The Side Bent Sit Reverse is a basic sit transition that is both practical for everyday life and also packs a lot of fitness benefits.
This movement could not be more practical. You can practice while reading a book, watching TV, or better yet, while being fully mindful about your sensations as you do it. And once you can do it, you’ve got one more way to sit comfortably and move around effortlessly on the floor.
This movement is deceptively simple, yet very challenging for most people. If it’s difficult for you, that’s a good indication that you could use some more training. Once you’re moving well, this position and its transition can and should be done effortlessly. The good news is that any practice – even if you don’t get it just right in the beginning – will go a long way to help improve your mobility (especially hip mobility), prevent lower back pain, and help you get up and down on the ground.
Here’s how to do the Side Bent Sit Reverse…
Start in the Side Bent Sit position. You could also sit in the Bent Sit (photo 3) then move your legs sideways to the lateral stance. If you can’t bring both knees fully to the ground, it is OK! Just reach the lowest position you can reach without overwhelming discomfort or even pain. Keep your hands on your knees without trying to push them down.
Keeping your feet in place, start lifting your knees off the floor. You should feel that the motion comes from the hips, or “core”, not the legs.
If your core is not responsive, this is a good indication that some fundamental movement patterns need to be addressed. This is what we are here for.
As soon as you reach the neutral Bent Sit position, look to the other side and keep focusing on driving the motion through the hips, not the legs.
Depending on your mobility, this is may be the lowest point you will be able to reach without discomfort or pain, or trying to force the legs lower by pushing down with your arms. Accept whichever range of motion you can reach at the moment. Try to relax any tensions that you feel and that resist the motion, and to exhale longer to help with relaxation.
Reach the full range of motion with both legs touching the ground, and while keeping an upright posture as much as possible. Maintain slow, deep abdominal breathing at all times, spending more time on the exhale.
- Spend enough time working on the Side Bent Sit position before focusing on the reverses. You should be able to sit with good posture and without pain or discomfort before working on the transitions.
- Maintain a tall, lengthened spine, breathing into your diaphragm.
- If you’re having trouble with the transition, try exhaling most of the air out of your lungs as you pass through the middle Bent Sit position.
- You can post your hands on the ground behind you for support.
Once you’ve gotten this movement down, you can integrate it into your daily life, and also link it with other transitions and Get Up movements. So, try to practice a few repetitions of this movement every day, and if possible, a few times a day (or more!). This is more effective than spending one long practice session on it once a week.
It will be a lot easier to practice this frequently if you make this movement a normal part of your daily life, instead of planning multiple workout or practice sessions that you have to “check off” your list.
We don’t become stiffer over time because we stop stretching or don’t do enough “mobility drills.” We become stiffer because we neglect movement. Indeed a whole range of fundamental, simple, natural movements have almost come to be seen as awkward. Sitting for hours on chairs without changing position is certainly harmful for us, but varied sits on the floor with frequent changes of position is a fantastic way to restore or maintain both mobility and flexibility.
So, get into the habit of sitting and moving on the floor regularly. It’ll do your body good.
- MovNat For Mobility
- 4 Ground Positions to Help You Sit Comfortably, Efficiently, and with Good Posture
Note: This article contains material from Erwan Le Corre’s upcoming book, The Practice of Natural Movement.
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