teachbyexample

Kip Thorstenson, DPT, CSCS

️Doctor of Physical Therapy
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The Quadratus lumborum (QL) stretch. The quadratus lumborum is a muscle that originates on the top of the pelvis and inserts on the vertebrate and the bottom most rib. It is the main “hip hiker” of the body and may contribute to same sided back pain. It is a hard area to stretch effectively. The stretch shown here is one of the best ways that I have found to stretch this area. Here are the dos ✅ for the QL low back stretch.
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✅ – First – find a doorway. Step roughly 6-12 inches away from doorway depending on how tall or short. The side that you are stretching will be the foot furthest away from the doorframe prior to starting. For the side that you are stretching – plant that foot into the ground and even with the doorway frame. Then, take opposite leg and cross it over in front of the planted leg.
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Place elbow at roughly a 90 degree angle (angle will change depending on your height and length of extremities) at your side with the hand on the door frame. This will create a wedge that you can push from. Slowly reach up and across body with opposite arm and grab ahold of the door frame. Be sure not to twist left or right with the reaching. If grabbing doorway is too difficult, just simply reaching up and across should produce a nice stretch. Next, you will gently push towards the side that you are stretching with the “wedged” arm. Breathe and try to hold for 30 seconds to a minute. DISCLAIMER - If you have any pain with this stretch, please do not push through it. Should feel a gentle/moderate stretch with no pain if done properly.
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🐥 – This particular stretch can also be useful for stretching out your lats as well. Give it a try and let me know if you have any questions in the comments.
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The Quadratus lumborum (QL) stretch. The quadratus lumborum is a muscle that originates on the top of the pelvis and inserts on the vertebrate and the bottom most rib. It is the main “hip hiker” of the body and may contribute to same sided back pain. It is a hard area to stretch effectively. The stretch shown here is one of the best ways that I have found to stretch this area. Here are the dos for the QL low back stretch. . . – First – find a doorway. Step roughly 6-12 inches away from doorway depending on how tall or short. The side that you are stretching will be the foot furthest away from the doorframe prior to starting. For the side that you are stretching – plant that foot into the ground and even with the doorway frame. Then, take opposite leg and cross it over in front of the planted leg. . . Place elbow at roughly a 90 degree angle (angle will change depending on your height and length of extremities) at your side with the hand on the door frame. This will create a wedge that you can push from. Slowly reach up and across body with opposite arm and grab ahold of the door frame. Be sure not to twist left or right with the reaching. If grabbing doorway is too difficult, just simply reaching up and across should produce a nice stretch. Next, you will gently push towards the side that you are stretching with the “wedged” arm. Breathe and try to hold for 30 seconds to a minute. DISCLAIMER - If you have any pain with this stretch, please do not push through it. Should feel a gentle/moderate stretch with no pain if done properly. . . – This particular stretch can also be useful for stretching out your lats as well. Give it a try and let me know if you have any questions in the comments. . . - 15 hours ago

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The kneeling great toe stretch. The great toe plays a large role in variety of tasks including proper toe off during gait, overall athletic performance, and foot health. Here is an exercise that I like to do to stretch the big toe into extension and also stretch the entire plantar fascia. Here are the dos ✅ for the kneeling great toe stretch.
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✅ - Once on hands and knees, you will bring your toes up and put them into an extended position (toes facing up to your knees). From there - you will slowly drop your hips back towards your heels controlling the amount of stretch through the great toe and entire plantar fascia. You should feel a deep stretch throughout your toes and the bottom of your foot if done correctly. Also, I prefer to sit up and slowly drop hips back while bouncing my hips towards my heels. Hang out for a good minute or two in this position.
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After the stretch is completed, try to incorporate some active/strengthening movement through the great toe into the range that you just stretched. The second part of the video shows me working the great toe independently of the 4 lateral toes and also applying some pressure with my hand once the great toe is fully extended. .
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🐥 - Your great toe can play a pivotal role in your overall foot health. Be sure to keep it healthy and mobile with a variety of stretches and exercises. Give this exercise a shot if you are in need of increasing your great toe extension or need a simple/yet effective plantar fascia stretch!
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The kneeling great toe stretch. The great toe plays a large role in variety of tasks including proper toe off during gait, overall athletic performance, and foot health. Here is an exercise that I like to do to stretch the big toe into extension and also stretch the entire plantar fascia. Here are the dos for the kneeling great toe stretch. . . - Once on hands and knees, you will bring your toes up and put them into an extended position (toes facing up to your knees). From there - you will slowly drop your hips back towards your heels controlling the amount of stretch through the great toe and entire plantar fascia. You should feel a deep stretch throughout your toes and the bottom of your foot if done correctly. Also, I prefer to sit up and slowly drop hips back while bouncing my hips towards my heels. Hang out for a good minute or two in this position. . . After the stretch is completed, try to incorporate some active/strengthening movement through the great toe into the range that you just stretched. The second part of the video shows me working the great toe independently of the 4 lateral toes and also applying some pressure with my hand once the great toe is fully extended. . . - Your great toe can play a pivotal role in your overall foot health. Be sure to keep it healthy and mobile with a variety of stretches and exercises. Give this exercise a shot if you are in need of increasing your great toe extension or need a simple/yet effective plantar fascia stretch! . . - 1 day ago

