The Yoga Tune Up® Sidewinder Minivini accomplishes both strengthening and stretching goals in one fell swoop – check it out below!  In addition, if integrating QL stabilization with core and upper body strength is the goal, explore variations of rotational movement in Vastistasana (Side Plank). To massage the QL use the YTU Alpha Ball – its broader surface offers the perfect distribution of pressure to target and address the unique QL tissue size and shape.

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Kristen Butera

Kristen Butera is the editor of Yoga Living Magazine and co-owner of the YogaLife Institute in Devon, PA where she and her husband train Yoga Teachers & Yoga Therapists. With more than 2000 hours of Yoga Philosophy and Anatomy training, she is certified in multiple yoga traditions. Kristen teaches a variety of classes and workshops and aims to empower students of all levels to work at their own pace, be at home in their bodies and use all the internal tools of Yoga to live a richer, fuller life.

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Shelby Williams

I LOVED the swinging legs variation! So much fun. I will obviously share this with my kids but I bet I could get my parents to try it!!

erika mills

I have been doing this for only a few days now but already I feel increased strength in my lower back and abs:)


I love this exercise A LOT! It is easier to identify my elevation of my pelvis and the lateral flexion of my spine. It also release my back muscles, not like a hard wooden board anymore. By strengthening these muscles, keeps our body stay away from back pain.

Renee Bolan

This exercise was a WIN for me! I’ve always struggled working on my core and I felt like the sidewinder worked all the right areas without putting any stress on the neck!

Jenny Lim

I’ve got to try this version of sidewinder. For me at this stage of hypermobility and imbalances in my hips, I feel like this version would require more focus and proprioception to do. I’m used to doing a more closed chain version of sidewinder with knees bent and feet on the blanket. This version looks like it is ballistic stretching or movement. Lol literally and figuratively! 🙂

Amanda Rassam

I LOVE side-winder! Its a great way to wake up the lateral line. I use it before dynamic lateral movements like kettlebell windmills.

Juan Pablo

So much fun and beneficial for the core!

Dominique Pelletier

Great variation to stabilize the upper body. Really funny to try. Cant wait to try this with my senior group and kids group.

It will be great posture to teach to have fun in my class.

Dominique Pelletier

Variation vraiment intéressante comme mouvement latérale. Belle compréhension et conscience du corps au sol. Très hate de l’expérimenter avec mes groupes agés et mes groupes d’enfants. Belle maniere de jouer avec la posture pour stabiliser le haut de notre corps

Suzanne Drolet

Fun variation on an already fun pose! I could really feel my abs working!! It’s also fun to work leg movement patterns, in addition to the chaotic ones. The organizer in me appreciates knowing where to go and the wild side of me likes the freedom 🙂


Can’t wait to incorporate this into my classes!


Lets face it, Sidewinder is fun. Once you show people how to do it, they jump on board – not even thinking about the strengthening that is occurring until it is done!

Elizabeth Bond

I love this temper tantrum version of Sidewinder! It feels so good in my body and it’s lots of fun. The tip to roll out the QL with the Alpha first made all the difference in turning my QL on during this YTU pose. Thank you for sharing!


This is a fun variation of sidewinder–thanks for sharing it.


Sidewinder is so fun to do that I almost forget that there is benefit. It provides such valuable engagement of the QL and oblique abdominals. This will be such a fun way to get students integrated and connected for their asana practice. The simplicity of the action and its affect will appeal to many.


Sidewinder is one of my favorite exercises. Sarah clarified why we need to leave our bent knees at a less than 90 degree angle and remember to keep your head on the mat at all times. Doing sidewinder faster helps reveal an imbalance as the blanket ends up moving to the stronger side. Do the test and see what you find!


Looks like a fun way to do abdominal work and help the lower bath stay flexbile.


This minivini is amazing! It helped clarify how to stabilize my torso in Uttitha Trikonasana (Triangle pose). Such a gem, can’t wait to take this home to teach to my students.


Great post and I love sidewinder minivini! It’s awesome to get the dynamic movement while you strengthen and stretch the QL. Also fun to do!

