This week we really want to focus on that cross body connection through the lat and glute. This is an extremely important connection that impacts how efficiently we move through life. From walking, running, and throwing we will function better with a strong glute to lat connection. Just like the core it may not be a muscles you think about often as you move through life but they are always working. If these muscles aren't firing properly this is where we experience dysfunction and pain when we move and try to do things.
This move is a little different than how we have focused on our bungee row in the past. We will still set up in our rotation over our front leg and bungee on the opposite side. The difference is staying stationary for the rest of the row instead of stepping back into the row. This is going to help us to learn to make the connection through our lat and the opposite side glute first in preparation for eventually stepping back into the complete row.
This move should be extremely taxing on the glute, core, and lats when done correctly, with extreme focus on the thoracic rotation to come into a neutral position from our row. This is where the mind body connection from our hips will take place. As we start to rotate towards our row we want the opposite hip pushing forward to deepen the connection and hold our hips forward. This should increase connection through the glutes and down through the floor connection in your feet. Creating a strong hold all the way from your head down to your toes.
An exercise like this should only take a max of 5 reps before we are fatigued and need rest, making this a great opportunity to listen to our body and create discipline around what we are feeling. Moving slower is better and allows us to be deliberate about engagement. When we make those small corrections to our form we make corrections to how we move in the rest of our life. This is a great chance to recognize the value in getting 1% better every time you make that connection correctly.
You will hopefully leave from this move feeling like you worked your hardest, feeling stronger, more mobile, and more connected to your body. Break this move down to as many steps as you need to assure you are hitting all those key points. Good luck!
Here's your checklist:
1. Set up in your best split stance; front foot opposite of bungee hand, pulling the floor with our feet
2. Hinge through the hips to deepen glute connection. Tuck your tailbone to connect to your lower abdominals and elevate through the spine and get the front of your abdominals engaged.
3. Start in a slight rotation over the front foot and hold. This is where we will start the row.
4. Pulling through the lat into our row making sure to not allow our elbow to move passed our shoulder, keeping the shoulder blade as flat as possible.
5. After the row pull out of your rotation so your ribcage is in line with your hips. Maintain your row & lat connection as you do this. Push your hip forward on your bungee side to keep your hips in line.
6. Return back into the rotation and then release the row accomplishing one rep. This should be DIFFICULT. Remember 3-5 reps max to reach that fatigue.
7. Make those connections!! Good luck!
You have accomplished so much over this past year. Every one of you should be extremely proud for all the work you've put in. With every challenge comes new lessons learned. As you know, sometimes the hardest days are just getting through the door. Over time we learn that motivation wanes, life and everyday stresses take over, and sometimes that question of "why" is overwhelming, BUT you are here and you've made it another year. Working on being a better you every time you walk through those gym doors.
As you know we aren't just working our body in new ways here at the gym but also our brain through focus, making connections, coordination, and taking one step at a time. Slowly everything starts to feel a little more familiar, a little smoother, than the day before. This translates into how we deal with our life outside of the gym. When we feel our best by eliminating pain, moving more freely, and feeling confident in our body, we also feel better in our day to day life.
Over this year we have put major focus on thoracic mobility, connecting to our best standing posture, staying out of our shoulders and lower back, and connecting to as many body parts as we can. We have been waking up muscles you didn't even know you had or forcing your body to move in ways you didn't think were possible. Here you are doing all of it and then some!!
This upcoming week we are going to bring back many of the moves that you have been working on over this past year to help you realize all of the things you have learned. Things that may have been so difficult for you at one point may be feeling better than ever. Some moves may also be great indicators of where you could be focusing your attention. There is always something to work on and get that 1% better every time we hit the floor.
This time of year is a great time for reflection and I hope you reflect in all that you have accomplished in the gym. Moving better, becoming stronger, more coordinated, feeling better physically and mentally, or any other thing the gym as brought you.
