Joe DeFranco’s Agile Eight


#1 – Foam Roll IT Band

De Franco's Agile 8 : 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 

De Franco's Agile 8 : 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

Joe DeFrancos Agile Eight : 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

DeFranco's Agile 8 :  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

DeFranco's Agile 8 : 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

DeFranco's Agile 8: #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

DeFranco's Agile 8: #7 – Groiners position 1 DeFranco's Agile 8: #7 – Groiners position 2
Starting position is the same as the pushup on your toes. Now jump both legs at the same time and have both feet land next to your hands. When you land, try to have your heels down. Next step is jump the legs back to starting position. Make sure that your core is tight to prevent you lower back caving in.

Perform 10 reps and hold the last rep for 10 seconds while you press your knees out with your upper arms and allowing your butt to drop down.

#8 – Static hip flexor stretch

DeFranco's Agile 8: Static hip flexor stretch
Perform 3 sets of 10 seconds each leg. Perform all 3 sets on one leg before moving onto the other leg.

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Short Foot

The short foot exercise is recommended by postural expert Vladimir Janda in his book “Muscle Function Testing,” to build strength, stability and endurance in the muscles and tendons that support the arch.



Sit with good posture in a sturdy chair with both feet on the floor, your toes facing straight forward, and your knees bent to 90 degrees. Inhale, contract the muscles on the bottom of your right foot and lower legs to raise the arch of your foot without curling your toes. This position is called the short foot position. Hold this isometric muscle contraction for six seconds, then exhale and relax. Turn your lower leg slightly outward, inhale and again come to the short foot position. Hold for six seconds, exhale and relax.

Next turn your lower leg inward, and perform another isometric contraction for six seconds. Repeat the identical series of exercises with your left foot. Reposition your feet an inch farther away from the chair, and perform repetitions in the straight, outward and inward ankle positions with both feet. After each series, inch your foot forward until you perform a total of five series with each foot. Sliding your feet farther away from the chair each rep works the muscles at slightly different angles.

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Overhead Reach


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’.


overhead-reachStart 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 stiffness.

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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.


1.  Quad Massage

FOAM ROLLER 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

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 in your glute.  Then repeat on the other side.

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Stretches and Exercises for Cyclists & Recreational Riders



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 Foam Roller


Start just below the crease of your hip and roll up & down to your mid (inner) thigh 10-15 times. Then perform 10-15 rolls starting at your mid (inner) thigh and rolling down to the inside of your knee.

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