Quick Movement Prep for the day

My morning appointments have either canceled or rescheduled due to the icy conditions. Which means I get a free morning to play, practice and get some work done.

Sometimes five minutes is all it takes. This is a little five-minute movement session to prep my body for the day and to take notice of anywhere things aren’t moving smoothly. This is like movement caffeine awakening my body and mind. What a great way to start the day.

Deep Squat Mobility

This is a really nice deep squat mobility routine that I love. They have really helped develop my deep squat. Just a couple years ago, I couldn’t even get into this position without falling backward. Once my clients can get into a deep squat without pain, we start to integrate these types of movements to open up their squat even more.

I begin with my heels on the 2×4. My deep squat is not super clean with heels flat on the floor. The 2×4 is a bit of a cheat. It allows me to find my “perfect” deep squat. I like to find where I move well from and then grow my movement from there.

Here are brief descriptions of each movement:
-Cat/cows – moving my spine through flexion and extension. As I come into spinal extension, I am trying to be as long as possible through my spine from hips to the top of my head.

-Deep shoulder rotations – I drop my shoulders as low as I can. From this deep shoulder position, I lift one shoulder to the ceiling while looking up with my eyes alternating between shoulders.

-Overhead reach – Stacking hands on the floor, I reach my arm up towards the ceiling (feeling the opening of my ribcage and abdomen) with my eyes following my fingertips to the ceiling.

-Twist – Sitting into both heels, I place one hand on the floor behind me and reach as far as I can with the opposite hand, alternating side to side.

-Hip Openers – Sitting as deep and tall as I can in my squat, I reach my knee out to the side allowing my foot to roll to the lateral side. I alternate hips and if I’m feeling really open, I’ll do both hips at the same time.

I then do the same movements without the 2×4. Off the board, my squat is not nearly as clean looking (or feeling).

Ten minute Balance Challenge

I came up with this ten-minute balance challenge as an exercise to strengthen my legs to support my knee.

I had knee surgery the day before Thanksgiving 2016. I have regained 99% of the function back to my knee, but that last 1% is a painful and easily aggravated space. That 1% of pain prevents me from any kind of significant loaded lifting. I just can’t place heavy load and repetition on a joint that is easily inflamed. I felt like I needed to strengthen full body movements around my knee to give it the support to hopefully release that last bit of recovery. Since I can’t do loaded work, the only other option is body-weight work, but I would need high repetition, and that is seriously boring.

So I came up with this challenge. Something that took my mind off the repetition and is fun. Plus it does so much more than just strengthen my legs. There is also a significant vestibular challenge, core integration, and flow potential.

In this session, I’m focusing on getting as many squats, split squats, and deep knee bends as possible. It’s a bit less flowy than other sessions. I find that when I am in a split squat with my left leg behind (surgery leg), I feel it opening the space in the medial meniscal compartment where the 1% of pain is located. It generally relieves some discomfort, restriction, or tightness I may feel in that area. Which feels beneficial.

If you’re up for the challenge, give it a try. The goal is 10 minutes per day for 30 days balancing on a 2×4, balance bar, slackline, or other balance tools (variety is your friend). If you’re up for it, film it, and share it. I’d love to see and hear about your progress.

Would you like to see this video at a slower or faster speed? Please send me a comment. I’ll post the link in the comments.

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