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The spider 🕷 man plank. An excellent core stability exercise that does a great job of teaching the body to maintain core rigidity coupled with alternating hip flexion. Here are the dos ✅ for the spider man plank.
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✅ - Start by getting into a normal plank position. Try to find your neutral position - do no arch your low back or lift your butt into the air. While maintaining this position, move one knee up at a time. Only bring leg up as far as you can without letting your low back round. *Experiment with your hip flexion path of motion. Everyone’s hip flexion path will be slightly different. DO NOT force into pinching or pain within the hip when bringing your knee to your chest.
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Lastly, be sure to breathe. Control the movement and keep core braced throughout entire movement. Try to coordinate things efficiently between your abdominals and your hip flexors. Perform 5-10 reps each side.
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🐥 - Core stability is a term that refers to abdominal tension/rigidity that keeps the spine stable and protected while performing varying movements with legs, arms, or both. This type of stability is important for squatting, deadlifting, and even picking up a bag of groceries from the floor. Increasing core stability may even allow joints away from the spine to move more freely as well (e.g. hips). Let me know if you have any questions in the comments!
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The spider 🕷 man plank. An excellent core stability exercise that does a great job of teaching the body to maintain core rigidity coupled with alternating hip flexion. Here are the dos for the spider man plank. . . - Start by getting into a normal plank position. Try to find your neutral position - do no arch your low back or lift your butt into the air. While maintaining this position, move one knee up at a time. Only bring leg up as far as you can without letting your low back round. *Experiment with your hip flexion path of motion. Everyone’s hip flexion path will be slightly different. DO NOT force into pinching or pain within the hip when bringing your knee to your chest. . . Lastly, be sure to breathe. Control the movement and keep core braced throughout entire movement. Try to coordinate things efficiently between your abdominals and your hip flexors. Perform 5-10 reps each side. . . - Core stability is a term that refers to abdominal tension/rigidity that keeps the spine stable and protected while performing varying movements with legs, arms, or both. This type of stability is important for squatting, deadlifting, and even picking up a bag of groceries from the floor. Increasing core stability may even allow joints away from the spine to move more freely as well (e.g. hips). Let me know if you have any questions in the comments! . . - 3 days ago

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Glute burn with mini band. The following video shows 5 exercises that can be used with a mini band to get a nice burn within the gluteals - specifically your gluteus medius and minimus.
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✅ - 1️⃣ First exercise is a sidelying hip abduction with the band just above the knee. Hold torso still and hold top foot in a neutral position while lifting straight up into the air. Should feel muscle activate near your side hip pocket.
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2️⃣ Second exercise is a fire hydrant with band just above the knee. While in a quadruped position, think of sweeping your knee to the side against the band resistance without letting your pelvis or low back dip or rotate.
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3️⃣ Next exercise is the side plank clam. I have posted about this gluteal exercise previously. Again - band will be placed just above the knees. Maintain a nice straight line position of your torso and thighs with knees bent. Once in position, lift your bottom hip up off the ground and open the top leg up against the band resistance.
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4️⃣ & 5️⃣ - Last 2  exercises are variations of band walks. First one shows the band placed just above the knees with traditional frontal plane side stepping. Last exercise has the band placed across the toes again with straight side stepping. With both band walks - try to maintain your feet pointing straight forward and avoid letting your trunk/torso rock side to side with the steps. Stay controlled and own the movement!
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🐥- If you are looking to target and strengthen your other gluteals that are not named gluteus maximus and all you have is a mini band, then look no further. This particular routine be used as a warm up, activation sequence, or a great way to burn up your glutes depending on the number of reps, sets, and rounds that you perform. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments!
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Glute burn with mini band. The following video shows 5 exercises that can be used with a mini band to get a nice burn within the gluteals - specifically your gluteus medius and minimus. . . - 1️⃣ First exercise is a sidelying hip abduction with the band just above the knee. Hold torso still and hold top foot in a neutral position while lifting straight up into the air. Should feel muscle activate near your side hip pocket. . . 2️⃣ Second exercise is a fire hydrant with band just above the knee. While in a quadruped position, think of sweeping your knee to the side against the band resistance without letting your pelvis or low back dip or rotate. . . 3️⃣ Next exercise is the side plank clam. I have posted about this gluteal exercise previously. Again - band will be placed just above the knees. Maintain a nice straight line position of your torso and thighs with knees bent. Once in position, lift your bottom hip up off the ground and open the top leg up against the band resistance. . . 4️⃣ & 5️⃣ - Last 2 exercises are variations of band walks. First one shows the band placed just above the knees with traditional frontal plane side stepping. Last exercise has the band placed across the toes again with straight side stepping. With both band walks - try to maintain your feet pointing straight forward and avoid letting your trunk/torso rock side to side with the steps. Stay controlled and own the movement! . . - If you are looking to target and strengthen your other gluteals that are not named gluteus maximus and all you have is a mini band, then look no further. This particular routine be used as a warm up, activation sequence, or a great way to burn up your glutes depending on the number of reps, sets, and rounds that you perform. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments! . . - 5 days ago

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Standing psoas lift off. The psoas is a muscle that originates deep in the abdomen next to the spine and attaches to the upper portion of your femur (thigh bone). This muscle will play a vital role in "centering" the femoral head in the hip socket during hip movements. Here are the dos ✅ for the standing psoas lift off.
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✅ - You will need a box, chair, or something sturdy to put your foot on. Once your foot is in position on the box - your hip should be flexed to roughly a 90 degree angle prior to the start of the movement. Then, you will simply lift your foot up off the box holding for roughly 5 seconds. Try to maintain a straight back (do not arch or round). I prefer to slightly externally rotate my foot while lifting to decrease the activation of the TFL. You can also provide some self applied pressure to the top of the knee to add some resistance. Also, you could use ankle weights to increase the intensity as well. Repeat for desired number of reps and sets based on your goals!
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🐥 - If you are having hip impingement symptoms, there is a good chance that you also have associated femoral anterior glide syndrome. The idea behind this is that your femur has translated anteriorly (forward), which can cause pinching and compression of the femoroacetabular joint. Traditionally - it’s thought that femoral anterior glide syndrome has a combination of many different imbalances - with weakness of the psoas often being seen on the symptomatic side. Give this exercise a try to effectively strengthen/activate your psoas. If it creates discomfort - DO NOT force through that range of motion. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments!
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Standing psoas lift off. The psoas is a muscle that originates deep in the abdomen next to the spine and attaches to the upper portion of your femur (thigh bone). This muscle will play a vital role in "centering" the femoral head in the hip socket during hip movements. Here are the dos for the standing psoas lift off. . . - You will need a box, chair, or something sturdy to put your foot on. Once your foot is in position on the box - your hip should be flexed to roughly a 90 degree angle prior to the start of the movement. Then, you will simply lift your foot up off the box holding for roughly 5 seconds. Try to maintain a straight back (do not arch or round). I prefer to slightly externally rotate my foot while lifting to decrease the activation of the TFL. You can also provide some self applied pressure to the top of the knee to add some resistance. Also, you could use ankle weights to increase the intensity as well. Repeat for desired number of reps and sets based on your goals! . . - If you are having hip impingement symptoms, there is a good chance that you also have associated femoral anterior glide syndrome. The idea behind this is that your femur has translated anteriorly (forward), which can cause pinching and compression of the femoroacetabular joint. Traditionally - it’s thought that femoral anterior glide syndrome has a combination of many different imbalances - with weakness of the psoas often being seen on the symptomatic side. Give this exercise a try to effectively strengthen/activate your psoas. If it creates discomfort - DO NOT force through that range of motion. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments! . . - 8 days ago

