This week we are taking our crossbody swing up a level! You may ask yourself in a session why do we do these weird moves? How does this help me in my everyday life? I don't move like this outside the gym so what's the point? All very valid questions!
As we start to progress in our split stance and make better connections to our body this helps us walk and move better by activating the proper muscles we should be using. When we use the proper muscles this reduces risk of injury that comes from muscle and joint dysfunction, and allows us to be more mobile through life.
When we lack thoracic spine mobility there is a high risk you will experience back or shoulder pain due to over use of your joints. Additionally, we want the supportive muscles of our core - the lats, core, and glutes to fire properly so that we can move freely and optimally.
To help in continuing to create these pathways we need to make the brain work by having to focus on proper form and engagement. When we push ourselves in our sessions to get out of our comfort zone both mentally and physically we can then recorrect bad habits, pathways, and dysfunction. This then leads us to moving more optimally in our everyday life. This doesn't mean we want you pushing past your limits that you end up hurting yourself. Foundation always comes first and bringing it back to basics is always good. As you work through the Move of the Week we start at the basics and gradually work your way up to your best ability.
This upcoming Move of the Week is no different. We will continue to work on our thoracic rotation by creating more depth into the crossover swing. We will also be focusing on the push-pull of our upper body. Whether we are using resistance one side or both there is always a push pull happening. With two dumbbells this will give you an opportunity to feel both sides of your body working. As one dumbbell pushes away from you into the swing the other is being pulled into a row. This will also help you move through your thoracic rotation. This is a great move that we can do from a tall standing position to limit range of motion if you need to focus on proper activation and safety through joints. You can always challenge yourself to deepen your hinge and rotation which will help you find momentum and rhythm through the movement. Allowing you to find connection through your whole body as you move.
This weeks move will help you continue learning how to properly swing through movements, creating power and momentum. It will also provide an opportunity to continue to work on the natural push/pull of our body, and creating a strong connection to our lats, core and glutes. As you get the hang of this move you will start to feel the natural flow and rhythm of walking and rotating. Being able to activate your whole body in one fluid movement. We will take this move slowly and continue to build upon the foundational steps in the beginning of the week and working our way up to where you feel most confident in your abilities, allowing you to get a little stronger, a little more mobile, a little more pain free with every session! You've go this!
Here's your checklist:
1. Starting in your split stance with your best standing posture. Find your lats to hold your dumbbell on each side.
2. As you punch out think of your chest following your swing to create a natural thoracic rotation coming into your cross body swing.
3. Coming out of your hinge we will create a crossbody connection to push through our glute and pull back into our row carrying us forward.
4. As we pull into the row simultaneously punch our with your other hand to create your push/pull on each side of your body.
5. Repeat and find a nice walking rhythm as you move forward through your swing and rows. Have fun!
Yes, it’s January! It’s the start of a new year, and if you’re like most people you have embarked on this new year with some big goals to make this your best year yet. Unfortunately, if you’re like most people you’re probably starting to slip on your commitment to your goals. Don’t feel too bad - depending on the source, 50-80% of people don’t make it to February before giving up on their New Year’s Resolutions, and it’s estimated that less than 10% of people actually stick to their goals for the whole year.
Even if you’ve started to slip, it’s not too late to get back on track. This month I want to talk about 3 common pitfalls that I see people fall into when it comes to setting health & fitness related goals, because if you don’t have a good goal then you’re less likely to be able to achieve it.
Pitfall #1: Taking on too much: This is one big mistake that people make when setting new goals. We get so excited about embarking on the journey to the “new me” and we want to do it all. Drink more water, eat clean, get more sleep, and get active every day. It all seems like such a great plan when we’re feeling really excited and ready to dive in, but then we get back to “reality” after the long holiday weekend and everything falls apart. What happened? The problem is that you took on WAY TOO MUCH. It’s so important to give ourselves some grace and remember that life is busy! There are a lot of competing priorities and responsibilities and suddenly there’s not enough time in the day to get it all done.
Most people blame their inability to see through their goals on lack of time, resources or motivation, and I can see why when we bite off more than we can chew.
The solution: Set an ATTAINABLE goal: Start small and build on your goals over time.
What’s most important is that you get started. By setting an attainable goal you are more likely to feel a sense of accomplishment and success by meeting your goals each day. If you take on too much and only achieve 50% of your goals it tends to create a sense of failure. What’s crazy is that achieving 50% of “way too much” is still pretty damn good, but it just kills our mindset because as humans our brains tend to focus way too much on our so-called “failures” than our successes. So start small and build upon your goals over time. Consistent success on something small will inspire you to build upon your wins over time.
