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Today’s Workout column: Wide squat with a side bend

Marlo Alleva
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Savannah Morning News

Many of us are multitasking right now, and in some areas, it works great, and in others, not so much.

When it comes to fitness, multitasking is not only great for getting more things done at one time but it can also intensify any exercise, making it more of a challenge, and more beneficial!

Our move today is a wide squat with a side bend. This exercise will be working your complete lower body with the squat. And it works your total midsection with the side bend, focusing on the oblique muscles in your torso. All you need for this exercise is a clear area on the floor for level footing.

Begin this exercise in a wide stance with your feet. Have your toes facing outward and your torso engaged. Placing your fingertips gently behind each ear, (pushing the elbows out from the body), holding your chest tall.

Once you are in a sturdy position, proceed to bend in your knees and sit into your squatting position. Be mindful of keeping the knees behind the toes even in the deepest portion of your squat.

Once you find your best positioning for your squat, proceed to bend in your side, pushing your upper body over as far as you can. Contract in the side you are bending toward and stretch deeply in your opposite side keeping a strong hold in the squat, focusing on your core and balance. Slowly return back to the starting position, then proceed to bend in your side in the opposite direction.

Keeping the side bend motion slightly slower, focus on the muscles you are using, and balance. Continue your side-to-side movements.

Give yourself at least eight to 10 bends on each side. Take a small break, and stand up out of your squat for a break in your lower body. Then reposition and continue into your next set of side bends.

This combination exercise is great for all levels of fitness. If you need intensity, you can add a set of light hand weights to hold, and go deep in your squat. If you need a little less intensity, simply keep your squat elevated.

This multitasking move is good on its own, or added into any weekly routine. And besides, when you multitask with fitness moves, you have so much extra time for fun!

Marlo Alleva, an instructor at Gold’s Gym and group fitness coordinator at Fontaine-Gills YMCA in Lakeland, Florida, can be reached at faluvzpa@msn.com.