Moving from side to side makes it easier to gain forward momentum.
Most of the activities we do on a daily basis—walking, running, biking—have us moving forwards. It’s necessary, then, that athletes explore different planes of motion. Lateral movements are essential for runners because they improve stride strength and hip integrity, says David Otey, personal training manager at Equinox Sports Club in New York City. “These exercises challenge the balance of abductors and adductors in the leg, which control limb strength,” he explains. “This also incorporates extra attention to the gluteus medius, which adds stability near the hip.”
Target your lower body from every angle possible (and get stronger all over as a result) by adding these side-to-side strengtheners to your routine about twice a week.