Article – BodyBasics Mobility Circuit – “Why” to Support the “How”
The bodies we possess are incredible in their design. Just watch any athletic event and it becomes clear how willing and able our bodies are to respond to just about anything we command them to do. That is, until we stop moving well. Take for example your ankle. When your ankle moves freely in any motion you work it through, you have the confidence to do whatever. But when you have some kind of trauma, like an ankle sprain for example, your movement quality diminishes. If your limit is not addressed in a timely and appropriate manner to restore it you may lose quality enough that your ankle issue begins to impact the quality of movement you have in other key joints as well like your hips and spine for example.
Fortunately our bodies, even after some kind of stressor, are very responsive to restorative movement. If the time and attention to quality is provided our bodies, your body, can move incredibly no matter your age. That is why we developed the mobility circuit and organized the different movements therein in the sequence that we did. I’d like to take some time in today’s article to give you some more of the “why” to support the “how” we’ve already taught each of you at a deeper level. I’d also like to provide some special tips that will optimize the outcome we aim for you to have from completing your mobility circuit consistently.
Let’s start at the beginning with the ankle rock movement we have you do at the wall. Why do we want you touching the wall with your forward knee while keeping that same foot’s heel grounded and about 2-3 inches from the wall? The ankle joint is intended to be a very mobile joint with a very similar range of movement to our hips and shoulders when healthy. When you’re able to perform the ankle rock as we’ve taught you and move freely without pain, you’re demonstrating the level of motion needed for exercises of the lower body like squats, lunges, step ups and running. You’re also showing more capacity in your daily life to go up and down stairs without favoring one side over the other and getting up and down from low positions.
Knee to Chest
Being able to know how to distribute your weight to one side while maintaining solid body control when doing so is a life skill that we can lose when joints stop working the way they are designed to. When our ability to transfer weight to keep our balance diminishes, our fall risk rises substantially. Reducing fall risk is the number one reason why we want you all to focus on reacquainting yourselves with the skill to stand on one leg while lifting the other knee toward your chest. A simple strategy to aid those of you who have trouble still doing so is to ensure your foot is supporting you well first. To determine if this is so, try this. Grab a paper bag and put it on the floor next to a wall or chair just to be safe. Then take a wet rag and get the bottom of your foot wet. Perform the knee to chest movement with your foot on the paper bag. Step off and check the footprint. If you can see all of your foot you’re arch is not supporting your well in a single leg stance and it will be important to improve that to reduce your fall risk.
Figure Four is very similar to Knee to Chest in terms of relearning how to distribute our weight to one side while maintaining solid body control as its primary purpose. The addition of rotating your raising leg externally at the hip as in the pattern one may take on to put their sock on while on one foot, is the distinct difference. This unique aspect of the movement causes our bodies to have to control movement in two ways. We have to stay upright just as we did with Knee to Chest. We also have to overcome a lateral bending and rotating force that the body experiences when we rotate the leg at the hip. This part is so valuable because our balance is also improved by keeping the muscles deep in our hip strong so that our femur, the upper leg bone, does not rotate inward when we are on one leg. If these muscles aren’t able to execute their function well, our knee will rotate inward. Our ankle will try to follow the knee and also rotate inward. The two actions together make it impossible to stay upright on one foot.
½ Kneel with Rotation
This movement is essential for so many reasons. For starters, simply getting to the ground is a life skill that we should strive to maintain as long as we possibly can. The action of getting down to the ground is a strategy we learned as infants. Traumas to joints and reductions in strength impact this action from being practiced. Taking it in small doses like we do to complete the mobility circuit is a great way to practice this life skill.
Once down the ½ kneel portion of this movement teaches us a lot about available range of motion in the front of your hips. This is super important because less range means less involvement of your buttocks muscles. If you have less involvement of your buttocks muscles you have more involvement of your lower back. A solid majority of lower back issues stem from simply being unable to use our glute muscles appropriately.
The ½ Kneel with Rotation exercise also incorporates balance. As you are on one knee, your knee is providing feedback to your brain as to how you’re distributing your weight, much like Knee to Chest and Figure Four do. As you begin to rotate you are furthering the balance challenge by moving your head and eyes as your track your reaching arm. The more influences at once you can place on your balance, the better reaction time you can have in a situation where you find yourself in a similar predicament, like stepping up on a curb and having to turn your head as someone beckons you at the same time. These types of experiences happen when we don’t expect them to. This movement can prepare you for these unexpected events.
