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I trained two people at UF. Duke and Jenn, each person brings something different to us and challenges me in different ways. Jenn just did her first powerlifting meet and has a goal of mastering pull ups. Duke is a seasoned lifter, he has done CrossFit, powerlifting, and been training for well over a decade. Having these two people to train with is great as it creates such an awesome environment for me to learn. Each brings a different strength, weakness, as well as personality to their training.
This week Duke is on a family trip and he is also coming back from a slight back strain. A few weeks back he aggravated some soft tissue in his back and we have had to adjust slightly to train through his injury. Knowing the this week is a planned travel week got me thinking. What are movements someone should do daily? Also, how we can make these a habit whether we are traveling or just sitting at home? So I made a short list of movements that I would recommend everyone does daily.
Squat- I know this is obvious. There is probably no movement that is better for the entire body than a bodyweight squat. Cues are simple, keep your feet flat on the ground, your sternum up, and get as low as you can. Do this daily, for reps, for time, and for fun.
Standing Quad Stretch- As a society we spend to much time in a forward leaning position. This will tighten our hip flexors (which include the quads). So grab your foot and pull it towards your butt. Just like with the squat, what matters is that you do the movement. How long, how many reps, and other variables doesn’t matter. Movement matters.
Childs Pose to Cobra- Have you ever heard of creep? No, not the song (even though it’s a great jam). Creep in layman’s terms is when the fluid around your disk moves (generally this shift is posterior). Think about it like this, if you are sitting (and probably leaning forward) your disks are being pushed to open up posteriorly and the fluid will move more to the back. Doing these movements will help move this fluid and set your back into a more neutral position.
Toe Touch- This movement has received a bad rap over the years. Yes, it is a fact that repeats flexion is bad for the spine. Yet, I’d contend that if you are doing all of these movements combined than the net affect will be a positive. So bend over and touch your toes.
Lateral Lunge- A mistake I made way to often as a young coach was not moving through all three planes of motion. There is front, sagittal, as well as transverse. Move in all three of these planes and your body will feel better.
T Spine Movements- There are many different movements here. You could do the worlds greatest stretch, multiple wall stretches, or lying t spine work. Just make sure you are moving your thoracic cavity.
Being Bi-Pedal-This means walk more. If you want to be healthy, walk, if you want to think, walk, if you want to meet new people, walk. Most great thinkers walk and just let their minds be free. The adage about 10,000 steps a day is great, yet the science is pretty clear if you want to be healthy 8,000 steps is plenty. I average 15,000 a day, yet I have also never had a “real job.”
This is my short list and a simple catch all of movements you should do daily. These can be done whether traveling or at home and shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes.