Why bother with side flexion?
You don’t have to bother with spinal side flexion or any other spinal articulation (forward flexion, extension, or rotation). However, if our spines do not have certain degrees of mobility on side flexion there will be consequences on:
• the function of the neurons that pass through the spinal cord (at least as we age)
• the chances we take to develop back pain or abdominal hernias
• instability in the pelvic area (especially for elder people and pregnant women)
• moving with ease in sports that involve frequent change of direction.
• diaphragmatic function as most muscles involved in spine flexion are either attached to the diaphragm (including Psoas & quadratus lumborum) or indirectly affect it’s movement by being tight (trapezius & latissimus dorsi)
A word of caution, on improving side flexion.
There are 2 things I always keep in mind when giving students exercises to improve side flexion :
• the current spinal range of movement, especially in forward and side flexion
• their abdominal strength
The abdominal wall contains main muscles a lot of which are rarely used. Side flexion will to both stretch your abdominal and lower back muscles (on one side) & contract them (on the opposite side). If we don’t pace ourselves it is likely to experience: cramping, strains while one of my teachers shared with me last week that she broke a rib through side flexing the wrong way.
How to assess & strengthen your QL / side flexion
This week’s warm-up exercises
Those coming to this week’s classes I suggest you practice the following sequence.
Videos like the above are unlisted on YouTube, as they are part of the library I use exclusively for the students I work with online.
Videos on related topics