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Shoulders & Upper Back: March 1

It’s Monday, and we all wish it was still Saturday (unless you work weekends). No joke, I actually like Mondays as they are the start of a fresh canvas. How we paint that canvas is up to me and you. Let’s start this week off by setting up your body to perform at it’s best.

Let’s face it, most of us spend way too much time sitting, being sedentary, and not moving. Our bodies don’t like this. Your body conforms to the positions you spend the most time in. When you sit, your shoulders and upper back (among other areas of your body) can get tight and even painful. This is why it is so important to be mindful of your posture, work on incorporating movement throughout your day, and to perform your daily Movement Vault body maintenance.

Equipment needed: 1. Foam Roller. 2. Padded Mat (optional). It’s time to fix your rounded, tight shoulders and upper back. Today we are working on the flexibility, mobility, and stability of your shoulders and your t-spine aka your upper back.

We are starting off with a joint mobilization stretch and activation technique for your upper back. Focus on keeping your core engaged the entire time. Your low back should not arch. Instead, focus on contracting your upper back muscles, creating an arch in your upper back. Next we are working on your shoulder activation and range of motion. Focus on reaching back as far as you possibly can, while pressing your elbow backwards. We are finishing up with a stretch and activation technique for the front of your shoulders, specifically your pec muscles. Focus on pressing your arm and hand down into the ground while you open up your chest.

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Flow: February 28

Did you know that joint replacements should be almost non-existent? So why are there such a high rate of joint replacements in the US and around the world? Even scarier, why are people younger and younger getting joint replacements? Thats because they aren’t doing Movement Vault proactively. I am obvious bias as I am the founder, but this is one of the main reasons why I created Movement Vault. When you proactively care for ALL of your joints, using effective techniques, you will NOT need a joint replacement ever! *Unless you have bad luck and sustain a traumatic injury or have severe genetic disposition. Outside of these two cases, this takes out 90+% of injuries and joint replacements. Its joint health time!

Equipment Needed: 1) Padded Mat. Today we are working from a standing split stance position. This can be challenging for your balance. We are working from this position today for a reason to challenge your balance, but if you are really struggling with your balance, stand with your feet wider.

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Ankles & Feet: February 27

We’ve got another effective active stretching and muscle activation routine for you today! Today is all about your ankles. Sometimes you need to have an entire routine dedicated to just one specific area of your body. The ankles are a notoriously tight area for a lot people and an often neglected joint. No matter how mobile your hips are, if you have tight ankles, your entire movement pattern will be thrown off due to compensation caused by having tight ankles. I have spent 60+ minutes at a time working on just my ankles, so you’ve got this 15 minute routine 🙂 Have fun and remember that your body loves you for the work and effort you are putting in to maintain it so that it is working in peak shape.

Equipment needed: 1. Padded Mat. We are working on the flexibility, mobility, and stability of your ankles.

We are starting off with two different active stretch end-range isometric techniques for your ankles. The keys with these movements are to maximally stretch out your ankles first, and then start to contract the muscles that are being stretched out. The first position can be quite uncomfortable, this is normal. This means that you really need this stretch. You should not have an intense sharp pain however. There is a difference between pain and discomfort. If you have pain, back off of the stretch a little and work into it. The first active stretch will improve your ankle plantar flexion, and the second will improve your ankle dorsiflexion. The last movement will be stretching out and activating the side of your ankle. Focus on contracting the side of your ankle muscles as much as possible while you slowly stretch them out. We are covering all off the movement at your ankles today and after this routine your ankles will be ready for anything!

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Shoulders, Ankles & Hips: February 26

Fri-YAY! Whats the best way to prepare for the weekend? You guessed it. Right here with Movement Vault. You just finished another full work week full of MV routines. How are you feeling? More importantly how are your joints, muscles, and body feeling? It’s very important to check in with yourself regularly to gauge how you are feeling. This can give you extra motivation on those days when you don’t feel like going for a walk, run, to the gym, or doing your MV routine. Like Nike, just do it!

Equipment needed: 1. Padded Mat (optional). Today is a great routine that works on the three major joints in your body! Today we are working on the flexibility, mobility, and stability of your shoulders, ankles, and hips.

