Category Archives: Injury
I often get asked when and how often people need to do prehab/rehab stuff for aches, pains and even old injuries. They ask how often they need to foam roll, stretch and even do activation exercises.
And my answer….
Before you have pain!
If you’ve had an injury or you know you are prone to aches and pains in certain areas, you need to take care of those areas before pain arises or before you do things that could lead to pain if those areas aren’t loosened and activated.
And if pain has flared up in an areas, you need to be extra diligent to do everything you can to alleviate.
How often you need to do the prehab/rehab will vary. If you stay on top of things, a few minutes each day may suffice.
If you wait till things start to flare up, you may have to spend more time on prehab activities.
But I would like to point out that if you have neck, shoulder or upper back pain from sitting at a desk all day, rolling out for one minute every other day isn’t going to do it.
Just think about how long you sit with poor posture….Does one minute of pain prevention (aka foam rolling, stretching, activation) really seem like it equals the time you sit with poor posture?
Does it really seem like that minute can counteract the 9 hours?
So why do we all expect results when we basically spend only minutes a day doing the right things and hours doing the wrong things?
The thing is we can’t.
While there is no exact amount of time we need to spend doing rehab/prehab exercises and stretches, we do need to consider just how much time we spend each day doing things to counteract all the good we do in the gym.
That one hour each day we spend there with our 5-10 minutes of warm up (foam rolling, stretching and activation) simply isn’t enough.
But that doesn’t mean you need to spend hours each day to see benefit. Five minutes when you wake up, the occasional stretch or rolling at your desk, 5-10 minutes before you workout, a few minutes after your workout and maybe a minute or two before you go to bed.
If you did that every day…WOAH!
At most, what I outlined above, is like 30 minutes out of your day…AT MOST.
And yet we can’t find the time for that?!?
Suffering from pain and injury is our alternative and yet we skip those 30 minutes and wonder why we never get better.
30 MINUTES a day! An excuse to get up and stretch while sitting at our desk all day! Or heck simply a stretch in the doorway when we get up to go the bathroom. (AHEM…Look at all those stretches you can easily do at your desk!)
Or some balancing and leg swings when we brush our teeth to keep our ankles strong.
This is seriously not hard stuff. Shoot it isn’t even as hard as finding 15-30 solid minutes to workout! Almost all of these things can be done while doing something else.
Watching TV? Sit on a ball on the ground to roll out your glutes, hips and low back to get rid of your achy low back!
Simple little prehab/rehab things can go a long way to keeping an area pain and injury-free.
Because even if you did the initial rehab after an injury, you are never done.
You ALWAYS have to take care of that area and make sure to maintain strength in the muscles up and down the kinetic chain from that disruption.
Because every day we do things to create imbalances and potentially upset old aches and pains or create new ones.
So to live pain free…What is a few minutes each day on exercises to keep you balanced?
Are you diligent about doing prehab activities – foam rolling, stretching, activation, balance and stability stuff?
How do you fit those things into your day?
Here are some great tips and exercises to help you prevent and alleviate minor aches and pains:
- 5 Quick Fixes For Wrist and Elbow Pain
- Alleviate Low Back Pain
- The Complete Foam Rolling Video Course and E-Book
NOTE: This is discussing previously rehabbed injuries and minor aches and pains. If you suffer from an injury, make sure to do the physical therapy rehab prescribed to you!
So I’ve done a few posts over at Redefining Strength, which I think are pretty helpful….
In case you didn’t see them (and in case they will help you since I know they answered a number of questions I’ve received recently), I’ve posted them below!
This first post “10 Hanging Core Exercises” is because I get asked for “ab exercises” all the time and honestly crunches really give you very little bang for your buck.
Hanging core exercises on the other hand work on your grip strength, lat strength and core strength. They can help you work toward all sorts of exercises such as pull ups, L-sits and front levers.
They are a compound movement and have some functional benefit…unlike crunches.
For 10 of the Hanging Core Exercises I use most often, check these out!
And while we are discussing core strength, I think it is important that we cover BACK PAIN. One of the best tools to alleviate back, hip, neck and shoulder pain is the PEANUT.
