Pre-Training Activation Series
As we come into the 2nd half of the year we are going to change up the pre-training movements, which you will perform before each of your training sessions!!
Mike Wilcox has recorded a follow-along video of the movements, which play on the big screen in the warm up area, providing guidance around each movement as you learn them.
We will also continue to practice each of these movements in our group training session warm ups the first week of each month in order to help you familiarize yourself with the mechanics of each movement and refine your practice.
As always, getting to the gym 10-15 minutes early is important to your overall success. The movements we have chosen are familiar and provide a ton of value when it comes to learning how your body moves! We also designed this version of our Pre-Training Activation Sequence to be super-efficient.
GOOD NEWS: You can get a tremendous amount of benefit from just 3 minutes of quality practice.
Here are the most important aspects of performing these movements:
This week we are going to be working on The Ball Slam as our Move of the Week. The ball slam is a super fun movement that challenges great posture, cardiovascular endurance, and helps to develop the ability to create a power through movement.
Over the course of this week we will explore a variety of ball slam variations. In every variation we will work on maintaining a stable connection with the floor through our feet, creating length through our spine, using our abdominal muscles to help us control the slam in the movement, and using our breath to support a powerful movement.
People love the ball slam. It's a lot of fun, a great way to burn off some steam, and a very effective exercise. I look forward to exploring variations of the ball slam with you over the next week and helping to create power through your movement.
Here's your checklist:
1. Start with tall posture, and the ball over head.
2. Exhale as you hinge through the hips to slam the ball to the ground.
3. Follow through on the movement, driving the arms past the hips.
4. Catch the ball and repeat with tall posture.
5. Have fun!
This month we are so happy to be celebrating
Julie Wagoner as our Client of the Month!
Osteoporosis causes bones to become weak and brittle, so brittle that a fall or even mild stresses such as bending over or coughing can cause a fracture, so this is a serious condition. Luckily, lifting weights can help protect your bones and prevent osteoporosis-related fractures. According to WebMD and other sources, studies show that strength training over a period of time can help prevent bone loss -- and may even help build new bone.
The split stance is a movement that we use in the gym to help us connect to our normal gait patterns, and bring awareness to compensations that impact how we move and eventually lead to injuries.
Committing to health and wellness has so many remarkable benefits, and Julie shares how she is recognizing many of these benefits after just 6 months in our training program.
Amazing! We are so happy to be part of this fitness journey with Julie. It’s not just about getting strong in the gym. It’s about the impact that it has on daily life, allowing you to do everything that you want to do in life, free of limitations! That sounds amazing, doesn’t it? I want this for everyone, but I also realize how hard it is to get started in a program. It can feel really intimidating to get started in a fitness program, especially if it’s something you’ve never done before. I think you’d be surprised by how many people struggle with making that first step, but I want anyone reading this to know that we’re here to support you every step of the way. Our community is so unbelievably supportive and will help you feel welcome from the second you walk through the door, and our trainer team meets each person where they are, providing individualized guidance and support in the gym so that you can train with confidence.
Julie offered up some encouraging words for anyone who is contemplating this same worry.
"I was nervous to start too. However, I knew that given my osteoporosis, I really had to give my bones a reason to stick around and that meant strengthening my muscles. The nice thing about the Wilcox Wellness model is that each person can adapt to their own fitness level and special considerations. The direct coaching from the trainers helps to improve form and therefore results. I tried the two-week trial to start and that gave me an opportunity to overcome my fear of beginning again".
And we’re glad you did Julie! It’s been such a pleasure working with you, watching your incredible progress, and celebrating all of your accomplishments with you!
We’d love to help you reach your goals too! Join our Free two-week trial just like Julie did. It’s a great way to make that first step with no long term obligation, and I’m confident that you’ll be glad that you did. For more information visit www.wilcoxwellnessfitness.com/gift.
The Row - Move of the Week 5/16
This week we are going to continue our focus on some foundational movements. We will be working on The Row this week with a few important areas of attention.
The row is an exercise that targets the lat muscle. The lat is a large flat muscle that stretches to your sides on the back and behind the arm. It's an important muscle for movement of the shoulder and also involved in respiration.
When doing a row we want to make sure that we're actually exercising the lats. Our focus as of late is to avoid squeezing the shoulder blades together. This creates unnecessary tension in the middle back and can lead to discomfort, and ultimately doesn't engage the lat muscle in an effective way. We have also been focusing on not over rowing / driving the elbow too far past the torso, because when we do this we lose the connection to the lat and lose the benefits associated with the exercise.
When doing an excellent row our shoulder blades should remain flat. They should not be "chicken winging", which happens when we over row or squeeze our shoulder blades together.
Success in a row is all in the set up. During this week we are going to focus on protracting our shoulder blades, a fancy way of saying that we are going to start of intentionally rounding our shoulders, and then pushing our chest forward to lengthen through the spine into great posture. From there we will focus on keeping the chest and ribs elevated and the spine long while rowing to the point where our elbows come into line with our shoulders. We will also work on feeling the connection to our lats so that we can elevate the types of movements that we use for rowing with success by creating strong brain body connections.
Here's your checklist:
1) With arms straight, protract the shoulder blades
2) Bring the chest forward to create length through the spine and flatten the back.
3) Elevate the ribs off of the hips and make sure shoulders are down and away from the ears.
4) Bend through the elbows, pulling into the row until your elbow is in line with your shoulders, being careful to not over row.
5) Listen to your body and try to feel the sensation of your lats contracting.
6) Straighten the arms to release the row and reset as needed.
7) Have fun!
This week we are going to continue our focus on the fundamentals of movement and work on our plank, progressing to a push up over the course of the week.
A great pushup always starts with a perfect plank. If we aren't effectively braced through our whole body we will put all of the pressure on our neck and shoulders, which causes lots of problems over time, not only in one's inability to perform a great pushup, but also in terms of injury and discomfort.
The primary muscle used in a pushup is the pecs or chest muscles, but our lats are also an important muscle that will help to stabilize us as we lower down into the push up. We are also utilizing our core muscles to stabilize our torso and protect the low back, and our legs and glutes to create tension through the whole body and prevent all of our weight being concentrated to our neck and shoulders.
When setting up a plank we want to make sure that our hands are under our chest and shoulders, our hips are slightly elevated with a tailbone tuck, and our toes / balls of our feet are making strong contact with the floor. By pushing through our feet we will be engaging our quads and glutes and feeling tension through the whole body.
We also want to focus on our breath in both planks and pushups. In a plank we want to maintain steady breath. In a pushup, we inhale as we lower down, and then exhale as we press away from the floor. Think about using your breath to blow yourself up off the floor.
When practicing a great push up remember that how low you go to the floor isn't as important as maintaining (and practicing) proper form. As you practice using your whole body to support a great push up you'll build confidence in getting lower into the movement over time.
Here's your checklist:
1) Hands under shoulders and chest
2) Slight elevation of hips and tailbone tuck
3) Elevate through ribs and engage through the abdominals
4) Feet have strong connection to the floor
5) Use your breath - inhale down / exhale up
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.