We are starting of with an end-range of motion activation technique for your shoulders. This movement is gold. You get what you put in to this one. Focus on activating your shoulder muscles as much as possible and keeping your arm as high as possible during the holds. Next, we are working on an end-range stretch isometric technique for your ankles, specifically your calf muscles aka your gastrocnemius and soleus muscles. Remember to keep your heal on the ground, stretch out these muscles, and then contract. We are finishing up with 90/90 transitions, which are great for opening up your hip internal and external rotation. Focus on driving your knees apart while transitioning.

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Flow: February 25

When it flows, it flows! Welcome back! Today is all about exploring, actively stretching and activating muscles in diagonal movement planes. The transverse plane aka rotational movement is arguably the most important movement plane. It is the one most people get injured in and the one most people slack on even if they think they are working out in a functional manner. Your body was made to twist and bend and be relatively strong and resilient when doing so. The problem comes in when you hardly ever rotate or bend in your day to day life or workouts and then you have to bend or twist in your day to day life and then bam! Not you though! MV has your back, literally. We are going to get you strong and resilient with all types of movement today. Have fun!

Equipment needed: 1. Padded mat. Today is a flow day!

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Hips, Shoulders & Back: February 24

Everything is connected! Did you know that a mobility restriction in your big toe can affect your hip and even shoulder? It can! Everything is connected. We call this regional interdependence. Every joint in your body has it’s own unique job and role. When one joint is limited and not doing it’s job, another joint can usually take over and do it’s job for it for a short period of time.

The issues with this is that this joint that is filling in wasn’t designed to do the job that the other joint should be doing, so a) it won’t do as good of a job as the joint that was designed to perform the movement and b) this causes wear and tare on the joint that is “filling in”, which will usually lead to pain and injury down the line if this issue is not solved. What’s the solution? Yep! Improving your mobility in all your joints using effective techniques. This is why we work on every joint in your body if you are following along everyday.

An example of this is your ankle and knee. When you have limited ankle mobility your knee will usually compensate (or your foot or hip). One way your knee compensates is by buckling slightly inward. Your meniscus is not happy about this buckling inward, which usually leads to meniscus damage and tears. Your knee wasn’t designed to be an ankle. The same scenario happens all throughout your body.

Sometimes it’s good to know the why on why we do things. On that note, have an amazing routine!

Equipment needed: 1. Padded Mat (optional). Today is all about the 90/90 position. We are going to open up and activate your hip internal and external rotators as well as other muscles. We are working on the flexibility, mobility, and stability of the hips and low back.

We are starting off with 90/90 eccentrics with end-range stretch holds. Your goal is to lower very slow and controlled. Make sure you continue to drive your front leg into the ground as you lower. The movement is great for stretching and increasing activation in your gluteus muscles and rotators such as your piriformis. Next we are working on 90/90 torso rotations. Try to stay as upright as possible and really feel all of the muscles around your midsection get activated. We are finishing up with 90/90 side bend holds. Your goal is to squeeze the muscles on one side of your torso as the other side stretches out.

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Shoulders & Back: February 23

Welcome back! We’ve got an effective shoulder focused routine for you today. You know those muscles between your shoulder blades that are most likely tight and tender? Yep! Those are your rhomboid muscles. We are going to decrease the tension in these muscles which will then free up the movement of your shoulder blades. Once your shoulder blades are moving better, we are going to perform some end range of motion specific active stretches and muscle activation techniques.

Bold statement – Most people don’t have shoulders. Question to think about: If you have a “shoulder” that isn’t able to actually move like a shoulder should move, is it really a shoulder? Deep thoughts I know…..Let’s get your shoulders moving like a shoulder should move!

Equipment needed: 1. Foam Roller. 2. Padded Mat (optional). Today we are working on the flexibility, mobility, and stability of your shoulders, specifically your serratus anterior, deltoid, rotator cuff, and lat muscles and your entire spine.

We are starting off with a muscle / fascia release technique for the front of your shoulders, specifically your serratus anterior. Next we are working on an activation movement that targets both sides of your shoulders. Next, we are stretching out and activating your shoulder with end-range stretch isometrics. This technique will help you improve your shoulder flexion mobility aka bringing your arms above your head. We are finishing up with spine circles, which are one of the best movements you can do for your back. You will be stretching out and activating your entire spine.

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Ankles & Upper Back: February 22

Monday means that we have a clean slate for the week! What you do with that clean state is up to you. I know one thing though, you are here at Movement Vault and ready to give your body exactly what it needs. You are setting yourself up to have an amazing week!

