Over the past few months of Quarantine, I have had the opportunity to sit on the front porch of my house and watch people go by walking, running, and biking. “I wonder if everyone is doing a Warm Up?” I think to myself. Just in case here is a simple Warm Up program to help you get out the door safely.
- Start with your feet! Just before you put your shoes on, sit down on the ground with your legs straight out in front of you. Press your hands down into the ground next to your hips to help you lengthen your spine. Flex and point your feet 5-10 times. Circle your feet at your ankle joints 5-10 times away from each other and then towards each other. Now you can put on your shoes and socks.
- Have you received your free Warm Up videos? All 3 videos are great to do before a walk, run, or bike ride. Specifically the third Warm Up video is currently my favorite Warm Up, 3 easy Yoga postures that are surprisingly profound. Cat and Cow stretch, Downward Facing Dog, and the 90/90 Quad Stretch.
We have 4 Quadriceps muscles. All 4 Quadriceps muscles cross the knee joint, but only one Quadriceps muscle crosses the hip joint, Rectus Femoris. I am learning a secret to knee health is to Stretch Rectus Femoris, demonstrated in the 3rd free Warm Up video, and strengthen the other 3 Quadriceps muscles Vastus Medialis, Vastus Intermedius, and Vastus Lateralis. A gentle Warm Up for the other 3 Quadriceps muscles will be demonstrated in the upcoming Warm Up Chair workouts.
When your core is properly firing which means diaphragmatic breathing, pelvic floor support, transversus abdominis narrowing your waist like a belt, and your lumbar multifidi is long and strong, your pelvic bowl should be level. If your rectus Femoris, the Quad that crosses the hip joint is too tight, this will tilt your pelvis forwards into an anterior pelvic tilt placing extra strain on your low back. All 3 activities walking, running, and biking will exacerbate low back pain if you do not start from neutral level pelvic position. The solution is simple: 3 breaths on each side right and left in your 90/90 Quad stretch before you walk, run, or bike.
Did you miss your Warm Up on the way out the door?
Use Warm Up as a cool down when you get home.
Hold the stretches for longer than 3 breaths.
Hold the stretches for 30 seconds to a minute to change your resting muscle length increasing your flexibility.