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The Sideways Approach to Exercising for Max Results

Lateral training is one of the best ways to advance your athletic performance. It will help you move faster and with better control! Lateral training will boost cardio fitness, improve strength, agility, balance, help to develop a stronger mind/body connection, and reduce the risk of injury.


What does moving side-to-side offer that moving forward or backward doesn’t?

Most of the time we move in a forward direction. Many exercises like squats, curls, and forward lunges move in the sagittal plane, which means you’re moving forward and backward or up and down. Consequently, we continually strengthen the same dominant muscle groups, and the smaller muscles remain unchanged.


By embracing lateral movements, we engage our smaller but important stabilizing muscles including our abductors, adductors, hips, and pelvis – which is fundamental to staying injury free.


Injury Prevention

Lateral exercise can prevent injury by strengthening the muscles, ligaments and tendons surrounding important joints like the hips, knees, ankles, and feet - which aren’t as frequently exercised in linear workouts. For example, lateral exercises that strengthen the hips, like a sidestep, can help minimize joint pain in the knees helping them to withstand impact or strain.


Balance and Coordination

Lateral exercises require balanced, coordinated movement as well as lateral strength and flexibility.



Lateral training is so good for our mind, it provides variety and teaches us to respond quickly to new stimuli.


What is lateral training good for?

Lateral training is not only good for athletes who need to move quickly from side to side but also in your daily life when you sidestep around someone walking down the sidewalk or catch yourself in a trip.


Try it!

Here are two lateral training moves you will find in this week’s TOW “Shell Shocked” that you can do anytime, anywhere and without any equipment.


Low Side Step to Power Jump

Stepping sideways low and wide engages your hips, abductors, quads, and glutes and provides power for an explosive jump.


Side to Side Grenade Throw

Challenges your core and will get your heart rate sky high while improving stability, balance and coordination.


Ready to get your lateral training fix? Try a Surge Fit class now!

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