Before we get into today’s post, I have a couple housekeeping items:
*Since so many were on holiday from blog reading as well as work, I decided to let the Black Friday sale for training packages rollover to Cyber Monday! Sign up for discounted training and/or nutrition programs until midnight tonight*
*I participated in Fitmixer Boot Camp during its last round. Not only did I get the support of TONS of inspiring men and women who participated, but also daily workouts, a nutrition plan, and a BOAT load of Fitmixer goodies (seriously, I’m still working through it!) If you’ve been thinking about signing up, GOOD NEWS – Fitmixer is extending a $25 OFF on your Boot Camp entry with the code: CYBER25 ! Let me know if you sign up, and let *them* know who sent ya *
I rounded out my holiday weekend by training a client, watching church, watching the Bears kick some booty, baking muffins:
pumpkin cranberry muffins from this cook book
and even putting up a few Christmas decorations!
To be honest, I really haven’t felt the Christmas spirit yet this year. Usually it sneaks up on me right after Halloween, but, with having a lot going on right now, plus going to Florida later this month, it’s kind of been pushed to the wayside. This helps
Going back to the “a lot going on right now” – I mentioned that I’m currently taking a break from lifting at the gym. Instead, I’m really focusing on mobility work. Each day, I’ll pick a muscle group and do the following:
- foam roll the muscles (20 minutes)
- Mobility drills/dynamic exercises (15 minutes)
- Stretching (10 minutes)
It’s pretty crazy that I’m not even working out, but I’m still spending as much time as I was for my workouts on mobility work. It’s OK, because when I do get back to lifting, I’ll be a flexible, mobile machine!
On Friday, I got a new helper for my mobility work!
I got a new foam roller – The Grid – this past weekend, and tried it out while I was working at the gym on Friday.
As soon as I rolled out my left IT band, I immediately wanted to chuck it across the gym. <—-sign of a really good foam roller
Since I have super tight hips, I spend at 2-3 days on hip mobility drills, but I’ve also really been focusing on my back (and shoulders.) It, along with my limited hip mobility, is a main part of what limits my Overhead Squatting ability. In order to hold the barbell directly over your shoulders, and maintain good spinal alignment, good mobility of the thoracic spine is crucial. With going back to some of my ACE books, and some good ol’ Google research, I’ve been using the following routine for my Back Mobility Day.
Upper Back/Thoracic Spin Mobility Exercises
Do each exercise 10 times, 3 rounds
With foam roller:
Thoracic Spin Roll: Keeping the abs engaged, place the back (a couple inches above where the rib cage starts) on the foam roller. Hug yourself with both arms, and slowly roll the foam roller up your back, pausing for 20-30 seconds at any tight spots. Roll back down, pausing again where it’s tender. (this is one of my FAVorite foam rolling exercises.)
Thoracic Extension on Foam Roller: Begin in the same position as the first exercise, with the hands behind the ears and the elbows towards each other, but keep your hips on the floor, and extend the back so the crown of your head touches the floor. Then, slowly roll the foam roller up your back, again, pausing at any tight spots.
Lying Lateral Rotation: Lying on one side, bring your top leg in a right angle and drape it over the foam roller. Bring both arms straight out in front of you. Inhale, and exhale, twisting at the thoracic spine, bringing the top arm behind you, trying to get that shoulder and hand to touch the ground.
Now it’s time to ditch the foam roller.
Without foam roller:
Quadruped thoracic rotation: On all fours, brace your abs and bring one hand behind the head. Inhale. Exhale, and bring that elbow to touch your opposite elbow, twisting at the thoracic spine.
Quadruped thoracic extension: Basically the opposite, sit back toward your heels, like you’re doing child’s pose. Brace your abs (this helps you not to twist at the lumbar spine, btw) and lift your elbow up toward the ceiling.
Lat dorsi stretch: Bracing your toes – just kidding – your abs, kneel in front of a surface that’s about ribcage high. Place your elbows on the surface, and gently bow down, feeling a good stretch in your lats in the process.
And now I’m off to start my busy morning! In between clients this morning, I’ve got a not-so-fun appointment. One of those things on the list of “lots going on right now” includes an appointment this morning to get a mole on my jaw looked at. I have my consultation appointment with a plastic surgeon (my dermatologist felt it would be better if I had a surgeon excise it) this morning. I’m grateful to be able to take care of it though
If you celebrate Christmas, have you begun to decorate for it yet?
What’s your favorite stretch?