Glide Disc – Backward Lunges

In the last two exercises of the month, we have looked at the progressions for split squats. The next exercise in that progression is adding movement of one leg to that stationary movement.

Backward lunges are the next progression to Split Squats. In the backward lunge, we are actively taking a step backward with one leg and descending downward until our front thigh and rear leg form two 90 degree angles. It is important that we keep both feet at least shoulder width to as wide as hip-width. If we narrow our stance or cross the mid-line of the body we increase the likelihood we might lose our balance and fall. From the 90-90 position, we transition back up to a standing position lifting through our hips while maintaining our posture and balance.

Using a Glide disc is a great tool to help you learn how to effectively do a backward lunge. Place the foot of the leg you will be moving backward on the disc. You should have the forefoot of your shoe on the disc. Carpet discs are hard plastic whereas hardwood floor discs are nylon. Both slide very easily on hard and carpeted surfaces so be careful as you slide the disc. When you initially begin, you can use a solid support or a mobility pole to assist you with balance. Later on, as you progress you can load your hands with weight or place a barbell on your shoulders.

Backward lunges are a great exercise for the upper thighs and the hips. If you have questions on this exercise please speak to one of Personal Trainers or Group Exercise instructors.

Assisted Split Squats

Last month, we introduced you to Assisted Split Squats, a stationary exercise to help you gain and maintain strength so that you may kneel down to the ground and then rise back up to standing. Once you have mastered the Assisted version of the Split Squat it is time to progress to the bodyweight unassisted Split Squat and then to the loaded version.

The mechanics for performing the bodyweight Split Squat are exactly the same as you did for the assisted. Start with your feet parallel about shoulder-width apart (see picture 1). While keeping your feet shoulder-width part step back with one foot approximately one stride length (see picture 2). This time let your arms hang down by your sides with your feet shoulder-width apart and one stride length from each other. Slowly lower your body until your front leg is at 90 degrees and your back knee touches or almost touches the floor. The back leg will also form a 90-degree angle. Pause and reverse the motion back up to the starting position. Make sure you push through the floor with the entire foot of the front leg and lift through the hips of that same leg. Complete for the prescribed number of repetitions then repeat on the opposite leg for the prescribed number of repetitions.

Please see one of BAC Personal Trainers if you have any questions regarding how to perform the assisted Split Squat exercise or how to include it your exercise routine. They would be happy to assist you.

Picture 1                                                    Picture 4

Assisted Split Squats

Kneeling down to the ground is a very normal everyday movement. We have to kneel down to pick something off the ground or to find something that we may have dropped. Kneeling down can become more and more challenging if we begin to lose some strength.
A stationary assisted Split Squat is an exercise that can help you gain and maintain strength in the lower body to allow you to kneel down to the ground and then rise back up to standing. It is the first progression of a Split Squat using assistance with only your body weight.
To perform the assisted Split Squat you need to start with your feet parallel about shoulder-width apart (see picture 1). While keeping your feet shoulder-width part step back with one foot approximately one stride length (see picture 2).

To start the exercise grasp a solid object (see picture 3 with a stable bar) with your feet shoulder-width apart and one stride length from each other. Slowly lower your body while holding onto the solid object for balance until your front leg is at 90 degrees and your back knee touches or almost touches the floor. The back leg will also form a 90-degree angle (see picture 4). Pause and reverse the motion back up to the starting position. Use the solid object to assist you up using your arms as much or as little as you need. Make sure you push through the floor with the entire foot of the front leg and lift through the hips of that same leg.

Complete for the prescribed number of repetitions then repeat on the opposite leg for the prescribed number of repetitions.
Please see one of BAC Personal Trainers if you have any questions regarding how to perform the assisted Split Squat exercise or how to include it your exercise routine. They would be happy to assist you.