Equipment needed: 1) Mobility ball or lacrosse ball. 2) Padded Mat. Today we are working on the flexibility, mobility, and stability of your ankles and upper back.

We are starting off with a muscle / fascia release and joint mobilization for the front of your ankle. This movement will improve your ankle dorsiflexion and plantar flexion, and is a great bang for the buck technique. Next we have an active stretch end-range stretch isometric for these muscles in the front of your ankle. Make sure to stretch out the front of your ankles as much as possible before starting your muscle contractions. These can be uncomfortable, this is normal. Next we have a movement that works on your shoulders, midsection core, and ankles. Focus on really kicking the tops of your feet down in to the ground. Last up we have a full spine stretch and activation movement called segmented cat camels. Focus on moving each individual vertebrae in your back, making a wave of motion up and then a wave of motion back down.

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Flow: February 21

You know what they say “What flows around, comes around.” Since it’s Sunday, we have all the flows to flow around. Amazing job at finishing this week strong. Sundays are for recovery and preparation to crush another week. Keep the momentum going and remember how amazing you feel after you complete your daily Movement Vault routine. Let’s go!

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Recovery – Shoulders, Back & Hips: February 20

It’s Saturday and we are doing something a little different today. You asked for it and we are delivering. We are previewing one of our gentle, recovery routines. These routines can be performed at any time, just like our other routines, but these recovery routines are especially effective after a workout, on a rest day, or when you just want a little bit more of a relaxing mobility routine.

Let us know what you think of this type of routine. Send me an email directly at grayson@movementvault.com, or message us on Instagram or Facebook @movementvault, or click the chat widget in the bottom corner and leave us a message. You can also mention any other things you would like to see in our website and/or program. We love to hear from you! Have fun with this one.

Equipment needed: 1) Mobility ball or lacrosse ball 2) Padded Mat.

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Hips & Upper Back: February 19

Low back pain is a huge bummer! I have treated a LOT of patients and athletes that unfortunately had/were dealing with low back pain. As I always say, most like 99% of these cases could have been avoided? How could it have been avoided? The biggest piece to the puzzle is doing exactly what you are doing right now at Movement Vault. Providing your muscles, and joints the preventative maintenance that they need in the form of active mobility work. Essentially you need to optimize the movement within all of your joints so that one joint doesn’t get over worked and stressed out in a way that it wasn’t designed for.

A big player in the low back pain scenario is the adductor muscle group aka your inner thigh and groin muscles. Your adductor muscles can get very tight which then restricts your hip movement and then pulls on your pelvis. Without getting crazy in the weeds on this one, we are going to improve this muscle group today to help you prevent low back pain. Have fun and give yourself a huge high five after today’s routine as you deserve it!

Equipment needed: 1. Padded Mat. We’ve got some great adductor work in store today! We are working on the flexibility, mobility, and stability of your hips and back.

We are starting out with a muscle/fascia active release technique for your adductor muscles. These muscles are located on your inner thigh and attach into your groin area. We aren’t using any tools for this technique today. It can be “different” to dig your own thumb into your adductors, but it is very effective. If you have trouble with this, you can always use a mobility ball, foam roller, or kettle bell handle like we have done in previous routines. Next we are working on end-range stretch isometrics for your adductors in the frog stretch position. Remember we are starting out your muscles first, and then contracting them. If you have any pinching in your hips, don’t push your hips as far back while in stretch. We are finishing up with segmented cat-camels, which will activate and stretch all of the muscles that surround your spine. This movement is all about focus and concentration.

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Flow: February 18

Movement variability is the key! Two very important words in that short sentence 1) Movement 2) variability. One of the main reasons that we at Movement Vault focus so much on active stretching and muscle activation techniques is because they are so effective. Why are they so they effective? Well, being able to actively move and control your joints through the greatest range of motion possible gives your body aka your central nervous system feedback that you are safe to move in a specific range of motion. When your body feels safe, it takes the breaks off of your movement aka it stops creating tight muscles. When you are actively stretching you are essentially getting stronger and stable through your entire range of motion and even more importantly your end-range of motion. Movement requires active motion, this is why we stretch actively. Have fun today and awesome job on another Movement Vault session!

Equipment needed: 1. Padded mat. Today is a flow day!

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