The Peanut is a cheap, homemade tool made out of athletic tape and tennis balls. Here are instructions on how to make and use the Peanut to alleviate your pain! (Can I also just say…It isn’t freaking easy to use spray paint!?!)
And the last two posts I want to point out are on Rotational Exercises and the Dip.
The 10 Rotational Exercises post came up because all too often people are only training in one plane of motion…And then they wonder why they get injured lifting something in everyday life. It is because in everyday life we lift awkward crap in every plane of motion. And if we want to remain injury free, our workouts need to reflect that. (Plus…still on my whole “strengthen your core thing” rotational exercises are great core moves!)
And the Dip post is for all of you women out there asking me how to get sexy arms for tank top, strapless dress and bikini season. The Dip can be a great compound movement to strengthen and tone your entire upper body. Don’t waste your time with isolated movements like the tricep extension! Work numerous muscles at once. And if you are already doing push ups, the Dip is a great vertical push exercise to include in your routines!
And if you can’t do a full dip, the post has some great ways to regress the movement!
I’ve written a number of articles about injury prevention and the importance of following these four steps:
1. Foam Rolling (Self-Myofascial Release or SMR)
4. Strengthening (The “workout”)
These four steps help prevent imbalances and make sure you have good movement patterns.
However, most people skip the first three steps and go right to the fourth step because the fourth step is fun and they see the most direct results from it (aka weight loss, strength, endurance).
What they don’t realize though is that without the first three steps, without a well-balanced program, they risk having all that work they put in at the gym to lose weight and get stronger, backfire on them.
Because jumping right into your work out after you’ve been sitting all day doesn’t make for good movement patterns.
Why doesn’t it make for good movement patterns?
Because you are sitting at a computer all day typing, which isn’t a natural position for us!
And sitting in that unnatural position for 9 hours a day means that you are going to have created imbalances – imbalances that won’t truly allow you to do all of your exercise movements correctly.
So if you always just jump right into your workouts and do nothing to reverse the effects of sitting at your desk all day, you are probably going to get injured.
You can’t skip your “warm up!” Because your warm up is when you begin to reverse all those negative effects from sitting all day!
You need to WARM UP your body and ready it for the more intense movements it’s going to do. You need to loosen up tight muscles, return them to their proper length-tension relationships and then you need to get those underactive muscles active and ready to do the work they should be doing.
Here are some great guidelines to follow for a proper warm up.
Also, when it comes to warming up, I often find that people do know a variety of stretches to do. They even more often know what activation moves to do than they do foam rolling techniques to use.
Foam rolling is still one of those things that isn’t as widely known or as widely used.
That is why I put together a Foam Rolling Course to Alleviate Aches and Pains…Because all too often people don’t know how to target specific areas of pain.
This course has 33 videos showing you how to roll out common areas of tightness throughout your body. It also does have stretching, activation and strengthening moves included for common aches, pains and injuries.
So don’t skip your warm up and jump right to step four. If you want to prevent injury, you need to warm up properly and foam rolling, stretch and activate!
P.S. Here is also a great basic full body warm up I use!
I’ve discussed this before, but reducing aches and pains is a process. Simply taking time off isn’t enough and often doesn’t even heal the problem.
To reduce aches and pains, you need to do the following things:
- Massage or Self-Myofascial Release (foam rolling)
- Ice and/or Heat
While rest is important, often chronic aches and pains are caused by the muscles of our body being out of alignment. If we never loosen the tight muscles and activate the weak muscles, then we are going to continue to have problems no matter how much we rest.
All components of our body must be working together for us to move properly. If one part of our body isn’t working properly and efficiently, then other parts will have to compensate. And when other parts take on a load they aren’t supposed to handle, they break down. This overload and faulty movements lead to INJURY.
So those minor aches and pains could accumulate if you don’t do something to correct them!
With the increased popularity of Olympic lifting and the fact that Crossfit has brought it to the masses, now more than ever, we need to consider how our day job affects our bodies and may actually be at odds with the exercises and workouts we may want to do.
We may want to do Olympic lifts. We may want to do gnarly, cool exercises.
