I lost my Dad last week. He was a gem on so many levels. He had lots of great sayings. One of my favorites was “Onward and Sideways”. What does it mean? It’s a play on the phrase “Onward and Upward”. The Original Meaning: When things go badly, just pick yourself up and march straight ahead. My Dad was a clever guy and he realized that life rarely works out in such a simple manner. Instead, he knew that when you get knocked down, you DO get back up. But often you wobble to the left and wobble to the right before getting on track. And therein lies the “sideways” component.
Long before he was gravely ill, I wanted to use that phrase as the title for a blog post about obliques (your 'side-waist')... GET IT!?! ‘Sideways’…obliques? Ha! When I realized that our time together was limited, I decided to ask him about his saying. Somehow I thought that he must have heard it somewhere and ‘borrowed it’ for all these years. Alas, no. He made it up. All by himself. Which made it even more special. And even more important for me to use as a title.
So without further ado, I give you one of my favorite exercises for obliques with one of my favorite corresponding blog post titles. I call the exercise the “Side Bendy Thingy” but there probably is a real name for it. You can use a TRX system (what, you don’t have one lying around?), a high pulley machine at the gym set on a very high weight, or a scarf over the door. Please tell me that you have a scarf to offer up for the greater good of your mid-section.
First, I’ll share the video of me doing this move many months back. If I’m not mistaken, I sent this over to my dear buddy Janetha Bean over at Meals and Moves for a guest post, so apologies if you’ve seen it before:
Ironically I spotted a Personal Trainer at the gym training his client with the EXACT same exercise, so I asked him if I could take a photo of him demonstrating it. He was a good sport! He is using a TRX system.
Nice Trainer at the Gym “Before”
Nice Trainer at the Gym “After”
Here I am using the cables from a Universal Machine- I’ve set it on a very high weight so that the weight stack stays put as I exert my full body-weight on it.
The basic idea of the Side Bendy Thingy Exercise: Hold onto something stable and high above your head, and stick your hip wayyyy out to the side until you feel a nice pull in your obliques. Then use all of your might to pull that bootay back to the center line. There. You’ve done one rep. Now do 20. Then switch sides. Repeat 2-3 times more each side. And tell me you’re not sore the next day.
Check out my heart rate: 131. People, I’m not doing cardio- this is strength training. Can I hear a woot or two?
So that is my PSA for the day. I hope that you will try this exercise and let me know if you like it. I love it and it gets my muscles sore nearly every time.
Meanwhile, just remember the following thought about if you have a bad day, or you fall off your healthy eating plan, or you miss a workout: No one expects you to pop back up and be perfect right away. Just being human gives you the right to proceed “onward and sideways” just a little bit. You might stumble. You might waver. That’s ok. At least that was my Dad’s theory. And he was a pretty smart guy. Actually, he was a very smart guy.
Edited to Add: I FORGOT TO ASK YOU A QUESTION!!!
Q: What's your favorite 'saying'?