Picture 1                                                    Picture 4
Picture 3                                                   Picture 4

Jump In!

by Mike Locke, Fitness Director

1. Reduce overuse injuries. The repetitive stress of intense, specialized training contributes to overuse injuries. Depending on water depth, aquatic training can reduce impact up to 85%, resulting in less stress and reducing the likelihood of injury.

2. Supplement land training. Many land moves can be mimicked in water, and clients can practice movement patterns without worrying about impact. Shallow water is beneficial for vertical jump training, transitional depths are good for racquet sports training, and deep water is valuable for long-distance training.

3. Add variety or overcome training plateaus. Water provides resistance in multiple planes of movement, allowing for new types of overload. Working in a different environment reduces boredom and adds fresh challenges.

4. Increase muscle strength. Cardiovascular and muscle endurance training can occur concurrently in the water. Correct training techniques and equipment make it possible to build strength.

5. Supplement speed and sports training. Coaches can teach sport-specific moves in the water. Aquatic training improves core muscle recruitment to stabilize the body against the water’s forces.

6. Facilitate post-workout recovery. The hydrostatic pressure from immersion increases circulation, reduces swelling, and enhances recovery. Water training provides a comfortable environment for active-rest workouts.

Stability Ball T-spine Extension

Preparation: Knees and hips close to the stability ball with hips back toward heels. Chest and abdomen lying on the ball with both hands behind the head. Spine should be in a neutral position.

Movement: From initial position lift the upper chest, shoulders and head up off the ball. Note it is a very small motion. The goal is to get into T-spine (Thoracic Spine) extension. Thighs, hips, and abdomen should remain in contact with the ball. Slowly lower back to the start and repeat.

Benefit: Most daily activities we participate in we have a forward flexed posture. T-spine extension assists us in not only strengthening the area but helping our mobility in our upper back. If you have questions regarding this exercise please contact one of our Personal Training Staff.

Quadrupled Hip Mobility

Our hip joint structure is meant to be mobile, tilting forward and backward, hiking left and right, and rotating in all directions. Sitting more frequently or for longer periods of time during the day can affect the hip’s ability to move optimally. Lack of mobility dramatically affects how your lower body moves and can affect your spinal function. Done on a regular basis, hip mobility exercises can make a huge impact on your hip’s ability function. One of the easiest positions we can perform exercises for hip mobility is a quadrupled position or simply put, on your “hands and knees”. This is the developmental position that we learn to crawl in prior to learning how to walk. Quadrupled position helps you maintain spinal positioning while moving the pelvis, thus adding core strength benefit. Here are some of the exercises you can perform in the quadrupled position to increase the mobility of your hips and pelvis.

Quadrupled starting position:
Start with your hands on floor with fingers pointed forward and wrists aligned under your shoulders in a straight line. Keep your spine in a neutral position with a normal lumbar curve. Your knees should be directly under the hips in a straight line and your feet should be flexed forward.
1. Pelvic anterior/posterior tilts – While maintaining spinal position, tilt your pelvis forward then backward. Increasing the arch to the lower back then flattening the lower back as you “Tuck your Tail”.
2. Pelvic lateral tilts, or “wagging your tail” – While maintaining alignment, shift your pelvis left and right just like a dog would wag its tail.
3. Pelvic circles; both clockwise and counter-clockwise – While maintaining alignment draw a circle with your pelvis like you were doing the “Hula” or a “Hula Hoop”.
4. Rocking forward and backward – Starting in the quadruped position, rock your hips back toward your heels then reverse directions and take your shoulders past your hands.
5. Rocking diagonally left and right – In the starting quadrupled position, rock your hips diagonally back toward your right heel and then reverse back to your left shoulder. Repeat on the opposite side.
6. Rocking circles clockwise and counter-clockwise – Starting in the quadrupled position, take your hips in a rocking circular motion clockwise right to left. Repeat in a counter-clockwise motion.

Try performing one set of 10-20 repetitions in each direction while trying to maintain spinal alignment. Performed on a regular basis a few times a week you should begin to notice a difference in your hip mobility. Great to do first thing in the morning, prior to exercise, or after extended bouts of sitting.

