Sadly, lateral movement is often neglected when it comes to exercise programs. We spend most of our time training our lower bodies to move forward, backward, up, and down, but we forget to include lateral exercises. Whether you are an elite athlete, weekend warrior, or simply want to look great naked, lateral exercises are amazing and necessary.
This is so important that I have started an awareness campaign I call “Lateral Wednesday.” I encourage all my clients, student athletes, and friends to participate. #LateralWednesday is a social media reminder for you to include a lateral exercise at least once each week on Wednesday.
Here are the Top 3 Reasons you need to include lateral exercises in your exercise program:
- You will like the shape it gives to your rear end and thighs.
- You will have better balance to avoid slipping and/or falling.
- You will decrease the chances of knee injury (ACL tears, etc) by preventing knee valgus.
If these reasons seem important to you (and why wouldn’t they?), please read on. Below are some videos demonstrating my favorite lateral movement exercises. If that’s not enough, and you REALLY want to get your nerd on, you can read about the specific muscles involved. Check it out and perform at least one of these exercises TODAY!
Which muscles are involved in lateral movement?
Side Butt: Lateral movements strengthen the Gluteus Medius, Gluteus Minimus, and Tensor Fasciae Latae (TFL) on the outside (lateral side) of the hips.
Inner Thigh (Groin): In addition, lateral movements strengthen the Adductor Longus, Adductor Brevis, Adductor Magnus, and Gracilis in the inside (medial side) of the thigh.