This weeks focus will be all about our split stance. The great thing about this move is we can modify it in so many different ways! This makes this lateral bosu hop a great foundational movement to get comfortable with. It's important for us to be able to move laterally with strength and ease as this helps us be more mobile in our everyday life. To have a well rounded, working, moving body, we need to work it in all directions. This week will be a great opportunity on creating power and stability through lateral movement.
There are a few key components we will be focusing on in this lateral hop. First, strong footwork and knowing where your feet are in space. We will feel uncoordinated and clumsy if you don't have a solid foundation of the split stance and bracing through the floor. Landing softly but with strong engagement will help protect our body from aches and pains but also get you to move faster on your feet.
Posture is everything! Without proper posture you won't be able to connect to your thoracic rotation effectively. This inhibits you from activating your core and lats to help stabilize and move through your upper body. Footwork and posture will help you reach success with this movement.
Create power by pushing off the bosu, this will connect you to your outer glute. This will then connect you to our opposite side lat and core through rotation to pull you the rest of the way through the lateral hop. This is our cross body connection that you have been focusing on the last few weeks. When we manage to move our whole body together we work more efficiently and safely.
After landing on the floor we are looking for instant ground tension that will help us spring off of our feet into a quick switch step in our split stance. This is where your power will come from. If you don't have solid connection to your split stance the switch can feel clumsy and awkward. We will always be thoracically rotating over the front leg to help pull us through the movement with our core.
As the week progresses look to push yourself in how far you can laterally hop. See how soft you can land in your split stance while also creating ground tension. The more connections we make the quicker you can get with this movement. Then we can add even more fun variations in to help keep that brain working!
Here's your checklist:
The renegade row with rotation is going to test your plank stability, and how strong you are in your thoracic rotation. This move should be extremely difficult only maintaining your plank for a few reps. One of the biggest goals is PACE, we want this move to be as slow and controlled as you can make it. The pace is going to help make this move extremely challenging, forcing you to make strong connections, keep control, and work hard throughout your whole body.
There are a few key components we are focusing on when doing this move. One of them is the crossbody connection through our plank. As we start to pull into your row our opposite side glute and leg will do most of the work to stabilize. It is important to push both feet firmly into the ground to keep your hips from shifting but you will feel great tension through your glute across your back and into your rowing lat. The stronger you make this connection the more stability you will create, which will also translate in how we should naturally move.
Even though this move doesn't look like we are moving much there is still a push/pull happening through our upper body. As we ‘pull’ into our row through the lat the opposite reaction is to 'push' down through the floor through the chest. This connection will help to engage the obliques and bring our ribcage back into space for our rotation. This move is extremely difficult to do and it is this connection that is going to allow you to be able to succeed in your rotation without moving too fast or letting the hips rotate.
This week will be great for focusing on core stability in your plank. Remembering that our perfect posture carries through even when we are on the ground. In a plank we should be getting as much of our body activated as possible. The core will be working the hardest but everything else is also engaged at the same time. When your whole body is engaged this allows us to work on our stability, helping to not rock our hips back and forth, keep our lower back safe, and activating specific muscles to hold us properly when standing upright.
The renegade row will be done with very light weight and a strong focus on being slow and controlled. The more deliberate you are the more intention we can create the more successful you will be. This is a great opportunity to work on mobility through your thoracic spine, the crossbody connection through your lat and glute, and the push/pull happening on either side of the body. Take your time to take REST when you need it. Reset as many times as needed to find your best form and give your best rep.
Here's your checklist:
This week we are taking our crossbody swing up a level! You may ask yourself in a session why do we do these weird moves? How does this help me in my everyday life? I don't move like this outside the gym so what's the point? All very valid questions!
As we start to progress in our split stance and make better connections to our body this helps us walk and move better by activating the proper muscles we should be using. When we use the proper muscles this reduces risk of injury that comes from muscle and joint dysfunction, and allows us to be more mobile through life.
