Stretch of the Week: Supported Side Lying

by Rachel LackowskiLeave a Comment

For the second week of May we will learn the Supported Side Lying stretch.

As in last week’s restorative exercise, you will need to use a bolster or a set of stacked blankets.

If you have any trouble getting up and down from the floor or shoulder, back or rib injuries, please do not perform this stretch. As with beginning any exercise program, it is recommended to consult with your physician, physical or occupational therapist to determine which exercises are best for you.

Starting Position:

  1. Lay the bolster (blankets) horizontal on the floor. Sit with your left hip next to the edge of the bolster, knees bent with both feet resting next to the right hip. Lower your left side onto the bolster so that it lays between your left hip and armpit. Make sure the hip bone is not resting on the bolster as this can be uncomfortable. Extend the left arm overhead to the floor.

stretch of the week: supported side lying stretch

Performing Supported Side Lying:

  1. With the left hand, grab the right wrist to assist the right arm straight and overhead. This will help to stretch the right side. Next, extend both legs straight. The top leg (right) goes back and the bottom leg (left) goes forward so that there is roughly a 2-3 foot distance between your feet.
  1. Keep your feet flexed and legs active. Press your belly button to your spine. Keep reaching arms overhead to lengthen through the right side. Refer to the photo marked YES. Notice the differences between the YES and NO photos. The NO photo show an incorrect position with knees bent, rolling forward towards the stomach, and no engagement through belly to support the spine.

Tip: for a more intense stretch, slightly turn the chest towards the ceiling. This will also give you a slight upper back bend.

  1. Remain here for 1-3 minutes. To return to the seated position, bend knees bringing legs together and forward, then using both hands, press yourself up. Turn to other hip and perform on the other side. Enjoy this stretch!

Thanks again for tuning into the weekly stretch!

Questions? Email me at

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