Heck we may even technically be strong enough to do them.
But before we can, we have to make sure our body is mobile and ready to truly move through the range of motion.
Because if our body can’t truly do the motion, we are going to compensate and end up getting injured.
While many people come in with weight loss goals or even performance goal, the true goal of a workout program is to make you FEEL better.
Your workouts should help you prevent injury. They should help you feel stronger, more coordinated and ready to take on daily life.
They should help your body stay young so that at 80 you still feel free to move around and chase after grandkids.
Last week I discussed the importance of agility and balance training to improve our mind-body connection and help us move WELL.
Today I want I just want to harp on the importance of ACTIVATION exercises.
Any good program needs to start with mobility work. But many people are now starting to recognize this.
However, all too often exercise routines are still devoid of activation exercises.
Activation exercises are important because they get the CORRECT muscle groups working.
Muscles that aren’t always active because we sit at a desk 9 hours a day hunched over a computer.
Our poor hunched-over-a-desk-all-day posture causes us to sometimes overuse smaller muscle that shouldn’t be doing the brunt of the work…And this leads to injury.
So to truly feel good, prevent injury and get the most out of your workouts, you’ve got to get those big muscle groups active and working.
And since many people have also said they want to be able to do a pull up this year…..
Here is an ESSENTIAL activation move we all need to be doing – THE SCAPULAR WALL HOLD!
This move will help alleviate neck and shoulder pain. It will get your lats and your mid and lower traps activated and working.
It will help you have better posture AND do more pull ups!
For a breakdown of the Scapular Wall Hold and a few other scapular hold variations, click here!
Want to run faster? Be more agile? Have better coordination? Be stronger?
Then you need to simplify things and work on your mind-body connection.
Balance work, agility ladder and drills, core sequencing exercises, activation exercises…These all need to be done so that you have control over your body and can activate the correct muscles when needed.
Speed, agility, quickness, coordination and frankly even strength don’t just simply come from lifting more or moving faster.
They come from your mind and body being able to communicate more quickly, which comes from everything being in balance.
Hmmm….maybe all those isometric workouts and moves I’ve been posting have even more benefit than simply recovery.
Many of those isometric moves work on your balance. And they correct imbalances as well.
If you have an injury, the communication between that area of your body and your mind has probably been interrupted. And depending on how good your recovery is, the injury may cause or have caused pain and problems higher up or lower down on your, meaning you may have many areas that aren’t connecting as well with your brain as you should.
Isometric moves work on repairing and correcting those imbalances. They work on mobility. They build stability in the muscles. They make sure the correct muscles are activated.
Isometric moves improve your mind-body connection. They make you focus and THINK about the muscles that should be activated.
Here is a great Isometric Workout to reduce pain and start working on your mind-body connection. It is a basic full body workout to correct many of those imbalances we have from sitting all day.
But isometric moves won’t do it alone. You must also do agility drills.
Many people think agility drills are just for athletes, but they are just as important for the average person especially as we age.
The agility ladder is a great tool, especially for us all to work on our coordination. HOWEVER, often people try to go as fast as possible without focusing on form.
If you want to get the most out of the agility ladder, you need to focus first on getting the move down and THEN on going as fast as possible. And you also need to mix it up. You need to go forward and backward. You need to go sideways and work each side.
Pay attention to which side feels more coordinated and don’t let your dominate side always lead!
Here are a few agility ladder drills to get you started. (I’ll be posting a video soon with my favorites.)
But the agility ladder isn’t the only agility drill you can do. You can set up cones or even use a few basic playing cards and set up points you shuffle, sprint, back pedal and carioca to (or any other locomotion move you want). Move quickly and make the distances super short so it is more about being quick and changing directions than getting up to speed.
Reaction drills are also great to improve the speed at which your mind and body communicate. Instead of using cones, have a friend tell you to shuffle to the left. Then whenever they want they can tell you to sprint forward then shuffle to the right. They can mix it up so you never know what is coming.
They can also do the drill with you and make you “shadow” them. LOVE shadow drills. They make you really focus and have to react.
