I think I read something here recently about the downsides of doing side bends to train the obliques. Someone mentioned that focusing on the obliques (or lifting heavy with them, anyway) can actually make your waist larger by building up those muscles. I'm still doing ab work, but I cut out the side bends after that and I've noticed that my stomach is getting smaller but I haven't seen any new progress in my waist for awhile. I vary my ab routine pretty often, about every week or so.
Does anyone here do specific exercises for the obliques, or do you just do ab work that happens to hit them? Are side bends really that bad?