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Shoulders & Upper Back: April 16

Top Shelf! Your body called and told me to give you a huge high five for giving it exactly what it needs. Stretching out and contracting your muscles and joints in as many ways as possible is truly the key to joint longevity and ultimate joint performance. It doesn’t matter how strong you are, if your joints aren’t moving well, you are either feeling it now or you will be in the future. Keep it up, you are doing amazing!

Equipment needed: 1. Mobility ball or lacrosse ball. 2. Padded Mat (optional). It’s time to open up the front of your tight shoulders and rounded upper back. Today we are working on the flexibility, mobility, and stability of your shoulders and t-spine aka your upper back. Today is a great routine for anyone who spends a lot of time in front of a computer.

We are starting off with a muscle/fascia release technique for your pec muscles which are located on the front of your shoulders. Next we are working on pec end-range stretch isometrics. Focus on getting as deep as you can in to this stretch and then contract your muscles on both sides of your shoulder. If you have any pain in this position, don’t go as deep into the stretch. We are finishing up with a stretch and activation technique for your upper back. Focus on arching just your upper back and contracting all of the muscles that run down both sides of your upper back. Have fun guys!

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Flow: April 15

It’s Thursday and it’s go time. You know what they….When it’s time to flow, it’s time to flow. We’ve got another great routine to stretch and activate your muscles and fascia in many different ways. We have a lot of exploration and shapes in today’s routine, so let’s get after it. Have fun!

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

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Back & Hips: April 14

Welcome back! Movement Vault – We’ve got your back literally. In today’s routine we are going to get your low back moving and feel amazing. When your back and hips are moving well, everything else will improve. whether it is playing with your kids, deadlifting, working around the house/apt/yard, or running. Literally everything you do will feel that much better.

Equipment needed: 1. Mobility ball or lacrosse ball. 2. Padded Mat (optional). It’s time to get your low back “unstuck” and moving well! Today we are working on the flexibility, mobility, and stability of your low back and hips.

We are starting off with a muscle / fascia release for your quadratus lumborum aka QL. Your QL is located on your back between your lower rib cage and upper hip. Your QL is commonly tight due in part to all of the sitting that most of us do. Next we are working on a stretch and activation movement for the muscles on the side of your body. Focus on contracting the muscles on one side of your body, while the muscles on the other side of your body get stretched out. We are then moving on to around the worlds, which is a very effective stretch and activation movement for all of the muscles that surround your low back aka your core. Focus on exploring as much range of motion as possible. We are finishing up with a hip full range of motion activation technique. The key with this one is to keep your back neutral and still the entire time. All of the movement is coming from your hips.

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Hips & Ankles: April 13

Today is all about your anterior chain. These are all of the muscles and fascia that are located on the front of your legs and torso, which include your hip flexors. Yep, the all mighty hip flexors! These are the muscles that are located on the front of your hips that tend to get tight and weak from all of the sitting most people do today.

Equipment needed: 1. Padded Mat. A shortie, but a goodie today! Today is all about end-range stretch activation for your hip flexors and front of your ankles. Your hips and ankles will be fully activated by the end of this routine. We are working on the flexibility, mobility, and stability of your hips and ankles.

We are starting off with an end-range stretch activation technique for the front of your ankles and then moving on to a similar position for the front of your hips. In both of these positions focus on feeling your muscles contract and activate them while they are being stretched out. Focus on driving your back leg into the ground while your front leg stays nice and stable for support. These positions can be very challenging balance wise. Hold on to a chair, or wall if you are having difficulty balancing.

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Neck & Shoulders: April 12

It’s Monday, and you know what that means…..it’s time to get after another awesome week! When it comes to working on your mobility and flexibility, sometimes your neck gets the back burner. Will your neck mobility improve your squat, or deadlift, or help you run a faster mile, not exactly? An injured and tight neck will stop you from doing all of the above and put you on the sidelines. Long story short, neck mobility matters. No one likes a pain in the neck.