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The 45 degree glute extension. The glutes play a vital role in pelvic stabilization, hip health, and overall athletic development. There are literally hundreds, maybe thousands of exercises to target the glute max. One that I personally put towards the top of the list is the 45 degree (roman chair) glute hyperextension exercise. Here are the dos ✅ for the exercise.
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✅ - This piece of equipment is commonly thought of as a back extension exercise. With a few modifications - it can easily become a HIP extension exercise. First step - have the pads fall on your upper thighs. Your hip crease line should be the first thing not supported by the pads.
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Next step- VERY IMPORTANT - posteriorly tilt your pelvis. Do this by “tucking” your tailbone the entire time while maintaining good core tension. Also - you should think of rounding 😵 your lower back slightly through the movement. This will better activate the glutes and hamstrings during the exercise. You will then slowly lift your trunk up pulling through your buns/hamstrings. Be sure to maintain the posterior tilt throughout.
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Only lift up to the point of spinal neutrality. DO NOT arch your low back. It may feel as if you are not going up high enough, but if done properly - you will feel it in your glutes! Slowly lower self back down while hinging at the hips and stretching through the backside. Repeat for desired number of reps and sets based on your goals. Hold on to a weight to increase intensity/resistance of exercise.
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🐥 - This exercise may not be for everyone. Start slow and take time to “feel” the movement in the glutes and hamstrings. If your lower back starts to get sore or tired - reposition, tilt the pelvis, and try again. If you are someone that enjoys trying different gluteal exercises - then this would be a great option for you. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments!
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The 45 degree glute extension. The glutes play a vital role in pelvic stabilization, hip health, and overall athletic development. There are literally hundreds, maybe thousands of exercises to target the glute max. One that I personally put towards the top of the list is the 45 degree (roman chair) glute hyperextension exercise. Here are the dos for the exercise. . . - This piece of equipment is commonly thought of as a back extension exercise. With a few modifications - it can easily become a HIP extension exercise. First step - have the pads fall on your upper thighs. Your hip crease line should be the first thing not supported by the pads. . . Next step- VERY IMPORTANT - posteriorly tilt your pelvis. Do this by “tucking” your tailbone the entire time while maintaining good core tension. Also - you should think of rounding your lower back slightly through the movement. This will better activate the glutes and hamstrings during the exercise. You will then slowly lift your trunk up pulling through your buns/hamstrings. Be sure to maintain the posterior tilt throughout. . . Only lift up to the point of spinal neutrality. DO NOT arch your low back. It may feel as if you are not going up high enough, but if done properly - you will feel it in your glutes! Slowly lower self back down while hinging at the hips and stretching through the backside. Repeat for desired number of reps and sets based on your goals. Hold on to a weight to increase intensity/resistance of exercise. . . - This exercise may not be for everyone. Start slow and take time to “feel” the movement in the glutes and hamstrings. If your lower back starts to get sore or tired - reposition, tilt the pelvis, and try again. If you are someone that enjoys trying different gluteal exercises - then this would be a great option for you. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments! . . - 9 days ago

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Adductor release with med ball. I want to start by addressing the term “release”. When i say release, I am not referring to breaking up adhesions, drastically changing tissue length in a matter of minutes, or even busting up scar tissue. A release is referring to decreasing the overall nervous system tone to that particular structure or structures. Think of it as indirectly working on your brain :)
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In people that are experiencing pinching in their hips with loaded hip flexion movements such as squats or lunges, this is easily one of my favorite exercises to help decrease this “pinching” sensation. If there is one area of the body that does NOT get worked on nearly enough with hip impingement symptoms - it is the adductors (inner thigh). This is one of the biggest bang for your buck areas to work on to help improve those hip impingement symptoms. Here are the dos ✅for the med ball adductor release.
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✅ - First, grab a medicine ball. I’ve used foam roller, lacrosse balls, and many other things to target this area. A med ball seems to work best to effectively get at this area. Move to your stomach and open the inside of the thigh you are working towards the ground and place the med ball on this inner thigh area. Then - work the ball on your inner thigh all the way from the knee up to the upper groin area searching for areas of tension and discomfort. Move slow.
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Be sure to breathe with this tissue work. if this is your first time performing this - you can expect to be fairly tender. If you reproduce any numbness or tingling, be sure to move off the area and reposition. Once completed - re test your squat, lunge, or specific movement pattern that you are trying to improve/decrease pain. If you are experiencing less pain - it’s a pretty safe bet that your adductors are contributing to some of your hip pain/pinching sensations.
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🐥 - The adductors are a sensitive area (for patient and provider) and very often overlooked. Be sure to address them if you are experiencing any hip impingement. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments!
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Adductor release with med ball. I want to start by addressing the term “release”. When i say release, I am not referring to breaking up adhesions, drastically changing tissue length in a matter of minutes, or even busting up scar tissue. A release is referring to decreasing the overall nervous system tone to that particular structure or structures. Think of it as indirectly working on your brain :) . . In people that are experiencing pinching in their hips with loaded hip flexion movements such as squats or lunges, this is easily one of my favorite exercises to help decrease this “pinching” sensation. If there is one area of the body that does NOT get worked on nearly enough with hip impingement symptoms - it is the adductors (inner thigh). This is one of the biggest bang for your buck areas to work on to help improve those hip impingement symptoms. Here are the dos for the med ball adductor release. . . - First, grab a medicine ball. I’ve used foam roller, lacrosse balls, and many other things to target this area. A med ball seems to work best to effectively get at this area. Move to your stomach and open the inside of the thigh you are working towards the ground and place the med ball on this inner thigh area. Then - work the ball on your inner thigh all the way from the knee up to the upper groin area searching for areas of tension and discomfort. Move slow. . . Be sure to breathe with this tissue work. if this is your first time performing this - you can expect to be fairly tender. If you reproduce any numbness or tingling, be sure to move off the area and reposition. Once completed - re test your squat, lunge, or specific movement pattern that you are trying to improve/decrease pain. If you are experiencing less pain - it’s a pretty safe bet that your adductors are contributing to some of your hip pain/pinching sensations. . . - The adductors are a sensitive area (for patient and provider) and very often overlooked. Be sure to address them if you are experiencing any hip impingement. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments! . . - 11 days ago

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After work movement with a foam roller. If you’re one of the many who sits at a desk job for long periods of time - chances are that your body may not be going through the many ranges of motion that it has available. This video outlines 3 exercises with a foam roller that I personally enjoy doing after a long day of sitting at work.
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✅ - First exercise is a supine foam roll lay with shoulder flexion and extension. You will simply lie down with your spine in alignment with the foam roller. Make sure knees are bent. Then - you will alternate your arms up overhead switching from left to right. Try to avoid arching your low back when reaching up. Repeat for 20-30 reps total.
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✅ - This next exercise is a modified standing straddle stretch with the foam roller there for support. Be sure to hinge at the hips and feel a deep stretch in both the hamstrings and adductors (inner thigh). Slowly shift from side to side with hands on foam roller (for support) once deep stretch position is found. Avoid rounding of the low back. Try hold for 1-2 mins and be sure to breathe.
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✅ - Next exercise is a simple plantar fascia roll using the foam roller. Position top of foot on the foam and slowly roll foot back and forth searching for areas with increased tension. Keep hand on the wall or something sturdy for support. Try to roll out each foot for roughly 1-2 mins.
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🐥 - This quick and simple yet effective routine can help to combat some of the tension that may build up from the prolonged sitting position. If done quickly and with purpose - it may take no more than 7-10 mins and can easily be done during commercials. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments!
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After work movement with a foam roller. If you’re one of the many who sits at a desk job for long periods of time - chances are that your body may not be going through the many ranges of motion that it has available. This video outlines 3 exercises with a foam roller that I personally enjoy doing after a long day of sitting at work. . . - First exercise is a supine foam roll lay with shoulder flexion and extension. You will simply lie down with your spine in alignment with the foam roller. Make sure knees are bent. Then - you will alternate your arms up overhead switching from left to right. Try to avoid arching your low back when reaching up. Repeat for 20-30 reps total. . . - This next exercise is a modified standing straddle stretch with the foam roller there for support. Be sure to hinge at the hips and feel a deep stretch in both the hamstrings and adductors (inner thigh). Slowly shift from side to side with hands on foam roller (for support) once deep stretch position is found. Avoid rounding of the low back. Try hold for 1-2 mins and be sure to breathe. . . - Next exercise is a simple plantar fascia roll using the foam roller. Position top of foot on the foam and slowly roll foot back and forth searching for areas with increased tension. Keep hand on the wall or something sturdy for support. Try to roll out each foot for roughly 1-2 mins. . . - This quick and simple yet effective routine can help to combat some of the tension that may build up from the prolonged sitting position. If done quickly and with purpose - it may take no more than 7-10 mins and can easily be done during commercials. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments! . . - 14 days ago

