This week's move of the week is the Jam Ball Stepping Slam. I love this movement because it will help us work on some key movement patterns that will allow us to get better in how we move both inside and outside of the gym and incorporates a nice bicep curl and tricep movement to help us buff up our arms for summer ?
In this movement you will be using a "Jam Ball" which is sand filled and does not bounce. Without concern that the ball will hit you in the face when it bounces back we will be coaching complete follow through of the slam and embracing power through this movement.
You will be starting in a low lunge position, bringing you close to the floor so that you can pick up the ball and bicep curl it to your chest while maintaining good posture.
As you prepare to press the ball up overhead, you will focus on pressing up through the glutes rather than through the shoulders, creating power through your lower body. This power will allow you to elevate though your ribs and work against compression on your spine as you rise up into your tall posture standing position.
While maintaining tall posture in your split stance with the jam ball overhead you will pull the ball behind your head with triceps engaged creating tension through your lats and upper thoracic back, preparing your body to create power and follow through in the slam, returning you back to the low lunge position to repeat the process.
I have coached this movement in a few sessions and people did amazing. It's a super fun movement and I'm excited to break this movement down so that you can connect to your lats and glutes for the purpose of creating powerful movement. I'm confident that you'll have a lot of fun with this movement and that you'll surprise yourself with your ability to connect to this movement with confidence by the end of the week.
4/11 Jam Ball Stepping Press- Movement of the Week Explainer by Allison Hopkins
Here's your checklist:
1) Starting in a low lunge you will bicep curl the ball to your chest.
2) Step forward in your split stance as you press the ball overhead.
3) Pull the ball behind the head with elbows bent.
4) Hinge forward as you step backwards in your split stance, following through with your slam.
5) Finish in a low split stance lunge with tall posture, ready to bicep curl the ball to your chest and repeat the process.
6) Have fun!
take careThis month we are feeling super proud of Margaret Porter, our March Client of the Month!
Margaret started training with us through our KickStart program last November. When Margaret first reached out to me she expressed some common fears in getting started in a health & fitness program. She is a new mom with a now 3 year old daughter and has a busy work schedule. Additionally, between having a baby and hunkering down during a pandemic over the past two years she felt nervous about getting into a gym, not being able to keep up, and feeling insecure amongst the group. I assured her that we would meet her right where she is and that our amazing community would surely make her feel welcomed after her first visit.
I’m so happy that Margaret trusted me and joined the KickStart program. All of these fears and concerns quickly melted away and Margaret quickly embraced her gym time and recognized how this commitment has benefited her. Don’t take it from me - this is what Margaret shared with me about the benefits that she has experienced:
“Since starting my wellness and fitness journey I've noticed a few changes in my daily life. I find myself having more energy to get through the work day and keep up with my daughter at home. I also feel confident both physically and mentally. People around me are noticing the difference and complimenting me on it. Another bonus is my feet don't hurt when I get home from standing 8hrs a day. In the past I would get home and my feet would hurt so much I could barely walk. Now I can stand all day at work and even go for a walk after and still not be sore.”
Isn't that amazing!? We are so proud of you Margaret and just love hearing how you experience the benefits of your hard work in such meaningful ways!
Another thing that Margaret is super proud of is sticking to it, and we’re so proud of her too! Getting to the gym can be tough when you’re working a full time job and a Mom, but Margaret has made it work. She brings her amazing energy to our early bird sessions and is sure to get her training session in before her workday starts. That way, at the end of the day she can get home to use all of that extra energy that she has to take care of her family and enjoy some family time.
Approaching nutrition through sustainable healthy habits, while enjoying some occasional indulgences with moderation is the secret to success, and Margaret has embraced this mindset like a champion.
We couldn’t be more proud of all that Margaret has accomplished since committing to her training program with us and we are so happy to acknowledge all of her hard work by naming her our March Client of the Month. Congratulations Margaret!
This week's Move of the Week is a Lunge Row with T-Spine Rotation. We are going to simplify things a bit to allow us the opportunity to work on some fundamentals of a good lunge, proper form, and achieving a solid t-spine rotation without over rotating and turning the hips.
This movement is fairly simple, but does require a degree of coordination. Remember, coordination is practiced, and as adults we don't have a lot of opportunity to work on coordination the way that we did as kids. Playing on the play ground at recess provided us with tons of coordination practice. So we want to keep practicing coordination while also dialing in on these fundamentals.
In this movement we are going to focus on maintaining elevation through the ribs while lunging. In other words, maintaining strong posture as we move through the lunge positions. We are also going to work on proper stride length. When we do a lunge our goal is to be able to create a 90 degree angle at both knees when in the full range of motion of the lunge. When we open up the chest in the rotation we are going to put a lot of focus on maintaining our elevation, rotating through the thoracic spine (the part of the spine attached to our ribs) and avoiding any rotation through the hips. Keeping our tailbone tucked throughout this movement will help us keep our lower abdominals engaged so that they are prepared to help us maintain stability and strength throughout the movement.
