28.  The Sidebend

 

This exercise is also referred to as sidebend mermaid. You'll feel your lats, obliques, shoulder stabilizers, glutes, almost everything helping out to make this exercise successful. Not appropriate for those with osteoporsis. Use caution or modifications if you have wrist, low back, hip, shoulder and/or neck issues. Side lying, side plank, sidebend are all positions that put one's head in an unfamiliar orientation to gravity. So finding stability through the head neck and shoulders is a huge challenge. I prefer teaching sidebend without the head bobbing all over the place. I also like moving from a plank with two hands before heading into a side plank, helps with shoulder stability. Here's some more info on gaining range of motion into sidebending of the spine in a more stable position (coming soon). 

 

Classical start: psuedo side sit position

Recommended start: plank facing floor on hands and toes

 

1. Bring right hand to the middle of the mat. Reach left arm to the ceiling. Turn toes to the left (pinky toe side of the right foot and big toe side of left foot on the floor). Inhale reach right arm overhead and sidebend spine to the ceiling. Head is turned to look at right hand.

 

2. Exhale to bring right hand to right side, lower hips/pelvis towards the floor and turn head towards feet. Repeat three times on both sides. 

 

Click here for The Sidebend VIDEO

 

To decrease neck tension: find that serratus/armpit muscle to keep the shoulder away from the ear, follow your top hand with your eyes

 

To improve lumbar stability: tip pubic bone slightly towards nose 

 

To improve overall efficiency of the exercise: pretend you body is pressed up against a wall, or between two panes of glass. 

 

Modifications: rest on elbow of bottom arm, leave out the cervical rotation and keep eyes facing forward. See also modifications for leg pull front and leg pull.

 

Challenges: stack feet on top of one another.