Joe DeFranco’s Agile Eight

THE MOVES #1 – Foam Roll IT Band Start just below your hip and roll up & down to your mid-(outer) thigh 10-15X, focusing on any tight spots. Then perform 10-15 “rolls” starting at your mid-(outer) thigh and rolling all the way down to the outside of your knee. Again, focus on the tight areas. #2 – Foam Roll Adductors  Start just below the crease of your hip and roll up & down to your mid (inner) thigh 10-15X, focusing on any tight spots. Then perform 10-15 “rolls” starting at your mid-(inner) thigh and rolling down to the inside of your knee. Again, focus on the tight spots. #3 – Glute/Piriformis Myofacial release w/ static stretch Start with using a foam roller. Advanced: use a tennis ball or lacrosse ball.   #4 – Rollovers into “V” sits Perform 10 reps. Be careful for this is an advanced trainee exercise. If you experience any discomfort with this exercise, discontinue immediately. #5 – Fire hydrant circles Start on all fours and circle one leg backwards, to the side, forwards and then back down. Do 10 forward circles and repeat with other leg. Then repeat by starting in the opposite direction. (10 forward circles each leg and then 10 backward circles each way for a total of 40 reps) #6 – Mountain climbers Start in a pushup position. Jump your right knee to your chest and landing gently with the balls of your foot. Then in one motion, jump your right foot back while bringing your left knee up towards your chest. Perform 20 with each leg. #7 – Groiners Starting position...

Overhead Reach

MOVE OF THE MONTH DECEMBER 2012 The Over Head Reach ‘Micro break’ The human body is designed for movement. Holding any one posture for a prolonged period of time increases stiffness and tension. As a result, sitting is a common cause of low back and neck pain. As a general rule you should avoid sitting for longer than 20 minutes without getting up. Sitting for longer than that you begin to accumulate stiffness in your tissues that will have to be paid???. The exercise shown below is a ‘micro-break’ which you can perform to erase that stiffness. Getting up every 20–30 minutes will reduce the amount of time you take for a long ‘micro-break’. THE MOVE Start with with your feet shoulder width apart. Gently raise your arms overhead. Take a deep breath in, through your nose, and hold the breath. Reach your arms up to the ceiling as high as possible without letting your breath go. Make sure to keep your elbows as straight as possible. Then let the breath go as you drop your arms. Do 2-3 reps, every 30 minutes. Once you make this stretch as part of your regular routine, you will be ready to progress to next step. While reaching for the ceiling with both arms, alternate each arm by reaching further inch by inch. Elbows should be straight. Movement should only be taking place at the shoulder. Torso is elongated in an upright posture. Keep alternating the reaches with each arm for 30 seconds. Do 2-3 sets. Practice this 30 second move a few times a day to relieve your back and neck...

Using a Foam Roller

A foam roller is an effective tool for releasing tension in your connective tissues, working out kinks and knots in sore muscles and stretching muscles and tendons. By using your own body weight and a cylindrical foam roller you can perform a self-massage, break up trigger points, and soothe tight muscles while increasing blood flow and circulation. Perform the following moves before and after exercising. THE MOVES 1.  Quad Massage Start with both of your thighs on the roller at the same time. Roll back and forth from your knees to hips. To increase the pressure, lift one thigh off the roller and lean into the roller with the leg on the roller.  Roll for 60 seconds. 2.  Hamstring Massage Start with both of your hamstrings on the roller at the same time. Put your hands behind you on the floor for support. Roll back and forth from your knees to hips. To increase the pressure, lift one thigh off the roller and lean into the roller with the leg on the roller.  Roll for 60 seconds. 3.  IT Band Massage Lie sideways with the foam roller under the side of your thigh. Roll between your knee and your hip bone. Spend extra time on the more tender areas you encounter. Roll for 60 seconds. Repeat with your other leg. 4.  Gluteal Muscle/Piriformis Massage Sit with your buttocks on top of a foam roll. Bend your knees, and then cross the right leg so that the right ankle is over the left knee. Shift your weight to your right side, rolling over the buttocks until you feel the tension...

Stretches and Exercises for Cyclists & Recreational Riders

MOVE OF THE MONTH DECEMBER ISSUE 2012 THE MOVES With bike season getting into full gear, try adding these moves into your routine to help keep yourself healthy this summer.  These stretches are designed to help with common trouble areas with cyclists and casual riders.  Perform these movements before and after your rides and again on your days off. 1.   Hamstring Place the heel of one foot on the seat of a stable chair. While maintaining a flat back, bend forward at the hips as you feel the stretch in the back of leg.  Hold the stretch for 30 seconds and then repeat with the other leg. 2.  Neck Rolls From a standing position, pull shoulders down and back.  Tuck chin into chest. Keeping chin close to chest, slowly roll neck clockwise in a circular motion. Then roll neck counter-clockwise in a circular motion.  Do 5 times. 3.  Hip Flexor Stretch Kneel on one knee. Place front foot 12” in front of back knee. Keep stomach/glute tight as you move front knee over the foot. Hold for 30 seconds, do 2 times. 4.  Piriformis Lie on back with knees bent. Put left ankle on right quad. With hands on right hamstring, bring your right leg towards you. Hold for 30 seconds. Do 5 times. 5.  Cat-Camel Stretch From kneeling on all fours, place your hands under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Drop your head, round your back and tuck you pelvis. Hold for 3 seconds and exhale. Extend your head with a tucked chin and fully extend your back. Do 10 sets. 6. Abductor Massage with...

Thoracic Mobility

Thoracic Spine The thoracic spine provides a base for many of the neck and shoulder muscles.  It also designed to protect many of our vital organs.  It has a unique function as the mechanical bellows for our breathing. This area of the spine allows between 30-40 degrees of flexion, 20-25 degrees of extension, 30 degrees of rotation and 25 degrees of lateral bending.  Thoracic mobility and posture plays an important role in neck and shoulder health.  Thoracic pain is often less dramatic than neck pain, yet just as common. Thoracic Extension Proper thoracic extension allows for better positioning of the shoulder blade. Better upper thoracic mobility takes stress off of the neck. THE MOVE Begin on all fours with your hands under your shoulders and your knees under your hips.  Place one hand behind your head, and bring that elbow to your opposite forearm. From there you will rotate your torso while bringing your elbow as high as you can.  Follow the elbow with your eyes, but be careful not to twist your neck.  Repeat this motion for ten repetitions and switch sides.  Perform 2-3 sets daily or as a part of your warm-up. Download Thoracic...

Working Your Glutes

MOVE OF THE MONTH OCTOBER ISSUE 2012 Use the Single Leg Glute Bridge with Shoulders Elevated, an advanced version of the single-leg bridge to improve hip extension and glute strength. THE MOVE Start with your shoulders resting on the bench supporting your body. Raise your right leg off of the ground and start with your hips up in a level bridge. Drop your hips until you are nearly sitting down. Raise your body back up as high as you can and fully contract your buttocks at the top of the motion. Lower your body back down into the seated position and repeat action. Do 3 sets of 8-12 reps. Repeat with left leg raised. Use this advanced version of the single-leg bridge to improve hip extension and glute strength. Download Working Your...