As an added bonus, this movement is going to help us in connecting our glutes with our opposite side lat. When we move in daily life our glute on one side of the body and opposite side lat work together, and this movement is also going to provide us with practice at engaging our glute as you raise your body up out of the lunge, and simultaneously rowing with your lat on the opposite side.
It takes time to feel these connections, so I encourage you to focus on which muscles are working in this movement, and imaging the glute of your back leg working hard to stabilize you in the "standing" portion of the lunge while your lat is working through the row on the opposite side. In time you'll feel these connections and will be ready to coordinate your lats and glutes to enhance movement both inside and outside of the gym.
4/4 Lunge Row with T-Spine Rotation- Movement of the Week Explainer by Allison Hopkins
Here's your checklist:
1) Start in your best lunge.
2) Hold onto the resistance band with your arm fully extended on the same side as your front leg.
3) While in your lunge, rotate through your t-spine with your free arm, opening up through the chest while maintaining tailbone tuck, elevation, and hips forward.
4) As you return to center from the rotation, come up out of your lunge, using your back leg glute to stabilize you, and pull your into a row using your lat.
5) Repeat....and have fun!
This week's move of the week is the Walking Dynaball Rotation with Pivot Slam and I hope you have a blast with this fun variation on the dynaball slam. This movement will definitely challenge your brain body connection, and with practice you'll feel super accomplished when you put all of the pieces together.
You have been practicing elements of this movement whether you realize it or not! We have been practicing TIMING with our mobility stick walking, which is part of the pre-warm up activation sequence. The goal with this mobility stick walk is to propel yourself forward using your core, more specifically, your obliques. The timing comes with each step - as you pull your front foot backwards and propel yourself forward using your opposite side oblique the goal is to land your stepping foot at the same moment that you pull through your oblique into your rotation.
We are doing the same thing with this movement except that we're holding a dynaball instead of the mobility stick. After one step forward, and one step backward you will use your core to rainbow the ball up over head and pivot your feet to face in the opposite direction bringing the ball to the front of your chest. Next, you will pivot back in to your original direction, but this time you'll use your core and your breath to powerfully slam the ball. As you catch the ball you'll be set up to repeat the sequence of events again.
Try not to overthink this movement. We will break down the steps over the course of the week so that you're prepared to confidently put them all together by the end of the week.
Walking Dynaball Rotation with Pivot Slam- Movement of the Week Explainer by Allison Hopkins
Here's your checklist:
1. Start in a split stance with the ball in front of your sternum, slightly rotated over the front foot.
2. Step forward by pulling your front foot backwards against the floor, and using your opposite side oblique to pull you forward into your step.
Slightly rotate over the newly placed front foot.
3. Repeat this sequence stepping backward to your starting foot position.
4. Rainbow the ball up overhead, rotating in the direction of your back foot (if your left foot is back, start your rotation in the left direction) while pivoting your feet 180 degrees.
5. Land in your split stance with the ball in front of your sternum, slightly rotated over your front foot.
6. Rainbow the ball in the direction of your back foot to pivot 180 degrees back to your starting split stance. This time, as the ball and your body come back to the starting stance hinge slightly as you powerfully slam the ball into the floor.
7. Catch the ball and repeat :-)
8. Have fun!
Hey Everybody! This week's move of the week is a Split stance Kettlebell Deadlift Walk. We chose this movement because we see such amazing opportunity to dial in on a few fundamentals of movement:
1. Foot position
This movement is relatively simple compared to the movements of the past few weeks, but don't be fooled. When done correctly this movement will challenge you in many ways.
What I love about this movement is that it allows us to slow everything down and work on improving upon our foot work by ensuring that our stance position is correct - not too wide and not too long. With each step you will also concentrate on ensuring that the back heel stays lifted and your front heel drops back down to the floor as you step forward.
This movement will also provide you with practice on proper hinging, ensuring that you're not hinging too deep and losing your neutral spine position, and focusing on excellent posture once you come back to standing.
This movement also incorporates practice with timing. As Bree prepares each step she is creating tension with the floor by pulling her back foot forward and her front foot backwards as if she's trying to slide her feet into a parallel position. The hamstring of the front leg is engaged and prepared to help pull her back foot forward into the step. She is also timing her pass off of the kettlebell with her step and rotation. Notice how as she comes to the top of her hinge she pulls through her feet and simultaneously passes the kettle bell to the other hand as she steps forward and rotates her t-spine over the front leg.
Timing is what allows us to truly perfect many of these movements that we've been practicing, and I hope that you'll find this slower paced movement to provide you with a great opportunity to connect to timing as well as footwork and a strong hinge.
Split Stance Kettlebell Deadlift Walk - Movement of the Week Explainer by Allison Hopkins
Here's your checklist:
1. Set up your split stance, pulling with the Front Foot
2. Hinge through the hips with a subtle rotation over the front foot.
3. Maintain strong abdominals & mid-back.
4. Stand tall prior to stepping.
5. Control your body as you move.
6. 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.