Commonly as we age we start to lose some of the available range of motion that our middle spine is designed to provide. This is a frequent outcome of prolonged sitting activities, particularly hunched over ones, without equal time spend to ensuring healthy extension is still available. When we lose motion in our middle spines we also begin to experience reductions in motion of our upper spine, our neck portion. As we start to experience decline in neck motion, we begin to find alternative means of straightening up in pursuit of seeing what’s in front of us. Most commonly, we begin to overextend our lower spine, so much so that we can damage it. We do Cat/Cow to reduce the likelihood of this gradual demise from ever occurring. As you place focus on articulating all three segments of your spine in a controlled manner you are maintaining its motion and doing your part to reduce decline from happening.
The Perfect Stretch is another one similar to ½ Kneel with Rotation that has the ability in its design to accomplish much. Right away you have a balance challenge again as you set up in a ½ kneel position. Your balance needed becomes even greater once you kick out your forward foot to set up properly for this movement. As you extend your torso forward keeping it in line with your backside knee and hip, you are creating a significant stretch in the front thigh/hip area of your back leg. This element of Perfect Stretch is so valuable once again in promoting healthy range of motion so that your glutes can function as they are designed to in keeping your hips stacked under your ribs and shoulders. Someone who has tightness in this motion is also someone who tends toward lower back discomfort in their day to day activities.
As you maintain your hip extended position in Perfect Stretch and prop your inside arm against the inside thigh of your forward leg to turn your torso away from it, you’re promoting rotation of your middle spine. Middle spine, or thoracic spine, motion is another action that can be compromised over time if we don’t use it. The result of inaction is stiffness that affects our ability to properly rotate to our left or right and to side bend to our left and to our right. We also can experience decreased lung volume from restriction in our middle spine. Doing the trio of ½ Kneel with Rotation, Cat/Cow and Perfect Stretch promotes healthy thoracic spine motion.
Perfect Stretch continues to demonstrate healthy ankle motion as your kicked out forward foot’s heel is brought back ideally to a point just behind what is still your backside knee. Here again, just as with Ankle Rock, the ability to keep your heel down in this position communicates healthy range of motion needed to bend down and step up in our daily lives. A reduction of this motion increases the likelihood of having knee issues.
Upon standing, Perfect Stretch provides information about how well you hinge. Hip Hinging is a life skill that, when done properly, reduces unnecessary strain to our lower backs when picking stuff up. It also aids us in situations where we may need to be bent over for a period of time, such as when pulling a lovely bunch of weeds from the ground after a healthy monsoon storm has come through and watered the ground.
Alternating Lateral Lunge
When our hips are restricted in how they move we adopt alternative strategies, often unknowingly at first, to continue to do all the things we have to do with our hips on a daily basis. One common example of an adoption is the bending over strategy to pick something up versus the squatting down option that our hips are designed to provide. I can’t tell you how many times someone has hurt themselves from reaching down for something without squatting down to do so. We do the Alternating Lateral Lunge movement to encourage healthy joint range of motion at the hip and to stretch the muscles and connective tissue that may be impeding our ability to do so.
Our mobility circuit is meant to be a gateway through which you can reduce your injury risk in a variety of ways. We have integrated strategies to reduce your fall risk, enhance joint range of motion at all key segments, gain better body control and body awareness, and do all of this in a succinct and systematized manner. The next time you’re doing the mobility circuit, take your time. Really aim to get all that you can from it. As always, we can modify any part of it for you as well. Just ask.
Want to learn more about how you can get the most out of the mobility circuit? Join Chris on Saturday, October 14th at 8:00 a.m. He will be going into more depth on each aspect of our Mobility Circuit so that you can ensure that you’re getting the most out of it every time you do it. You can put the perfect finishing touch on this complimentary time with our weekend small group workout that starts immediately after at 9:00 a.m. If you’re interested, call in or walk in and ask to have your name placed on the sign-up sheet for this activity posted at the front desk.
1. What was the reason you decided to go to a trainer?
I had significant hip pain on one side and it wasn’t getting any better. Sometimes I would have difficulty with simple movements like getting out of the car or standing up from a chair. An orthopedic doctor didn’t find anything obvious and I did physical therapy for several months. The therapist then referred me to Body Basics to continue to work on my pain situation and range of motion.
2. Did you consider or participate in any other form of treatment for your reason before seeking a trainer? Examples: physical therapist, acupuncturist, medication
I didn’t want to take medication. I knew that my low fitness level was contributing to my pain, and that exercise would help. Workouts with a personal trainer were the natural follow-on to physical therapy.
3. How did you hear about BodyBasics?
I was referred by a physical therapist at Northwest Medical Center.
