Have you ever heard the phrase, “Use it or lose it?” It’s oversimplified, but that’s pretty much how your body works. In other words, if your spine is stiff or you’ve lost some range of motion, it could be you haven’t moved that way in a while. It happens to all of us. For this reason, it may be a good idea to add some stretches throughout your day.
For example, side bending. Bending our side is one of the first ranges of motion we lose because, well, how often do you do a side bend? Side bends can help with core strength, spinal mobility, and breathing.
From a stable chair, grab onto your right thigh with your left hand for stability.
Slowly and carefully bend your torso to the left.
Don’t use force. Be gentle until you feel a nice stretch.
Hold for five breaths.
Gently come out and repeat on the other side.
You can add a little “spice” to your side bend by bringing your hand behind your head (see photo). That helps get the stretch higher into your upper body.
There are no sets. There are no rep schemes. Just side-bend whenever it feels like you need it. Kind of like a cat or a dog stretching whenever they get up or down for a nap, etc.