About Community Posts
In order to promote community participation, open debate, and facilitate the sharing of fitness-related news, Active Life DC allows members of the local fitness community to contribute posts. We do not vet these posts, and the opinions expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of Active Life DC. More information can be found in our Terms of Service. For information on how you can submit a post, visit this page.
We have an idiotic debate going on in the fitness industry. On one side we have trainers who pretend to be physical therapists – the lady who came in to drop 2 sizes before her wedding is spending her sessions “fixing” her knee pain instead of losing fat. Then on the other side we have trainers who don’t screen anyone before working with them, ignore mobility, and just hammer people (usually until they break).
The truth is that this debate makes no sense: not hurting people and training hard are not mutually exclusive. Helping people move better produces superior results if it’s married with smart and hard training. This approach also keeps people consistent because they don’t get hurt.
Movement is Metabolism
Movement is metabolism. Exercise is movement, and a body that doesn’t move very well can’t get much out of exercise. Cleaning up your ability to move before you workout will condition any improvements so that they are more likely to become permanent changes. This will also make your stronger and give you move access to your own metabolism – more fat loss!
Step 1 – A minimalist’s approach to foam rolling (5min)
Foam rolling is wonderful, and what I see is that people either don’t do it at all or they spend 15 or 20 minutes on it. If you have the time, then the later is great. However, if you’re like me – small business owner with an 8 month old daughter, then you need to figure out how to get 80% of the results in 5 minutes or less. Here’s your mantra: front pockets, back pockets, upper back & pits. If you have extra time, then go to work on the lower leg (calf, shins, etc.).
Step 2 – Total body mobility in just 4 moves (4min)
The Brilliant Dr. Mark Cheng calls the hips and shoulders the four knots of the body – untie these and everything else will follow. I would just add in the two ankles to make it six.
Open book – do this about 3 times per side
½ kneel ankle mobilization – do this 10 slow times per side
Bretzel 1.0 – do for about 30 seconds (or 5 slow, deep breaths) per side
Bretzel 2.0 – do for about 30 seconds (or 5 slow, deep breaths) per side
Step 3 - movement prep (6min)
½ kneeling KB Halo – 3 per leg per side
Inchworm – 5 reps, hold the end
Miniband walk – 10 reps each direction
Side lunge – 5 each side
Squat to stand – do 5 slow reps
There you have it, a RAMP UP that will untie all 6 knots in your body and improve or maintain most of all of the fundamental movements that humans do, and all in under 15 minutes. Oh, and if you’re wondering how this fits into a workout session as a whole, then check out item #1 in this piece.
Important disclaimer – please don’t use this article to “treat” chronic pain. The above advice is about preventing most problems, and will often clear up minor issues. If you have pain on a regular basis, then you need to see a medical professional (not a personal trainer pretending to be a physical therapist). If you’re in the DC area, these are the two best places I know – Solutions Physical Therapy and Jessica Probst.