Pitfall #2: Getting Distracted: The other pitfall that I see people struggle with is getting distracted. What I mean by this is that we get excited about our new goal and then we get distracted by all kinds of little things that we think we need to do to get started on our goal.
Here’s an example - you decide that you want to start walking for 30 min each day, but before you get started you need a new pair of walking shoes, get the pedometer app working on your phone, and get your playlist just right. Before you know it a month has gone by and you still haven’t found time to get to the shoe store, the pedometer app is more confusing than you thought, your earbuds just died….and, you're not walking! Sound familiar? I’ve found myself in this trap too.
The solution: “Make the main thing the main thing”: You don’t need any of those fancy things to get started at walking. All you need is a comfortable pair of shoes and 30 minutes blocked on your calendar. Your winter boots are probably just fine for a 30 min walk. Instead of getting distracted by the perfect playlist, embrace the beauty of your surroundings and listen to the sound of the birds, the breeze, the kids playing in the park. If you ever figure out the pedometer it will add an extra piece of interesting info about your walks but certainly not a requirement. Focus on getting out for a walk. That’s the main thing and don’t lose sight of that.
The Solution: Focus on ADDING something healthy to your plate instead of taking something away.
For example, instead of removing all starchy carbs from your meals consider committing to adding veggies (or more veggies) to every single meal. In doing so you’ll feel fuller faster and will be less likely to over indulge on the mashed potatoes.
By the way, potatoes are NOT bad…unless they're fried. Keep the skins on so you benefit from all of the healthy nutrients that potatoes have to offer. Just eat these starchy foods in moderation. Your plate should ideally be 25% lean protein, 25% starchy carbohydrate and 50% veggies, with proper portion sizes.
Now that you have committed to a more realistic and attainable goal it’s time to make a plan to stick to your goals long term. Here are 5 effective strategies for staying focused and committed to your goals for the long term, keeping in mind that life is not perfect.
You’ve got this! And if you need a little extra help the trainer team at Wilcox Wellness & Fitness is there to provide a little extra guidance, support, accountability….and love.
Learn more at www.wilcoxwellnessfitness.com or
email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Our Next KickStart Program Kicks off on
Saturday, February 18th.
This 4-week program rolls right into our Group Personal Training Program and is designed to help you form healthy habits that you can sustain for your lifetime, and create the life you have always wanted. You will discover limitless energy to enjoy the things you love doing so that you can live a happier, healthier, more fit lifestyle, full of limitless possibilities. By forming healthy habits, you will build leverage to enhance the overall quality of your life.
Learn more and enroll at: www.wilcoxwellnessfitness.com/kickstart
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This weeks move is taking what we learned from last week and continuing to advance the movement. This week we will be adding a cross body swing which will continue to require us to follow the momentum of the up and over on the box. Using our thoracic rotation and bend in this move will carry us through into the 180 degree rotation. The rotation will feel easier and easier the more we can let our body follow the momentum of the swing.
This will take a lot of focus on our thoracic rotation to complete this move effectively. To get the cross body swing our hips need to maintain their position as we thoracically rotate over our front leg using our core and lat to help us maintain our posture. This will help us protect our lower back and shoulders. The arm should feel like it's doing little to no work as the momentum is going to help us during the swing. Imagine your arm is a string and the dumbbell is just an extension at the end allowing us to make a pendulum through the air.
We have been practicing the up and over on the box for a while now. Being able to trust our feet and know where the box is underneath us will help to provide the power and footwork to switch our feet back and forth. Staying center over the box will help with efficiency and connecting to our glute. Our glute and legs are super powerful and once connected to them these muscles will take care of us and our footwork.
It can be intimidating having our upper body move in one direction while the lower body is doing something else, but once you find the flow of the movement it should feel like the whole body is working as one. Leaving you to move freely and have fun with this movement. Take what you have already gained from this past week to continue advancing your movement and connection.
Here's your checklist:
1. Starting position is the same as a split stance row on the ground.
2. Stay centered over the stair stepper to find your best posture and center of balance.
3. Use your free hand to create a push/pull of your body to build momentum, allowing you to get over the box.
4. Pushing through your glute on the stair stepper helps us make the full body connection in this movement making everything work together.
5. Listen to how your body is feeling and that is where these connections will happen naturally. Without even having to think about it you will be floating over that box in no time! Have Fun!
This week's movement will be a great time to practice all of that lat, core, and glute connection that you have been practicing over the last couple weeks in this more explosive press. As we get into more conditioning movements it is easier to lose focus and connection. Being able to perform movements under higher intensity allows us to deepen our connection and find our faults so we can then correct and get better. Every time we correct an old habit we form new pathways and that is where we start to see success in our strength and mobility.
