Category Archives: Flexibility

Why You Should Get a Massage

By:  Matt Nicholson              April 14, 2017

Massage therapy is both physiologically and psychologically potent and as a natural method for healing. “How well you respond to an injury has everything to do with how tense you’ve been for the last ten years”.  Massage therapy manipulates and stimulates all of your skin, muscles, nerves, connective tissues, and joints.  Muscles are mostly water which means stiff and sore muscles are sick muscles.  Massage therapy can break the myofascial pain syndrome including waste products of metabolism and it also serves as a form of passive exercise, increasing circulation, waking up the enormous complex tissues of your skin and muscles by stirring the forces that keep them fit and vital.  We are tactile beings; the human body needs tactile stimulation which is often deprived. 

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FIT in Your Recovery

By: Megan Lambert

Previous posts have addressed topics such as foam rolling, voodoo flossing, stretching and flexibility, as well as active recovery techniques. Adding on to this theme, in the third part of the FIT series, we will discuss how to practically apply recovery techniques in your busy schedule.

5 simple ways to incorporate recovery techniques in your daily life:

  1. Take a break every 1-2 hours.

If your job includes sitting in an office chair or staring at a computer screen for eight hours a day, then this tip is especially applicable for you. Every few hours, make a conscious effort to stand up, walk around the room, do a few stretches. Give yourself a short break. Not only will your muscles thank you, but you may even return to your task more alert and focused.

  1. Carry a lacrosse ball in your purse or briefcase.

When you have a random five minutes at the doctor’s office or are waiting in the school carpool line to pick up your daughter, you could spend those five minutes scrolling through Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Or, you could use a lacrosse ball to target sore muscles from your workout the day before!

  1. Carry a gallon jug of water with you.

Are you drinking enough water every day? One way to hydrate is to keep a gallon of water in your car. That way, when your water bottle is empty and you are out of the house, all you need to do is fill it up again and keep drinking.

  1. Foam roll or stretch while watching TV.

It is easy to get sucked into mindlessly watching television to unwind at the end of the day. And it is a good thing to unwind! But, what if you devote 20 minutes of the hour in a half you spend on the couch working on your flexibility and mobility? That 20 minutes will go a long way toward reaching your goals.

  1. Start your morning with a mobility exercise.

Before brushing your teeth, eating your breakfast, or taking a shower, begin your day by performing one movement that will benefit your body and help your mobility. Some examples include rolling the bottom of your feet on a lacrosse ball, performing 10 slow squats, and doing a hip stretch. This way, you set a precedent at the beginning of the day that you are going to resist the urge to ignore your sore muscles and help your body recover.

FIT in Your Warm-up

By: Megan Lambert

This is the second article in our three-part “FIT” series, which discusses practical ways to implement an exercise routine, a dynamic warm-up, and a workout recovery into your daily life. Specifically, this article discusses what to do before your starting your workout. We already covered how important it is to carve out time in your daily schedule to exercise, but did you know that it is equally if not more important to prepare your body for exercise?

In this article, we will discuss the benefits of warming up your muscles before activity as well as give you 10 simple movements that you can include in your routine.

Visit our website (www.indycorefitness.net) or contact us at (317)430-0063 to inquire about our personalized training programs and how we can help you reach your fitness goals!

Benefits of a warm-up:

Injury prevention

Just like a NASCAR driver wouldn’t begin a race without first warming up the car’s engine, so you should increase the temperature of your “vehicle” (your body’s musculature system) before beginning your “race” (your daily workout). By performing various dynamic stretches and movement patterns, you prepare your body for more rigorous movement. For example, performing body weight squats or sumo squats prepares your body a set of barbell back squats.

Improved mobility

The exercises found in a dynamic warm-up are based upon movement patterns such as squatting, jumping, rotating, etc. These are movements that citizens in our modern society struggle to complete on a daily basis. Dr. Kelly Starrett illustrates this point well in his book, “Deskbound.” Because of our modern society, many people sit at work all day, sit in the car, sit when they eat, sit when they watch TV…you get the idea. Because of lengthy amounts of sitting, basic movement patterns are inhibited. Therefore, a good dynamic warm-up will help counteract the biomechanical deficiencies that prolonged sitting can have on your body.

Decrease stress on heart

According to an article from the American Heart Association, “by slowly raising your heart rate, the warm-up also helps minimize stress on your heart.” Meaning, performing steady state cardiovascular exercise, such as using an elliptical or riding a stationary bike, can increase your heart rate gradually rather than suddenly or all at once. Various exercises such as jumping jacks, jump rope, and skips can also accomplish this goal.

Sample warm-up:

Jumping jacks

Standing hip circles

Arm circles

Inchworm

Carioca

Body weight squats

Jump rope

Open book stretch

Walking straight-leg march

High knees

8 Exercises to Add to Your Warm-up

By: Megan Lambert

Before the Chicago Cubs and the Cleveland Indians began Game 7 of the World Series last night, each team warmed-up on the baseball diamond, throwing, catching, jogging, stretching, etc.

Just like an MLB player, athletes and weekend gym warriors need to warm-up their muscles before lifting weights, running, or doing cardiovascular exercise. Consequently, check out the following eight movements designed to prepare the ankles, hips, shoulders, and thoracic spine for exercise.

  1. Standing hip circles

For this movement, stand on one foot and bring the other leg up to a 90 degree angle. Take your knee up, out to the side, and back behind your center of mass to make a complete circle. Make 6-10 circles forward and then reverse the motion to make 6-10 backwards circles with the same leg. Repeat with the opposite leg.

  1. Sumo squats

Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart, with your toes facing forward. Bend down to touch your toes and then drop your hips as low as you can, keeping your knees pushed out and your chest up. Then, raise your arms above your head and push through your heels to return to a standing position. Repeat for 6-10 reps.

  1. Monster walks

Place a small resistance band two inches above your knee. To begin, stand with your feet shoulder width apart in a ¼ squat position. From here, push off of your left foot while maintaining your squatting position. Then, bring your right foot back underneath your center of mass to return to your original position. Repeat these movements over a 10-15 meter area, and then repeat in the opposition direction.

  1. Band pull-aparts

Hold a resistance band straight out in front of you, with your hands slightly wider than shoulder width. For this exercise, your goal is to try to pull your hands as far apart from each other as you can. This is be accomplished by pinching your shoulder blades together. Repeat for 10 reps.

  1. Open book stretch

Lie on your side with your knees bent to 90 degrees. From this starting position, place your arms out to the side. Keeping your legs on the ground, move your top arm across your body to the ground on the other side of your body. The goal is to open up your chest and to increase mobility in your thoracic spine. Repeat for 6-10 reps each side.

  1. Scorpions

For this movement, lie on your stomach with your arms straight out from your sides. Bend one knee to 90 degrees and lift your hip off the ground by squeezing your glutes and driving your heel in the air. From there, reach your heel across your body toward your opposite hand. You should feel a stretch through your abdomen and hip flexor, as well as in your mid-back.

  1. Walking straight leg deadlifts

To begin, stand on one foot. Reach one foot straight behind the body while keeping your torso in a straight line. It is important to keep your core engaged during this movement so that your spine stays in a neutral position, meaning it doesn’t flex or extend. Another tip for the extended leg is to lead with your hamstrings. This places the tension in your leg, not in your lower back.

  1. Inchworm

Stand with your feet together. Keeping your legs straight, reach down toward your toes. Once in this position, walk your hands out in front of you until you are in a push-up position. From here, walk your feet back up to your hands. Repeat this process for at 15-20 yards.