique muscles. The lateral flexors of the spine (quadratus lumborum) are also involved in this exercise. The obliques are commonly referred to as the "love handles." They are used to assist with rotation of the torso. They are also instrumental during abdominal contractions.
Start by lying sideways on a workout mat. Your knees should be together and slightly bent. Place your bottom hand on your oblique muscle. The top hand should go comfortably behind your head. Next, contract your oblique muscle by crunching the abs sideways. Exhale as you do so, then return to the starting position and repeat the exercise.
IMPORTANT: Never crank the neck during this exercise.
Lie down on side, knees together. Place bottom hand on oblique. Place top hand behind the neck.
Crunch the obliques to the side. Exhale.
Return to the starting position. Repeat.