These muscles are important to stabilise our core. We hardly ever bend straight forward or backward during exercise and daily activities.
There's usually some sort of twisting, which is where your side muscles come into play. Rotating your body and side bending are crucial parts to your movement.
Stretch your sides to ensure your core stays strong. Do some pulse raising exercises to make sure your muscles are warm, before you stretch in your warm up.
Hold each stretch for longer in your cool down. This will stop your muscles from stiffening up after your workout, and allow them to recover.
Hold these stretches for at least 10 seconds, and don't bounce. Try not to overstretch, take it to where you feel mild discomfort but no pain.
Click here to see pictures and tips of stretches submitted by other visitors to this page.
Here are various stretches for your sides:
1 - Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, arms by your sides.
2 - Lift your right arm straight up, above your head. Bend to your left side, running your left hand down your left leg.
3 - Feel the stretch in your right side.
4 - Repeat by switching sides.
Tip - Don't lean forward or backward during the stretch.
This is basically the same stretch as above, but done seated.
1 - Sit on a chair and rest your hands on your thighs.
2 - Lift your right arm straight up, above your head. Bend to the left. Feel the stretch in your right side.
3 - Switch sides and repeat.
1 - Sit on a chair, keep your back straight (don't slouch).
2 - Keeping your feet fixed on the floor, turn your shoulders to the right and hold the back of the chair with both hands.
3 - Feel the stretch.
4 - Repeat by turning to the left.
Tip - You can do this stretch standing up. Hold your hands and point your elbows to the sides. Turn your shoulders to each side and feel the stretch.
Enjoy your side stretches. Here are some videos people have submitted to help guide your stretches:
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