If you have questions regarding alignment or how to perform any of these exercises please see one of our BAC Personal Training Staff.
Mike Locke
Fitness Director

Equalizer Dip

Take two Equalizers and place them side by side. Stand in between the Equalizers then bend down and grasp the foam portion of each handle. Place both feet outside the Equalizers just on the other side of the front feet. Knees are bent and the arms should be straight. Lower your body down between the equalizers
by bending the elbows. Make sure not to lower yourself down any further than 90 degrees of your upper arm. Extend your arms lifting your body back up then repeat. In this position you may if needed use your legs to assist you.

“The Stork” Outer Gluteal Activation

The “Stork” is a static hip exercise for strengthening and activating the lateral Gluteals, Gluteus Medius, Gluteuas Minimus, and the Piriformis muscles. This set of external hip rotators are responsible for abducting the leg out away from the body, rotating your leg outward, and stabilizing your femur at the hip. Non-activity and injury can cause this group to become weak which can affect the overall performance of your hip complex, affecting your gait and in some cases cause knee, hip, and lower back pain.
A static exercise like the “Stork” means that the exercise requires you to hold the position for a set duration, much the same as an isometric where the limbs and joints do not move but the muscles are contracted. The duration can be as short as 10-20 seconds to as much as 30-60 seconds depending on the prescription.
To perform the “Stork” take an inflatable balance disc, foam pad, or even a moderately firm pillow and place it against the wall. Turn sideways to the wall so that your shoulder is next to the wall with your feet about shoulder width a part. Lift the leg closest to the wall and trap the disc between your lower thigh and the wall with your leg not quite 90 degrees. Stand tall and put your wall side hand on the wall for balance. Begin by driving your body into the disc with you outside leg. Your wall side hip should not touch the wall. Keep the outside leg straight throughout with the body tall. Hold for the prescribed duration and repeat on both sides 2-3 times. Please see our BAC Personal Trainers to learn more about the “Stork”.

“Standing Donkey Kick”: Glute Activation

The Static Hip Series is called the “Donkey Kick”. The “Donkey Kick” is a static hip exercise for strengthening and activating the Gluteus Maximus and the Hamstrings. The Gluteus Maximus and the Hamstring muscles work in concert with each other to extend your hip. Extremely important muscles for gait in walking and in running. Injury and inactivity can dramatically affect the performance of these two groups which in some cases may cause modifications to gait and running mechanics, increasing the chances of injury and or pain.
A static exercise like the “Donkey Kick” means that the exercise requires you to hold the position for a set duration, much the same as an isometric where the limbs and joints do not move but the muscles are contracted. The duration can be as short as 10-20 seconds to as much as 30-60 seconds depending on the prescription.
To perform the “Donkey Kick” take a “Ballast Ball”, Stability Ball with sand material in the bottom, or a regular Stability Ball. Note that a “Ballast Ball” has a little more stability that a standard Stability ball. Pin or trap the ball at the base of a wall, a corner works even better as the ball will not roll around as much and you have a wall to stabilize and balance yourself with. Turn your back to the wall and the ball and then place the sole of one foot against the ball. Your support leg should be far enough forward, that the knee of the foot that is on the ball is slightly behind the front leg. Standing tall drive the heel of the foot on the ball into the ball. You should feel a contraction in the Gluteus Maximus and hamstrings. Hold for the prescribed duration and repeat on both sides 2-3 times. Please see our BAC Personal Trainers to learn more about the “Donkey Kick”.

Rollga foam rolling hip, back, neck

Rollga foam rolling hip, back, neck series:

Hip bridge for tissue around sacral spine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Piriformis for tissue release in the hip rotators.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mid-back for tissue release between the shoulder blades.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Neck for tissue release for the cervical spine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 to 20 rolls of each position. Pain should be less than a 4 on a scale of 1-10 (1 being no pain 10 being intense pain). These exercises can be performed on a daily basis.