Imagine a day where you are only able to move backward and forward, and how much of your daily movement (between work, exercise, and other activities) would be prohibited. Linear movement – forward and backward – though an important part of how we go about routine functions, are only one set of the directions in which our bodies move.
With how much of our day-to-day activity, as well as movement in any and all sports, happens beyond a linear path, it’s surprising that many modern exercise machines and equipment are built to only facilitate the back and forth. Lateral exercise should be a part of any workout regimen, in order to train and prepare your body to optimally perform and move with strength in all directions.
Benefits of Lateral Exercise
- Preventing Injury: Lateral exercise movements strengthen the muscles that support important joint structures.
- Balance and Coordination: Stabilizer muscles are used in lateral exercise, which can provide increased body balance and coordination.
- Adding Variety to Your Workout: Lateral exercises are a great way to mix up your routine and give your body new challenges.
Preventing injury is a big reason behind many of the training and conditioning exercises used today to help athletes and non-athletes alike go about their activities safely. Lateral exercise, such as many moves performed on an UltraSlide lateral slide board, help to strengthen the muscles and tendons surrounding important joint structures in the hips, knees, and feet that aren’t as frequently exercised in linear workouts, helping them to withstand impact or strain. For example, lateral exercises on a slide board help to build the outer hip muscles as well as those in the inner and outer thighs, which stabilize the knees and can minimize joint pain and injury.
Balance and Coordination
As many common activities, such as running and biking, are forward-moving, they call upon the same dominant muscles repeatedly and regularly place stress on those same muscle groups. Neglecting the smaller, stabilizer muscles can lead to imbalance, and in worst-case scenarios, injury or degeneration. Lateral exercise helps to work the stabilizer muscles, allowing for balanced, coordinated movement as well as lateral strength and flexibility.
Adding Variety to Your Workout
With so many standard workouts focusing on linear motion, simply adding lateral movements into your routine can be a great way to breathe new life into your regimen. Challenging new muscle groups, moving in different directions, and having your body perform exercises it isn’t used to can add exciting variety to your usual workouts. Adding simple slide board moves such as skaters and side lunges will present your muscles with new demands and provide a break from the movements you’re accustomed to.
Building lateral movements into your workouts is an important part of helping your body to build the strength and flexibility it needs to perform. With benefits such as decreasing the likelihood of injury, building balance and coordination, and keeping your routines fresh and interesting, lateral movement is an important aspect of exercise and training. Visit www.ultraslide.com to learn more about how slide boards can be used to perform lateral exercises.