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Side Leans

This month's exercise can help you strengthen your trunk muscles and challenge your balance.

For this exercise you can use a soccer ball, basketball or any vinyl ball.
 
If you want to add challenge, hold the ends of a light weight dumbbell, a medicine (weighted) ball or a sealable jug with water in it.
 
Begin the exercise by standing tall, holding the ball or jug.
 
Activity Avenue: Side Leans; Step 1
Depending on the level of challenge you would like, you should hold the ball:
  • Easiest posture: at chest height
  • Moderate challenge: above head
  • Most challenging: Mostly straight arms above your head
Activity Avenue: Side Leans; Step 2
Lean your shoulders side to side, making sure to draw the lower abdominal muscles in strong and avoid arching back.
 
Your hips and legs should stay strong underneath you.
 
Focus on closing the rib to hip space on one side while you open the other side.
Activity Avenue: Side Leans; Step 3
Return to starting position and repeat.
 
Repeat 8 – 15 times per side.
Activity Avenue: Side Leans; Step 4 To increase challenge even more, try this exercise standing on one leg at a time.