This weeks move of the week is all about momentum. To end the week our goal is to be able to comfortably be able to do a single arm kettlebell swing. When we use momentum in our movements we take pressure off our joints and learn how to properly move our body in space instead of fighting against the weight. Movements that create momentum is an optimal way to practice functional fitness. With momentum we create elevation and lengthening through the body. Helping us to carry ourselves taller, stronger, and create control through our movements. This also creates a great mind body connection of knowing where your body is in space and how to interact with the fluidity of a movement. When using momentum our body should feel fluid and well connected so if we feel awkward, out of control, or feel like we are fighting with the weight we are most likely not moving correctly and need to re-adjust.
With a single arm kettlebell swing we want to create power through our glutes and core to lift the weight up in front of us. This creates momentum to let the kettlebell raise up in front of us, allowing us to switch hands while the kettlebell is in the air, comfortably and with ease. We will start to feel our lower back and shoulder tension when we try to lift with our arms instead of letting the momentum created by our hips and glutes to pull us up through the movement. This type of movement allows us to lift heavier weight than we can comfortably lift because we are creating the force through our whole body instead of just one specific muscle.
This week we will be focusing on many different types of momentum movements helping us create that fluidity through different muscle groups and work on the timing and sequence of exercises. Always starting with good foot work, and working through our best posture to stay tall and elevated with our abdominals activated, will help us be successful with these movements. Remember if it feels like a struggle, awkward, or just not right, that is a good sign something is wrong and we want to reset and try again. This week is going to provide great opportunity to really listen to our bodies and make those connections.
Here's your checklist:
1. Keep feet connected to the floor to create stability - you are a tree growing roots into the ground
2. Always start with our best posture to create a strong baseline connection and activated abdominal muscles.
3. Power in our hinge comes from our glutes and core.
4. Don't fight the movement let it carry you through.
5. Relax and let the weight do the work! Have fun!
Taking a simple movement and elevating it to make it harder all by putting some intention behind it. That is what this weeks move of the week is all about. We are going to take an up and over on the stair stepper and add a dumbbell rotation. The challenging part about this will be focus on foot work and really trying to connect to our core and pull through our thoracic rotation. Getting a little heavier in weight with this move should help make it a good core burner and really elevate the cardiovascular effort.
We want to time the rotation to be slightly before we move our feet, allowing us to pull ourselves over the stepper with our core, simultaneously pushing off of our lead foot. This is creating a crossbody connection from our lat to opposite glute, along with a pull across our core. We want to be thinking about pulling our ribcage back into space over our lead foot. As we come over the stair stepper we want to land in our split stance and in our rotation at the same time, pulling our feet together to find additional effort in the movement. This will be great practice in keeping the dumbbell right in front of our chest and making our core do the work instead of our shoulders. Creating a timing component of our feet moving slightly faster than our rotation, our whole body will be on fire but the end of this movement.
This will be a great challenge on the mind body connection. The more you connect the more you will feel a full body fatigue faster and faster. Within 20 seconds we want to feel pretty smoked and looking for a break. Remember that shorter bursts of more efficient work will give us better results than slogging through moves with bad quality and form. Test yourself to see how challenging you can make this move!
Here's your checklist:
1. Posture: Maintain connection through the floor and core
2. Cross body connection: Efficiently pushing and pulling through the lats and glutes
3. This should be intense so find that effort!
4. Take rests when needed! You are working hard when you need to stop sooner.
5. Enjoy the burn!
We are taking all of our split stance foundational moves and making them into one movement. This week will be a great week to test out how strong you are connecting with your split stance and up through your core to your best posture. This is one of those movements that takes all of the ground work you've been focusing on and putting a new challenge onto it.
Over the last quarter of the year we have been focusing on our split stance connection from our feet all the way up to our head. Whether you have been taking the time and initiative to practice the pre-activation warm up before each session or creating that focus in your sessions you have seen these moves over and over again.
This move WILL test our footwork, posture and core stability, and being able to connect to our full body throughout the movement. When we lose the ground work of stability we will find the bungee pulling us around, losing our balance, and the move feeling very clunky and awkward.
This is a great challenge to elevate our split stance that we have been continuing to work on. Focus on one thing at a time and know that you are more than capable of putting all of these pieces together!