You can also improve your coordination to get stronger, faster and fitter by doing core sequencing moves. These are moves that get the muscles of your core to work together as they should.
The Turkish Get Up, or its modified variation the Baby Get Up, is a great exercise to get your core to work together.
Here is a great workout to teach you the Turkish Get Up and help you strengthen each part of the lift.
What are you doing to improve your coordination and your mind-body connection? Simply lifting heavier weights and/or running faster aren’t going to be enough!
If you want to run faster, you would think you simply need to practice running more. If you want to be able to run for longer, you would think you just need to push yourself to run further.
But gaining speed and endurance requires that you do more than just run. Staying healthy for your race requires that your training regime isn’t just running.
You must do the proper recovery and strength training as well.
Many people worry that strength training will interfere with their running.
But in reality, a proper strength training regime will actually make their running stronger and keep their body healthy for their training.
No you don’t want to work on your 1 rep max while training for a race, but you do want to lift weights.
And you want to stretch and foam roll.
But you definitely want to lift weights and make your muscles stronger so you can run faster and last longer!
Below are key muscles for runners to roll out and stretch. There are also some great activation moves and then finally, links to workouts I’ve developed for runners.
You can help prevent (or at least alleviate some of the pain of) common running injuries such as plantar fasciitis, shin splints, knee pain, hip pain and even low back pain by using the techniques and exercises below.
TRIGGER POINT RELEASE
1. Feet – Take a ball, the smaller and harder the ball, the more it will dig in, and place it on the ground. Then, standing, place your foot on top of the ball. Push down into the ball and roll it around under your foot, holding on any tight spots.
2. Shins – Sit on the ground with one knee bent toward the ceiling and the foot flat on the ground. Take a ball in both hands, and press it into the outside of the shin bone. Push the ball into your shin with both hands, making small circles. Then move the ball up or done and repeat, making small circles. Work all the way from your ankle to right below your knee. Hit the front of your shin, not the bone, all the way around the outside and back toward your calf. Make small circles with the ball, pressing it in as hard as you can.
3. Calves – Sit on the ground with one leg out straight. Take a roller or a ball on a book or block and place it under the calf of the leg out straight. Cross the other leg over the top. Rock the leg on the ball side to side. Then move the ball up or down your calf. Again rock the leg side to side. You can also flex and relax your foot or make small circles with your ankle to dig in deeper to any tight spots you find. Work all the way up and down the back of your lower leg.
4. Quads – Take a roller and set up with your with it under the front of your legs. You will be lying face down on the ground with your body supported on your forearms and your legs on the roller. Rock side to side on the roller then move it down or up on your quad and again rock side to side. Work all the way from your hips to the top of your knees. Around the top of your knees and right around your hips, you can also use a ball to dig out the muscles. Around your knees, start the ball on the inside of your leg right above your knee. Work your way across the top of your knee to the outside of your leg. Hold on any tight spots. You can do the same all along your groin and hip.
5. Hamstrings – A tennis ball is a great option to really dig out your hamstring, especially the top of your hamstrings right under your butt and the bottom right above your knee. To use a ball, sit on a chair or box. Place the ball under your leg on the box or chair. Roll it side to side and up and down. Hold on any tight spots. Use a box that allows you to really sit all of your weight down onto the ball. You can also do this on a roller on the ground but you won’t be able to dig in as much.
6. Adductors – You can roll out the inside of your leg using a ball or roller. Lie face down with one knee bent out to the side. Place a roller or ball under that leg right above your knee. Rock the leg forward and backward a bit then roll the roller up toward your crotch. Hold on any tight spots as you roll from your knee up toward your groin. Rock toward the front and back of your leg as you move up and down.
7. IT Band – Set up on your side with the roller just under the outside of your hip. You can stack your legs to apply more pressure or bend the top leg in front of you and use it to push off. Rock forward and backward as you move the roller down the outside of your leg. You can work from your hip down to just outside your knee. You can rock slightly forward to work into the front of your leg a bit especially around your hip. This way you can also hit your TFL.
