How to Do Side Shuffles: Tips, technique, and more

Fatima Fokina

The side shuffle, also know as the Lateral shuffle or side-to-side shuffle, is a common mobility exercise for athletes of all fitness levels. In addition to being fun and adding diversity to your lower body strength training sessions, this exercise can also be used as part of your pre-exercise warm-up routine.

As a dynamic warm-up, side shuffles will increase heart rate, body temperature, and flexibility. This movement targets your butt, hips, thighs, and calves and can help strengthen these muscles.

Benefits of doing side shuffles

Basketball, tennis, and soccer players frequently practice this exercise to improve their ability to move swiftly in all directions. According to research, side shuffles can help sports professionals and medics assess Knee valgus, which is a knock-knee appearance.

Side shuffles are an excellent movement to develop your lower body while also adding cardio to your current workout routine. The lateral movement with side shuffles can increases calorie burn by boosting metabolism.

The side shuffle is an agility drill that improves coordination, balance, and speed. It can increase an athlete’s dynamic balance when utilized as part of a training programme.

How to do a side shuffle

You’ll need enough room to shuffle from one side to the other. Decide ahead of time how many steps or how long your steps will be during the shuffle, and pace yourself to ensure you have enough room to move freely and complete the workout.

Lower your body into a squat position with your knees over your ankles when you’re ready to begin. Keep your chest erect and your back upright while looking straight ahead.

  • Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart, hips and knees bent back, and toes pointed at the front.
  • Take a couple of rapid steps to the left, then place your left hand on your left foot.
  • Do the same thing on the other side.

There you go, that’s one rep. It’s that easy, and not to mention, fun!

Pro tip: If you’re doing side shuffles in an open place like a gym or outside, it’s a good idea to set items on the ground a particular distance apart. This guarantees that you shuffle an equal amount of distance to the right and left.

Variations of side shuffle

Depending on your fitness level, you can modify this exercise to match your fitness goals. Here are some of the famous variations of a side shuffle:

1) Side shuffle with bands

Adding a resistance band to your workout can help you work your leg muscles even harder. Place the band around the middle of your thighs and do side shuffles that way. Place the band over your ankles for added difficulty. Remember, the lower the band, the greater the difficulty level.

2) Side shuffle with ground touches

To make the exercise more difficult, touch the ground between both the right and left shuffles. This will resemble a basketball line drill or shuttle run, but with the exception that it will be executed sideways.


3) Step to one side

This variation is perfect for beginners. If fast-paced side shuffles are too difficult at first, do single side-to-side steps instead. Before adding in the rapid shuffles, this will help you get used to lateral body movement.

Tips and mistakes to avoid

To make the lateral shuffle exercise safer and more effective, here are a few useful tips:

Keep the core engaged

Maintaining proper posture during this activity requires keeping your core engaged. As you quickly shift from side to side, it also decreases the chance of collapsing.

Don’t take too many steps

Small, fast shuffle steps from side to side should be used for this workout. Stepping too wide can slow you down and make the exercise less efficient. Remember to take fast paced but smaller steps.

Bend your knees

You are not properly set up to complete the exercise if your legs are tight and straight. Throughout the activity, keep an eye on your body position to ensure that your knees remain bent from start to finish.

Lift your chest

Maintain good form by keeping your chest raised and your gaze ahead during the workout. Do not lean forward too far and drop the chest, as this could render the efficiency of the exercise useless and could put too much strain on your back


While this exercise is a great aerobic workout that trains your lower body muscles, there are also some precautions that you should keep in mind before performing this exercise. If you have injury or instability in your lower joints, avoid doing side shuffles since sudden changes in direction can be dangerous to unstable joints. If you have weak knees or ankles, you should avoid this activity.

Continue shuffling right and left for the proper amount of time when completing side shuffles. Begin with 10-second intervals and gradually increase to 90-second sessions. Remember, consistency is key and, with time, you can increase your distance or speed.

Q. Have you tried this exercise?

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