This week we are going to simplify the Move of the Week and work the hinge. Hinging is part of nearly every lower body exercise, including deadlifts, squats, and lunges, particularly the lateral lunge. We even hinge slightly in stable split stance movements in order to create additional stability and maintaining a strong center of balance.
In this video you can see Bree doing a deadlift hinge. Her feet are connected to the floor, her posture is tall, and she is leading with the hips keeping her back flat throughout the movement. These fundamentals of the hinge will apply to all hinging movements that you practice over the course of the coming week.
When we hinge correctly we not only protect our lower back from injury, but we also align our joints and prepare our bodies to utilize our muscles correctly and find additional strength and power in the movement.
Copy of Lateral Dumbbell Swing to Row - Movement of the Week Explainer by Allison Hopkins
Here's your checklist:
1. Keeping our feet engaged with the floor.
2. Maintain a tall posture.
3. Lead with the hips.
This focus on the hinge will allow you to dial in on every hinging movement in the gym, and as a result allow you to lift heavier with greater confidence, create greater power in more dynamic movements, and most importantly keep your back safe and protected through the movement.
This week's Move of the Week is the Single Leg Deadlift with KB Rotation. In this movement we are going to expand off our our Split Stance position and go into a single leg movement, further challenging our posture, balance and thoracic mobility.
In the split stance we have been talking about working on keeping the majority of our weight in our front foot, and using our back foot for added stability in certain movements. This practice will help you progress into this single leg hinge movement because you will be concentrating on keeping the weight over your front foot while you lift your back foot up off of the ground.
In this movement we are also going to continue to work on our hinge. By starting in your split stance position, hinging slightly over your front foot with a flat back, and the majority of weight on your front foot, you will be ready to successfully progress into the single leg deadlift. What will be of great importance is that you work to move your upper and lower body together as you hinge forward. A common challenge with single leg deadlift movements is the tendency to let the back leg and chest drop where you find yourself in a weird single leg downward dog. In this movement we want to continue to focus on keeping the back flat and a nice straight line from the head to the shoulders to the hip and then to the ankle.
Being a single leg movement, this movement is going to challenge your balance. Many of you have already made the connection between good posture and balance, and you're going to put this to work in this movement. By lifting your ribs up off of your hips and creating distance between each of your vertebrae you will engage your core muscles and create tension throughout your body that will help keep your joints in alignment and maintain stability throughout this movement.
Last but not least, we will be working on a gentle thoracic rotation (and not over rotating) while keeping your hips forward, both in the hinged position and in a single leg knee drive position.
This movement is going to challenge our patience as much as our balance, stability and control. Remember to create focus, use your breath, and stay calm as you practice this movement. Also remember that every time you touch your foot to the floor you are learning, and this is part of the process. I can't stress patience enough as we progress this movement throughout the week into the final version as a single leg deadlift with kettle bell rotation.
Single Leg Deadlift with KB Rotation - Movement of the Week Explainer by Allison Hopkins
Here's your checklist:
1. Start in a split stance with a slight hinge, shifting 80% of your weight into your front foot.
2. As you lift your back foot off of the floor, equally allow your upper body to hinge forward while keeping alignment of your shoulders, hips and ankle.
3. Gently rotate over your front leg while keeping hips forward.
4. Maintain length through your spine and strong abdominals as you return to standing and bring your back leg into a knee drive.
5. Gently rotate over your knee.
6. Reset your posture and repeat.
7. Have fun!
This week's move of the week is another slam movement - The Low to High Lateral Slam.
In this movement we will be starting in a low split stance position, just like last week, but this week we are going to move laterally, or sideways, to land in a high split stance position.
You've probably noticed a lot of talk about our glutes and lats working together, and the important role that our obliques play in our movement.
This week we are going to be working more on learning how to create length and tension through the lats and obliques as well as the opposite side glute. The combination of these major muscles used in sequence creates an explosive and powerful movement leading into your slam. We will also be focusing on creating proper rotation over the front foot... and in particular not OVER rotating. The set up of your starting stance is KEY to nailing this movement.
The big focus that the whole team will be coaching is follow through of the slam. Notice how Bree's arms move past her hips as she powerfully slams through the contraction of her lats and obliques before loading her glute again to facilitate a nice clean lateral movement back to the starting position.
This is a fun movement and I look forward to hearing how you notice how this movement influences how you move both inside and outside of the gym!
4/18 - Low to High Lateral Slam - Movement of the Week Explainer by Allison Hopkins
Here's your checklist:
1. Starting in a low split stance position rotate slightly over the front foot.
2. Lengthen through your lat and oblique (back leg side) by slightly shrugging the shoulder and bringing your elbow up over your head like you're trying to smell your arm pit.
3. Begin to contract your lat and oblique as you load the glute on the opposite side of the body preparing for your powerful lateral step.
4. Using all of these muscles together, laterally step, landing in a TALL split stance position, and SLAM the ball.
5. Be sure to FOLLOW THROUGH.
6. REGROUP and repeat.
7. Have fun!
The goal of this movement is to have ONE powerful rep at a time. I challenge you to check in after each slam and reset your starting position so that you are set up for success in your next rep. It takes a lot of discipline to slow down and focus on QUALITY over QUANTITY and this movement is going to give you a lot of practice (and a lot of reward) if you accept my challenge!
This month we are excited to be celebrating Melissa Wedge as our Client of the Month.
Melissa first began training with Wilcox Wellness & Fitness in Bangor where Mike & Paige Wilcox originally started the business. In 2019 Allison Hopkins opened the Brunswick location of Wilcox Wellness & Fitness with the support of Mike & Paige. Coincidentally, the opening of the Brunswick location coincided with Melissa and her husband Will’s move to the Brunswick area to be closer to their grandchildren. At first Melissa split her time between Brunswick and Bangor, and after their home was built in Brunswick she joined the Brunswick Wilcox Community full time.
Moving can be an incredibly stressful time, and to add an extra twist to Melissa’s move, she and her husband were also building a house and managing a business in the Bangor region. The commitment that Melissa made to herself, and to her overall health & fitness was admired by the Wilcox team right from the start!
Melissa remembers getting started at Wilcox in Bangor and feeling like she was just getting established when she and Will began their transition to Brunswick. Despite how hectic it was commuting back and forth Melissa knew that regular training was the key to her success.
There’s a lot to look forward to at camp this summer, knowing that she has the energy to play with her grandchildren and most importantly….keep up!
At Wilcox Wellness & Fitness our mission is to inspire you to enhance your life by forming healthy habits that you can sustain for a lifetime. Sustainability is key to lifestyle change and Melissa, like many of us, has experienced that first hand. For her it can be easy to slip into an all or nothing mindset. She has done well in the past following strict nutrition and training programs, but hasn’t found them to be sustainable long term. Melissa continues to work on her biggest obstacle of feeling confident in relaxing her expectations and embracing a mindset around making good healthy choices the majority of the time, and not allowing the less frequent choices to indulge to slide into additional “bad choices”. Melissa works on this area by continuing to be gentle with herself, reminding herself that fitness is a journey and a lifestyle, and continuing to practice mindful indulgences without feeling like these occasional choices have ruined her progress.
We just love how honest Melissa is with herself and with us! Lifestyle change is a journey and it takes a lot of practice. It’s not easy committing to health & fitness habits, but it’s also not easy to face chronic health issues, lack of balance and stability, or worrying about injuring yourself when you play with your kids or grandkids.
We are so proud of you Melissa! Thank you for being a part of the Wilcox Community and for being such an inspiration to us all. Keep up the great work!
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.