8. Hips/Glutes – Use a ball to roll out your hips and glutes. The smaller and harder the ball, the more you will be able to dig in. Place the ball under one butt cheek. Roll it around your butt from the bottom near your hamstring up to your low back. While you roll under the fleshy part of your butt, you can also lift and lower your leg as well as draw the knee in toward your chest and straighten the leg back out. By moving the leg, you will dig in more with the ball. You can also roll the ball under your hip and around to the front to dig in to your TFL and hip flexors.
1. Feet, Calves – Bear Squat with Foot Stretch – To do this move, start on your hands and knees as if you were about to crawl. Then drive up off your knees onto your toes and hands. Drive your heels as close to the ground as possible and then return back to kneeling. Then lift your hands and sit back onto your heels. Make sure your feet are flexed when you sit back so you feel a nice stretch down the bottom of your feet into your toes. Then place your hands back down on the ground and repeat the stretch, driving your butt up into the air and heels down into the ground.
2. Shins – Standing 3 Way Shin Stretch – Stand facing the wall with one foot forward and the other leg back. Point your toe and rock onto the top of your foot so that the top of your back foot is facing the ground and you are on the front of your toes. Then bend the back knee and rock forward, feeling a nice stretch up the front of your lower leg. Keep the back toe pointing straight back for 10 reps then point it in and then out for 10 more reps in each spot. Do not worry about the front leg during all of this. Focus on stretching the shin of the back leg.
3. Hips, Hamstrings, Back – World’s Greatest Stretch with Hamstring – Start in a high plank position with your hands under your shoulders and feet together. Your body should start in a nice straight line. Step your right foot outside your right hand. Try to get it right outside your hand with the foot flat on the ground. Drop the right elbow down into the instep of your right foot, keeping the foot down. Then rotate open facing your right leg, stretching your right arm up toward the ceiling. Bring the right hand back down to the ground. Sit back on your left heel and straighten your right leg out in front of you. Feel a stretch down your hamstring.You can even hinge over the right leg a bit. Then bend the right leg and move back into the plank position with the foot outside the hand. Again drop the elbow and repeat the move on your right side. Complete all reps and then switch and do the stretch on the other side.
4. Hips/Quads – Kneeling Dynamic Quad Stretch – Set up kneeling on one knee facing a wall or something else you can place your hands on for balance. Make sure your front knee is a few inches away from the wall so you can rock forward. Grab your back foot with the hand on the same side. Pull your heel in toward your butt. Then rock forward, feeling a greater stretch down the front of your back leg. Relax back and repeat.
5. IT Band/Hamstrings – Standing IT Band Stretch – Standing tall, cross one foot over in front of the other. PUsh the front foot back enough though that the toes of both feet are even and your back leg is pushed straight. Clasp your hands together and reach up toward the ceiling. Stretch up nice and tall. Then reach your hands down toward the instep of the foot in back. Press your hip out to the side as you reach and keep your legs straight. Then reach back up and uncross your feet. Cross the other foot over and repeat. Keep alternating sides until all reps are complete.
6. Hips/Adductors – Frog Stretch with Rotation – Kneel on the ground and spread your knees as wide as possible. Lower yourself down to your forearms. Keep your feet in line with your lower leg and knees. Do not let your feet come together behind your butt and let them relax so the insides of your feet are flat against the ground. Sit your butt back between your knees as much as possible. Then come forward out of the stretch. As you come back forward, lower your body down to the ground and rotate your lower leg up and forward. Sit back again and then pivot the other hip. Keep alternating sides until all reps are complete.
1. Fire Hydrants – Set up on your hands and knees with your hands under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Flex your feet. Keeping your right knee bent to 90 and your foot flexed as you lift the leg out to the side. Squeeze your butt as you lift. Do not bend your arms or lean to the side as you lift. Hold for a second or two at the top and then lower down and repeat.
2. Posterior Plank – Start seated on the ground with your legs out straight and your hands on the ground behind your butt. Your finger tips should be pointing toward your butt. Drive through your hands and heels and raise your hips up off the ground toward the ceiling. Keep your legs straight as you lift. Press your chest up and out as you raise your hips. Relax your head back. Your body should be in a nice straight line at the top. Beginners may need to bend their legs a bit to hold the bridge at the top. Advanced exercisers can do a one leg bridge. Hold at the top for a second or two and then lower down and repeat.
