We are to the 5th and final post in this series on what you can do outside the gym to maximize your progress and overall health.
I originally began writing this series in 2015 and the first 3 parts were posted at the Blue Ox/Crossfit Portland website around that time. For some reason that I don’t recall, I never finished the series. I’ve updated and re-posted the first 3 posts here, and then completed & posted part 4. Part 5 was originally going to be on breathing – and I still believe it’s a huge area where most folks can improve a lot. However, I’ve written separately on it quite a bit lately so I wanted to go in a different direction..
I realized there was one huge area outside the gym that nearly everyone neglects, including myself at times. This wasn’t even on my radar in 2015 when I outlined the original series, not even as an honorable mention.
This is the fourth of a 5 part series on what you can do outside the gym to maximize your progress and overall health. In part 4, I’ll dive into the benefits of being outside in nature.
You might not expect this to be too important, but it’s actually appears this could be a big deal. First off, we must remember that being outdoors is our natural environment. Our genetics are not built for this world of concrete, technology, and endless to-do lists. If you think about it, our lives are really no different than being a zoo animal in a concrete cage, living a very different life than were we in the wild.
This is the third of a 5 part series on what you can do outside the gym to maximize your progress and overall health. In part 3, we’ll look at doing daily joint mobility exercises. This is not a new concept, but it seems to be finally gaining popularity. In spite of that, it’s still not on the radar for many fitness enthusiasts.
This may actually be the most important thing you can do for a healthy, functional, and long life. It will likely contribute far more to your daily well-being than any conditioning or strength work will. Those with good strength and/or endurance usually still stiffen up and have painful joints as they age, just like the sedentary. This isn’t a inevitable part of aging, it’s just inevitable if you do nothing to combat it. The problem is, almost no one actually takes action, or is aware they can and should.
This is the second of a 5 part series on what you can do outside the gym to maximize your progress and overall health. This time, we’ll look at doing some separate light aerobic activity.
We need to remember WHY we need to exercise in the first place to understand the importance of this. Most people today would simply say we exercise to burn some fat or build muscle. The real reason we need to exercise is because physical movement should be a natural part of a human animal’s life from birth to death. Just like we need to eat, sleep, and drink water all thru our whole life, we need to move regularly also! Providing shelter, food, safety, and transportation all required quite a bit of physical effort until recent times. Now, we sit all day for both work and pleasure, and this is very different from what our genes expect. So ultimately, we must exercise as a replacement for that physical activity we are no longer required to do. That’s why exercise generally makes you healthier!
Here are 5 drills where the goal is improved control of the pelvis on top of a fixed femur. Frequently we mobilize the hip with the moving leg in space on a stable hip. This is definitely important, but when we need functional control of the hip, it will often happen on top of a planted leg. These drills work to improve strength & control of the deep hip rotators (among others).
Side note to my BMX Flatland fam – this is VERY important for us!
These drills are best done barefoot, as they strengthen the foot as well. Before bending forward on any of these exercises, lock your ribs down & engage your core, keep this tension thru the exercise.
1 – Single Leg Hip Hinge w/pole: 3 points of contact on the pole – back of head, mid-back, and butt. Do not loose contact as you hinge at the hip. Soft knee bend. Keep your low back flat, do not rotate away as you hinge! Work to 3 sets of 12/leg.
2 – Single Leg Hip Hinge, no pole: Same as above, now done without the feedback of the pole. The 3rd rep I do incorrectly so you can see what it looks like if you tilt your hip. Do 3 x 12/leg.
3 – Basic Hip Airplane: Start at the bottom of the single leg hinge. Rotate inward, then outward as far as you can control. It may help to think of pointing inward & outward with your belly button. Root into the ground with your foot. 3 x 8-10/side w/control.
4 – Hip Airplane Circle: Once #3 is mastered, add a slow rotation in both directions. This becomes a closed chain controlled articular rotation. (CARs) 3-5 x 3-5 reps.
5 – Weighted Hip Airplane Circle: Same as #4, holding light DBs to increase the demand. 3-5 x 3-5 reps.
Add these into your practice and see if your hips and back don’t end up feeling better!
This is part 1 of a 5 part series. Parts 1-3 were originally posted a few years back on my Blue Ox site, and they will be updated a bit here. Parts 4-5 were never completed but will appear here in the coming weeks. These posts will share some ideas on what you can do outside the gym to maximize your progress and overall health. They will NOT be covering nutrition, a topic that has been beaten to death in many prior posts. Obviously, nutrition is an important 6th factor, but I want to give a little love to some other factors that are just as important, if not more so.