Exercise #1447

Side Bend

3 min - Exercise
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Muscle Focus: Abdominals, obliques, and shoulder stabilizers.

Objective: Abdominal strength and shoulder stabilization.

Start Position: Sit sideways with your legs bent to one side, with the top foot placed in front of the bottom foot (or stacked one on the other). Place the supporting hand in line with the seated hip a few inches in front of the shoulder.

Movement: Press into supporting hand and straighten the legs to lift the pelvis away fro the Mat, making a rainbow shape with the body. Press down through both feet to lift the waist and hips to the ceiling. Slightly bend the knees and and lower both hips to towards the Mat until the side of the calf touches the Mat. Lift the hips and waist towards the ceiling to again make the rainbow shape with the body. Repeat.

Precautions: Ensure that the bottom shoulder stays pulling away from the ear and that both shoulders are stacked one on top of the other. The body should be in a line as if it is between two walls.
What You'll Need: Mat

About This Video

Apr 10, 2014
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Read Full Transcript

Here we have Side Bend. And it is an advanced exercise. And I like to look at it as a precursor to your Star. Or to your Twist that you should be doing on the mat first. And then later on, you can enjoy even on the reformer.

So let's go ahead and get started. We're going to be working-- you're going to turn onto your side. So let's sit on your side. I like to imagine a line right back here. And we're going to line up your hand on that back line.

Good. As well as your hips. So that your whole box or frame is going to be facing forward. And your feet are going to be right here. I'm going to have you with your top foot in front of your bottom foot.

But you can also do it with your feet stacked. But this is how I'm going to teach it to you today. You're going to have this arm nice and long. And because it's an advanced exercise, you're going to be using not just your powerhouse, or not just your hips, but really working them together to stabilize this exercise. So pulling in your belly, using your hips.

Let's go ahead and lift your hips up as if your body was a rainbow. Can we lift your hips up a little bit higher? That's nice. So we get this really good work on the side as well as your obliques. Soften the elbow a little bit so it's not hyper extended.

And the shoulder is pretty much over the arm. Beautiful. And go ahead and break at your hips and come down. So that's really what you want to get, is that nice strong face of the box forward. And all of the oblique and abdominals working together with your hips for stabilization.

But let's advance it a little bit here. So you're going to pull in and squeeze. And lift up, forming a nice rainbow for me. Very nice. Good.

And you can go ahead and try to look over this shoulder with your chin. And let's get this nice hip stretch by lowering your calves and your hips. Don't break the box. Pulling in, lowering down so that one calf actually touches the mat. And then come back up into your rainbow and break at the hips again, bending the knees as you come down.

Great. Finally, why not, let's advance it to a beautiful extension with the arm. OK? So we're going to pull your powerhouse in. Use your hips and go ahead and lift up as that arm reaches up to the ceiling then continues on.

Great side work here. Wonderful. Now bring that arm back over. Look towards your hand. Bring in that chin.

Drop in the hips, lowering that calf for that stretch. Wonderful. Pulling in. Lift back up to that rainbow and over, over, over. And then bring that arm down as you break at the hips and come down.

Fantastic. And that is the side bend.


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