Happy Holidays and we hope the New Year brings you many more fun challenges you can conquer!
End of the year wrap-up reflection:
1. How's your best standing posture from when you first started?
2. Think of all of the things you have accomplished!
3. What still needs work?
4. What are your goals going to be for the New Year coming into the gym?
5. Remember to have fun and even when things are difficult and frustrating it doesn't mean it will always be that way!
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 3-5 minutes of quality practice.
Here are the most important aspects of performing these movements:
This week we want to focus on correctly moving through our thoracic spine in our rotation and our thoracic bend. When we move properly through the thoracic spine we are less likely to hurt our back and shoulders. One of the biggest difficulties is knowing where our shoulders are in space and making sure we aren't shrugging through the movement but using our core and lats to help.
Keeping our shoulders in place through elevation and our best standing posture helps us to not overwork our shoulder joint. This translates into everyday life by staying away from rotator cuff injuries, strains, and impingements, helping us to stay mobile and strong. Keeping our shoulders in place by not shrugging or letting our shoulder blades wing helps us to use our muscles properly which allows us to get stronger and creating even more mobility in our thoracic spine. Even though these cues in a session can feel monotonous and hard to connect to it makes the world of difference for our skeletal structure and staying strong and healthy.
When we work through our rotations we should feel the majority of the work coming from our lats and core while also connecting down into our glutes through our split stance. These are the muscles that keep us moving and feeling good on a day to day bases. So as we approach this move with some complicated footwork and moving through our rotation and bend properly remember all of the health benefits and the WHY around what you are doing. We want to continue to feel and move better and we can do that by digging into the little nuances of movement. Making our body work in the most optimal capacity that it can.
There's not many things about this move that you haven't seen before, but we want to continue working on the little details. Working through our best standing posture, moving correctly, efficiently, and with purpose. This is how we feel better after every session and make that 1% progress each day. Before you know it your aches and pains are going away and you are moving freely through life without a second thought.
Here's your checklist:
1. Split stance best standing posture. Connect to as much of your body as possible specifically through the lats, abdominals, and glutes.
2. Soft protraction of your shoulder blades while maintaining your best elevation and thoracic tension to keep shoulder blades in place.
3. Pull through your lats and core to rotate and bend. Not too much range of motion is needed here to make these connections.
4. Shoulders stay low when we keep our arms close to our body. There's no need to extend all the way into a press (straight arms) with these movements.
5. Look for those little details and connections so you feel like your best self.
We are so excited to be celebrating Martha Fogler and Irwin Gross as this month’s Athlete’s of the Month.
Irwin started off working 1:1 with Bree while he rebuilt his strength & confidence in the gym. Over time he transitioned back into group training while occasionally scheduling a 1:1 with Bree to refine some of his skills.
This kind of commitment is what allows Martha and Irwin to live their very best life in defiance of their age. They recognize that their commitment allows them to move like they’re decades younger, but they don’t take it for granted. They know that a body in motion stays in motion, and a body at rest stays at rest. They both intend to stay in motion for as long as possible and have so much still to explore and enjoy.
This week we are continuing to work on our cross body swing. Last week we worked on foot work, how to lengthen through the swing in our thoracic bend and also finding activation in our crunch through the obliques and lats.
This week we are going to make things just a little more complicated because WHY NOT? It's a great way to continue testing our abilities and what we are capable of. You are already familiar with all of the pieces of this movement, and now we'll be pulling them all together in this coordinated movement, which will test our brain body connection even more. The more we continue to push our body to being uncomfortable the more we learn and the better we move.
The foot work and timing with this move will be important in helping us move fluidly and comfortably. This is one of those moves where really listening to your body and recognizing if something feel wrong and learning to adjust will serve you well as you progress through this movement. Making sure we aren't feeling any tension in our shoulders, overworking one muscle over another, ensuring that we're not feeling any lower back or any other joint pain is always important. Just like learning any other move, start light in weight, figure out the form first, and then start pushing yourself to test those muscles & coordination.
