At the beginning of September, I had the great opportunity to spend a week interning with Ido Portal in Germany. While I was there, I met a great women from Northern Ireland and last month (October) she invited her crew to participate in a hanging challenge. So for the month of October I hung and swung and watched my grip get stronger and my shoulders more open. So, I decided this month, I should invite my crew to participate.
The details of the original hanging challenge from Ido himself can be found here. In short, the challenge is to hang for 7 minutes of accumulated time per day. However, since I am a big proponent of not letting the perfect get in the way of the good, I suggest we start at just hanging every day. So, it can be in dosages of 10 seconds or 2 minutes. You can hang for an accumulated time of 1 minute or 15 minutes and each day can be different. There are no rules.
I do have a few suggestions though…
Hang in different places with different grips.
Set yourself up for success by identifying easy to access areas to hang.
Set an alarm on your phone so you do not forget to get at least one hang in a day.
Try to build on your time each day.
Don’t bore yourself out of the challenge, find friends to hang with our post your photos on Instagram and tag me! (@brennabacke)
This year, one of the things I wanted to do is try new things in the fitness world. I am always reading and researching and learning from the other therapists and trainers at my studio. I also try to soak up as much knowledge as I can when talking to the great practitioners in my network, but I haven’t actually been out there to try what the other guys are doing in a while.
So I have committed to trying something new each month and to write a review about it. By no means do I pretend that these are objective reviews. Think of this as more my opinion as a fitness expert (it does say opinionated fitness guru in the title). Also, there may be things I don’t like that you do. I am not here to debate, just stating my thoughts because my name is in the url.
Boulder Movement Collective – Fundamentals
I was first introduce to Boulder Movement Collective and the movement philosophy of Ido Portal 2-3 years ago when a friend from NJ came to Boulder with the sole purpose of spending a week at the Collective to learn. At first glance, it just looks like a bunch of people trying to handstand and moving around in similar movements to that of monkeys, but I am here to tell you, it is so much more.
I have been obsessing over the idea of movement vs. exercise for a few years now (There will be a whole other blog post on this) and I am always looking to learn and observe more movement, more teachings, and more ideas. It seems we (meaning us as a society) have lost the core of movement, the heart of it, and I want to get closer and closer to it for me and my clients. Ido Portal and the people over at the Collective have come up with a way to teach movement patterns in an intuitive and fun way.
From the moment I stepped through the door, I was welcomed. Our instructor, Zack, was super friendly and inviting. The other students also did not hesitate to approach me, engage me in conversation, and help me understand the movements we were working on. The space is light, bright, and just generally happy.
I LOVE this kind of workout. Crawling around on the floor, trying to move in creative and different ways, hanging, pushing, pulling, and lizarding. You heard right, the lizard, its a thing. We spent most of the time on floor work, moving in different ways, with a lot of time spent in a low squat, using our hands and feet and staying low to make our way across the floor. It is one of those workouts where you hardly notice you are exercising because it is so fun and mentally engaging. Our class was 90 minutes, and at no point was I looking at the clock and wishing it would end. It was seamless, fun, and the sense of community was comforting.
Along with the floor work, we also incorporated some mobility work and strength work. The strength consisted of pull-ups or chin-ups and pushups or tricep dips. The focus was always on shoulder position and stability. The instructor was constantly wandering providing feedback to each person. However, since you are always working in pairs, you always have a 2nd set of eyes on your movements and you get to provide that for your partner as well. It is nice to practice the movement and also watch it being performed. It makes learning the movements easier.
Class ended with the lizard. A low crawl across the floor (see video below). I have seen this done many times and have tried to mimic it, but it is almost impossible till you have someone show it to you. It was fun to do this as a class, you could really see the different levels of beginner to advanced student and it helps you progress your movements and make them more fluid.
Cons: They only have 6 parking spots and my class had over 20 attendees. So you have to park down the street. Unfortunately, they are also doing construction in the area so it made this scenario even a little more inconvenient. However, I did get a little extra jog in going back and forth to my car.
I would also warn that those with injuries and limitations should talk to the instructor before class. We spent a lot of time on our wrists and in deep knee bends. Zack assured me there were modifications, but you should definitely be proactive and give him the heads up. If this type of movement hurts you, this may not be your thing right now.
Pros: Fun! This class is so engaging on many levels, which to me, equals fun. It makes you think, move in different ways, test your boundaries of movement, and sets you up for success. More than once during class I thought “There is NO WAY I can do that!” and overtime, Zack broke down the move to where I could do more than I thought.
Here is a little glimpse into some of the movements: