1/8/2017 0 Comments
Written by Suzanna McGee, found on her website.
Almost everybody, athlete or not, has the unpleasant feeling of stiff or achy lower back sometimes. Often, the more you sit, the worse it gets. To feel better, we tend to stand up and bend over to stretch that tight back a little bit. It may relieve the tension for a short time, however, bending over is not the right thing to do. Rather opposite—bending backwards is the right movement. The hip-flexors are so tight, and the glutes are too weak and non-active, that your goal is to connect with the glutes and stretch the hip-flexors. Standing and bending backward is a great movement at work, in school, or after driving a lot because don’t need much space, and it is quick to do. However, a much better movement to heal your stiff back is the Scorpion exercise—one of the best moves out there to loosen up your tight core.
Scorpion Exercise DirectionsScorpion exercise is very simple, but to get full benefits, you need to focus on a few very important points (that sometimes are not stressed enough).
1 ) Lie down on your stomach with the arms outstretched to the sides at a 90-degree angle. Relax your neck and both legs.
2 ) The goal is to lift one leg and bring it across the body to the opposite side, toward your arm. You will look like a cute human scorpion.
3 ) Here comes that important point! When lifting the leg, bend it first at your knee. Then lift the knee off the ground by contracting your glute. This is very important! A tightly contracted glute, through muscle inhibition principle (you don’t need to do anything, your body will do this), will force your hip-flexor on the front of your leg to relax—and that is the goal.
4 ) Now slowly bring the bent leg over to the opposite side of your body (right leg toward the left arm) and make sure that you never relax that (right) butt cheek. This move will stretch the relaxing hip-flexor even more.
5 ) Keep your chest and arms on the ground. Do not lift them in an attempt to reach further with your leg.
6 ) Don’t worry if you touch or don’t touch the ground or your arm. The goal is to keep the glute contracted, chest down, and enjoy the lovely stretch.
7 ) Slowly return to the starting position and repeat with the other leg.
8 ) Alternate your legs for 20 repetitions.
The Scorpion exercise is great to warm up before your activity. Scorpion is great to finish your workout. Scorpion is a pain reliever when your back is too stiff. Scorpion is a core strengthener if you are too tired to do a more intense workout. Make the Scorpion one of your most favorite exercise and enjoy it often. Sort of like your new, not so furry, pet with tight butt cheeks. 8)
According to Brendan Brazier, there are two answers to what percentage of carbs/fat/protein an athlete should have based on the training goal(s) of the athlete.
Long Endurance/Distance Athlete:
High Intensity Interval Training:
Brendan Brazier, as well as Jillian Michaels and Jackie Warner (my fav's you know :D ), all agree that it is best to eat carbs for a pre-workout not protein, because the muscles need the sugar for fuel. Pre-workout recommendation: 1 cup of oatmeal with 1 cup of mixed berries. Eating protein rather than carbs pre-workout will force the body to expend energy turning it into sugar (didn't know that was possible but it is what Brendan Brazier said in the "No Meat Athlete" podcast).
In any case, all those diets that are "low carb" or "no carb" are not how the body is meant to naturally function. Carbohydrates are one of only three primary categories of nutrition (i.e. carbs/fat/protein) that a body needs to function properly with all inclusive nutrition. Jillian Michaels also recommends that carbs are eaten all before dinner.
Til next time, take a walk. A walk is a fantastic way to get the body moving, to gain vitamen D, and to feel good about oneself.
This is from an email I just sent to one of new my personal training clients. I love that she is open to hearing the expertise I can offer her in meeting the goals she wishes to achieve.
"A note on flexibility: You’ve told me that sitting at work for long periods of time is hurting your back. I believe you and I agree with you. So doing the very same thing, that is, holding a pose for a long time, is not going to help you with flexibility. Moving a joint around to move the synovial fluid WILL increase flexibility.
Image a candle that has not been lite yet and try to bend it. The candle will break, right? The candle has to be lite AND warm up in order to be moved around. If the candle is left in one position for too long, however, it will become stuck in that position, much like your muscles. To move the candle again, the joint and muscles have to be warmed up again.
If you would indulge me, I’ve included a YouTube video below to help you at home with flexibility. It’s a 50 minute video. If you can do all 50 minutes, fantastic, but if you did even 20 minutes every other day, it will make a HUGE impact on your flexibility. HUGE!