Associate Magazine-Jan/Mar 2021
John Van Vorst A Daily Practice to Rock Your Mobility STAYING ON THE YELLOW BRICK ROAD W hat is your daily mobility practice? Yeah, you heard me correctly. You don’t need to sling weights around or huff and puff doing metabolic conditioning every day, but you really should develop a daily practice to maintain (or restore) your dynamic posture and balance. Consider mobility training a day-to-day operation, because once it goes it rarely comes back! If you have ten minutes to spare and a little floor space, here’s an easy routine to start building your practice. Start by getting into the proper Quadruped Base Position (Figure 1), as a good start position will lead to better postures and positions later. Stack your knees directly below your hips and align your elbows and wrists directly under your shoulders. Find a neutral spine position by performing a few gentle cat & camel stretches, arching your mid-back up like a cat and then revers- ing the position down towards the floor. Settle into an alignment somewhere between those two extremes with your eyes directed to the floor just ahead of your fingers. You can point the toes or dig them in. Lastly, focus on a slow and relaxed breathing pattern like the 4-7-8. Breathe in deeply through the nose for a 4-count, hold the breath for a 7-count, then exhale deliberately through pursed lips for an 8- count. Your breath will guide you through this mobility routine, as you deepen the stretches during the exhala- tion. Three breaths will also take about one minute to complete. #1 – Quadruped Rock Back or Quad Rocking (Figure 2) - After a deep breath in, keep your abs braced to maintain neutral spine as you slowly exhale and push or “rock” your hips back towards your heels until you feel a stretch. Slightly widen your knees as you go. Rock back to the starting position start a new breath cycle and repeat for 6 breaths total. #2 – Quadruped Adductor Mobilization (Figure 3) - Straighten one leg out to the side like a bicycle kickstand, trying to keep your foot flat on the ground with toes pointing forward. Now, slowly rock back towards your heel until you feel the stretch. Do 3 breaths on the right and left. #3 – Quadruped Piriformis Mobilization (Figure 4) - The pirifor- mis is sometimes referred to as the “sciatica muscle” as it can be- come tight or inflamed, irritating the sciatic nerve and becoming a literal pain in the butt. Begin by crossing one leg over the other, laying the foot behind the opposite knee. During the slow exhale, rock the hips back and to the side at approximately a 45-degree angle until your feel the stretch in your “seat of power”. Perform 3 breath cycles on the right and left. #4 – Quadruped Rock Back Extension and Rotation (Figure 5) - From the base position, rock back to your heels and then cup one ear with your hand. Tuck your elbow under your body and then slowly raise your elbow up towards the sky, following the elbow with your eyes. Keep your hips back towards your heels to initiate the rotation from your mid-back (thoracic spine). Do 3 breath cycles on the right and left.
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