The Fascial Side Bend – How to Do It Correctly

Sydney Video Training 4 Comments

I love the technique in today’s video because it directly applies to any exercise you’re already doing, whether it’s Pilates, yoga, Crossfit, or just stretching in your kitchen. 

If you take the time to tune in and feel the length tension required for this technique, you’ll likely double the benefits you are getting.

Opening up the sides of your body, especially the sides of your ribs, helps you breathe better and more easily. And better breathing equals better whole body health, vitality and wellness.

Plus, as you do this exercise, you’ll discover one of the “secret” movements that happens naturally when you fully inhale and exhale. This awareness will help you get even more out of this exercise and it’s a major benefit that will cascade into the rest of your practice and everyday life. 

This technique will also help prevent you from hinging and bending in places that are already bending too much (which can cause more harm than good).

Something you’ll want to watch out for (that I don’t mention in the video) is your chest or ribs lifting up and out when you lengthen. Triple check yourself and make sure you are lengthening evenly in the front, the back and both sides of your body.

It’s common to lift the chest and splay the front of the ribs forward as a means to lift taller, but all that does is shear your ribs forward on your spine. This is not good at all and will actually by-pass the effectiveness of the stretch.

If you get this stretch right, you’ll discover a completely different stretch from anything similar you might have previously tried.

You can practice this stretch every day. It’s a simple one to fit in throughout your day. I generally do it first thing in the morning and throughout my day when my body feels congested.

Try it out and see for yourself. I’d love to hear how if goes in the comments below.

See you in the studio!

About the Author


Hi, I'm Sydney and I'm a Restorative Movement Specialist here at Pilates Tonic. My goal is to empower you with tools to connect and live in your body in new and better ways.I'm a passionate advocate for wellness through optimally aligned movement and I look forward to designing a customized alignment and movement program just for you! If you want to find out more, just give me a call at 423.702.5233, or email me at See you in the studio!

Comments 4

  1. Sydney! I love all your videos, but this one is one of the best.
    I am going to use it in my mat class tomorrow!
    Thank you…great way to start!

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  2. hii, again a fantastic video.. but when i do the stretch this way i dont feel it in my oblique just the front and the back. is it right ??

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      Hi Mishie, Do you feel a stretch in the front and back? If so, it would be normal to feel a stretch there. But, double check your rib position as you move into the side bend to make sure your ribs aren’t shifting forward or lifting. If your ribs shift out of alignment as you go into the stretch it could take the stretch away from your sides. Great question!

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