When we lack thoracic spine mobility there is a high risk you will experience back or shoulder pain due to over use of your joints. Additionally, we want the supportive muscles of our core - the lats, core, and glutes to fire properly so that we can move freely and optimally.
To help in continuing to create these pathways we need to make the brain work by having to focus on proper form and engagement. When we push ourselves in our sessions to get out of our comfort zone both mentally and physically we can then recorrect bad habits, pathways, and dysfunction. This then leads us to moving more optimally in our everyday life. This doesn't mean we want you pushing past your limits that you end up hurting yourself. Foundation always comes first and bringing it back to basics is always good. As you work through the Move of the Week we start at the basics and gradually work your way up to your best ability.
This upcoming Move of the Week is no different. We will continue to work on our thoracic rotation by creating more depth into the crossover swing. We will also be focusing on the push-pull of our upper body. Whether we are using resistance one side or both there is always a push pull happening. With two dumbbells this will give you an opportunity to feel both sides of your body working. As one dumbbell pushes away from you into the swing the other is being pulled into a row. This will also help you move through your thoracic rotation. This is a great move that we can do from a tall standing position to limit range of motion if you need to focus on proper activation and safety through joints. You can always challenge yourself to deepen your hinge and rotation which will help you find momentum and rhythm through the movement. Allowing you to find connection through your whole body as you move.
This weeks move will help you continue learning how to properly swing through movements, creating power and momentum. It will also provide an opportunity to continue to work on the natural push/pull of our body, and creating a strong connection to our lats, core and glutes. As you get the hang of this move you will start to feel the natural flow and rhythm of walking and rotating. Being able to activate your whole body in one fluid movement. We will take this move slowly and continue to build upon the foundational steps in the beginning of the week and working our way up to where you feel most confident in your abilities, allowing you to get a little stronger, a little more mobile, a little more pain free with every session! You've go this!
Here's your checklist:
1. Starting in your split stance with your best standing posture. Find your lats to hold your dumbbell on each side.
2. As you punch out think of your chest following your swing to create a natural thoracic rotation coming into your cross body swing.
3. Coming out of your hinge we will create a crossbody connection to push through our glute and pull back into our row carrying us forward.
4. As we pull into the row simultaneously punch our with your other hand to create your push/pull on each side of your body.
5. Repeat and find a nice walking rhythm as you move forward through your swing and rows. Have fun!
This weeks move is taking what we learned from last week and continuing to advance the movement. This week we will be adding a cross body swing which will continue to require us to follow the momentum of the up and over on the box. Using our thoracic rotation and bend in this move will carry us through into the 180 degree rotation. The rotation will feel easier and easier the more we can let our body follow the momentum of the swing.
This will take a lot of focus on our thoracic rotation to complete this move effectively. To get the cross body swing our hips need to maintain their position as we thoracically rotate over our front leg using our core and lat to help us maintain our posture. This will help us protect our lower back and shoulders. The arm should feel like it's doing little to no work as the momentum is going to help us during the swing. Imagine your arm is a string and the dumbbell is just an extension at the end allowing us to make a pendulum through the air.
We have been practicing the up and over on the box for a while now. Being able to trust our feet and know where the box is underneath us will help to provide the power and footwork to switch our feet back and forth. Staying center over the box will help with efficiency and connecting to our glute. Our glute and legs are super powerful and once connected to them these muscles will take care of us and our footwork.
It can be intimidating having our upper body move in one direction while the lower body is doing something else, but once you find the flow of the movement it should feel like the whole body is working as one. Leaving you to move freely and have fun with this movement. Take what you have already gained from this past week to continue advancing your movement and connection.
Here's your checklist:
1. Starting position is the same as a split stance row on the ground.
2. Stay centered over the stair stepper to find your best posture and center of balance.
3. Use your free hand to create a push/pull of your body to build momentum, allowing you to get over the box.
4. Pushing through your glute on the stair stepper helps us make the full body connection in this movement making everything work together.
5. Listen to how your body is feeling and that is where these connections will happen naturally. Without even having to think about it you will be floating over that box in no time! Have Fun!
