Want to feel better? Of course you do. That’s why you read this blog (high five by the way). Try the following mobility/stretches and do them every day (yes, everyday. You breathe every day right? And you feel good right?) at least once. They’re not hard nor time consuming so there isn’t an excuse. Trust me, adding these to your day will definitely make you feel better over time.
Rear-Foot Elevated Hip Flexor Stretch with Ipsilateral Overhead Reach
How To and Why:
-Stretches the hip flexors which tend to be very tight in our sitting-alot population. Tight hip flexors can impair glute contraction (not good for cracking walnuts and getting beast) and cause low back pain (also not good for beast-making).
-Tuck you pelvis under and squeeze the glute of the elevated leg. Don’t arch your lower back like this:
This gives the illusion that your stretching your hip flexor but in fact you’re producing movement in your lower back. Not a good thing. Instead, imagine you had a tail (and all the cool things you could do; like drive or open doors…sorry, little reverie there) and tuck that between your legs. Squeezing the glute helps intensify the stretch on the hip flexor. Hold the stretch :30/side 2-3 times.
-Hold the same side hand as the elevated foot overhead (that’s what ipsilateral means. Super fancy word for super simple meaning). This helps stretch the deep hip flexor, the psoas (bonus points to anyone who can pronounce that correctly), which often is neglected and feels very poorly about itself. You can hold a weight if there is one available (light) as this will help work on shoulder stabilization and pec stretch. (and EVERYONE needs both.) This is an excellent stretch for people who do this all day:
How To and Why:
- Hits a number of things: stretches the hip flexors, opens up the much-too-flexed thoracic (middle) spine and opens the chest (which is normally slouched in). It will feel delightful if you’ve been sitting hunched for a while.
- Keep your spine neutral and your front heel dug into the floor. Squeeze your butt too, just for good measure.
-Follow your hand with your head as you rotate it around in a Welcome-the-Sun motion. (at least that’s what it looks like to me). Do about 5 reps on each side every day.
Scapular Wall Slides
How To and Why:
- *note* I just noticed that I totally blend into our wall. Sorry.* We spend far to much timed hunched over (see picture above) and this helps wake up the posterior shoulder and upper back muscles and reminds them they’re supposed to be working.
- Place your head and upper back against the wall and your feet about 6 inches away from the wall. Form the “Y” from the YMCA with your pinkies against the wall and palms facing away from your head. Bring your elbows into your rib cage (don’t let your pinkies leave the wall) and pinch a pencil between your shoulder blades. Feel that? Good.Do at least 12-15 of these suckers every day.
These are all great things to add to your warm-up or as fillers between your big lifts during your workout. That’s a common method that we employ at SAPT. I can’t take credit for the creation of any of these as much smarter people came up with them before I did; I merely spreading the word to SGW readers.
Go forth and feel better!