This weeks move of the week is all about slinging that sledgehammer around. You will feel like a professional lumberjack ready to chop all the wood by the end of this week. There are many variations of this movement you will be practicing to help you prepare for getting into an alternating split stance slam to finish off the week.
Some of our key steps we will be looking for in this move will closely relate to our pre-training techniques. The more you practice these moves the easier it will be to move that sledgehammer through space. The first one being foot work and being able to move fluidly in and out of your split stance with a strong connection to the floor and up through your legs. Knowing where to rotate and why will help us connect to our core. Maintaining your best posture to stay braced and balanced as the weight swings up and around you.
This will be a great challenge to test your stability through your posture and yield big power coming down into the slam. A strong powerful movement that should feel fluid and effortless on the shoulders and arms as the whole body works with you to move the weight around. There will be challenges to timing and where to find control in the movement, but taking our time to learn and connect to our body will make all the difference.
Have fun swinging that weight around and feel powerful with what your body is capable of!
Here's your checklist:
1. Strong split stance connecting to the floor by feeling the pull through your feet
2. Best posture to connect to your core, finding balance and stability
3. Thoracic rotation will be key to good mobility
4. Movement should feel fluid, listen to your body for sticky spots
5. Become your best lumberjack self! Have fun!
Move of the Week - Dumbbell Split Stance Swing to Step Overhead Press with Rotation - 10/24
This weeks move on the week is going to test those small connections we are always looking for in the gym. These small corrections may feel tedious and maybe even sometimes unimportant, but they lead to the biggest changes in how we carry ourselves in our everyday life. When we recorrect years of bad habits and bad movement we find ourselves in less pain, moving more freely, and feeling better in every aspect of our life.
Some of the major goals we are working on with this split stance swing is going to be footwork. Making sure we are planting our feet correctly through the hinge to swing. Our stride should be making us feel grounded and strong helping us with stability and able to engage proper muscles. One thing we will be cueing the most is making sure the back heel doesn't hit the ground as we come into our swing. Making sure our front leg is doing the work to drive us forward through our glute to get us to our overhead press standing position. As we step forward we will pull those feet together to help brace and make us stand tall and stable.
Next we will be looking for our best elevation and posture. This helps us move through our full range of motion more fluidly and help protect our joints like our shoulder and back. When we elevate this helps us naturally connect to our core and be able to brace through the swing making sure we are still in control of the movement. Coming into the hinge, elevation means we aren't dropping our chest to the floor. As we step through into the press, elevation will help us stand tall, not flair our ribs, and get a nice clean press overhead without overworking our shoulder. Elevation is key in all movement to be successful in relieving joint pain.
This move also provides a good opportunity to continue working on sequence. We will work on fluid movement through the swing to step press, pause, and then work on our thoracic rotation. Maintaining tall posture, pulling back through space with our rib cage, over the front leg to create a strong core connection before going back into our swing.
This swing will give us a great opportunity to continue practicing something we are familiar with but also add a challenge to finding those small changes and continuing to work on our compensations. Take the time to really engage with this movement and understand what we are feeling, what we should be feeling, and how to make those small changes to find that mind body connection.
Here's your checklist:
1. Start in your best split stance and posture
2. Focus on the front leg in the swing being the main driver
3. Take time at the top to work on your thoracic rotation
4. Feel the momentum of the movement to pull you through the step
5. Have fun learning!
This weeks move we want to focus on sequence. There is a sequence or pattern to every movement that we do both in and out of the gym. Our walk or run is a sequence just as much a sequence as a split stance slam to rotating wall slam or any more complicated move we might think up here in the gym. Sometimes they are more fluid and we flow through each movement seamlessly and sometimes we make them choppy and deliberate. This week is all about breaking each piece down and being deliberate about each move we make. This puts intention behind our movement, creates better brain-body connections, and helps us progress in those more fluid sequences.
When we are creating intention around a movement it's to help us connect to the proper muscles. When we engage properly our muscles learn to respond faster, stronger, and better than before. You may find this example in just learning any movement. The more you practice the better you feel doing it, and this is not because you instantly got stronger in that moment. It's because your body is learning the sequence and how it should be moving, and with those stronger connections our bodies respond more quickly and efficiently, allowing us to flow through the movement with more grace. This is why we put so much emphasis on our split stance and being able to build onto them.
