Side Lying Windmill
The Side Lying Windmill is an excellent thoracic spine mobility drill, which will also enhance mobility and stability in the shoulder girdle and lumbar spine. The primary goal of this drill is aim to move utilizing only the thoracic spine, with attention to scapular retraction and a posterior tilt (Cressey, 2011).
This gem of a corrective exercise comes from Eric Cressey, M.S., NSCA-CSCS. You can find more information on this specific drill in the article "Shoulder Mobility Drills: How to Improve External Rotation" on www.ericcressey.com.
1. Extend your right leg out and bend the right leg inward so that your foot is touching your thigh (think tree pose, lying down). While keeping your shoulders and hips routed in the ground, bring both of your arms straight out to your left side. Your arms should stack on top of each other.
2. Rotate the right arm up and over your head while trying to touch your fingers to the ground. Allow your eyes to follow your arm for as long as possible. Rotate fully around to starting position. Pause briefly and begin again. Do about 8-10 repetitions on the right side and then repeat on the left side.
Hip Adduction on Wall
Tight in the inner thigh/groin area? Check out this great Hip Adduction stretch (Cressey, 2012). We will show you two versions. Find yourself a wall and a stability ball and check out this stretch, which will help you feel more mobile in your hips, inner thighs, and groin!
1. While lying down in front of a wall, slide your glutes as far forward as possible. Gently bring your legs up the wall, and spread your legs apart until you feel a nice stretch. Flex your feet! Remember, static stretching should NEVER be painful, so listen to your body and figure out what is pain and what is discomfort, to you.
(We don't recognize this man, but we thank him for his stretching and we like his neat shoes)!
2. Here's another version, a little more challenging. Repeat instructions in Step 1, but utilize a stability ball.
(The model in this picture has an abnormally large big toe)
"How long do I hold a static stretch for?"
AWESOME question! This is a controversial topic, but we go by ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine) and NSCA (National Strength and Conditioning Association) standards. Both associations recommend holding a static stretch for NO LONGER than 15-30 seconds, with about 2-4 repetitions.
Erin M. Kershaw, M.S., ACSM-HFS
Wellness Director, The Edge Fitness Center at the Ascutney Mountain Resort