Side-Bends for Runners and Athletes (and everybody else, too!)
Are you a runner?
Or a cyclist?
Or maybe you play recreational golf, tennis, soccer?
Or you just walk?
Or you even just sit at your desk for yours at a time.
You need to side-bend.
What’s a side-bend?
This is a side-bend:
And yes, this is ALSO a side bend:
You got it now?
Yes, it’s taking your body from SIDE to SIDE.
Because we spend so much of our life going forwards.
Sometimes we remember to twist or to do a little back-bend, because it feels good.
But I’m amazed by how often my runner and athlete students tell me that they NEVER ever side-bend
It’s time to change that, yo!
Stretching to the side helps to LENGTHEN the body and spine along the sides of the body. Specifically, it opens the the rib cage (making it easier to do things like, you know, BREATHE), while also lengthening the low-back, the muscles between the ribs, etc.
It’s good stuff.
If you are an athlete and have tight hips, this pose can be best accessed by just finding a comfortable standing position.
Bring your feet to hip width apart and parallel.
Inhale to lift up. Grab the right wrist with the left hand (as shown below.) Inhale to lengthen and exhale to the side. Keep pressing through the right foot. Stay 5-10 breaths, or however long feels comfortable on your body.
Repeat on second side. Grabbing the left wrist with the right hand, reaching up on the inhale to create length and exhaling to the right side. Stay here as long as feels good on this side.
If you feel dramatic imbalance repeat on the first side again or old for longer on the second side.
This pose is especially great to do seated at your desk, while you’re walking home from your run, or even waiting in the car-line at school pick-up!
Do you love to side-bend? Do you practice side-bends?
As always, let me know your questions, comments, and more below! 🙂