Build overall body strength through a regular daily regimen of planks in under 5 minutes a day. Video features 3 sets of planks (each side and front) on the forearms held for 30 seconds each. Take a computer break and fire up your core! Watch Part 1: How to Activate Muscles for Planks for additional explanation and preparation.
Exercises work shoulders, triceps, back, gluts, and back legs using light weights and a Theraband in a prone position (lying on stomach). This series requires abdominal support, so if you feel any discomfort, discontinue immediately.
I use both a half and full foam roller for calf stretching and balance work. If you don’t have half roller, stand on the floor. If you don’t have a full foam roller you can practice the balance section on the half roll alone. It is also possible to do the exercises without rollers.
Use your full foam roller to open the chest and release tension in the upper back and shoulders. We are a society of people who look at our Smartphones and stare at computer screens. This tends to lead to poor posture and neck/shoulder strain. This rolling sequence helps to address this tightness. Discontinue immediately if you feel any strain in your neck or back using the foam roller. White foam rollers can be less intense on the upper back and shoulders.
Series of abdominal work that strengthens your core without requiring a head lift. I find many people feel strain when lifting their head off the mat. This sequence integrates breathing with abdominal engagement through preparatory abdominal isolation and Pilates mat exercises.
One of the gals from class asked me to post this weight workout from a recent group in person/Zoom class so she could repeat it. It contains upper body strengthening, arm range of motion with weights, balance work, and finishes with arm stretching.
This hip series takes the hip through its range of motion of external rotation, internal rotation, abduction, adduction, flexion, extension, and circumduction. If we want our hip joints to function optimally, we need to put them through their full range of movement possibility. These kinds of movements can strengthen hip muscles and help improve bone density as well.
According to a March 2014 article from Harvard Health Publishing,
“The chances of developing osteoporosis vary with age, body type, estrogen levels, genetic makeup, ethnicity, lifestyle, level of physical activity, diet, and certain medical conditions. Women are especially vulnerable because they lose bone at an accelerated rate during the first few years after menopause. Along with adequate calcium and vitamin D, exercise is a cornerstone of osteoporosis prevention. It not only helps limit bone loss but also improves balance and coordination and strengthens the muscles we rely on to stay upright. This provides a hedge against falls — one of the main causes of fractures.”
I recommend and do these Theraband leg stretches myself on a regular basis. They loosen the hips and stretch the legs on the inside, back and outside. You can feel the improved circulation where the legs just feel more alive afterwards. I posted a previous blog with photos and a written description of these stretches.
Arms should be able to reach in diagonal lines forward and back with scapular connection at the ribcage in the back. Sometimes the movement becomes stuck, and we lose the gliding action of the arm causing pain at the shoulder or loss of range. To bring the functional arm movement pattern back it is easier to practice in a side-lying position, as gravity works in your favor to keep the movement smooth.