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lateral workouts

Most traditional exercise moves in a forward-backward direction, such as walking and running, cycling, stairclimbing, ellipticals and more. While these modalities are valuable, we need to also train using the other ways the body moves, including side-to-side, since we move that way in real life and sports.

But it’s harder to find an exercise machine that works laterally – except for Octane Fitness’ LateralX lateral elliptical, which delivers low-impact, total-body, unique lateral workouts. Combining forward movement with adjustable side-to-side motion, the LateralX increases caloric expenditure by 27% and engages the abductors and adductors (outer and inner thighs). It also challenges the core to keep the body balanced and stabilized through 10 varying planes of motion.

To add more variety, you can try the Lateral Interval or Dual Direction routines, or take on the Workout Boosters, including X-Mode, ThighToner and QuadPower, that deliver cross-training interval challenges. Opting for the CROSS CiRCUIT routine creates a powerful combined cardio and strength training session.

In addition to using the LateralX, exercisers can incorporate some of the following moves to create lateral workouts on their own.

Lateral Workouts

  • Side squat – step right, squat with feet about hip distance apart; step together; repeat to left
  • Skater lunge – stand with feet wide apart, bend right knee and shift weight to right as left leg straightens; then repeat to left side
  • Side lunge – using gliding disks under feet, stand with feet together, then slide right leg out to side while bending left knee; pull right leg in and repeat using left leg
  • Lateral shuffles – quickly shuffle feet with knees bent to travel to right; then repeat to left
  • Jumps – with feet together, jump to the right and left; can pump arms back as if holding ski poles and taking on moguls
  • Jumping jacks – arms and legs are entirely in the frontal plane for this great lateral move
  • Grapevines/carioca – with feet together, step out to the right, step your left foot behind your right, step out to the right again, then step together. Repeat to left; can be performed slowly or fast
  • Pick-ups – with feet together, step out wide with right foot and reach towards floor with right hand; quickly jump to switch to left and repeat
  • Speedskater – with feet together, hinge forward from hips and jump to right side, tapping left foot lightly behind right; then repeat to left side. Stay low, lean forward, reach down toward your front leg and move quickly if you can
  • Side step – step to the right, then together, to the right and then together; repeat two more times and then move to the left; can accelerate this to become a lateral shuffle

Our bodies work best when we move in all the directions that we are capable of, so be sure to add lateral workouts to your regimen for better all-over fitness and performance. If you’re really serious about improving lateral movement, be sure to check out the LateralX elliptical.