After a recent trip to Vermont I experienced how long car rides take a toll on our bodies. Hours spent in a seated position cause our muscles to feel stiff and tight.
Its important to move around as frequently as you can during travel – you may look funny stretching at the rest stop, but your body will thank you.
We want to mobilize tight areas and activate major muscles groups that were essentially inactive for the duration of the trip. Performing a few drills when you arrive at your destination can make a huge difference. Here are a few you can perform without any equipment:
Perform 2-3 rounds of 8-10 reps
Wall T-Spine Stretch
Wall slide with Lift-off
The Romanian deadlift improves the strength and mobility of your posterior chain – glutes, hamstrings, and low back. It is performed with a slight bend in the knee and focuses on the hip hinge. Your legs will be kept straighter compared to a regular deadlift which will target your hamstrings and glutes more.
While performing each variation brace your core and keep your spine in a neutral position. As your hips go back allow your chest to fall towards the ground. Keep the db, kb, or barbell as close to your legs as possible. Lower until you feel a stretch in your hamstrings (keeping your spine stable) then return to the start position squeezing your glutes as early as you can.
Two DB Rdl
In order to work towards a goal we must take action. If we don’t change our daily habits we will remain the same. It is important to understand that these actions must match what we’re trying to accomplish.
If weight loss if our goal we shouldn’t be eating a lot of fried and greasy foods. If we want to improve out health we shouldn’t be smoking cigarettes. This seems simple, but it is a good reminder. Once we understand appropriate action then we can focus on consistency.
To create a lasting change we must understand what actions move us toward or away from our goals. Then we can find ways to implement these actions into our daily lives.
Getting back in the gym after some time off can be challenging. You may feel the need to push yourself more in the first workout back to make up for lost time. This will most likely lead to increased muscle soreness causing you to miss the next workout.
Your first workout back should be focused on moving. This is not the time to lift really heavy or crush yourself with conditioning. Keep it short and sweet so you can get back into your normal routine.
Thinking long term can help in this situation. A few weeks off over the course of a year is nothing to be worried about. There’s no need to get frustrated or upset. Do your best to get back in the groove – take things slow and steady, just like you did when you first began training.
Most people spend hours sitting every day. Over time this impacts how your body moves. Joints lose range of motion and muscles become tight and weak. A great way to test your mobility is holding the bottom of a squat. This position requires sufficient mobility in the hips, knees, and ankles.
Many of us aren’t able to sit comfortably in this position because we’ve lost the range of motion required. Young children are able to squat down effortlessly to pick something up off the floor – mainly because they haven’t spent years sitting in a compromised position. Our bodies were designed to squat, but when we stop doing so we lose the ability to.
A good way to start improving this position is using support – this can be a door frame, a kettlebell on the floor, a squat rack, etc. You can use it to get into a better position and over time you will find it is easier to hang out there. This can relieve hip and low back pain!
Working on your ankle and hip mobility will improve this position further and should be mixed in a few times a week!
The new year presents an opportunity for change. Many of us have areas that we want to work on – making new year’s resolutions can help jump start the process. Getting healthier, spending more time with family and learning something new are a few common resolutions. These all have the right idea, but they are very vague and difficult to measure.
Let’s take getting healthier as an example. There are many aspects of health and fitness that can be improved – nutrition, exercise, mindfulness practice, etc. Because there are so many options, people try to improve every aspect in an unsustainable way. They go to the gym everyday and eat healthier for a few weeks, but ultimately burn out.
My advice to you this year is start small. Choose one very specific thing you want to improve and find a way to implement it in your daily life. The idea is to create long term change over an entire year, not just a few weeks.
A year is a long time – it presents many opportunities to improve and grow. Consistency is one of the most important parts of creating change!
Here are two workouts you can perform anywhere – no equipment needed.
Perform each exercise back to back (circuit style). Complete as many rounds as possible in 10-15 minutes or complete 5-10 rounds – resting as needed.
High plank flutter
Side plank knee tuck
Plank to deep lunge
Bw good morning