If we want to smartly “bend like a reed in the wind,” be it physically in our yoga practice or athletic pursuits, or figuratively as we mentally flow with the winds of life, how happy we are in our bodies will be a huge factor in our performance. So let’s treat these little muscles right, nurture their health so they can support our mobile freedom and happiness!

Try this Yoga Tune Up® pose Boomerang in the video clip below (and also on the Quick Fix for Lower Back videos) to laterally stretch and strengthen the Intertransversarii and a few other muscles as a bonus!

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Watch our free Quickfix for Lower Back video

Matthew Coe

Matthew has embraced a centering practice throughout most of his adult life; his pilgrimage taking him through long distance running, Daoist meditation and chi-kung, and several styles of Taiji and kung fu, as both a student and teacher. His classes tend towards a non-dogmatic amalgam of his biology education, martial arts foundation, yoga journey, and life-inspired philosophy. He strives to make each practice accessible and yet challenging enough to open the door to self-exploration and uplifting success. Matthew is a Certified Yoga Teacher and Yoga Tune Up® Instructor, and has over 20 years of experience in mind/body movement arts.

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Daniel Zachrisson

I tended to just do lateral stretches in a very passive way, such as bananasana, but trying this movement has been a breakthrough into how amazing an active lateral stretch can feel for my obliques.

Patricia Maldjian

I love this stretch not only for the obliques but the entire side body. Closing the chain by placing the hand on the wall takes it to another level of intensity. I’ve been commuting lately so this is a great warm up for hanging on in the subway! Thank you!

Patricia Maldjian

This lateral stretch, by adding the hand to the wall really intensified the sensation along the obliques. It definitely stands out as more than just a side stretch. Thank you.

Maureen

This is a great activity to lengthen and strengthen the obliques. We really do not take enough time to work on our lateral stretches and this is a nice easy one to do.

dominique pelletier

Nice pose to do flat on the mat. its look like a banana. Very nice passive pose to do in a in yoga pratice.

Sharon

thank you for posting! I have recently added this movement to my own daily practice and will integrate it into my teaching!

Michelle Officer

thank you! i love that this pose gives us a closed chain to work with! thanks so much for including the video…great reminders!
Ill be including more of this along with other open chain side bends!

Serge Goyette

Thanks Mathiew, I love this pose. also thanks for the tip on the boomerang stretch. It helps me realize how this can really help me on a daily dose…

Brendan

This pose is so great. I had not felt such a deep stretch in my through my mid section until I gave this pose a try. It is especially good when I am nice and warm from some deep core work. What i imagine to be happening seem to be confirmed by the sensation I receive.

Scott Simons

Thanks for the tip on the boomerang stretch. I can see how it can help in all the sports i play from ultimate frisbee to basketball and tennis. I think this will offer me more lateral mobility and help keep my core engaged when needed.

Michelle Corbeil

I LOVE this pose – now. At first I found extremely awkward but now it feels like my QL is sighing with relief once I do it. I love doing this pose at the wall and the lateral extension that this pose creates is delicious.

Chrissy

It’s amazing once you find release in the QL muscles. I’ve been stuck for years in the “dancers booty back”, anterior tilt position from tight QL and psoas muscles. This particular exercise gave me awareness to where my body was overactive and what tissues were weak. Sidebending looks easy but when done correctly, it can change your back space.

Ananda Tinio

I have been using the Yoga Tune Up balls for releasing those big gluteus muscles and trying to release the periformis. I have become more aware of the interconnectedness of everything and how figuring out how one chain in the link, ie a weakened QL, can affect the whole. I love the boomerang stretch also because my hip always used to jut out during the standing side bends and this focuses more on the lift and release, a micro movement which changes the energetic quality of the pose.

Yvonne Duke

Thank you….I learned something new about Boomerang. The intertranverii…..I now know the name of the little short muscles that span between the transverse proceses and the fact they are the deepest muscles in the cervical and lumbar regions. Only Boomerang can access them.

Gennifer Morris

I love this pose. It opens my entire side body. I feel it into my Quadratus lumborum and right into my guteus medius especially doing it on the wall.

John Greenhow

Is there any benefit to bringing compression to the intervertebral discs?

Lenny Herb

Being a baseball player, this is one of my favorite stretches. It allows me complete rotation during my swing. This stretch and my work with the therapy balls has improved my performance on the baseball field in countless ways.

benito garcia

I’m ballroom dancer and often neglect the lateral parts of my body. This is a Great movement to wake up the range of the sides. Can’t wait to share this with my colleagues!

Kevyn

I also prefer the wall version of this pose but it’s great to see variations. I always feel longer and like I can breathe so much better after this pose.

Leslie Van Schaack

I agree w/ Lisa… one of my new favorites! I am always looking to get into my side body more and have pretty twitchy QLs, so I love that this involves a more gentle lift and release instead of just collapsing over to one side and then struggling up trying to avoid the scream my QLS will give me if I move too quickly.

Lisa Harris

This is my new favorite pose! I prefer the wall version for the depth it creates – since I have wrist issues.. I love the isometric action of “stretching the paint” on the wall. Feels so good and is such a great lateral opening. I’ve just begun to discover the QL in all of it’s glory.

Tomoko

Being a massage therapist, I found stretching QL muscle is not so easy because patient is relaxing on the table. This is very helpful!!
I can give this stretch to my clients as home care! Thank you for sharing!

Genevieve

I think that this pose really appeals to the “pittas” in the room: “a challenge of strength! I will win at Yoga”. I should know: i am one of them! I find that this movement is wonderful at “pressing the reset button” during my work day, as it truly focuses all of your attention on the entire upper body as you pull your hands apart, push the ball away, and tubularize your core! Not to mention the stretch to the infamous QL . A great pose for desk junkies!

Pam

In Pilates we do this move a lot and I think it builds great strength in serratus anterior and the floor side intercostals and external obliques and internal obliques. And as you lower towards the floor with the pelvis I try to bring my collar bones level with the floor without collapsing.
A great challenge!

JL

I teach women daily here in my studio JL CORE ENERGY STUDIO in the small town of Greely and at the end I do some yoga poses to warm down. I will be doing this one tomorrow morning as I have never done a spine stretch before so this will be fun to do. Thanks so much

Amalea Fisher

We did this pose today. One of the other students commented on how she could visually see how much it lengthened just after doing one side. This pose is definitely better on the wall for those who can’t hold their body weight on their arms or if they have shoulder or wrist injuries.

Lisa Cassidy

I love, love, love the standing version of this pose! Did I mention that I love it? Truly I do! I am eager to share this one with the masses and help them to get in touch with their side body like never before!

Rachelle Tersigni

I often teach lateral stretching postures in my yoga classes for no other reason than they feel so darn delicious! I’ve had students come up to me and tell me how much they love doing them as well. You can always see that it is a well loved thing to do by most people by the look on their faces. I always thought of it is a way to open up the ribcage, waist, and lungs facilitating deeper breathing, so great to learn that it is also strengthening the intertransversarii of the spine.

Kristen B.

this variation of the pose has been very helpful for me to help students to discern the difference in sensation in sidebends between jutting the hip out versus the potential of pure lateral flexion. love it!

Roselea Moran

I love this pose in the supine and standing wall version. As a person with surgical related scar tissue in Lumbar and iliac crest regions, this pose has helped me rediscover a side bend which was uncomfortable and the rehabilitation of muscle fibers has allowed me freedom to twist. I particularly like to take the breath to the inner landscape of the stretch and feel the interaction with Internal and external obliques.