I love side bends! Just not for the reason it works my obliques... The reason I love both is because they teach you proper engagement of your lats - something we need awareness of with every movement we make.
The way you engage your lats is by keeping your chest broad and your shoulders pulled firmly down away from your neck. This is what you want to focus on through this entire movement, especially when you've lowered your hip to the floor - this isn't time to rest, stay engaged!
I love the high plank variation best because you achieve a greater range of motion, allowing you to reach up and over at the top, stretching out your entire side through your shoulders, rib cage and hip. It feels amazing!
Let me know how you like this movement on Instagram/Twitter @cassiebstrong #BStrong!