Bob & Weave
When it comes to getting fit, we most commonly choose exercises that favor forward motion like walking, cycling, and running. We may move backward when doing reverse lunges or a backstroke, but lateral movements become an afterthought. Think about the last time you purposefully moved side-to-side. It might be challenging to recall!
When we favor one plane of motion, the same dominant muscles get bigger and stronger, while smaller stabilizer muscles don’t get challenged and stay the same. Don’t get us wrong, forward and backward movements are invaluable, but moving in other directions comes with benefits. For muscles in the lower body, lateral motions even-out strength imbalances by working stabilizing muscles on the inside and outside of the legs.
The “bob and weave” is a lateral (sideways) single leg muscle-strengthening exercise that requires heavy use of your hamstrings, glutes, quads, and core. When you add weight by holding a kettlebell at your chest, you’ll also work your back stabilizers, trapezius, and shoulders. After a few reps, you’ll realize it also fires up your heart rate, making it a great addition to a HIIT-style workout. Here’s how to bob and weave:
Hold just your hands or a light kettlebell in front of your chest, close to your body. Draw your belly button in towards the spine. Take a wide step to the side and push your hips back. Keeping your back flat and remaining upright, duck down like you’re trying to dip underneath a low doorway. Drive your hips forward and squeeze your glutes at the top as you stand tall, bring both your feet together.