JOINT-FRIENDLY EXERCISES YOUR QUARANTINED BODY NEEDS RIGHT NOW
Show of hands who’s body is feeling a little rough these days? 😥 Whether it’s from a more sedentary “shelter in place” lifestyle, or if you’re hitting those Virtual Live Streaming Classes extra hard, Rachael Bercey has put together some joint-friendly exercises that will make your tin man body get the oil it needs! Let’s be honest, we have at least another month of this – now is the time to keep your machine well-maintained.
FOOT & CALF JOINT-FRIENDLY EXERCISES
Standing Plantar Fascia Stretch—Stand with your foot against the wall or yoga block. Bring the toes up onto the wall and slowly lower your foot to the ground while maintaining the toes pointing up. Bring your hips towards the wall until you feel a stretch in the bottom of your foot. Contraindicated for arthritic toes. 5-10 reps. Hold 10 seconds
Plantar Fascia/foot massage-Stand or sit in a chair. Place a golf/tennis ball on the floor underneath your foot. Gently shift your weight into the foot into the ball. Move the ball, massaging between the heel and the ball of your foot.
Calf Stretch (Gastrocnemius/Soleus muscles)—Stagger your stance. Keep the back leg straight and the heel on the floor. Slowly shift your weight toward the wall until a stretch is felt in the calf. Hold for 30. Next, slightly bend the back leg and keep the heel flat on the floor. Slowly shift your weight toward the wall until a stretch is felt in the calf. Hold for 30 seconds.
Tibialis Anterior or Shin Stretch—Standing near a wall or holding a chair. Bring foot behind as the point down toward the floor. Gently but firmly pus a small amount of pressure in the back foot as if dragging the foot forward. Slowly turn the heel outward Intel stretch is felt on the outside of the lower leg. Breath. Rep 1-3. Hold 15-30 seconds.
LOWER BODY JOINT-FRIENDLY EXERCISES
Low Back/Hamstring Stretch—Standing with your feet together and your hands on the back of a chair or on top of a counter for support. Hinge forward at the hips for a gentle stretch in your low back and hamstrings. Return to standing and repeat. Breath. 5 Reps. Hold 15-30 seconds.
Glutei Stretch—While seated, cross your ankle so that the affected leg is on top. Next, slowly lean forward until you feel a stretch in your glute of the affected side. Breath and repeat on the other leg. Hold 30 seconds.
Three-Way Bridges (Glute and Hamstring Engagement)—Lie on your back with knees bent and feet hip-width apart. Posteriorly tilt your pelvis by tucking under, engage the glutei and lift hips toward the ceiling. Hold with the intention of pulling your heels toward your glutes. Slowly lower to the floor. Breath 10-15 Reps. Hold for 15-30 seconds.
Variations—Bridge with a ball, yoga block, or even pillow squeezed between your knees and perform bridge, Bridge with a band—Knees apart so that there is tension in the band and perform bridge.
Side Plank With Clam Shells (Strengthens Abs and Glutes)—Begin in a side plank with knees bent in the fetal position, shoulder and elbow aligned. Engage the abdominal muscles by tucking the pelvis under. Progression—While keeping feet together, lift top knee open and closed. Cue—Lift up out of the shoulder. Keep shoulders and jaw relaxed. Breath. Hold plank 30 seconds.
BACK & SHOULDER MOVES
Thoracic Mobility—Begin on all four limbs. Reach one hand across your chest under the opposite arm, rotating your spine inward. Then place the same hand on the top of your head and rotate your spine upwards and open toward the ceiling. Exhale as you rotate open. 3-5 Reps per side.
Lower Trapezius Lift Off (Strengthens Mid Back and Improves Posture)—Standing with tall posture, begin with forearms on the wall at shoulder height, thumbs toward you, and glide forearms up the wall. At your end range, lift the arm off the wall and slightly squeeze shoulder blades together. Be mindful of keeping ribs down. Hold 3 seconds and reverse motion. Breath. 5-10 Reps.
Bird Dog (Improves Stability, Relieves Low Back Tension, Strengthens Core, Glutes, and Back) —Begin on hands and knees with a flat back and chin slightly tucked. Extend one leg while raising the opposite arm. Keep your back flat and hips level with slow and controlled movements. Return to a striating position and repeat on the other side. Breath. 3-5 Reps. Hold 15-30 seconds.
Happy Baby Pose (Relax Low Back)—Lying on your back begin with your legs against the wall. Gently try to bring both legs toward your chest with your knee bent at 90 degrees and hold the inside of the foot. Breath. Hold 30 seconds.
Rachael specializes in neuromuscular therapy, deep tissue sports massage, and myofascial and trigger point therapy. In order to understand the process of injury more clearly and how to educate the client about how to help themselves, Rachael earned her Personal Training certification from the National Academy of Sports Medicine in 2007. She is a self-proclaimed education junky who enjoys painting, exercising, and spending time with family.