Do one or more of these five movements daily to keep yourself in tip-top shape
Movement doesn’t stop after you leave the gym. After all, the human body was made to move. The benefits of daily movement are numerous for your health and wellbeing inside and out. Generally, as a rule, we sit more, stress more, and move less and a few hours in the gym per week helps but doesn’t make the damage of those things go away.
What helps is easy, simple movements that can be performed daily or as part of your warm-up or training to help take away the yuckiness of sitting and stressing. Plus, have you moving and feeling better in a jiffy. Most of these five exercises don’t require fancy equipment but just a moment of your time.
These five exercises will help you wind down after a long day at work. Or act as a warm-up, releasing your stiff hips, and sore feet and keeping your center of power (the core and glutes) ready for action. Consider doing one or more of these exercises daily to move and feel better and stress less.
Your feet are in socks and shoes for most of the day and all those muscles, ligaments, and tendons tend to get forgotten about. This is only natural but there is something you can do about it.
The feet are your only point of contact between you and the ground and if something is amiss, this can interrupt the feedback (from the peripheral nervous system) from the feet and brain.
This has direct implications for the ankle. Ankles are the base, providing feedback on the environment and they’re the foundation of your balance, posture, and mobility. It’s the ankle’s job to sense and respond to the ever-changing environment from stairs, cracked and uneven sidewalks, or walking up and down a mountain.
If you get poor feedback from your feet well, bad things can happen.To prevent this from happening, get a lacrosse ball and do 50 rolls on each foot daily. Plus, it feels really good.
Our body moves contralaterally which is a fancy way of saying opposite arm opposite leg like when you’re walking, running, or sprinting. The deadbug reinforces contralateral limb movement and improves core/pelvic stability which helps keep your center of power operating and peak efficiency.
The contralateral act of the deadbug activates the left and right hemispheres of your brain which can help you think clearer and reduce stress also. Doesn’t all of this sound good? Then all you have to do is act like a deadbug for 6 reps on each side daily.
Half-Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch
The prolonged act of sitting (which I am doing right now to write this article) stiffens up the small muscles that flex our hips, the infamous hip flexors. Have you ever found your hips stiff after sitting? You can thank your tighter than usual hip flexors for that.
The half-kneeling position is the go-to stretch to open your hip flexors. When performed daily and correctly you will feel the hip flexor magic. This stretch will mobilize your hips, strengthen them, improve posture, and even helps an achy back.
Doing this for 2 minutes on each side will help relieve stiffness and soreness while improving your hip mobility. This deserves 4 minutes of your day.
Prying Bodyweight Squat
Our hip flexors are not the only thing to get tight after too much running, sitting, and squatting. The muscles of our inner thighs otherwise known as the groin or adductor muscles. These muscles help with most of the movements of the hips and keep the knees in better shape too.
It’s time to shower some attention on the groin muscles too.
The prying squat helps loosen up these tight muscles that inhibit the outer hips from activating. And if the outer hips are not doing their job, it’s more likely your knees may buckle during any change of direction or squatting movement. Overtime this may lead to knee problems, and you don’t want that.
Doing this 30-60 seconds daily puts a stop to it.
A while ago both my shoulders were in a bad way, and I was in Physical therapy. Besides all the fancy exercises I did to strengthen this area, this one simple exercise I feel saved my shoulders. The band pull apart. The muscles between our shoulder blades are important for posture, shoulder health, and mobility.
And when the muscles between the shoulder blades (the upper back) get stretched and weak from either unbalanced exercise programming or sitting and hunching too many bad things start to happen. An easy movement to prevent this from happening is the band pull apart.
These muscles need strength and endurance and when performed for higher reps, band pull parts give this area muscular endurance. Band pull apart helps keep your shoulder area in shape.
Perform for 50-100 reps each time you do them. It will work wonders.
This is not a replacement for what you usually do (you do exercise right?) but something small you had to your daily routine to help you move, feel, and look better. Because when you add up all the small things you do for your health it adds up to a big payoff.