Equipment needed: 1. Mobility ball or lacrosse ball. 2. Padded Mat (optional). We need to dedicate body maintenance to every part of our body including the neck. We have a very thorough neck day today. Today we are working on the flexibility, mobility, and stability of the neck and shoulders.

We are starting off with a scalene muscle/fascia release using your hands. These are the muscles located on the side of your neck. We are then moving on to a muscle/fascia release for your traps and levator scapulae. These are the muscles on the top of your back that most people have “knots” in. Next we are moving on to neck full range of motion activation. The key is to explore as much pain-free range of motion as possible. If you have pain, avoid these painful ranges of motion. We are then moving on to a 3-way neck stretch. Be gentle, but apply a moderate stretch. The key is to pull diagonally. Finally we are finishing up with an end-range stretch technique to open up your pecs and the front of your shoulders.

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Flow: April 11

Is Sunday the new Saturday? I didn’t think so. Sundays are great days to recover and prepare for the week. Part of a well balanced workout program or better yet a “life” program is to stretch, strengthen, and activate your muscles in as many ranges of motion as possible. This is where….you guessed it, Movement Vault comes into play. Have fun and remember to keep your focus dialed in!

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

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Hips & Ankles: April 10

We’ve got an extra ticket to crushville and you are invited! You are doing amazing, keep the momentum up and your energy high. Today’s routine won’t kick you in the butt, but will get your butt moving better aka your glutes strong and mobile. Have fun!

Equipment needed: 1. Padded Mat. It’s time to get your hips moving and grooving! Today we are working on the flexibility, mobility, and stability of your hips and ankles.

We are starting off with an end-range stretch isometric technique for your hip external rotator muscles. These muscles include your gluts, and your piriformis. Tight muscles in this area can contribute to low back pain. We are then moving on to a full-range of motion hip activation movement. Your goal is to bring your hip through it’s absolute full range of motion. If you have any pain anywhere in the movement, avoid this range, and only move through the pain-free range. We are finishing up with an end-range stretch isometric technique to increase the mobility in the front of your ankles, and ankle plantar flexion.

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Upper Back & Shoulders: April 9

It’s Fri-yay! Before we get this weekend started, we need to get our muscles firing. So now that a lot of us are still working from home, let’s talk about a working posture tip. Remember, your body conforms to the positions you spend the most time in. If you are are slumped over all of the time, your body will eventually become this position. This means you will have the classic rounded upper back, forward rounded shoulders, and forward sticking out neck. This is a good look for no one.

Here is a tip, don’t use your back rest. When most people use their back rest they tend to round forward and hang out in the slumped position. When you use your back rest your core muscles don’t have to work and do their job as your back rest is taking over for your core muscles. Over time this leads to “weak” core muscles and you lose the “connection” with these muscles, making your back and midsection a sloppy mess. Ditch the back rest. Have fun today!

Equipment needed: 1. Padded Mat (optional). Let’s get your spine moving like it should be moving! Today we are working on the flexibility, mobility, and stability of your t-spine aka your upper back and shoulders.

We are starting off with a movement to get every muscle in and around your spine moving well and activating properly. The key with this movement is to focus and put your “brain” in to each one of these small muscles that attach into your spine. We are then working on a movement to stretch out and activate your t-spine rotation. Your goal is to rotate as much as possible, while continually trying to push further. Try not to just “hang” out in this position, make it active. We are finishing up with one of our favorite movements for the shoulders, called reverse snow angels. Your goal with this one is to keep your arms and hands high, and keep your shoulders blade aka scapula muscles firing.

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Flow: April 8

I want to give you a huge high five today for making it back for another routine packed with joint optimization stretching and activation. I know I say it often, but I truly can’t stress it enough. The 10-20 minutes that you are putting in everyday is crucial to your performance and the longevity of your body.