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Rotator cuff warm up. The following 4 exercises are my go to for a quick and effective warm up for the rotator cuff prior to any workouts that involve the pressing or overhead movements.
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1️⃣ - First exercise is a standing banded external rotation. As you can see - there is a purple block in between my arm and side. This is to keep the arm in a slightly abducted position. A slightly abducted position has been shown to elicit more muscle activation out of the rotator cuff as compared to simply having the arm at the side. Be sure to keep wrist in a neutral position and slowly work hand outwards with a nice tempo.
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2️⃣ - Second exercise is a standing banded 90/90 external rotation. First step is you should row (horizontally abduct) your arm to your side so your arm is at a 90 degree abducted position. Then - you will externally rotate your hand against the band resistance while maintaining a 90 degree elbow angle and a 90 degree abducted shoulder position. Be sure to use lighter resistance bands for this.
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3️⃣ - Next is a standing scaption raise with dumbbells. Scaption refers to the angle of roughly 30 degrees inwards (horizontally adducted) position from straight from the side. Only raise to 90 degrees in a nice slow and controlled tempo. Hands are in a neutral (thumbs up) position. Light weights should be the priority here.
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4️⃣ - Last movement is shoulder taps in a full push up position. Be sure to get feet in an appropriate position (widen out) so you are able to maintain a nice straight line position at the top when you tap your opposite shoulder and perform the exercise. If this is too difficult - performing this on your knees will work as well.
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🐥 - I typically like to end my warm up with a closed chain exercise to approximate the GH joint and expose it to a different type of stimulus as compared to traditional open chain shoulder warm up exercises. If you’re looking for a new shoulder warm up prior to your workouts - give this a shot. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments
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Rotator cuff warm up. The following 4 exercises are my go to for a quick and effective warm up for the rotator cuff prior to any workouts that involve the pressing or overhead movements. . . 1️⃣ - First exercise is a standing banded external rotation. As you can see - there is a purple block in between my arm and side. This is to keep the arm in a slightly abducted position. A slightly abducted position has been shown to elicit more muscle activation out of the rotator cuff as compared to simply having the arm at the side. Be sure to keep wrist in a neutral position and slowly work hand outwards with a nice tempo. . . 2️⃣ - Second exercise is a standing banded 90/90 external rotation. First step is you should row (horizontally abduct) your arm to your side so your arm is at a 90 degree abducted position. Then - you will externally rotate your hand against the band resistance while maintaining a 90 degree elbow angle and a 90 degree abducted shoulder position. Be sure to use lighter resistance bands for this. . . 3️⃣ - Next is a standing scaption raise with dumbbells. Scaption refers to the angle of roughly 30 degrees inwards (horizontally adducted) position from straight from the side. Only raise to 90 degrees in a nice slow and controlled tempo. Hands are in a neutral (thumbs up) position. Light weights should be the priority here. . . 4️⃣ - Last movement is shoulder taps in a full push up position. Be sure to get feet in an appropriate position (widen out) so you are able to maintain a nice straight line position at the top when you tap your opposite shoulder and perform the exercise. If this is too difficult - performing this on your knees will work as well. . . - I typically like to end my warm up with a closed chain exercise to approximate the GH joint and expose it to a different type of stimulus as compared to traditional open chain shoulder warm up exercises. If you’re looking for a new shoulder warm up prior to your workouts - give this a shot. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments . . - 15 days ago

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The single leg bridge. This can be a fantastic gluteal exercise when done properly. Here is a video of my good friend @kolbygru_hot performing this exercise with great form and control. .
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✅ - As said before with the barbell hip thrust - I prefer to use a decline bench. It seems to take less pressure off the back and it allows me to hinge easier during the movement. It just feels better for myself. If you don’t have access to a decline bench, a normal bench will work as well.
To get in appropriate position, try to maintain contact points on both shoulder blades. This is where the pressure on your upper back should take place during movement when you thrust upwards.
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First, you will slightly tilt your pelvis and tuck your rib cage down. Then, lift the non working leg up off the floor. Once this position is found - you will then grip the floor with your foot and lift your bottom up off the bench or floor maintaining tension on the heel of your working leg. *TIP* - avoid letting your pelvis/hip drop on the opposite side that you are pushing up with. Your hips will want to drop on that side, but try maintain a level pelvis at the top of the rep. Your lower leg should be perpindicular with the floor at the top of the rep as well. Where should you put your hands? I prefer to keep them across the chest or resting by my side during the movement. If bodyweight starts to become easy, you can add a weight across your lap to increase the overall intensity. Repeat for desired number of reps and sets based on your goals!
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🐥 - If you have never performed a single leg glute activation exercise like this- you may be surprised at the burn. Overall, most people will typically favor/prefer one side over the other. This exercise can do a great job of finding those strength differences/imbalances/control issues from side to side. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments.
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The single leg bridge. This can be a fantastic gluteal exercise when done properly. Here is a video of my good friend @kolbygru_hot performing this exercise with great form and control. . . - As said before with the barbell hip thrust - I prefer to use a decline bench. It seems to take less pressure off the back and it allows me to hinge easier during the movement. It just feels better for myself. If you don’t have access to a decline bench, a normal bench will work as well. To get in appropriate position, try to maintain contact points on both shoulder blades. This is where the pressure on your upper back should take place during movement when you thrust upwards. . . First, you will slightly tilt your pelvis and tuck your rib cage down. Then, lift the non working leg up off the floor. Once this position is found - you will then grip the floor with your foot and lift your bottom up off the bench or floor maintaining tension on the heel of your working leg. *TIP* - avoid letting your pelvis/hip drop on the opposite side that you are pushing up with. Your hips will want to drop on that side, but try maintain a level pelvis at the top of the rep. Your lower leg should be perpindicular with the floor at the top of the rep as well. Where should you put your hands? I prefer to keep them across the chest or resting by my side during the movement. If bodyweight starts to become easy, you can add a weight across your lap to increase the overall intensity. Repeat for desired number of reps and sets based on your goals! . . - If you have never performed a single leg glute activation exercise like this- you may be surprised at the burn. Overall, most people will typically favor/prefer one side over the other. This exercise can do a great job of finding those strength differences/imbalances/control issues from side to side. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments. . . - 16 days ago

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The incline bench press. One of the foundational exercises for development of the clavicular portion of the pectorals major. Here are some things to think about ✅ and avoid ❌ for the incline bench press
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❌ - Performing reps with decreased overall range of motion. The idea that this will somehow keep “tension” on the muscle and stimulate further growth for a natural lifter is false. Majority of your lifts should use full range of motion as long as your capable and healthy to perform through that range.
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✅ - Controlled full range of motion. End of each rep will cause the humerus to horizontally adduct with is a primary movement to activate the pectoralis major. Also, maintaining a scapular retraction (shoulder blade squeeze) throughout the movement to prevent possible impingement of the glenohumeral joint.
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🐥 - The pectorals major is comprised of 2 “heads” of muscles. Sternal portion (lower) and clavicular portion (upper). In a study done by Trebs et al. in 2010, researchers found that pressing movements using an incline angle of the bench recruit the clavicular portion (upper chest) of the pectoralis major much better as compared to the flat or decline bench press movements. They also found that the greater the inclination of the bench, the more recruitment of the anterior deltoid.
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If you have any pinching or pain with pressing movements such as this - DO NOT WORK THROUGH IT. Stop. Reassess form. Use lighter weight. Try different hand placements. If painful symptoms still persist with pressing, be sure to get evaluated from a qualified professional.
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The incline bench press. One of the foundational exercises for development of the clavicular portion of the pectorals major. Here are some things to think about and avoid for the incline bench press . . - Performing reps with decreased overall range of motion. The idea that this will somehow keep “tension” on the muscle and stimulate further growth for a natural lifter is false. Majority of your lifts should use full range of motion as long as your capable and healthy to perform through that range. . . - Controlled full range of motion. End of each rep will cause the humerus to horizontally adduct with is a primary movement to activate the pectoralis major. Also, maintaining a scapular retraction (shoulder blade squeeze) throughout the movement to prevent possible impingement of the glenohumeral joint. . . - The pectorals major is comprised of 2 “heads” of muscles. Sternal portion (lower) and clavicular portion (upper). In a study done by Trebs et al. in 2010, researchers found that pressing movements using an incline angle of the bench recruit the clavicular portion (upper chest) of the pectoralis major much better as compared to the flat or decline bench press movements. They also found that the greater the inclination of the bench, the more recruitment of the anterior deltoid. . . If you have any pinching or pain with pressing movements such as this - DO NOT WORK THROUGH IT. Stop. Reassess form. Use lighter weight. Try different hand placements. If painful symptoms still persist with pressing, be sure to get evaluated from a qualified professional. . . - 17 days ago

