“I’m thankful for the opportunity to help others keep, and improve, their lifestyles as long as possible, and am privileged to do so.”
For my Giving Thanks Workout I’d like to talk about balance.
It’s something we all have to various degrees, and something we want to keep for as long as we possibly can. To this end, we need to think of the best way to make this happen. To gain optimal balance we need strength and posture (static and dynamic), to be trained with balance. Without all three the others will not be at their best. The lives we lead can affect how we move in both shortening and weakening muscles. This can lead to misalignment and could potentially cause a few problems. We aspire to stay upright, and move with fluidity. Think Mary Poppins.
Here’s an example of how a posture/balance/de-desking workout may look.
Starting off with a whole body warm up, beginning with a light to brisk walk/elliptical machine, then include some whole body moves in various planes of motion.
Include some arm circles, half lunges in a walk, and side steps in both directions.
Following this we can begin getting some muscles activated to help get the best alignment during a workout.
Ankle band – begin with an ankle band (green or red have the lesser resistance)- keeping the resistance on, side step shuffle left for 15 steps, then right for the same.
15 x 2 (each direction)
Wall angels x 12-15.
Try to keep your shoulders, elbows, and wrists against the wall, as you move up and down (elbows to eye level, hands to eye level).
Side step to balance, with a knee raise to horizontal position and hold for one second. 30 seconds for each leg.
To hold ourselves in position we need to have static strength, isometric. A common strengthening exercise is the plank, which can be done at a level to suit you, by changing the angle.
Here’s a couple of examples of the plank at different heights.
A modification I like it to do this with your feet touching and squeeze heels together. Draw in the abdominals and hold in this high plank.
High plank x 20-30 seconds
Reverse lunges x 30 seconds (x 2)
lunge in place, stepping backwards while keeping weight over the front leg.
TRX Row x 15-20
Alter angle to increase or decrease the difficulty.
‘12-6’ x 20-30 seconds each leg.
This one involves standing on one foot and moving the other from a 12 o’clock position to 6 o’clock position, with minimum touching down. Touch down if you need to.
With one hand on a wall perform a single leg deadlift. One foot comes up as your head goes down. Try to reduce dependence on the wall, with fingers only touch, then no touch at all (if you feel ready)
90 degree step up to bosu- this can also be a step. Step ups like back in the 80’s, but with a turn, hold, and a bosu to add to it.
It’s always a good idea to bring your heart rate down gradually after a session. This could be 5 minutes on a treadmill or recumbent bicycle, at an easy pace.
At the end of any exercise (or even hard day) a stretch can help both relax, and help us maintain and improve our range of motion.
Because we sit for so much of the time I recommend stretching the hip flexors, chest and shoulders stretches for reduce rounding.
Hold each stretch for 30-60 seconds (feels like a long time!)
Whatever you’re doing, challenge yourself. Make it fun, and get your balance done!
If you are interested in working with Matthew please contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org