No one can do enough side stretches. The main side bending muscle of the trunk is situated between the pelvis and the ribcage and called the quadratus lumborum. It is always in need of a little length. I am usually doing this stretch within minutes of waking up in the morning.
There are three stretches that I consider my morning stretches. They happen to also be stretches that I do to start many of my yoga classes. If you could see what a roomful of people look at after doing these stretches you would know why I teach them so often and you might even start doing them yourself. I usually do them all within minutes of waking up.
The first of these stretches that I’ll share is a simple stretch that opens the side body. I did a post on a different version that also stretched the same muscle—quadratus lumborum. There is a big difference between the two exercises and worth exploring both. The standing version is much more expedient.
Quadratus Lumborum – Side Stretch
- Bring both hands over head with the palms facing each other. Keep your thighs back with a little crease in your hips.
- Take hold of the right wrist in the left hand and stretch to the left.
- Make sure that the muscles of the lower back aren’t shortening. The shoulder stretches some but you want to keep the majority of the work in the side of the trunk.
For a strange little effect-
- Stretch over to where you think you can go and then sigh and feel if you can let your organs drop deeper into the bowl of the pelvis.
- This might give you more room to stretch to the side.
Our organs hang in a bag from our spine, and if you give them the space they might release and descend a little.
Start to open your body when you wake up in the morning. This side stretch the works the quadratus lumborum is a great place to start.