3. Hip Circles – Set up on your hands and knees with your knees under your hips and your hands under your shoulders. Flex your foot and keeping the knee bent, drive it straight back and up. Drive the heel toward the ceiling. Keep your core tight and squeeze your glutes. Do not hyperextend your low back. Hold for a second or two and then bring the leg out to the side as if doing the fire hydrant. Do not set the leg down in between. Hold for a second or two and then drive the knee forward into your elbow. Squeeze your core as you drive the knee forward. Keep the foot off the ground. Then set the knee back down and repeat.
4. Glute Bridge – Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the ground. Your heels should be about hip-width apart and close enough to your butt that you can reach them with your finger tips when your arms are straight down by your side. Bend your elbows to 90 degrees so that your upper arm is on the ground. Then drive up through your heels, arms and upper back. Squeeze your glutes and lift your hips up as high as you can. Keep your core tight so that you don’t feel this in your low back. Make sure you don’t drive off your heels backward. Also, don’t let your knees fall open. Keep them in line with your hips and ankles. Hold at the top or complete reps by lowering back down and then repeating.
Actually, any glute activation moves you do, would be super beneficial. Here is a list of 10 glute activation moves you can do with a mini band. If your knees cave in when you run, you may want to focus on your external rotators as well (clams, side shuffle, standing external rotation, abductors..)
1. Runner’s Recovery Workout – Great bodyweight isometric workout you can do anywhere.
2. Stronger Legs With Knee Pain – A great workout to develop great leg strength for running while being super easy on the knees. The workout will also help you prevent the development of knee pain while upping your mileage to train for your race.
3. The Elite Library – In this library, I’ve also written a great warm up for before your run, a sprint workout to work on speed and core strength and a workout to develop leg strength to help you run further without fatigue.
And if you are preparing for a race this year and want some help organizing your running and strength training, you could win a month of FREE online training here!
Sitting hunched over a computer all day can leave you feeling stiff, sore and in pain.
Muscles get tight from our hunched-over seated posture, which not only causes us pain, but can also cause us to get injured during our workouts.
If we want to live injury free AND get the most out of our workouts, we need to take time to roll out and stretch those tight muscles.
Below are some great stretches to help you alleviate those desk job aches and pains.
10 Essential Stretches For Anyone With A Desk Job
1. 3 Way Neck Stretch – Bend your elbow and reach one hand behind your back. Then grab that wrist with the other hand. Pull the arm behind your back toward the opposite side. You want to create a “chicken wing” with the arm that is pulling. Then lean your head to the side you are pulling to. Do not tense your shoulders and bring them up toward you ears. Relax into the stretch. Start by looking straight ahead. Then look up and hold for a second or two. Then look back straight ahead. And then look down. Move your chin as you look and not just your eyes. Changing the direction of where you look, will change exactly which muscles in your neck and upper back that you stretch.
2. Forearm, Wrist and Bicep Stretch – Stretch one arm straight out in front of you. Point your finger tips down toward the ground. You can do one stretch with your palm facing away and one with your palm facing toward you. Take the other hand and press down on the fingertips, pushing them back toward your body As you press down, you should straighten your arm more so you feel a stretch down your forearm and up into your bicep.
3. Thoracic Extension on a Roller – Lie on your back with the roller at the bottom of your upper back. Bend your knees and place your feet flat on the ground. Drop your butt down to the ground and then lean back over the roller, trying to drop your head to the ground behind you. Move the roller up higher on your upper back and then drop your butt to the ground and extend back over again. Work all the way up and down your upper back. Extend back over the roller and breathe deeply while keeping your butt on the ground.
4. Scorpions – Lie on your belly with your arms out straight at shoulder height. Your legs should be out straight behind you. The swing one leg up and kick it behind you. As you kick it back over your body, bend the knee and reach your toe over and behind you back a bit toward your head.. Kick your leg back over your body, trying to touch your toe back behind you. Tap it down then bring that leg back down and then reach the other leg over your back. Alternate reaches, bringing your toe back over your body and toward your head.