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Med ball planks. The following 3 exercises focus on the front plank position with the use of a med ball to further challenge your core.
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✅ - 1) First exercise is a static front plank position hold with hands on the med ball. The specific med ball I am using is a 4 pound med ball. Find your neutral spine position and hold for roughly 30-60 seconds. .
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2) 2nd exercise is a mountain climber med ball front plank. Once in the plank position - think of maintaining that straight line position while lifting one knee up towards the ball. Again - keep torso and body as still as possible while lifting one knee upwards. Repeat for roughly 8-15 reps each leg
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3) Last exercise is med ball front plank position with leg raises. Slowly alternate lifting one foot up off the floor while maintaining your nice complete front plank position. Repeat for 8-15 reps each leg.
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🐥 - Most commercial gyms will have a set of medicine balls. The medicine balls will create a challenging environment for not only your mid section, but also your shoulder stability. Next time you are looking to get creative with your core workout - give this quick routine a try. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments!
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Med ball planks. The following 3 exercises focus on the front plank position with the use of a med ball to further challenge your core. . . - 1) First exercise is a static front plank position hold with hands on the med ball. The specific med ball I am using is a 4 pound med ball. Find your neutral spine position and hold for roughly 30-60 seconds. . . 2) 2nd exercise is a mountain climber med ball front plank. Once in the plank position - think of maintaining that straight line position while lifting one knee up towards the ball. Again - keep torso and body as still as possible while lifting one knee upwards. Repeat for roughly 8-15 reps each leg . . 3) Last exercise is med ball front plank position with leg raises. Slowly alternate lifting one foot up off the floor while maintaining your nice complete front plank position. Repeat for 8-15 reps each leg. . . - Most commercial gyms will have a set of medicine balls. The medicine balls will create a challenging environment for not only your mid section, but also your shoulder stability. Next time you are looking to get creative with your core workout - give this quick routine a try. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments! . . - 19 days ago

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The 90/90 hip stretch. This is an excellent active movement that will work the coordination and muscle control of both external and internal rotation of the hips. Here are the dos ✅ for the 90/90 hip transition.
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✅ - The starting position will be with both the left and right leg forming 90 degree angles. Once 90/90 position is found, rotate back leg/knee up and slowly “transition” to the 90/90 position on the other side. I like to think of driving my heel down on the back leg while slowly lifting that knee up to maintain hip contraction/control. Repeat for 10-15 reps on both sides trying to maintain a relatively upright torso. DISCLAIMER - if you get any pinching type pain in the hips or stress on the inner aspect of the knees- stop, DO NOT force yourself into these ranges of motion, reassess your position, and alter your stance or torso angle. If you need to keep your hands behind on the floor to help with stability during movement - do so.
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🐥- hip internal and external rotation is often the missing link in hip mobility and control. Try this 90/90 transition to loosen up the hips in the often forgotten about transverse plane. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments. Happy Easter! 🐇🐣 .
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The 90/90 hip stretch. This is an excellent active movement that will work the coordination and muscle control of both external and internal rotation of the hips. Here are the dos for the 90/90 hip transition. . . - The starting position will be with both the left and right leg forming 90 degree angles. Once 90/90 position is found, rotate back leg/knee up and slowly “transition” to the 90/90 position on the other side. I like to think of driving my heel down on the back leg while slowly lifting that knee up to maintain hip contraction/control. Repeat for 10-15 reps on both sides trying to maintain a relatively upright torso. DISCLAIMER - if you get any pinching type pain in the hips or stress on the inner aspect of the knees- stop, DO NOT force yourself into these ranges of motion, reassess your position, and alter your stance or torso angle. If you need to keep your hands behind on the floor to help with stability during movement - do so. . . - hip internal and external rotation is often the missing link in hip mobility and control. Try this 90/90 transition to loosen up the hips in the often forgotten about transverse plane. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments. Happy Easter! 🐇 . . - 21 days ago

