Squat to Stand and Inches Make Champions
Oh man! The Squat to Stand has got to be my FAVORITE dynamic mobility drill (embarassing, the things that get me excited)! Personally, this is pre-lift/run/cycle MUST for me. I also incorporate this gem of an exercise into most training programs AND group fitness classes.
I need to take a moment to give credit where credit is due... The Squat to Stand comes from the one and only Gray Cook, but I must say that we all need to send a big THANK YOU to Rob Rabena, M.S., NSCA-CSCS and Director of Sports Performance at Maplezone Sports Institute, for planting and nurturing some personal and professional seeds some years ago, which has helped me get to this point...sharing all of this awesome knowledge with YOU!
Why is the SQUAT TO STAND so awesome?
- increases ankle mobility
- increases hip mobility
- increases thoracic spine mobility
- it will teach you how to do an overhead squat, correctly (because at the Edge at Ascutney, we don't lift weight over our head if we can't do it properly...right)? :-)
1. Begin with your feet shoulder-wide width apart, and gently BEND down to hold your toes. Heels should be rooted in the ground. If your heels are lifting up, please do not squat so far down (you wouldn't squat with your heels up, right)? Please also be mindful to keep your shoulders back and your chest tall. To protect the neck, please look at a spot about 6 feet in front of you.
2. Holding onto the toes, EXTEND your legs to the best of your ability.
3. Bend the knees
4. With bent knees, bring the right arm up to the sky. You can either look up at the arm or keep your neck in neutral by looking at a spot 6 feet in front of you. What feels best for YOU, TODAY?
5. Bring the right arm down. With bent knees, bring the left arm up to the sky.
6. Bring the left arm down. Please flow through this sequence about 5-8x!
This is how I cue it:
- bend again
- right arm up to the sky
- left arm up to the sky
INCHES MAKE CAMPIONS: A Little Personal Note About This Mobility Series
We LOVE that you love this 7-day corrective exercise series, thank you so very much for your interest and feedback! I want to quickly address 3 of the most popular comments I've gotten, thus far.
- "This is awesome information but I don't think I can do any of these exercises."
I first have to ask, did you try? I think you will surprise yourself. Also, please remember, it is with diligent practice that we see progress. We implement corrective drills in our movement routine to INCREASE our mobility, range of motion, and functional movement patterns. If you were already A++ at all of these exercises, then you wouldn't have anything to work towards, right? Furthermore, CAN I HELP YOU to modify any of these exercises? USE ME!!!! Ask me when you see me, call me, email me. This is not only my JOB, it is what I LOVE to do (I do not bite)! If I don't have the answer, I will most certainly find the answer for you, or refer you to someone that can help you! "START WITH WHERE YOU ARE." The beauty of mobility work is that it can be done at any time, anywhere (I do a lot of my corrective work at home)!
"Inches Make Champions" - Vince Lombardi
"Start With Where You Are" - Pema Chodron
- "These are all really difficult, and you just make them look easy because you are fit"
Corrective exercises are very challenging, especially if you have poor movement patterns. And guess what, most of us do! The people that don't, work HARD at enhancing their mobility and movement patterns, REGULARLY.
Can I please tell you a short story about the girl who ran, and ran, and ran herself into the ground? Hmm...any idea on who this could be? I first started implementing regular corrective work into my life in grad school, because 1. I felt TERRIBLE, 2. I had developed terrible movement patterns from chronic overuse with no corrective work, and 3. because I had a caring colleague (coach Rob!!) that helped me realize that I couldn't band-aid my chronic pain and faulty movement patterns anymore. "Wait a second, weren't you in grad school to be an exercise physiologist?" I sure was! This a blog for another day, but here are a few take home points I've come to learn:
1) I am not the exception to the rule
2) I am not superhuman, nor do I possess superhuman powers
3) Practice what you preach
When I first began doing all of the mobility drills that I have been sharing with you, I was shocked to see that I had a very difficult (and painful) time performing most of them! Another take home point, BEING AN ATHLETE AND "LOOKING FIT" DOES NOT NECESSARILY MEAN THAT YOU ARE HEALTHY AND MOVING FUNCTIONALLY! I had a TERRIBLE time implementing these drills into my life, and I was also really impatient. Most importantly, it really scared (and embarrassed) me that as an athlete and a coach, I moved and felt like crap due to chronic overuse and not practicing what I preached.
Let's go back to yesterday's article on faulty breathing patterns http://www.edgevtwellness.com/edge-wellness-blog/2014/11/21/chest-vs-diaphragm-breathing. Yes, it is true that I have read all about this in a text book, but more importantly, I know how this feels because I HAVE LIVED THROUGH IT. I have spent the past 6 months dedicating time to correcting the INVERTED BREATHING PATTERN that I have developed due to experiencing almost every single one of those mental, emotional, and physical stressors I listed yesterday. Group fitness peeps, I am not picking on you when I talk about "indenting the stomach" during classes. I'VE DONE IT, FOR SO MANY YEARS! Heck, once in a while I STILL catch myself doing it. So, I KINDLY (key) correct it and move forward. Please trust me when I say, I GET IT. All of it. More than you know.
- "I don't have time to do all of this corrective work. I need to get in, do my thing, and get out."
Yep, I can totally relate. I can't tell you how many times I've skipped out on my corrective work and felt so wicked stressed and pressed for time that I just wanted to get in, do my thing, and get out. But guess what? Your need for an adrendline fix may help you in that moment/day, but it will certainly not help you in the long run. In fact, it will make everything much worse. I can tell you this with 100% confidence, only because I have done this way too many times to count, and every time I have, it has turned around and bitten me in arse. PLEASE take the time to correct your injuries, imbalances, and faulty movement patterns. PLEASE take the time to mobilize your mind, body and soul.
HERE IS THE GRAND SLAM, OVER THE GREEN MONSTER, TAKE HOME POINT:
When I take the time to implement regular corrective work into my life, I see an incredible enhancement in my mobility, I have no pain, I take my athleticism to another level, and I have less stress because I a) am not putting a ton of physiological stress on myself and b) I know in my gut that I am doing something excellent for myself. Conversely, when I overuse my body and do not take time to be kind to it, my mind, body and soul all suffer.
Note: I can preach to you till I am blue in the face, I'm a coach. However, it has to be YOU that decides to make a change (this applies to more than exercise)! :-)
Erin M. Kershaw, M.S., ACSM-HFS
Wellness Director, The Edge Fitness Center at the Ascutney Mountain Resort