Here's your checklist:
1. Footwork: Make sure we are connecting through our feet for stability and muscle engagement
2. Posture: Connecting to our core to maintain elevation and control
3. Watch your row! Where is your elbow in space?
4. Use your whole body to rotate into your press
5. One step at a time (literally) you've got this!
We are so delighted to be celebrating Mary Bouchard as our September Athlete of the Month. Mary has been training with us since the very beginning of the Wilcox Brunswick location back in January 2019 and we have just loved being part of Mary’s journey, and her a part of ours.
Like many of our clients she is a mother, a daughter, and a dedicated employee. She is committed to the people who she loves and to being the best that she can be in all aspects of her life. This means that life can get busy at times, causing her to be a bit less consistent for a week or two, but she always gets right back on track as soon as the other needs of her life are taken care of.
Having the opportunity to work closely with Bree 1:1 each week provides her with the space to push herself a bit further out of her comfort zone and continue to develop new understandings of how she can challenge herself.
This week's move will be focused on an up and over split stance slam to rotational knee drive. Our focus here is to continue working through the thoracic spine in multiple directions while also keeping our hips in place. When we move through our thoracic spine this includes our chest and torso area being the only thing to move. By keeping the hips in place we will create better connections through the obliques and lats, allowing us to create power through the movement. Additionally, we want to create intention about knowing where our hips are in space and making sure we aren't rotating through the lumbar spine (lower back) for safety.
In this movement we will be placing our foot up onto a box creating a position that makes it easier to keep our hips forward so that we can really focus on our rotation over that raised leg, connecting with our obliques. We will then continue to focus on keeping the hips forward as we step that foot to become the backward foot in our split stance, and reversing our rotation over the new front foot.
As we raise the elbow to lengthen through our lat on the opposite side of our rotation we are also contracting through the oblique into the rotation. As we raise the ball up in front of our face we will reverse our split stance one more time as we bring the ball up and over into a slam. From here we are set back up to raise our back foot up onto the box and back into rotation.
This is a fun, fluid movement provides us with a great opportunity to practice some fundamentals of thoracic movement in multiple planes of motion. We are focusing on rotation over our leg without moving the hips, and we are focusing upon lateral thoracic bend, connecting to our lats and obliques. We also have the chance to continue to practice our foot work, understanding where our feet are in space and maintaining a hip width stance, and normal walking stride as we hop our feet, reversing our stance as we work through the movement.
Our core is our main mover of our body. Without it we would be incapable of doing most things. Just about everything we do in life through movement takes effort from our core. When we pair this with thoracic mobility and increasing our range of motion we see huge improvements in all other areas of our body. This can be reducing or eliminating back and shoulder pain. When our core is strong we can move through life the way we please. We continue to strengthen our core by being conscious of our posture and elevation through all movements we do.
Here's your checklist:
This week's movement is a great way to add a traditional strength movement and make it into a full body functional movement. When we work more dynamically we form better pathways from our brain to our body, strength in all ranges of motion, and coordination to help us move through everyday life more efficiently. While a bicep curl is a great way to load the biceps and create muscle mass, it is also only working this muscle in one dimension resulting in strength in one dimension. Working it into a more functional movement pattern helps build strength in the muscle and better connections throughout the whole body.
We will start in a split stance with our front foot planted on the same side as our bicep curl with a slight thoracic rotation over the front foot. In our starting stance we are pulling the floor together with our front foot fully planted and the back foot pulling through the ball of our foot with the heel raised. This creates a strong base of support while connecting to the floor. As we work our way up we should have a soft bend to our knees and a slight hinge. This will create more activation through our legs, and the hinge will allow us to engage our glutes, tuck our tail bone, and engage our lower abdominals. Elevating the ribs up off the hips as much as possible will help to contribute to the rest of our core engaging and elongating through our spine, creating our best posture and elevation. Keeping our shoulders down and head back in space we are now ready to step laterally while slightly rotating over our front foot in our bicep curl by pulling our ribcage back and rotating our ribs over our front leg to engage the oblique. These will be one of the most important steps in properly setting up and engaging our muscles to help us do the work efficiently and without aches and pains.
There is a bit of a timing component in this as we want our core to help lead us into the bicep curl and the lateral step. Stepping too early or curling too fast could result in the flow of this movement being messed up. We are bracing through out our whole body as much as we can while we pull into this curl making it a challenge that should leave you fatigued in just a few reps. Have fun getting those curls in and making those mind body connections!
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.