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How do I stretch my side?

With your legs apart and toes pointed to the sides, put your right hand on your waist and raise your left hand above your head like a ballerina. Press your hips slightly to the left with your right hand, and reach your left hand (palm down) to the right. Hold for 10 seconds and then switch sides. Do the move twice on each side. Throughout, keep your knees slightly bent and breathe deeply, expanding your rib cage.

Standing side bend is an excellent way to stretch out the entire core and the lattisumus dorsi, the major muscle group that is responsible for powering your swim stroke. To perform this activity stand with your feet hip width distance and bring your belly button to your spine creating a slight posterior tilt of the pelvis. This will help protect the low back. Bring both arms up overhead and interlock your fingers. Without rotating your shoulders or hips, lean your entire body to the right. You will need to engage the core and obliques to stabilize your upper body. You should feel this stretch along the entire left side of the body. Keep the shoulders and hips in one line, think about rotating your bottom shoulder forward as there is a tendency to drop it back. Return to standing and repeat on the opposite side. Hold each stretch for three breath counts and repeat five times each side. This not only stretches the side body, it also works the abdominal and onliques as well, key muscle groups in swimming.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.