Move of the Month: The Side Bend

The Side Bend exercise is to enhance lateral mobility of the spine. It primarily targets the transversus abdominis, deep pelvic floor, obliques, hip extensors and scapular stabilizers. Attention should be paid to the abdominal contraction to prevent rib cage from rotating or popping. The cervical spine should stay aligned with the thoracic spine.

The Side Bend modifications:
a) Bring the feet closer to or further away from body to increase/decrease difficulty.
b) Leave the bottom knee on the mat, do not fully extend that leg (less pressure in the supporting arm & shoulder).

The Side Bend exercise:
1) Begin by sitting on your side, knees bent with top leg laterally rotated and foot flat on mat slightly forward of you sit-bones. Your bottom leg is resting on the mat with foot behind top foot. Your upper body is supported on one hand flat to the ground in line with your hip and your other arm is resting on your knee with the palm up.
2) Inhale, stabilize your supporting shoulder and lift pelvis towards the ceiling by extending legs out. You should be completely sidelong to the ground, with only your feet and one hand touching the floor. The rest of your body should be propped up in the air.
3) Simultaneously, reach your free arm overhead framing your face.
4) Keep your eyes focused ahead
5) Exhale while bringing your free arm back to your side, bending your knees and lowering your pelvis to the mat.

Repeat 3-5 times on each side

Always consult your doctor for medical advice and treatment before starting any exercise program. If you should experience any pain or discomfort, please discontinue the exercise and consult your doctor immediately.

The information presented here is not intended to replace professional medical care when needed. Consult a qualified healthcare practitioner for disease diagnosis, therapy choice, medicine selection and dosage.


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