The opposite push pull connection across our body will be one of our biggest focuses this week. Even though the dumbbell is only in one hand we should be working just as hard, if not harder, with our free guiding hand. This is where our power is going to come from. Just like pulling into a row with our bungee we want to imagine we are pulling through our row rotation to help give us power to pull us up and over the box. While we are pulling through our lat and core we are simultaneously pushing through our planted stair foot using our glute to drive us off the box. Our pressing hand is also using our lat in a different direction to push us into an overhead press. WOW that was a lot! When we break this movement down you will notice that it is the same exact connections you have been working so hard on over the last couple weeks with our rows and alternating our feet with our rows and presses.
The more we connect to these muscles the easier movement becomes, moving efficiently over the box and into the press. When we do this move correctly your shoulder and back should feel great. If they aren't we need to check in on our timing, pattern, and how we are connected to our body. This is a great move to slow down first, work on those connections, and then pick that intensity up as you get comfortable. The base move of getting up and over the box is very familiar so now we are just adding a challenge of a press to our timing. Good luck you've got this!
Here's your checklist:
1. 90% of our weight should be centered over the foot on the stair stepper. This is also what side the dumbbell should start on.
2. Your free hand is extended into a press position imagine you are holding onto a bungee and about to pull into your row to gain lat tension.
3. Pull through your lat and core to start the movement, pulling into your rotation and creating momentum to pull you over the box.
4. Pushing through the glute over the stair stepper and through the lats into the dumbbell press to create a crossbody connection
5. Set yourself up for success and you will find the flow before you know it! Have fun!
We are so excited to be celebrating our first Athlete Spotlight of 2023, Katie Soucy.
An accomplishment like this doesn’t come without hard work and commitment. Katie was committed to her training program right from the start, and made time to get to her training session on a regular basis. Katie is a mom of a 3 year old and splits self care time with her husband as they both work full time jobs.
Getting out of the house and seeing other people after a year of relative isolation was important for her, and we couldn’t be more happy that she chose to join our community here at Wilcox.
Thank you Katie for being such a positive force within our community. Your positive attitude, kind demeanor and focused mindset contributes in meaningful ways to our gym culture and we just love having you in our community. We are so happy to inspire you each day and in turn to be inspired by you. Keep up the great work. We can't wait to celebrate the completion of your next marathon with you!
This weeks move of the week is really going to test all of the little nuances to our split stance row & press. I love this variation of the movement because we usually focus on moving the upper body and bracing through the lower body. This week we are going to have to keep that tension through the upper body in order to move our feet position without letting that band pull us around. It's a great challenge to the core and how much stability we can create through our push and pull.
This move is similar to last week where we want to create as much tension as possible to help create stability and strength through the proper channels throughout the body. Such as; cross body lat to glute connection, mobility through thoracic spine, elevation and expanding the rib cage, and full body functionality are all ways we can see these pieces come together. When we learn to do these "simpler" movements to our best ability it makes the more complicated sequences easier to learn and to connect with.
When performing this movement we will want to make as much connection to our glute as possible before we rotate into our row and press, followed by holding our core, lats, and chest tension as much as possible to switch our feet. This will result in constant work as we challenge ourselves to disconnect the movement at our hips, working our lower body and upper body at different times to coordinate this sequence of moves.
Make this move challenging for yourself. This is a great opportunity to test out what you have been learning. Get a little more tension on the band to help fire up those muscles! If this feels easy we need to find that extra effort to make those connections. Slow down the movement to recognize the sequence of steps and what you feel with each movement. This will help our body to learn what we are asking of it so we will continue to learn to move better. During our training sessions we are learning to move efficiently through the proper muscles and not just muscling through it. This is where we see injury and pain. Recorrecting those pathways brings success, strength, and moving better in our everyday life.
Here's your checklist:
1. Posture! This move will be a lot of core work. Strong posture and elevation will allow us to hold the necessary tension we need to move our feet.
2. Small Strides in our split stance will allow us to maintain strong connection to the ground.
3. Slightly hinge to feel those glutes kick in and help with our tailbone tuck to get our lower abdominals activated.
4. Take your time moving. Setting yourself up to brace will allow you to control the bungee tension.
5. See how much tension you can create for yourself! Have fun!
Hi! My name is Allison Hopkins and I am the owner of Wilcox Wellness & Fitness in Brunswick, ME. I am excited to bring WILCOX to Brunswick and share in my passion for living a great life through health and fitness.