We’ve been talking a lot about side bending lately. However, ultimately the goal is to balance strength and flexibility, so now let's talk side body strengthening.
Because the majority of our movement is so forward-oriented — sitting, walking, running, cycling, etc. — the sides of the body tend to be not only tight, but also weak. When the muscles on the sides of your body are weak, they can’t do their job to keep areas like hips and core stable. As a result, your posture and form will suffer, regardless of your sport or activity — especially when you’re tired.
Side Plank is great because is strengthens the sides of the body as well as core. Hold for 5+ deep breaths before switching sides.
Try it: Side Plank
- Come onto your right hand, rotating your arm so that the fingers point away from the rest of your bod — spread your fingers wide and evenly distribute your weight as you press down evenly (rather than loading up your wrist).
- Straighten your legs and come onto the outside edge of your right foot, keeping your feet flexed, and stack the rest of your bod directly on top.
- Engage your core to bring your bod into a long line, and reach your top arm up.
- If that feels tough, lower your bottom knee to the ground for support (especially if you feel like you butt is sagging or your bottom shoulder feels unstable).
- Turn your head wherever feels the most comfortable to your neck.
- If you can keep everything stable, reach your top arm overhead, without side bending.
If you’re up for a few reps, try lowering down and resting in Side Lounge before repeating.