5. Star Stretch – Lie on your back with a foam roller or ball to your right side. Bend your left knee to about 90 degrees and pull it across your body so that your left knee is resting on the ball/roller. Place your right hand on top of your knee to hold your knee onto the ball or roller. Reach your left hand across your body and touch the floor on the right side with your palm. Then open that arm back up to the left side, trying to touch the back of the hand down to the ground. Relax the arm open, trying to drop the shoulder to the ground. Try to open up the chest as much as possible without letting the knee move from the roller or ball. Hold for a second or two and then bring the hand back across and repeat. Complete all reps on that side before switching.
6. Standing Lat Stretch – Place the side your hand on a wall, bookshelf or desk and then straighten your arm and bend over and walk away. You want to push your butt back and lengthen from your hand all the way down your side. Even rotate a bit so you are looking under the arm on the desk or wall and then away from the arm. Feel a nice stretch down your arm and into the side of your back. Hold and repeat on the other side. Child’s pose can be another great way to stretch your lats and your upper back as well as your lower back.
7. Kneeling Bridge – Start by kneeling on both legs with your feet flexed and toes tucked under. Sit back and place your hands on your heels. Then arch up off your heels, driving your hips forward and chest out, keeping your hands on your heels. Relax your head back and arch as much as you can, getting a nice stretch down your chest, core, hips and quads. Hold for 1-2 seconds and relax back down. Repeat. If you are less flexible, do this stretch with a couch, chair or table behind you. Kneel down and place your hands back behind you on the couch or table. Press your chest out and arch as much as possible away from the piece behind you while leaning your head back. Then relax back down and repeat.
8. Kneeling Hip Circles – Come to your hands and knees on the ground. Place your hands underneath your shoulders and your knees underneath your hips. Lift one leg out to the side, keeping your knee bent to about 90 degrees. Lift your foot back and then bring your knee up around and forward. Then drop the knee down and around back to the starting point. Make big circles with your hip, going clockwise and then counterclockwise. Keep your arms straight as you circle.
9. Crescent Pose to Hamstring Stretch – Start in a high plank position. Step one foot up between your hands with that front knee bent and your back leg straight behind you. Your front heel should be down while your back heel will be up. Lift your hands up off the ground and reach them back and overhead as you stay in a low lunge. Feel a nice stretch down the hip and quad of the back leg. Then bring the hands back down to the ground and hike your hips up to straighten your front leg. Lean your chest over and feel a stretch down the hamstring of the front leg. Sink back into the lunge and reach up and back overhead again to stretch the hip and quad before repeating the hamstring stretch. Complete all reps on one side before moving back into the plank and switching to the other side.
10. Bear Squat – Kneel on the ground with your hands on the ground in front of you. The closer you place your hands to your knees, the harder the stretch will be. Press your butt up into the air, driving your heels into the ground. Feel a nice stretch down your calves and hamstrings as you try to get your legs as straight as possible. Hold for 1-2 seconds and then drop back down to your knees before repeating.
Have nagging aches and pains from sitting all day? Want help to get rid of them? Comment below and I’ll get back to you with suggestions!
Rest when you have injuries is super important.
And time off may be just want your body needs.
HOWEVER, sometimes just sitting on your butt and not working out can cause your injuries and aches and pains to become worse and last way longer than they should.
Recovery isn’t all about time-off.
It is also about doing the correct things to increase, mobility, flexibility and stability to help the body become stronger and more balanced.
You can’t just “take it easy” on your ankle, or knee or hip the rest of your life! You can just “rest” ever day all day.
No, life requires you to move around.
And if you don’t rehab the injury, if you just rest until it “feels better,” you are going to end up re-injuring it very quickly OR have to live with never being able to return to your previous activity level.
Seriously…Who wants to be limited the rest of their life!?!
That is why I’ve written a ton of posts about activation, stretching and foam rolling exercises.
You’ve got to STRENGTHEN the muscles around the injured area and CORRECT any imbalances.
So in case you’ve just been resting your injury and haven’t done any rehab, check out these articles this weekend and GET STARTED TODAY!