Psoas Hip Flexor Hold
Start by placing a mini band around your feet and pull one knee tightly into your chest while reaching the other leg out straight. You can either reach your finger tips up towards the ceiling, or create more tension by squeezing a foam roller (shown in video). Taking a big breath in, filling up your sides, back and belly with air, forcefully exhale while keeping your low back on the floor and maintaining a rigid torso position. Complete 5 big breaths on each side.
Single Leg Glute Bridge
Firmly place your palms on the floor and drive your hips up towards the ceiling by pushing down through your entire foot, making sure to keep your rib cage down and letting out a forceful exhale at the top. We like to cue our members to drive their knee over their toe. Complete 5 reps on each leg.
Single Leg Lowering
Firmly push your palms into the floor and lift both legs up so they are perpendicular to the floor (or as high as you can get them while maintaining a straight leg and keeping your low back on the floor). Keeping your legs as straight as possible and flexing your toes towards your face, take a big inhale, filling up your side, back and belly, and slowly lower one leg to the floor while keeping your low back on the floor. Think about blowing your leg towards the floor. Your exhale should be long and forceful. Inhale your leg back to its starting position and repeat 5 breaths on each leg. If you cannot keep your legs straight you can do a band assisted SLDL.
Quadruped T-Spine Rotation
Starting in quadruped position (hands and knees), place a foam roller between your hamstrings and calves. Place one hand on the back on your head and reach through the floor with the opposite hand. Taking a breath in, reach your elbow across your body down towards your opposite hand and exhale as you rotate and open up your chest, making sure to follow your elbow with your eyes. Avoid having any rotation from your lumbar spine. All movement should be coming from your thoracic spine. Inhale and repeat 5 times on each side.
Start in quadruped position with your wrists, elbows and shoulders stacked, as well as your knees underneath of your hips and toes dug into the floor. From here, reach your left hand and right foot away from your body while maintaining your trunk position and focusing on control. To help with stability and creating tension, think about pulling the floor together with your non-moving limbs. For example, if you’re reaching with your left hand and right leg, pull your right hand and left leg together. A common mistake with Bird Dogs is lifting your leg too high and slipping into lumbar extension. Repeat 5 times on each side.
Yoga Push Up
Start in a standard push up position. From there, pull yourself down toward the floor and push your hips back and up towards the ceiling, finishing in a downward dog position with your biceps in line with your ears and your chin packed. You should feel a stretch throughout your posterior chain, calves, hamstrings and shoulders. Make sure to avoid any excessive arching in your low back at all times. Return to your starting position and repeat. If you struggle with push ups, you can simply hold a plank position and perform shoulder taps, making sure to limit the amount of movement/shifting in your torso.
Tempo Split Squats
Start in a half kneeling position with a vertical shin and your back knee directly under your hip. Your shoulders, hips and knee on the floor should all be vertically in line with each other. From there, firmly grip the floor with your entire front foot, (big toe, pinky toe, heel), flex your back glute, squeeze your fists and focus on pushing the floor away with your front foot. Avoid any arching in your low back. Think 2 to 3 seconds up and 2 to 3 seconds lowering. Losing balance? Try jamming your tongue into the roof of your mouth 😉 Repeat 5 times on each leg.
Starting in a tall and tight squat stance, hold a 10lb plate directly out in front of you. From there, focus on pulling yourself down into the bottom position of a squat, gripping the floor with both feet and spreading the floor apart. Once you hit the bottom of your squat, maintain an upright torso, push the floor away and return to your standing tall and tight position. If you have difficulty maintaining an upright torso or have issues with your depth, try placing metal plates underneath of your heels.
Plate Squat w/ Overhead Reach
Starting in a tall and tight squat stance, hold a 10lb plate directly out in front of you. From there, focus on pulling yourself down into the bottom position of a squat, gripping the floor with both feet and spreading the floor apart. Once you hit the bottom of your squat slowly start to raise the 10lb plate overhead while maintaining an upright torso. Slowly lower the plate back down in front of you, push the floor away and return to your starting position. If you have difficulty maintaining an upright torso or have issues with your depth, try placing metal plates underneath of your heels.
We hope that you find this information useful. You can perform this warm up as often as you’d like. Altering the set/rep scheme would not be a bad idea as the exercises will become easier over time. If you have any questions or comments please do not hesitate to contact us.
A simple progression looks something like this…
2×5 breaths or reps
2×6 breaths or reps
3×5 breaths or reps
3×6 breaths or reps