This week's movement will be a great time to practice all of that lat, core, and glute connection that you have been practicing over the last couple weeks in this more explosive press. As we get into more conditioning movements it is easier to lose focus and connection. Being able to perform movements under higher intensity allows us to deepen our connection and find our faults so we can then correct and get better. Every time we correct an old habit we form new pathways and that is where we start to see success in our strength and mobility.
The opposite push pull connection across our body will be one of our biggest focuses this week. Even though the dumbbell is only in one hand we should be working just as hard, if not harder, with our free guiding hand. This is where our power is going to come from. Just like pulling into a row with our bungee we want to imagine we are pulling through our row rotation to help give us power to pull us up and over the box. While we are pulling through our lat and core we are simultaneously pushing through our planted stair foot using our glute to drive us off the box. Our pressing hand is also using our lat in a different direction to push us into an overhead press. WOW that was a lot! When we break this movement down you will notice that it is the same exact connections you have been working so hard on over the last couple weeks with our rows and alternating our feet with our rows and presses.
The more we connect to these muscles the easier movement becomes, moving efficiently over the box and into the press. When we do this move correctly your shoulder and back should feel great. If they aren't we need to check in on our timing, pattern, and how we are connected to our body. This is a great move to slow down first, work on those connections, and then pick that intensity up as you get comfortable. The base move of getting up and over the box is very familiar so now we are just adding a challenge of a press to our timing. Good luck you've got this!
Here's your checklist:
1. 90% of our weight should be centered over the foot on the stair stepper. This is also what side the dumbbell should start on.
2. Your free hand is extended into a press position imagine you are holding onto a bungee and about to pull into your row to gain lat tension.
3. Pull through your lat and core to start the movement, pulling into your rotation and creating momentum to pull you over the box.
4. Pushing through the glute over the stair stepper and through the lats into the dumbbell press to create a crossbody connection
5. Set yourself up for success and you will find the flow before you know it! Have fun!
This weeks move of the week is really going to test all of the little nuances to our split stance row & press. I love this variation of the movement because we usually focus on moving the upper body and bracing through the lower body. This week we are going to have to keep that tension through the upper body in order to move our feet position without letting that band pull us around. It's a great challenge to the core and how much stability we can create through our push and pull.
This move is similar to last week where we want to create as much tension as possible to help create stability and strength through the proper channels throughout the body. Such as; cross body lat to glute connection, mobility through thoracic spine, elevation and expanding the rib cage, and full body functionality are all ways we can see these pieces come together. When we learn to do these "simpler" movements to our best ability it makes the more complicated sequences easier to learn and to connect with.
When performing this movement we will want to make as much connection to our glute as possible before we rotate into our row and press, followed by holding our core, lats, and chest tension as much as possible to switch our feet. This will result in constant work as we challenge ourselves to disconnect the movement at our hips, working our lower body and upper body at different times to coordinate this sequence of moves.
Make this move challenging for yourself. This is a great opportunity to test out what you have been learning. Get a little more tension on the band to help fire up those muscles! If this feels easy we need to find that extra effort to make those connections. Slow down the movement to recognize the sequence of steps and what you feel with each movement. This will help our body to learn what we are asking of it so we will continue to learn to move better. During our training sessions we are learning to move efficiently through the proper muscles and not just muscling through it. This is where we see injury and pain. Recorrecting those pathways brings success, strength, and moving better in our everyday life.
Here's your checklist:
1. Posture! This move will be a lot of core work. Strong posture and elevation will allow us to hold the necessary tension we need to move our feet.
2. Small Strides in our split stance will allow us to maintain strong connection to the ground.
3. Slightly hinge to feel those glutes kick in and help with our tailbone tuck to get our lower abdominals activated.
4. Take your time moving. Setting yourself up to brace will allow you to control the bungee tension.
5. See how much tension you can create for yourself! Have fun!
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!
Move of the Week: Yearly Wrap-Up
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!
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.
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!
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.