This is a great opportunity to work on our full body rotation and knowing where our feet are. This move will have a single leg full body rotation and a full body rotation moving both feet. Knowing where are feet are in space will be critical to nailing down this sequence. Take your time with each step and breaking it down.
The swing is just like last week where timing will be key to helping us pull into our row and press with the bungee. This is where the fluidity of the movement will come in as the momentum of the swing will pull us into our rotation and stabilize in the row to press.
Remember when you get lost along the way its always better to reset, find your best posture, and focus on one step at a time. These are all moves you've seen before, now just in a slightly more complex sequence.
Here's your checklist:
1. Find your lats! This is the biggest thing to staying out of your shoulders. Whether holding the dumbbell or the bungee, find your lats in you standing position first.
2. Let the momentum of the dumbbell pull you through your swing extending through your thoracic bend to maintain control.
3. Work on the timing. Wait for the swing to be past you to pull into the row. Creating the most momentum, least resistance, and most lat activation as you row.
4. Let those feet follow you! We want our hips to be turning with us into our row to press so power through the rotation is important!
5. Start slow, focus on what you do know, and add in the new things little by little. Have fun!
This week we will be continuing to work through our thoracic bend and creating length through the lateral side of our body. We will do this by working through our elevation of our rib cage on one side and crunching through our oblique on the other. We know from this past weeks movement that the thoracic bend can be a difficult movement to connect to with a lot of little pieces to think about. The thoracic bend is so important to our everyday life and being able to move through the thoracic spine freely in all directions. The more mobility we create, the better we will feel and move, along with reduced risk of injury to our shoulders and lower back. When we have strong thoracic mobility this also helps us connect to our posture and core, allowing us to hold ourselves taller and stronger.
Footwork will be a key component in this weeks move as we will need a solid base for stability and being confident with where are feet are going and landing. A soft hinge will be critical for staying connected to our glutes and pulling our feet together to stay grounded and strong all the way through the floor. The front foot is our driving foot where our power from the push off will come, while the back foot helps create stability and continue to hold our engagement.
Starting out in our row and thoracic bend we want to create lots of tension through our lat and core. This will ensure power comes from our side and not through our shoulders. We also have a lot more power from these muscles when we can properly connect to them. Using our lats and core to launch the weight out away from us will create momentum to pull us through our swing. As we swing we will follow the dumbbell across our body using the thoracic bend to lengthen through the swinging arm and crunch the obliques on the other side.
Timing and momentum are working with us as we start to swing back. We want the dumbbell to be almost past us to pull ourselves back through the lateral step and into the row. This will create a fluid momentum where we aren't ever fighting the dumbbell but letting it pull us through space and help us out. Feeling like we are pulling ourselves to the dumbbell and not the dumbbell to us. This will help us with reducing overuse of the shoulder and create efficiency through the whole body by working together in one fluid movement.
When we can really start to nail movements like this it opens our abilities up to do even more. Building onto movement and sequences is important for our body to keep on progressing. Building strength, endurance, and coordination along the way. So this move may feel frustrating and awkward at first, but by starting off slowly with the movement, connecting to each component, we will work together to build that 1% improvement each day, and before you know it you are doing moves that used to be brain breaking and now feel great and powerful, owning the movement and what your body is capable of.
Here's your checklist:
1. Start at the base! Work on the lateral split stance step making a strong connection to the floor, connecting to your glutes and bracing through your legs.
2. Posture is key! When we elevate and have good posture it is much easier to connect to our core and lats helping us with mobility through our t-spine
3. The thoracic bend is where our power will come from connection to your lats and obliques to help push the dumbbell around.
4. Timing will be critical to finding the fluidity of this movement to connect to the right muscles. Staying out of the shoulder to push the dumbbell around
5. Have fun! Get comfortable with the uncomfortable!
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.