On the weekend the family and I went to the beach in Half Moon Bay and saw the whales. There seems to be number of them right now, so if you are in the area try to make it out there.
Besides, seeing the whales going to the beach is always an opportunity for me to reset and get away from the real world. The connection of your feet to the sand and the ocean water can really make a shift in your state quickly. Feeling ready to take on the week today!
Saturday I went to the Spartan Obstacle Specialist Course to expand my knowledge in the instruction of obstacles for those wanting to do a Spartan Race or other Obstacle Course Races (OCR’s).
There are many obstacles that create a lot of anxiety for participants. Some of these include Burpees, Monkey Bars, Rope Climbs, Bucket Carry and Wall Climb to name of few. These obstacles like similar movements in boot camp or the gym require a certain level of fitness and skill.
Prior to attending the course I thought we would repeat the obstacles over and over again and learn how to regress them, which we did spend some time on. However, much of the day was spent on the foundation of the movements.
The foundations of OCR movements is the same as any movements you might do. Whether you participate in OCR’s, Zumba, Pilates, boot camps, cross fit, running or play tennis your foundation is the key!!!
To keep it simple the foundation is based upon your breathing, posture, core activation and strength, connection to the ground, joint and connective tissue mobility and strength; and the overall resiliency of your joints and connective tissues throughout the body.
I still see many doing static stretches prior to exercise training, which the research has shown many years ago to be ineffective for performance and likely to cause injury. See my article back in 2011 on this topic: “Are Your Kids Warming Up Properly for Their Summer Activities?”
Stretching is certainly useful in enhancing muscle length and imbalances, but it also does not address fascial (connective tissue) restrictions that greatly contribute to pain and dysfunction. If you are going to do static stretches or yoga training, do it post-workout or on its own.
Here are a few things you can do to improve your foundation and better prepare for movement:
- Standing Breathing/Posture/Connection: Perform 2 minutes of diaphragmatic breathing while standing and connecting to ground. Stand with feet shoulder width, lengthened spine with right hand on belly and left hand on chest. Imagine toes, ball of foot, arches, outer foot and heel have roots connected to ground with sandbags on top of feet. Feel strength and stability. Next imagine there is a steel band going around the waist under the belly button with a connection from band to the earth in the front and back anchoring to the ground. Initiate breathing with belly (let it fall into right hand) > rib cage and then chest, instead of initiating with chest. Breathe in and out of nose for approximately 15s each breath. Initiate breathing with belly for 5s (feel it fall) > rib cage expansion (have client expand rib cage laterally and then expand again to get full expansion) > 5 s hold > 5 s exhale through nose. For added bonus to change emotional state in seconds think about 3 things you are grateful for and smile because life is good!
- Perform self massage or self-myofascial release daily prior to movement and after if desired. It can also be done before bed to get even better and faster results. For more and specific videos click the following link: Decrease Pain, Reduce Tension, enhance Performance and Save Money with Myofascial Release.
- Perform mobility drills for the joints and connective tissues that you will use in your activity or that are restricted. The focus should be on the feet, ankles, hips, shoulders and wrists.See a great list of movements here: Mobility ExercisesRemember to perform the self massage first to get the best results.
- Lastly, perform Animal Flow Patterns to increase mobility, strength, neuro-muscular coordination, balance and more.See a great list of movements here: Animal Flow Exercises
Here is a video I did on mobility exercises and developmental/animal flow patterns:
Check out this video I did today on mobility work designed to prepare your for workouts and OCR’s. These movements will increase your resilience and reduce your likelihood of injury. Do these prior to exercise and notice the difference.
Posted by Brien Shamp on Friday, August 12, 2016
Work on your foundation with some of the above movements and let me know how your workouts go. I bet you will see an improvement in your movement efficiency. Often times there is often a reduction in pain.
We will be adding an OCR Prep Program soon. Stay tuned!
If you would like to have a strategy session about how to look and feel your best again, send me an email and let’s make it happen.
Your friend & coach,
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