Triathlete: Fine Tune Your Body
Whether you're a seasoned triathlete or a weekend warrior that loves running, biking, and swimming, you'll want to check out the following two challenging posture exercises. I hand-picked these exercises for triathletes because they are a potent way promote balance and muscle function of the feet and lower legs, as well as flexibility of the hips, spine, and shoulders.
Although these exercises may appear to be very simple, do not be surprised if you find them very challenging. Working through the proper position and full range of motion of the following exercises will pay off tremendously in keeping you healthy and performing at your peak potential in the future.
Supine Foot Circles and Point-Flexes
This exercise activates muscles of the foot, ankle, and lower leg. It also improves the connection and function of the hip-knee-ankle kinetic chain.
- Lie on your back with one leg extended, and the other leg bent and pulled up toward your chest.
- Clasp your hands behind the bent knee.
- Keep the foot on the floor pointed straight up toward the ceiling.
- Circle the lifted foot one way for 40 repetitions, then reverse direction for another 40 reps.
- Make sure the knee stays absolutely still with movement coming from the ankle and not the knee.
- For the point-flexes, bring the toes back toward the shin to flex, then reverse the direction to point the foot forward for 40 reps.
- Switch legs and repeat.
- Make sure your down leg's foot stays pointing to the ceiling.
This exercise requires the whole body to work as a unit! The main keys for this exercise are to keep your knees locked in extension and to place the arch in your low back.
- Start on your hands and knees; hands directly below your shoulders, knees directly below your hips.
- Tuck your toes under and lift your knees off the floor into the pike position.
- Place a small arch in your lower back.
- Keep your elbows straight.
- More weight should be on your thumbs and index fingers.
- Keep your thighs tight, then let your heels drop toward the floor.
- Hold for one minute.
If you are having a hard time keeping your knees straight and getting your heels to the floor, then try this modification:
- Set yourself up on your hands and knees with your feet and heels about 4 inches in front of a wall.
- Pike up into the down dog position so that your heels come back to touch the wall.
- Tighten your thighs and hold for one minute.
Over time, work your heels down the wall until eventually you can place your heels flat to the floor with your knees straight. We are talking about a process of months, if not years, to establish the kind of flexibility needed to place the feet flat to the floor. Be patient and practice daily!
I hope you are able to put these exercises to good use as they have helped me tremendously to remain healthy and injury-free over the years. If you have any questions, feel free to send me an email.
More movements to keep your spine happy:
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. The purpose of this article is to promote broad reader understanding and knowledge of various health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read in this article.