Side Bends

Dose

Perform 8 side bends in each direction 2-3 times per week.

Purpose

This exercise is designed to lengthen and strengthen the muscles along with the sides f the trunk. These muscles often get tight, causing pain in the back, hips, and shoulders. Strengthening them will help to improve performance and stability in the trunk.

Method

Hold a band or a rolled-up towel with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Raise it so that it is directly above your head. Stand with the feet hip-width apart, the pelvis neutral, the chin pulled back, and the shoulder blades engaged.

Keeping your core engaged, bend directly to the side, reaching across with the opposite hand. Heel the body in a straight line, so that you do not lean back or forwards. Try to keep your hips directly over your feet as you bend.

Once you have bent over as far as possible, engage the core to bring your body back to the starting position and repeat on the opposite side.

Common Mistakes

• Leaning back as you bend to the side. This can compromise the stretch on the spine and decrease the benefit of the exercise.

• Bending too fast. Try to make this moment very slow and controlled, as it will be more effective for the muscles of the trunk.

Progression Threshold

Use this exercise a few times a week to maintain mobility in the trunk.