Ok, it’s not really as brutal as it is difficult because you have to use every ounce of your body to make it happen!
What I mean by that is it requires a high level of awareness and engagement. Gone are the days of just passively warming up, welcome to the world of priming your body to be at it’s very best no matter what you are doing. I keep coming back to what Meghan Calloway posted about a few weeks ago. Treat every rep like it’s own set. This is so powerful in the fitness world, especially because we’re still in an era of trying to pump out 100’s of reps as fast as possible (sorry cross fitters, I’m talking about you). What if instead of trying to do your workout as fast as possible, you slowed down and owned every inch of what you are doing?
Your warm up is what sets the pace for this, and if you can begin to mentally and physically check in to what you are doing that day, it’s amazing what you can get out of your workout.
Here’s a great example of what I’m talking about:
Lunges are frankly amazing, in fact, tomorrow is Lunge Friday! (yes, get ready Friday 9am golfers!). But so often people just go through the paces with them without a thought as to what they are trying to achieve. I love using them in my warm up coupled with torso rotation, but today I threw the focus to the hips using some active controlled movements. The goal with this is to achieve active external hip rotation once you step forward out of the lunge.
Here are some keys to getting the most out of this exercise:
- This isn’t just about pulling your leg up, you need every part of your body working overtime to make this happen.
- Consider what the feeling is when you engage 100% of your body, you are looking for about 75% of that with this exercise.
- That means when you pull the leg up into external hip rotation, you are putting pressure into the lower abs, quads, glutes, hamstrings, feet and even shoulders. The more you engage, the better the movement will be.
- I’m also owning the lunge, making sure to hit every key point needed in that posture. And as I drive up to the one leg position, I’m pushing my foot back into the ground and breathing out to elicit even more activation.
- You can hear my breath out at the end, that’s a good indication of how hard I am really working to make this happen.
- If you need some help balancing, this exercise can easily be modified to just doing a reverse lunge holding on to a wall or you could carry a dowel with you and drive it into the ground with each step.
And as you can see, my active external hip rotation sucks the big one. But I am committed to improving it and finding a who new level of awesome in my body. Just a week into incorporating more concepts like this into my workouts, my body is feeling alive!