The Side Bend

This goodie will stretch your side muscles and further decompress your spine, for that taller feeling.

Stand with your feet shoulder width and your knees locked. 'Grow tall' by reaching overhead (see photo to the left).

Lean strictly sideways as if you are sliding along a wall (see photo to the right). Do not twist!

Lean strictly sideways as if you are sliding along a wall (see photo to the right). Do not twist!

Contract your glutes as you start to get back up and do not twist.

Inhale and squeeze your butt tight. Whenever you have a hard time contracting a given muscle, flexing your glutes helps. Read up on the phenomenon of irradiation in Power to the People!: Russian Strength Training Secrets for Every American if you want to know why. Orjust accept it as the ultimate truth; the Party is always right!

Let go in a second. Your body should fold slightly sideways without twisting. Your hips will move in the opposite direction to maintain the balance.

Once you cannot get any deeper in good form, squeeze your butt to get an irradiation boost, and slowly get up along the same path you have come down. If you do not flex your glutes you will be tempted to twist.

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