Tune Up for Long-Term Training - Page 2

Maryann Berry

Coach

San Diego, California, United States

Strength and Conditioning, Mobility & Recovery

Weekly Full-Body Unwind Routine

Here is a sample full-body unwind routine to do at the end of a full week of training. Do these exercises in this particular order before and after you workout. Be sure to listen to your body, and skip anything that doesn’t feel right.

 

Weekly Full-Body Unwind Routine: Kneeling Groin Stretch

Purpose: Activate and balance your hips.

 

Method:

  1. From a kneeling position, place one foot out in front of you with your knee bent.
  2. Interlace your hands and place them on your front knee.
  3. Lunge forward. Keep the knee of the front leg directly above your ankle.
  4. Push into your hands to move your chest away from your knee. Your front leg should be supporting you as you are lunging forward. You should feel the stretch on the opposite/back leg.
  5. Hold for 1 minute on each side.

 

Remember full-body joint positioning. Check to make sure your hips are pointed straight ahead, and make sure that your feet are straight.

 

Common Mistakes: Jutting the knee over the ankle.

 

kneeling groin stretch

Left: Correct; Right: Incorrect.

 

Weekly Full-Body Unwind Routine: Active Groin Stretch

Purpose: Release your hips and shoulders.

 

Method:

  1. Lie on a table or countertop with your tailbone on the edge of the table. Your head should be flat on the table, in line with your spine.
  2. Clasp your hands around the thigh behind the left knee while the right leg drops completely. Be sure that your table or countertop is high enough that your foot does not touch the floor.
  3. Relax your shoulders and hold this stretch for 2 minutes on each side.

 

If your down leg flares out to the side, this means that your hip flexors are tight. If this happens, place a heavy object (such as your friend or a chair) on the side of your leg to keep it in line with your hip. Be sure to keep your hips, knees, and ankles aligned throughout the exercise.

 

Common Mistakes: Letting the knee flare out.

 

active groin stretch

A correct position where the athlete does not let his right knee flare out.

 

Weekly Full-Body Unwind Routine: Frog

Purpose: Release your inner thighs and spine.

 

Method:

  1. Lie on your back with your arms at your sides, palms up and hands relaxed.
  2. Place the soles of your feet together.
  3. Center your feet along the mid-line of your body and let your knees relax down to the sides.
  4. Relax and breathe for 2 minutes.

 

Do not press your knees/legs to the ground. Just let gravity pull them down. You should feel a stretch along the inner thigh. Allow your low back to naturally arch up off the ground.

 

This is a great exercise to see if your hips are moving differently. If you look down at your knees during frog and one knee is sitting higher than the other, this is an indicator that your hips are not functioning the same way on both sides.

 

Common Mistakes: Being crooked.

 

frog stretch

A correct position where the athlete's hips and/or legs are not crooked.

 

Weekly Full-Body Unwind Routine: Supine Groin Stretch

Purpose: Total body release.

 

Method:

  1. Lie on your back with one leg straight out on the floor and the other leg on a block or a chair with the knee bent at 90 degrees.
  2. Place a heavy object on the outer edge of the down leg to prevent it from falling outward.
  3. Your arms should be out to your sides with your palms facing up and your upper body should be relaxed.
  4. Be sure to do this in a comfortable place where you are warm and relaxed.

 

Stay here until both of the following things happen, then switch sides and repeat on the opposite side:

 

  1. When you contract the thigh of the down leg, you feel the contraction towards the top of your thigh, closer to your hip than your knee. Re-test this thigh contraction every 5 minutes to see how you are progressing. Once you feel the contraction in the meaty part of your thigh closer to your hip, this means your quad has released.
  2. Your low back flattens to the floor. This means your hip flexor has released.

 

This will take you anywhere from 10–20 minutes on each side.

 

Common Mistakes: Letting the foot turn out.

 

supine groin stretch

Left: Correct; Right: Incorrect.

 

Maintenance for Every Mile

Just remember, these maintenance routines are like taking your high-performing race car for an alignment before and after hitting the track. These sample programs on their own will not be enough to make you a total badass. You still need to practice your racing skills, but they will help to keep you performing at your top potential without breakdowns. Keep at it, and I will see you in the weight room when we are eighty.

 

Now Get Out of Your Chair and Try These:

Corrective Posture Exercises for Chronic Sitters

 

Coaches, Learn How to Put Movement First:

Move Well First: A New Path for Coaching Fitness

 

Headline photo courtesy of CrossFit Impulse.

In-line photos courtesy of Maryann Berry.

 

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