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Leg day warm up.  A complete and efficient leg day warm up can go a long way to improve movement patterns and open up restricted areas. With that said - your warm up should be tailored to your needs and improve the particular movements that you will be performing. This is a simple, yet effective hip mobility warm up that has worked great for me that should only take 5-10 minutes. Here are the dos for the leg day warm up.
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✅ - Before the exercises - I like to warm up on a stationary bike or elliptical for 5 minutes. 1) First movement that I like to use is a posterior hip capsule stretch. I posted a video a few weeks ago describing this exercise. Ultimately - this is working on the arthrokinematics of your hips to improve the posterior glide of your femur when you  perform hip flexion. If you are experiencing pinching type pain in your hips when you flex your hips - this can help to alleviate that pinching sensation.
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2) Second exercise is a simple loaded hip hinge with a kettle bell. This movement will help to actively stretch the hamstrings and adductors under load. This is a fantastic movement to work on increasing appropriate mobility for deadlift and RDL positioning.
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3) The third exercise is a basic kettle bell swing. I perform roughly 2 sets of 25 reps to get some blood flow and activation within the gluteals and hamstrings.
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🐣- Knowing the proper warm up and what to do can sometimes be daunting. If your warm up consists of static stretching and foam rolling for 30 minutes + prior to your workout - you are more than likely wasting your time. Just know that there is no “one size fits all” approach to figuring out your proper warm up. Let me know if you have any questions with your warm up routines!
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Leg day warm up. A complete and efficient leg day warm up can go a long way to improve movement patterns and open up restricted areas. With that said - your warm up should be tailored to your needs and improve the particular movements that you will be performing. This is a simple, yet effective hip mobility warm up that has worked great for me that should only take 5-10 minutes. Here are the dos for the leg day warm up. . . - Before the exercises - I like to warm up on a stationary bike or elliptical for 5 minutes. 1) First movement that I like to use is a posterior hip capsule stretch. I posted a video a few weeks ago describing this exercise. Ultimately - this is working on the arthrokinematics of your hips to improve the posterior glide of your femur when you perform hip flexion. If you are experiencing pinching type pain in your hips when you flex your hips - this can help to alleviate that pinching sensation. . . 2) Second exercise is a simple loaded hip hinge with a kettle bell. This movement will help to actively stretch the hamstrings and adductors under load. This is a fantastic movement to work on increasing appropriate mobility for deadlift and RDL positioning. . . 3) The third exercise is a basic kettle bell swing. I perform roughly 2 sets of 25 reps to get some blood flow and activation within the gluteals and hamstrings. . . - Knowing the proper warm up and what to do can sometimes be daunting. If your warm up consists of static stretching and foam rolling for 30 minutes + prior to your workout - you are more than likely wasting your time. Just know that there is no “one size fits all” approach to figuring out your proper warm up. Let me know if you have any questions with your warm up routines! . . - 22 days ago

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The TRX arm workout. The TRX can be used for a variety of muscle groups. One interesting way that they can be used is for targeting the biceps and triceps with your body weight. Here are the dos✅ for the TRX arm blaster.
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✅ - First exercise is body weight bicep curls. You will start by trying to find a starting position with the weight of your body on your heels. The angle of you body will depend on your pulling/bicep strength. Once position is found, slowly curl hands towards your ears. I prefer to slowly lift my elbows up while flexing at the elbow at the top of the rep. The more parallel your body is to the ground, the more resistance there will be.
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Second exercise is the tricep extension with body weight. First position weight on your toes and slowly lean body forward with hands out in front. Also, think of maintaining shoulder blades tucked down and back. Same as the first exercise - the angle will depend on your strength level. While maintaining hands out in front, slowly drop head towards hands while bending at the elbows. Then, push hands away and straighten elbows while maintaining rigidity in your entire spine/body.
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🐥 - These exercises can be used after your compound lifts as a great finisher for your biceps and triceps. The angle and feel of the movements may take some time getting used to; nevertheless, they can be a great movement once the right “feel” is established. Try to complete 3-4 rounds and see how your arms feel afterwards. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments!
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The TRX arm workout. The TRX can be used for a variety of muscle groups. One interesting way that they can be used is for targeting the biceps and triceps with your body weight. Here are the dos for the TRX arm blaster. . . - First exercise is body weight bicep curls. You will start by trying to find a starting position with the weight of your body on your heels. The angle of you body will depend on your pulling/bicep strength. Once position is found, slowly curl hands towards your ears. I prefer to slowly lift my elbows up while flexing at the elbow at the top of the rep. The more parallel your body is to the ground, the more resistance there will be. . . Second exercise is the tricep extension with body weight. First position weight on your toes and slowly lean body forward with hands out in front. Also, think of maintaining shoulder blades tucked down and back. Same as the first exercise - the angle will depend on your strength level. While maintaining hands out in front, slowly drop head towards hands while bending at the elbows. Then, push hands away and straighten elbows while maintaining rigidity in your entire spine/body. . . - These exercises can be used after your compound lifts as a great finisher for your biceps and triceps. The angle and feel of the movements may take some time getting used to; nevertheless, they can be a great movement once the right “feel” is established. Try to complete 3-4 rounds and see how your arms feel afterwards. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments! . . - 24 days ago

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All movement can be described in the following 3 planes of movement: sagittal, frontal, and transverse planes. The sagittal plane is an anatomical plane that splits the body into left and right parts. These following core exercises are some of my personal favorites that will work primarily within the sagittal plane of movement.
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1️⃣ First exercise is a curl up. Think of flattening your back prior to curling your shoulders up towards your knees. Squeeze your abdominals at the top of the rep and slowly lower back down. Try to curl up to the point where your shoulder blades lift up off the floor.
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2️⃣ Second exercise is a standard front plank. Try to maintain a nice flat back posture. Widen feet out to make exercise easier. Elbows right under shoulders and hold for desired number of seconds.
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3️⃣ Next is an ab rollout. This sagittal plane core exercise is an abdominal killer. Try to maintain a nice neutral back when rolling the wheel out in front - only reach out to the point where you are able to maintain good anti extension within your lumbar spine.
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4️⃣ Last exercise is a plank slide out. You will need 2 sliders - one on each foot. Assume front plank position, then slowly slide feet back while maintaining that good core rigidity. Again - only reach back as far as you are able to maintain good anti extension. .
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🐥- The following exercises will primarily work within the sagittal plane of movement, but please realize that movement does not occur perfectly in one plane - but rather in a combination of all 3. All exercises should be completed for desired number of reps, sets, and time based on your goals - AKA - there is no perfect rep range for every person. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments!
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All movement can be described in the following 3 planes of movement: sagittal, frontal, and transverse planes. The sagittal plane is an anatomical plane that splits the body into left and right parts. These following core exercises are some of my personal favorites that will work primarily within the sagittal plane of movement. . . 1️⃣ First exercise is a curl up. Think of flattening your back prior to curling your shoulders up towards your knees. Squeeze your abdominals at the top of the rep and slowly lower back down. Try to curl up to the point where your shoulder blades lift up off the floor. . . 2️⃣ Second exercise is a standard front plank. Try to maintain a nice flat back posture. Widen feet out to make exercise easier. Elbows right under shoulders and hold for desired number of seconds. . . 3️⃣ Next is an ab rollout. This sagittal plane core exercise is an abdominal killer. Try to maintain a nice neutral back when rolling the wheel out in front - only reach out to the point where you are able to maintain good anti extension within your lumbar spine. . . 4️⃣ Last exercise is a plank slide out. You will need 2 sliders - one on each foot. Assume front plank position, then slowly slide feet back while maintaining that good core rigidity. Again - only reach back as far as you are able to maintain good anti extension. . . - The following exercises will primarily work within the sagittal plane of movement, but please realize that movement does not occur perfectly in one plane - but rather in a combination of all 3. All exercises should be completed for desired number of reps, sets, and time based on your goals - AKA - there is no perfect rep range for every person. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments! . . - 25 days ago