I talk to way too many people that say that “this is joint is tight”, “this muscle hurts”, or “I woke up and this part of my body hurts.” I do feel bad for them as I don’t anyone to feel limited or be in any kind of discomfort. I then ask, well what have you been doing to care for your body and joints on a routine basis? (in the form of effective joint maintenance -I don’t say that part though) Most of the time they say “nothing.” Part of the problem is that they don’t realize that they need to be proactive with their joint and body health. To me, this is obvious, but to a lot of people, this has never crossed their mind in their 20, 30, 40, 50, 60+ years. I then explain the importance of all of this awesome stuff we do in Movement Vault. Long story short: You get it, and your body rewards you for it. Have fun today!

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

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Hips & Ankles: April 7

Hamslings, Hamsprings, or Hamstrings? Call them what you want, they can be a problem area for a LOT of people. I am hard pressed to find someone dealing with low back pain that doesn’t have problematic hamstrings. Having mobile and stable hamstrings is key to a healthy and happy low back.

Equipment needed: 1. Foam Roller. 2. Padded Mat. Today we are working on the tight muscles and fascia located on the entire back of your leg aka your posterior chain. We are working on the flexibility, mobility, and stability of your hips and ankles.

We are starting off with a muscle / fascia release for your hamstring muscles. Anatomy tip: did you know you have 3 hamstring muscles? Next we are working on a full range of motion activation movement for your hamstrings and knee. Focus on squeezing your quad muscles as much as possible while you stretch out your hamstrings. Third up is a hamstring end-range stretch isometric technique. Focus on stretching out your hamstring as far as possible and then activating and contracting them. We are finishing up with end-range stretch isometrics for your ankle, specifically ankle dorsiflexion. I want you to try extra hard to focus on these muscles while you activate them.

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Shoulders & Hips: April 6

Welcome back! We’ve got some great stuff in today’s routine for you. I have worked with more people than I can count that have very poor shoulder range of motion and mobility. Most people don’t think this is a big deal, but it can and usually does lead to potentially major problems later in life. The fact that people are getting total joint shoulder replacements at the age of 50 is very sad and mind blowing for me. 99% of these cases could have been avoided. I’m not trying to scare you, just putting things in perspective when you are having one of the days where you ask yourself “Do I really need to be working on my mobility?” Yes you do. Let’s get it!

Equipment needed: 1. Padded Mat (optional). We have a lot of effective shoulder and hip range of motion work today! We are working on the flexibility, mobility, and stability of your scapula aka shoulder blade muscles and hips.

We are starting off with a range of motion and activation movement for all of your muscles that surround your shoulder blades aka scapulae. Your goal is to activate and move your shoulder blades through your absolute full range of motion. If you have any pain at any point, skip this part in the range of motion and continue to perform the movement in your pain-free range of motion. Next we are working on an activation and range of motion movement for your shoulder. The note about pain above applies here as well. You get what you put into these previous two movements. Focus and squeeze all of these muscles. We are finishing up with a hip activation and range of motion movement. Focus on keeping your core engaged and the front of your pelvic bones on the mat as you move your leg slowly.

We love that you are spending time with us! Your body loves it even more. Check in with yourself after this routine and reflect on how much better your body feels and moves. Do the same later in the day today.

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Hips & Back: April 5

It’s Monday! You’ve got a clean slate to do anything you put your mind to. The theme for this week as is every week is smart work and dedication. It’s not enough to put in the work, it’s all about well calculated smart work. Continue putting in the smart work, you are getting better everyday.

Equipment needed: 1. Padded Mat. A jam packed 15-minutes of mobility gold today! We are working on the flexibility, mobility, and stability of your hips and spine.

We are starting off with an end-range stretch isometric technique for your adductor muscles. These are the muscles that are located on the inside of your thigh. The key with this one is to stretch out this area first and then activate these muscles. We are then working on a range of motion and stretch movement for your entire body, with an emphasis on your back. We are then finishing up with a movement we call aqua mans. This one is all about activation. Focus on contracting and moving all of the muscles around your low back as much as you can.

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