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.
For our 2nd week of Foundations Month we are moving from the spine to the feet and we are going to progress our hinge.
Having a good connection of our feet with the ground is important for proper movement. If our feet our stiff, our movement above can be stiff and/or sloppy. Whether you are trying to generate force from the ground up, the pedal up, or maybe the rollerblade up, you need your feet to connect to generate power.
Also, let’s progress our foundational move, the hinge, to a squat. Same concepts as last week, but with a bit of a knee-bend.
The Squat – it is the epitome of a gym exercise, the king move amongst gym rats, the foundational move for all athletes. Anyone can do a squat. It should be a no-brainer, right? Sorry, not so fast.
When we were kids, squatting was a part of life (think of the kid in the diaper who you know is doing his business because of the squat position he is holding). As we get older and we spend more time sitting and working and trying to squeeze in a workout here or there, the tighter our hips become, the more our squat goes awry. Once our hips have become off-kilter, the squat work we were hoping would sculpt our hammy’s and glutes is actually putting pressure into our low back, knees, and other vulnerable joints.
Focusing on the position of your pelvis and hips during a squat, can not only help you get stronger in the areas your are trying to target, but it can also help you retrain your hips into a balanced position. Watch this short video and learn how to squat to help you balance your pelvis, remain injury-free, and get the most out of your squat.
Congratulations! You have decided to start exercising and getting in shape. Before you decide to go from zero to hero, make sure your body is ready. If you haven’t seen the inside of the gym in a while or have to ask the person next to you how to operate the cardio equipment, please go over the moves below to keep yourself injury-free and set yourself up to accomplish your long-term goals.
The exercises below build a foundation of movement. They “prep” your body by activating important stabilizing muscles that help protect you against back pain, shoulder injury, knee pain, and more. They also help improve range of motion in your body so your are able to move through your squat, pull, or lunge with fluidity and grace. Do this routine as a warm-up to get your body in a good space to work hard or as a full workout at home.
Remember, consistency beats intensity. Exercise at a level you know you can maintain through the whole year, not a pace that makes you so sore you have a hard time sitting on the toilet the next day.