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Goalie groin stretch. The adductors are a muscle group that I have posted about before and will continue to post about - the reason? I believe that they are still highly under assessed with overall hip mobility and control. My personal favorite static stretch for the adductors is the adductor goalie stretch. Here are the dos ✅ for the adductor goalie stretch.
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✅ - Be sure to have a yoga mat or a soft pad to place knee on. Get into kneeling position. On the side that you want to stretch - move foot straight out to the side keeping slight pressure on the heel portion of the foot. This position places the thigh in an abducted position which can allow you to easily control the amount of stretch through the adductors by simply dropping hips back toward the kneeling leg.
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Try to avoid rounding of the low back and maintain this neutral position while slowly dropping hips back. Once feeling of stretch is felt on the inside of the thigh, lean forward and place hands out in front. Once in proper position - BREATHE. Once you master this position, start to experiment with slight trunk rotation away from the hip that is being stretch. Try to release all tension in body with each exhale.
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🐥 - Static stretching will only get you so far. Be sure to follow up with appropriate movement pattern and strengthening after a stretch like this to help “hold” this newly created hip mobility/control. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments!
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Goalie groin stretch. The adductors are a muscle group that I have posted about before and will continue to post about - the reason? I believe that they are still highly under assessed with overall hip mobility and control. My personal favorite static stretch for the adductors is the adductor goalie stretch. Here are the dos for the adductor goalie stretch. . . - Be sure to have a yoga mat or a soft pad to place knee on. Get into kneeling position. On the side that you want to stretch - move foot straight out to the side keeping slight pressure on the heel portion of the foot. This position places the thigh in an abducted position which can allow you to easily control the amount of stretch through the adductors by simply dropping hips back toward the kneeling leg. . . Try to avoid rounding of the low back and maintain this neutral position while slowly dropping hips back. Once feeling of stretch is felt on the inside of the thigh, lean forward and place hands out in front. Once in proper position - BREATHE. Once you master this position, start to experiment with slight trunk rotation away from the hip that is being stretch. Try to release all tension in body with each exhale. . . - Static stretching will only get you so far. Be sure to follow up with appropriate movement pattern and strengthening after a stretch like this to help “hold” this newly created hip mobility/control. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments! . . - 26 days ago

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Kneeling TFL stretch. In a separate video, I mentioned how the adductors play a large role in hip impingement symptoms. The second area of the body is the hip flexors - specifically the tensor fascia lata (TFL). Here are the do's ✅ for the TFL stretch.
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✅ Get your self into a half kneeling position. Then, the side that you are stretching - ADDUCT they thigh or move it inwards. The knee that is on the ground should be perfectly in line with the foot that is in front.
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DO NOT aimless lean forward into the front foot. Instead, perform a posterior pelvic tilt (brace your core and draw belly button in towards your spine). Also squeeze the buttock on the side that is down. Once core and glute are activated on the down leg, you should feel a stretch in the TFL on the down leg. Add a small weight shift towards the front foot. If your core and glute muscles are active, just being in this position may elicit a strong stretch feeling. If you'd like, add a reach up and across in the frontal plane with your arm on the same side, but be sure to maintain your core tight and butt squeezed! . .
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🐣 The TFL is often overactive in patients/athletes that experience hip impingement, IT band syndrome, gluteal weakness, and a host of other undesirable symptoms. The very best stretch that I've found to target this area is this exact stretch. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments!
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Kneeling TFL stretch. In a separate video, I mentioned how the adductors play a large role in hip impingement symptoms. The second area of the body is the hip flexors - specifically the tensor fascia lata (TFL). Here are the do's for the TFL stretch. . . Get your self into a half kneeling position. Then, the side that you are stretching - ADDUCT they thigh or move it inwards. The knee that is on the ground should be perfectly in line with the foot that is in front. . . DO NOT aimless lean forward into the front foot. Instead, perform a posterior pelvic tilt (brace your core and draw belly button in towards your spine). Also squeeze the buttock on the side that is down. Once core and glute are activated on the down leg, you should feel a stretch in the TFL on the down leg. Add a small weight shift towards the front foot. If your core and glute muscles are active, just being in this position may elicit a strong stretch feeling. If you'd like, add a reach up and across in the frontal plane with your arm on the same side, but be sure to maintain your core tight and butt squeezed! . . . The TFL is often overactive in patients/athletes that experience hip impingement, IT band syndrome, gluteal weakness, and a host of other undesirable symptoms. The very best stretch that I've found to target this area is this exact stretch. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments! . . - 29 days ago

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