whartons flexibility

Springing into Shape

“After the winter, there will be spring.” We can all take comfort in these profound words of Chauncey Gardner in the movie Being There. During this time of year, we yearn for warmth; cold and wind has challenged those of us who thrive to move outside in nature. Sprains and strains in the ice, dislocations and fractures from the slopes, general muscle fiber tightening, and howling winds all conspire to weaken our resolve. Injuries during winter’s dark days deter us from vital sunshine and our beloved daily workout rituals. 

How can we transition into spring healthy, ready to enjoy warmer months? We can begin by renewing our muscular system. Here’s two essentials from The Whartons Strength Zone® One—Hip & Trunk. 

Lower Abdominals. Michael Del Monte Photograph

Lower Abdominals. Michael Del Monte Photograph

1.Lower Abdominals—Lie on back. Bend knees and hips at 90 degree angles. Extend arms over head and grab a stable surface—table or bed for support. Maintain the 90-degree angle of your hip and knee. Raise your pelvis off the surface. Slowly return to start position. Add resistance by placing an ankle weight looped around your ankles. Repeat for 10-12 repetitions. 

Sacrospinalis. Michael Del Monte Photograph

Sacrospinalis. Michael Del Monte Photograph

 

2.Sacrospinalis—Lie face down on table or bed. Your hips should be on the edge of the surface. Straighten your legs. Turn your toes inward. Hands may grasp table or bed for support. Head rests to one side. Raise your legs to mid-line position with your trunk. Slowly return to start position. Ankle weights may be looped around ankle to increase resistance. Repeat for 10-12 repetitions. 

 

Enjoy these two extended core exercises, great additions to your strength training program. These exercises can be found in the Whartons Compete Strength Book, Whartons on Demand Streaming Channel, Whartons Strength for Athletes and Everyone DVD, and Whartons Digital Downloads. 

Fall into Alignment

Fall into Alignment

Believe it or not by standing up against a straight vertical surface you are in optimum postural alignment. That is our natural design -  to evenly distribute the force of gravity and enjoy efficiency of movement.

Tennis - Love It!

Tennis - Love It!

If the US Open and fall weather have brought you to the courts before winter sets in… Here’s a tip on getting the most out of your backhand....

Muscles tightening on the tennis court as the fall weather gets a little “nippy”? Well, here’s a simple tip to keep your serve in full swing:

Gardener's Relief-Side Trunk Muscles

Gardener's Relief-Side Trunk Muscles

Akin to the engineering of a suspension bridge, our side back musculature is constantly at work every time we move. Lateral trunk muscles play a pivotal role in the daily life of the grower. Reaching down to plant a new row of veggies, extending to liberate crops from invasive weeds, and, wielding hand tools to prepare the soil.  These side back muscles need maintenance—especially if they are painful. Here’s a flexibility and strength exercise to gain range of motion and structural integrity.

Gardner's Back Relief

Gardner's Back Relief

We bend, reach, lean, and crouch; for hours on end - these compromising postural positions are commonplace for the grower. Our back muscles are appropriately named—erector spinae- they hold our trunk up right.  The moment we flex our trunk even 45 degrees we’ve just placed 50% more compression on vulnerable discs.

Walk This Way

Walk This Way

Humans weren’t designed to sit for long periods of time without moving...the desk jockey syndrome of over sitting is well documented; sitting has been labeled the new smoking. Being seated turns off the anti-gravity muscles of the posterior kinetic chain—or muscles that hold a person upright.

Self Massage

Self Massage

Self-Massage:

  • Flushes metabolic waste from training and stress.
  • Releases adhesions, breaks down scar tissue, mitigates damage from microfiber tears, and unwinds tight fascia. 
  • Hydrates the soft tissue by stimulating and draining and the lymphatic system. 
  • Reverses ischemia—lack of blood flow-to the soft tissue and surrounding areas.