Join us in congratulating our February Athlete of the Month, Lorrie Cardwell-Panfil.
Lorrie quickly embraced the opportunity to regain her connections to her body through her training program at the gym. She comes into her training sessions ready to work hard and engaged. She listens to the trainer’s guidance and cues, and works to understand how the exercises in any given training session will benefit her body, how she moves, and how she feels.
Lorrie always comes into the gym with a BIG smile on her face, but don’t let that smile fool you. She’s very serious in her training sessions and wants to get the most out of each minute. Lorrie is the type of person who smiles when she’s working hard, even if it’s challenging to her and she’s struggling in some way, she’s still smiling. You can really see just how much she enjoys working in the gym. One day Lorrie came in and she wasn’t smiling. She shared how she was having some tests done to diagnose a possible serious health condition. She shared her fears in how such a diagnosis may impact her ability to keep up with her training program, the intensity at which she’s enjoyed working, and her ability to maintain consistency. Lorrie welcomed the support provided by the trainer team where she was reminded to take each day at a time, to do what she felt she was able to do each day, and to rest as her body required. By listening to her body she was able to maintain balance in her overall energy and her commitment to her training sessions. Thankfully, tests came back negative and Lorrie was able to identify some less intense changes to help her address some of the symptoms she was experiencing, and enthusiastically resumed her higher intensity commitment to her training program.
Lorrie, we just love training you and we’re so proud of all that you’ve achieved in your training program. Keep up the great work!
This weeks focus will be all about our split stance. The great thing about this move is we can modify it in so many different ways! This makes this lateral bosu hop a great foundational movement to get comfortable with. It's important for us to be able to move laterally with strength and ease as this helps us be more mobile in our everyday life. To have a well rounded, working, moving body, we need to work it in all directions. This week will be a great opportunity on creating power and stability through lateral movement.
There are a few key components we will be focusing on in this lateral hop. First, strong footwork and knowing where your feet are in space. We will feel uncoordinated and clumsy if you don't have a solid foundation of the split stance and bracing through the floor. Landing softly but with strong engagement will help protect our body from aches and pains but also get you to move faster on your feet.
Posture is everything! Without proper posture you won't be able to connect to your thoracic rotation effectively. This inhibits you from activating your core and lats to help stabilize and move through your upper body. Footwork and posture will help you reach success with this movement.
Create power by pushing off the bosu, this will connect you to your outer glute. This will then connect you to our opposite side lat and core through rotation to pull you the rest of the way through the lateral hop. This is our cross body connection that you have been focusing on the last few weeks. When we manage to move our whole body together we work more efficiently and safely.
After landing on the floor we are looking for instant ground tension that will help us spring off of our feet into a quick switch step in our split stance. This is where your power will come from. If you don't have solid connection to your split stance the switch can feel clumsy and awkward. We will always be thoracically rotating over the front leg to help pull us through the movement with our core.
As the week progresses look to push yourself in how far you can laterally hop. See how soft you can land in your split stance while also creating ground tension. The more connections we make the quicker you can get with this movement. Then we can add even more fun variations in to help keep that brain working!
Here's your checklist:
Last month I shared some ideas for setting goals and strategies for achieving them. This month I want to talk about committing to healthy living by creating habits that are sustainable in your life.
A habit is simply a routine that you practice consistently to the point that it becomes automatic. We have so much to think about on a day to day basis, and lots of decisions to make in our lives, so the number of decisions we need to make, and having to think about the actions we need to take in order to reach our goals, can quickly become a barrier. Creating some strategies that you use consistently will help you make these regular decisions and actions more of a habit with some practice, and you’ll find yourself breaking down those barriers in no time.
So, with that in mind, let’s talk about three simple strategies to help you build habits that will support your goals, and be sustainable for the long term..