4. Did you evaluate other gyms or trainers before deciding on coming to Us? If yes, what were other places missing that BodyBasics was able to provide?
No, I knew my physical therapist would have a good recommendation.
5. Ultimately, why did you choose BodyBasics over other options?
Since beginning my journey in fitness, I have on occasion visited other gyms to see what other people are doing. I consistently found that the facilities, variety of workouts, and assessment/coaching skills of the trainers at Body Basics were a great fit for me and was hard to find elsewhere. I feel that the trainers at Body Basics take a sincere interest in helping me work on my specific issues in addition to the usual strength and endurance goals. They have a great attitude and work hard to help me be successful.
6. What goals did you have when you started at BodyBasics?
I wanted routines to address recurring hip pain. That aspect continues to be part of my focus in one-on-one sessions.
7. How long have you been training at BodyBasics and what specifically have you achieved over that interval?
I’ve been at Body Basics almost five years. I started with one-on-ones twice a week, and have gradually increased my workouts to 6 sessions per week-a combination of one-on-one sessions and group fitness classes. My body fat is down from when I started, as well as cholesterol, blood pressure, and my weight is lower than it’s been in at least ten years. My balance situation is much better thanks to some simple routines that Christian and Mike worked into our sessions. My hip and back pain while not completely gone are well managed with regular workouts. My overall health is vastly better than when I started. I look forward to heading over to the gym every day.
8. What current goals are you pursuing with your trainers at BodyBasics?
I’ve supplemented my initial goals with the goals to increase my strength and endurance, reduce body fat, and improve balance and flexibility.
Welcome New and Returning Clients
The greatest compliment we can receive is a referral from one of our clients or allied health network!
Anne Lawrence ~ referred by Dr. Tait, owner of Rejuv Medical Southwest
Adam and Jennifer Molden ~ referred by Kim Zirkelbach, owner of AZ Bodyworks
Lindsey Amos ~ returning client! Welcome Back!
Bruce Johnsen ~ returning client! Welcome Back!
Kathleen Worthington ~ referred by Dr. Tait, owner of Rejuv Medical Southwest
Linda Ryan ~ referred by Dr. Lemcke
Louise Adams ~ returning client! Welcome Back!
Marissa Ray ~ found us doing a Google search
Jill and Larry Berman ~ found us through Thumbtack
Bob Plymyer ~ found us doing a Google search
Shout outs are about us voicing victories we witness you all having at BodyBasics. We’ll keep it to our top 5 each month.
Susan King ~ for achieving her 1 year goal of going on a very walking intensive vacation with her husband and having a great time doing so!
Joe Heater ~ for his ongoing dedication to reducing his body weight though consistent adoption of behaviors needed to do so!
Tracey Anderson ~ for rocking her hip thrusts and dead lifts!
Ian Hawtree ~ for his wonderful welcome to all who are there when he’s training and the energy he brings with him to his workouts!
Kim Holloway ~ for her ongoing focus in her workouts to get the most out of them and her consistency at home in supporting that focus with solid nutrition!
Recipe – Easy Crusted Baked Chicken
Chicken can be a little monotonous. To spice it up, try this simple crusted dish. Crusted chicken is a family-friendly comfort food that will win over everyone at your table, and done right, doesn’t have to be terrible for you.
Ingredients and Instructions:
- 1-2 cups buttermilk
- 1 pound antibiotic free chicken (or wild fish, such as cod or haddock, or non-GMO tofu), cut into strips or 4 thin and equally sized pieces
- 2 cups Nature’s Path Mesa Sunrise cereal (or any bran flake cereal)
- 2 tablespoons Old Bay spice blend, more or less, as desired
- Cooking spray
- Place chicken in the buttermilk and store in an airtight glass container to marinate overnight.
- Make seasoned crumbs out of the cereal and Old Bay in a blender or food processor; transfer crumbs to a large bowl (this can be done in advance or in bulk; store crumbs in the fridge or freezer).
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Place a cooling rack on top of a baking sheet.
- Remove the chicken from buttermilk; let the milk drip off and then dip the chicken pieces into the seasoned crumbs; mix around until the chicken is well-coated and then place on the rack.
- Spray chicken with cooking spray.
- Bake 35-40 minutes until chicken is cooked through (poke chicken with a fork and the juices should be clear).
Cooking tip: to keep chicken from sticking to pan and loosing most of it’s crunchy crust, try cooking on a cooling rack.
Recipe provided by Nourishing Results, visit their full website at www.nourishingresults.com
Exercise Video of the Month- Seated Toe Scrunch
Chris, Kris, Myrya, Kristian, Lance, Rachel, Mike, Ben and Amanda