Warm Up Wednesday: The Power of Getting Help!

Instead of posting an exercise today, I’m going to give you a little follow up from yesterday.  Basically I overdid it this past week and my SI Joint and T/L Junction locked up on me really bad.  Probably the worst it has ever been!  I couldn’t even lean forward without my back spasming at me.

In the past I would have just ignored it.  But thanks to having a team of medical professionals around me, I have learned that the sooner this issue gets dealt with the better!

The first step was using the inferential unit and some ice.  IF sends a continuous stimulation to the muscles and has been shown to help reduce pain and swelling.  I did a second treatment of this early this morning followed by a few exercises to see how I was moving.

It was clear that something was really off still, so the next step was getting evaluated by Dr. Joe.  Thankfully he has treated me regularly over the years so is very familiar with this issue and what causes it.  He started by palpating the muscles and seeing what the response felt like as well as checking my leg length.  My left leg was a1/2 inch shorter than my right today, ouch!  Here’s the key though, this is going on due to the muscle spasms so instead of going straight to an adjustment (which my body would not respond to anyway because it was in protective mode), Dr. Joe did some ART work on my glutes and TFL.  By just doing that work, my legs evened right back out.

Next step was to reinforce the pelvis not that it was back in the correct position.  I started by doing some basic bridge patterns focusing on glute activation.  Once that began to feel more engaged, I went to a side lying position and did some clam shells.  It was also important to engage my core so I ran through some dead bug sequences as well.

I cannot stress enough how much of a game changer it is reinforcing the soft tissue changes from a treatment with exercise.  Once the body is aligned and responding better, that is the time to build on it.

The end result of all this today, I am about 95% right now and managed to survive a 6 hour flight to Kona for my sister’s wedding!

I made sure to pack my foam roller and an exercise band so that I can continue to help my condition.  Hopefully I will be back to normal and ready to hit the golf course by Friday!!

Aloha!

-S

Warm Up Wednesday: TKD Edition

Today marked the end of #200kicksaday in the month of May!  And since it is Warm Up Wednesday, I figured I would share with you one of my express routines I use when I need to get everything running on all cylinders in a hurry, particularly for kicking.

Some of the moves are out of left field for golf, but in TKD, your body takes some heavy stress so it’s important to warm up with the hips in some of the extreme kicking positions.  My hips always feel awesome after these moves!

Just follow along with the video and you’re off an running!

  • 5 Hip Circles each direction
  • 5 Elbow Circles each direction
  • 5 Shoulder Circles each direction
  • 5 Ankle Circles each direction, each foot
  • 5 Knee Circles each direction
  • 5 Hip Hinges
  • 5 Cossack Squats each side
  • Sumo Squat Hip Opener 20 seconds
  • 1/2 Kneeling Reach, 5 reps each side
  • 5 Straddle Stretch Walkouts
  • 5 Kneeling Straddle Sit Backs
  • One Leg Low Straddle Stretch, 30 seconds each side

-S

Warm up Wednesday: Firing up those shoulders

We’re continuing on with the theme of building stability that we talked about on Monday.  Creating structure around mobile joints is so so important to support the best and most efficient motion.  Stability in the shoulder joint is essential to my golf swing and my workouts.

Gray Cook discusses in his article “Expanding the Joint by Join Approach” what true scapular stability means.  He addresses the considerations that must be made when working to develop better stability in that area and how most will approach it from a retraction standpoint, when realistically, one must also look at what he calls “distraction”.  I interpret that as what happens when the scapula are being pulled out of position.  He uses the Deadlift as an example, an easy one to visualize because as you hinge forward, the weight on the bar will want to pull the scapula out of position.  If true stability exists, these puppies stay in place throughout the motion, just as they would when performing a pushup or scapular retraction.

To take this one step further, what are the most common positions the shoulder joint ends up in throughout the day?  Reaching above your head, reaching from the ground, grabbing something behind you, picking something up……we ask those shoulders to do a lot!  I believe to truly train proper stability in the shoulder joint, you have to examine all the ways you use the joint, and work on exercises that will assist in improving those motions.

With this in mind, I put together 3 great stability exercises for the shoulder that can be performed consecutively and address the major motions of the shoulder we commonly do.

This is a great way to prime the shoulders in preparation for a workout and even something I use occasionally before I head to the course.

