Major Muscles and Actions Involved
In side bends the quadratus lumborum, the internal and external obliques, the rectus abdominis, and the erector spinae muscles are involved in lateral flexion of the spine. In this action the trunk is pulled over to one side via contraction of the muscles on the same side of the body midline.
This exercise is important for all athletes who throw overhead for maximum distance or force (baseball pitchers, outfielders, football quarterbacks, javelin throwers). It is also important for overhead hitting (tennis serve and smash, racquetball ceiling shot, badminton overhead clear and smash) and when you reach up as high as possible (basketball rebounding, volleyball spike, catching fly balls).
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