This week, we are learning how to move our pelvis to learn about our posterior kinetic chain. Then we will learn to use that new flexibility and activation of our backlines in our reach and curl exercise.
Using the wall for feedback, this hinge stretch teaches us how to tip our pelvis to get a stretch along the backline. Once we have that stretch, we can activate that same back line to pull ourselves up to standing.
This month, we are working on stretches and exercises that allow us to work with our posterior kinetic chain. We will be focusing on the lower portion of the chain – mainly the glutes, hamstrings, calves, and arches. Follow along all month long.
For this first week, we are starting with a full body stretch that opens up the hips, spine, chest, and shoulders. When we are tightened down, we don’t move properly. So, this stretch is a great place to start. Then, we will learn where the posterior kinetic chain is by loading it.
In the first exercise, this non-relaxing version of a pigeon pose not only gets your hips open, but also strengthens them in your new found mobility so that they stay open.
Then, move on to some bridging with a ball to help strengthen your hamstrings. Strong hamstrings help support your knees and your low back. This exercise is great because it works the hamstrings in both a concentric (muscle shortening) and eccentric (muscle lengthening) way.
For the cyclists out there, your spine needs movement. You have been holding it in a “C” curve for so long. Do this first video after your ride and bring that spine back to life. Follow it up with this simple strength exercise in the second video. Stretching your chest is not enough. There is more involved in the beautiful complex that is the shoulder. Try this move out to gain some strength in the back of the shoulders, help improve your posture and counteract any slouching you may have been doing on and off the bike.
If you ride a bike, your quads are tight. This tightness can lead to pain around the knee cap. In this first mobility exercise, we use a pin and stretch on the roller. This addition to the regular quad rolling can release some of the tension in the front of the thighs and allow the kneecap to move more freely.
Cycling involves so much forward folding and hunching. We need to counteract that with some strength in the opposite direction. In this second exercise, we are back on our bellies, working that back line.
All month long, we will be going over moves and stretches to keep you healthy on and off your bicycle.
This week, we are focusing on hip extension (when the leg extends behind the pelvis). We are starting with an anterior hip release so that we can open the front of the hips and then moving on to an exercise that allows us to strengthen in hip extension.
All month long, we will be going over moves and stretches to keep you healthy on and off your bicycle. For this first week, we are opening up the chest and shoulders and then keeping them open by strengthening our mid back and shoulders.
For our final week, we are going to work on getting into our low squat. This is a helpful position to have in your back pocket in case you need to move from the ground to your feet, or if you need to get your hips under a heavy object to lift it up.
We are also going to work on our “Dipping Bird” exercise. We have been working all month on our hinging and strengthening our posterior chain. Now, let’s challenge it with this single leg balance move.
This week, we are going after the low squat. The low squat should not just be for the privileged few. It is one of the most useful and functional positions you can utilize. From picking up heavy things, to getting up and down from the floor, the low squat is a necessity in life. If you can’t get down there, try using some support to get down (and then stay down for a while). For starters, don’t worry about getting back up. Let your muscles and joints get used to the new position first.
We are finishing up Foundations Month with the staple exercise of the dipping bird. We have been working all month on our hinging and strengthening our posterior chain. Now, let’s challenge it with this single leg balance move.
This week, we are using a squat to help us gain some motion in our ankles. What’s that you say? A squat isn’t a stretch? Well, you may be right, but we are doing it anyway. Now that you learned the proper squat last week, you can use this version to help bring some mobility to your ankles and feet. Gaining some extra range of motion in your lower legs can help you squat lower without putting stress on your knees, hips, and low back.
This month, we have learned how to hinge (week one). We learned how to take that hinge into a squat (week two). In the second video, we are going to learn how to use the hinge for our lunge.