First I start with a Side Lying Stability Exercise.  Make sure to get the body lined up first and the head in a neutral position.  You want to use a Kettlebell with this one because it provides a different element of challenge.  As you slowly turn from the shoulder joint, the goal is the keep the weight moving smoothly.  10 Rotations

Next up is one portion of the Turkish Getup.  Simply set up with one knee bent and the kettlebell reaching to the ceiling on the same side.  The other leg is straight and at more of a 45 degree angle, as is my arm.  Begin by shifting the weight to the forearm and elbow first, then progressing to the hand as you reach the weight for the ceiling.  Very controlled, lower back down and repeat.  8 Get ups

To finish you will do a simple chest press, keeping the elbow at a 45 degree ankle and the hand turned towards you. 10 Presses

After you complete the combo one side, switch!  You can do a few sets on each side, the end result will be shoulders that feel ready for anything and the added bonus of improved thoracic spine movement.

Have fun!

-S

Warm Up Wednesday: So easy you can do these in your jeans!

Today I’m sharing with you a few of my go to warm up exercises for both the gym and the golf course (although these are a little tough to do on the actual course).  The nice part with both of these is that they address several areas of mobility and stability at the same time.  And anytime you can streamline a warm up, I’m all for it!

First up is the Frog Sit Back:

  • Start in a standard plank/pushup position, wrists under shoulders, glutes engaged and spine neutral
  • Begin by pushing your hands into the ground slowing taking small steps backwards
  • Keep pushing until you end up in a frog leg position similar to a deep squat
  • Hold this for a few seconds and then walk yourself back to the starting position

What is great with this exercise is that it fires up some shoulder stability and engages the abs.  While that is going on, it challenges the pelvis and hips as you sit back helping to open up the lower body.  So basically this is a primer exercise for everything you want to do in the gym!

Next on the docket, Warrior Rotations:

  • Begin in that same awesome plank/pushup position
  • Pull one foot up to the outside of your hand
  • Once you are in this position, squeeze the opposite glute and lengthen by pushing your heel towards the ground
  • Next up is the rotation, you will turn into the forward leg
  • Start your rotation by moving the sternum first, also letting your eyes and head follow the movement
  • Reach for the ceiling making sure your arm stays lined up with the torso

Just like the frogs, this is a great exercise for opening up the hips but with the added bonus of addressing the thoracic spine.

Start by doing 10-15 reps of each exercise!

If you get really adventurous, you can even combine these two exercises by doing one Frog Sit Back and then the Warrior Rotation.

Have fun, hope you enjoyed the sun today!

-S

 

Warm Up Wednesday: The Uneven Farmer Carry

Sometimes preparing the body for activity is not always about mobility.  Yes, leg swings and arm circles are great, but what about stoking the stability fire???

Today I bring you an exercise that most of us do in our daily life without even realizing it.  The purpose, to engage and challenge those stabilizers!

The Farmer Carry is a staple in my training program, and needs to be in yours.  It is as simple as just picking up something heavy and walking around with it.  But for this week’s Warm Up Wednesday, I wanted to share with you a variation that I like because of the unilateral challenge it provides.

The Uneven Farmer Carry

A few keys:

  • To start, pick up the weight with good form.  In the video, I am using standard suitcase carry form making sure to breath out as I pick the weight up off the ground
  • Your goal is to walk around with the weight keeping your shoulders and hips as level as possible
  • Feel as though your shoulder blades are dropping into your back pockets as you walk around
  • Once you ready to switch, once again revert back to that great squat form to lower the weight back down and bring it back up on the other side
  • When I use this in my warm up, I will do several sets walking around for about 20 seconds each set

Now, you don’t have to have a weight or kettlebell in order to do this one.  I have been known to pick up my golf bag and walk around the driving range!

I happened to use this one today before my golf lesson, and I have to say my core felt much more engaged.  Let me know if you feel the same!

-S

P.S.  In honor of April being my birthday month, and also the official start of my mid 30’s, we’re going to switch gears!  The entire month of April will be full of daily workouts including the dreaded Birthday workout on the 13th.  That’s right, 35 exercises, 35 reps…….it’s going to be awesome! Start preparing! 🙂

Warm Up Wednesday: Golfletica Flow

I have become a huge fan of doing a flow series as part of my warm up over the past few years.  The beauty of a flow is that you can connect so many movements together and the end result is a body that feels activated and ready for anything.  Here are a few of the moves I use with my clients and myself.  You can run through each movement as many times as you want.  Since I only has a few minutes today, I just did reps of 3 but typically I do 8-10.  Of course you can take your time with these as well, I sped the video up so it looks like I’m going at warp speed!  Captain Kirk would be proud 🙂

  • Sit Backs
  • Down Dogs
  • Deep Lunge Rotation
  • Down Dog
  • 90/90 Alternating
  • 90/90 Alternating Free Falls
  • Cat and Dogs
  • Childs Pose

Give this a try before your next workout or round of golf, you’ll feel awesome!

-S