The move this week is going to put great emphasis on our cross body lat to glute connection. As we start to pull across our body expand your chest, hold a strong elevation and find that lat. This will be the most important step as everything after is based on holding that lat strong and maintaining proper posture.
Stepping in and out of our split stance and then pulling into the rotational swipe are all moves we have done before in the gym. In this sequence will create great tension throughout the whole body and recognizing where we need to brace in order to pull through the movement correctly. As we come into the rotational swipe we will focus on the push pull on each side of our body. Maintaining the row and pull through the lat on one side while we push through the chest in our press with the other hand. Each side is working hard to make this movement fluid not allowing other muscles (like our shoulders and lower back) to do the work for us.
The challenge of this movement will come from slowing things down and really creating intention behind what you are feeling and how you are moving. Not every movement needs to be fast and honestly most movement shouldn't be fast until you have the form down and know you are connecting to the right muscle groups. This is a great opportunity to really think about what your body is feeling, know where it is going, and understanding what you are trying to accomplish as you move in an awkward chopped up movement. The more we get muscles to fire correctly the better we will move in our everyday life.
Here's your checklist:
1. Start in a strong split stance finding connection to your glute and core
2. Expand your chest as you elevate helping find the lat as you row
3. ONE step at a time there are 6 steps from beginning position and back
4. Think about your push-pull on each side of your body
5. Slow down and make those connections!
This weeks move of the week is putting our footwork and power to the test! With this lateral step wall slam to rotational floor slam there will be lots to think about. The reason we do more complicated sequences is because this helps the body really process and understand why we are moving the way we are. It forces us to slow things down and recognize the sequence of movements. This type of movement helps us in everyday life by forming those new connections and making the body work a little more cohesively. When we make the body work harder in difficult movements it makes the simple movements even more fluid!
Even though it looks like a lot to think about in this movement it also involves all moves that we have been practicing for months in the gym! It's all about taking those small pieces we have been practicing and putting them together. Remember that the more we can break down each movement the better and more cohesive this movement will feel. This is where slowing the movement down and taking it one step at a time will help you progress faster to being able to get that power into each slam.
Just like every movement we do one of our main focuses will be the split stance and working on our best posture starting. This starts with our feet connecting with the floor and working our way up through elevation of the ribs, creating a strong core engagement. Your core engagement will benefit you in this move, bringing you power and will help you move fluidly. It will also protect you from overuse of your shoulders and keep that lower back pain free. This is a great time to practice and feel the difference between a thoracic rotation where we are rotating around our core like a cylinder pulling through the obliques and pulling the rib cage back into space, and the over head thoracic bend where we are working on the lengthening and contracting of our obliques and lats. Both of these movements work our spine, making it more mobile and strengthening these muscles helps with our posture and moving through everyday life moving our very best and feeling like our best self.
Even though this movement has a big coordination component it is all moves that you have done and seen before. Remember to take a deep breath, set up in your very best split stance, bring your best posture, and take one step at a time! This will be a rewarding powerful movement that will let you get your "slam on" leaving you feeling accomplished with all the work you've been putting into your training!
Keys to success:
1. Footwork: always landing in your split stance, pulling those feet together for stability
2. Posture: Maintain your best posture to let that core do the work for you
3. Slow it down and understand the sequence of movements
4. The more you use your core the more power you will create
5. Like a funky dance have fun learning those steps!
Kevin joined us in January 2021 after completing PT for his 2nd back surgery. His physical therapist at Accel PT recommended that he join a gym where he could focus on building core strength, learn how to move without using his back improperly, and build strength overall.
As a father of two young children Kevin wants to be an active participant with his family, enjoying those opportunities to play with the kids, be active during family vacations, and enjoying time skiing as a family during the winter months.
We were so excited to see Kevin’s confidence in signing up for this challenge, knowing that he is feeling strong and confident about conquering the obstacles involved. He plans to bring his family to join him and we look forward to having him alongside the team and celebrating this next super fun accomplishment.
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.