Many people think that side-to-side (lateral flexion) bending is a good exercise to shape the sides of the torso (love handles). This is not true because deeper spinal muscles can perform this exercise much more efficiently than the abdominal muscles.
In fact, the quadratus lumborum muscle, (hip hiker) which attaches from the crest of ilium to the transverse processes of the lumbar vertebrae and to the lowest rib, is actually a pure lateral flexor muscle. Anatomically speaking, the quadratus lumborum is positioned so that it is more active than the external obliques during side bending.
The soreness that many people associate with a firming of the oblique muscles is actually a result of overstretching these muscles. It should be noted that these side bending exercises are not helping us with our abs at all fact is they are hurting us. We are actually decreasing lateral range of motion for the spine, as we bend from side to side.
This occurs when we continuously move side to side quickly with heavy weight, such a s a 25 to 45 lb plate which I see most often. The overload on the QL and TFL become short and hyper tonic and lose elasticity. There is no such thing as spot reduction. You can’t shake, vibrate, heat, or slap fat off the body!
More to digest soon…
Dave Parise CPT FPTA MES