This week we will be continuing our focus in the split stance and specifically the thoracic bend and using our core to help us move. The more mobility we have in our thoracic spine the more mobile we are throughout our whole body. Keeping us safe from pulling out our lower back and also taking the pressure off our shoulders to do the work. Thoracic mobility is a big indicator of our core strength and how able we are to move our thoracic spine using our core muscles and wrapping around to our back muscles. Our thoracic bend will engage our obliques (each side of stomach) and lats (biggest muscle in our back starting right behind the armpits). These muscles are huge but often lack the proper strength and coordination to do the work we need them to do. This results in overuse of shoulder and lower back movement that results in pain and injury.
Our activation training will be a huge help in this weeks move because it helps you make those mind body connection to your core as well as warming up the mobility in your thoracic spine before you even hit the gym floor. The more you become competent in these connections the better you will move and the better you will feel.
Starting off in our best split stance by having our feet properly connected to the floor we will work our way up the body, creating tension to ensure that our glute is firing, holding us stable and ready to push us forward. The glute is extremely important in preventing back pain. A small hinge with an intentional tailbone tuck will help you engage your glute while also pulling your lower core in to help engage and stabilize. Working our way up the body finding your oblique crunch on the side of your front leg you are now ready to push forward through the step using your glute and pulling through the elongated side into our next oblique bend. It should feel like your core is doing most of the work to help propel you forward and stay stable. From here, going into our step press using our chest and thoracic rotation to, yet again, help that glute drive us forward into our final step.
Now it will be all about control through our lats, core, and glutes, to help us walk backwards and return to our starting position. This can be a very challenging area to make a mind body connections. We don't normally think about this movement in our everyday life, but that doesn't mean we aren't using it constantly. When these muscles are strong, your everyday life and movement will also feel strong. You may not even notice it at all because you won't be in pain, questioning your abilities, or turning down opportunities because of fear. You will just move through life the way you want to because you are strong and capable and know your body is ready to take on whatever task at hand big or small.
Here's your checklist:
1. Very best split stance and posture helps connect from the floor all the way through to your glutes and core.
2. Crunch through one side of your oblique pulling your ribcage down towards your hip while the other elongates up to ceiling creating elevation
3. Push through your glute and pull through the opposite (elongated) oblique and lat to step forward
4. Stay out of your shoulders! Don't over press or bend to ensure shoulder safety
5. Connect! Connect! Connect! Have fun and take this opportunity to slow down to find that engagement.
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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.