Roselyn Ramthun

Strengthening, stretching and allowing my inner wild child to come out and play is my idea of a perfect series of movements. My lower back pain solutions seem so boring compared to this. I can’t wait to add the wild legs!

Amanda Crutcher

whoops lateral extension and flexion!

Amanda Crutcher

Cool variation. I hope you post on “explore variations of rotational movement in Vastistasana (Side Plank )”, will be interesting to see what you are thinking of. Can imagine lateral extension and contraction in Vastistasana would be nice too. Thanks!

rie katagiri

I’ve been looking for an excuse to have a temper tantrum. Thanks for posting this video Kristen and thanks Jill for always adding a wonderful new dimension to everything! Next time I have a bad day, I’m gonna take to the floor and have at it!


Gotta try this variation of sidewinder!

Lenny Herb

This is a perfect starter position for my clients with minimum mobility. My only problem is how do I get the sliding action for sidewinder on a carpeted floor?!


With YTU I have found out that one of the biggest acts of self-love is massaging your QL with the therapy balls. I love using the Plus therapy balls as they do work well with the curves of my back. This is one part of the body that gives me an instant sense of well being after a ball rolling session.


This is great! I’m often on my feet a lot for work, and some times my lower back starts to feel it!! This is great, but I find that when I move slower in this side winder position it feels amazing on my lower back. The speed helps to give a bit of rigor with my abdominals, but slowing it down did wonders for my low back!!


As I age, I have noticed some discomfort in my lower back. Since I started doing yoga though, I have noticed that my abs are not as strong as I thought, or wished they were. And, we all know…a strong core is essential .
Can’t wait to give this a go!

Ronald Todorowski

As someone who’s been struggling with lower back pain recently sidewinder is a fun and effective way to strengthen my abdominals and create better stabilization.


I’m not sure if it’s a flexibility issue, but I have a hard time keeping my back flat if i have my arms behind my head. so i am worried that i am arching and side bending and if that is potentially a bad combo for my ql. I have been doing what I call penguin side crunches, where you just keep arms by your side and alternating sliding one hand down to touch your opposite foot then the other, but in this the shoulders are slightly off the floor, Any feedback on that? I don’t think I’m ready for… Read more »

Raul Guevara

Your all right! This multifunction movement exercise is amazing! I recommend it as self-care to all my massage clients that suffer from low back/Hip pain.
Bringing the Q.L’s to life thru self massage using the Alpha-ball (my fav for low back hips) is such a great idea while stretching and strengthening.
This exercise produces quick results in stabilizing and preventing low back/hip pain/discomfort.


Awesome, thanks Kristen for posting this variation of Sidewinder.

Just finished the YTU TT and loved being introduced to Sidewinder and now having this variation is super cool. And also, thanks for the tip to use the Alpha Ball on the QL. Just got mine, so definitely going to do that.

I’m going to have to bring this variation to my classes, we tried original Sidewinder, now we can go crazy 😉



I really like this variation on sidewinder, I am finding many facilities have rubberized floors that will make it complicated to try and include this as often as possible. But I will certainly be advocating the alpha ball for the QL I find it works incredibly well.


A dynamic duo pose for abdominals and QL, sidewinder has become one of my favourite poses. This is a great variation to the pose. And the garbage bag tip is great, making this accessible regardless of your flooring. Using the YTU balls works great in massaging out the QL.

Yasmen Mehta

Thank you Kristin, I tried this with my 3 -5 year old kids in my class and it was hilarious. We had garbage bags on the carpet. They not only learned about their obliques but they learned how their spine laterally flexes and extends as well. It was a great proprioception study for them as they really felt the floor and heard the garbage bags rustle. I had them assisting their friends too, and that made them run around in circles. It opened up a whole conversation on how we move.

Rose Washburn

Sidewinder is such a novel way to get some ab work in. This new variation looks like a great way to add more fun to an already great pose. Thanks!


I love sidewinder but cannot seem to figure out how to do in on carpet. The garbage bag! Thanks for the tip Jill’s video! Side winder is a FUNtastice prep for any pose that requires activation of the obliques as well.

Kevyn McAnlis

This is one of my favorite YTU poses. And I also love your advice on trying the Alpha ball here, I’m going to have to give it a try as soon as I get mine. 🙂