Sunday, December 30, 2012

New Year's Tune Up : With FOX 5 San Diego

New Year's Tune Up!  (As appeared on San Diego's FOX 5 morning show)

So it is that time of the year again and many of you have been out of sync in terms of regular exercise, but you are anxious and roaring to get back on track.   Be careful though, as your body can get out of alignment even with the shortest of layoffs.   For those of you who have been out of fitness for quite some time you definitely need to tune things first.   Working out and pushing your body is analogous to putting your trusty old sports car back on the road.  Yet if that sports car has been under cover and hanging out in the garage for a while you would certainly give it a tune up first to achieve high performance and ultimately a safe ride.  Here are three corrective (tune up) exercises that we recommend you perform daily for at least a week before you get into a full speed exercise regimen: 

Kneeling Hip Flexor/Quadriceps Stretch:

Why:  Seated postures and time away from exercise can lead to tight or shortened hip flexors.  Shortened hip flexors can lead to joint imbalances that can result in knee, hip or back pain if left uncorrected.
How:  Put a towel or mat under one knee as you kneel to avoid too much knee pressure.  Lightly lunge forward while squeezing your glute (butt) of your back leg.   Lift the arm on the same side as your back leg and bend away to add more of a stretch.
Hold for 45 seconds for each leg.
Perform 2 to 3 times/day for at least 1 week. 


Floor Butt Lifts:

Why:  Seated postures and time away from exercise can lead to weak glute (butt) muscles.  Proper glute activation and strength is essential for balance, stability and walking and running movement patterns - all things you need if you really want to get in shape.   
How:  Lying on your back with your knees bent and feet about hip width slowly lift your butt up and off the floor.  As you lift, actively squeeze your glutes and pull your tummy in.  Hold at  the top position for 2 seconds and then lower back down.  
Repeat for 10 to 15 reps .
Perform ideally 2x/day for at least 1 week.


Standing Cobra Posture Squeeze:

 Why:  Computer use, seated postures and time away from exercise can lead to tight chest and neck muscles along with weak upper back muscles.   Spinal, shoulder, neck and head alignment is essential for efficient movement and injury free exercise.     
How:  You can perform this sitting or standing, but standing is preferred.  Stand with your feet hip width and pointing straight forward.  Squeeze glutes and pull your tummy in.   With your arms out to your side lift your chest and squeeze your shoulder blades together.  Keep your chin down and tucked in.   You should feel postural and open.  This is an isometric exercise.
Hold this position and prescribed contractions for 30 seconds. (Repeat one more time)
Perform ideally 3x/day for at least 1 week. 

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