Plan Ahead: Half the battle is having a plan. Have you ever heard of decision fatigue? It’s just what it sounds like - that sense of exhaustion in having to make another darn decision. I find this happens to me at the end of the day, but for you it could be in the morning when rushing to get out the door, or at another time during the day or week. Personally, I’ve been making decisions all day long, and if I don’t have a plan for dinner I’m going to really struggle to make a decision about what to eat.
Take time on the weekends to map out what you are planning to eat each day. If this feels like a daunting and time consuming task, start with the meal that gives you the most difficulty. Then, make a list of the ingredients you need to have in the house to make these meals happen.
Taking some time to prep some of the ingredients can help make the task of preparing the meal that much easier. You don’t need to spend hours preparing for the entire week. Consider what is the biggest thorn in your side when it comes time to make the meal and try to get it prepped in advance. It’s just going to make it that much easier when it comes to meal time.
Here are some ideas:
Make Healthy Swaps: It’s not unusual to feel like we need to completely overhaul the way that we eat in order to make an impact on our overall health and wellness, but this usually just leaves us feeling deprived and overwhelmed. Instead of changing everything, consider making some healthy swaps at meal time.
With this in mind, I thought I’d share some foods that can help you lower your LDL (bad) cholesterol to provide a little extra incentive to swap in some of these beneficial foods.
I often talk to people about their goal to eliminate prescription drugs such as drugs for high cholesterol or high blood pressure, and hope you find this to be a helpful resource.
You can also prep these items ahead of time 😁
10 Foods to Help Lower LDL:
Here are some swap out ideas for you to consider:
Habit Stack: Habit stacking is a great strategy for creating new habits. One of the new challenges of creating a new habit is remembering to do it when we’re first developing it. Additionally, the key to making a new routine a habit is doing many repetitions of practice to cement the new routine into a habit. The more frequently and consistently you can practice the faster it becomes a habit. Habit stacking stacks a new habit on top of an already existing habit, something that you’re already doing on a regular basis.
Here are a few examples of habit stacking:
I hope you find these strategies helpful for building new, healthy habits into your life. Need extra help? Check out our Powerful Habits for a Powerful Life Resource Guide!
The renegade row with rotation is going to test your plank stability, and how strong you are in your thoracic rotation. This move should be extremely difficult only maintaining your plank for a few reps. One of the biggest goals is PACE, we want this move to be as slow and controlled as you can make it. The pace is going to help make this move extremely challenging, forcing you to make strong connections, keep control, and work hard throughout your whole body.
There are a few key components we are focusing on when doing this move. One of them is the crossbody connection through our plank. As we start to pull into your row our opposite side glute and leg will do most of the work to stabilize. It is important to push both feet firmly into the ground to keep your hips from shifting but you will feel great tension through your glute across your back and into your rowing lat. The stronger you make this connection the more stability you will create, which will also translate in how we should naturally move.
Even though this move doesn't look like we are moving much there is still a push/pull happening through our upper body. As we ‘pull’ into our row through the lat the opposite reaction is to 'push' down through the floor through the chest. This connection will help to engage the obliques and bring our ribcage back into space for our rotation. This move is extremely difficult to do and it is this connection that is going to allow you to be able to succeed in your rotation without moving too fast or letting the hips rotate.
This week will be great for focusing on core stability in your plank. Remembering that our perfect posture carries through even when we are on the ground. In a plank we should be getting as much of our body activated as possible. The core will be working the hardest but everything else is also engaged at the same time. When your whole body is engaged this allows us to work on our stability, helping to not rock our hips back and forth, keep our lower back safe, and activating specific muscles to hold us properly when standing upright.
The renegade row will be done with very light weight and a strong focus on being slow and controlled. The more deliberate you are the more intention we can create the more successful you will be. This is a great opportunity to work on mobility through your thoracic spine, the crossbody connection through your lat and glute, and the push/pull happening on either side of the body. Take your time to take REST when you need it. Reset as many times as needed to find your best form and give your best rep.
Here's your checklist:
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.