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Flow: June 24

Go with the Flow Thursday! It’s time to stretch and activate all of your muscles, fascia, and joints to help you achieve that next level mobility. Have fun and remember to breathe, don’t hold your breathe 😉

There is one movement can can be challenging for some to get into. The movement pictured above is the movement I am referring to. If you struggle to get into this position, use a towel, band, stretch strap, or belt to assist. You can wrap it around the front of your back ankle and pull your leg forward.

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

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Upper Back & Hips: June 23

Just imagine if we didn’t need to: perform an effective mobility routine, brush our teeth, take showers, eat healthy, take the trash out, clean our apartment/house, mow the lawn, change the oil in our car…..you see where I’m going with this. Wouldn’t that be amazing?! It absolutely would! We would have so much more time, but…..and this is a huge BUT. If we stop doing these necessarily maintenance “things” for a period of time, we will find out the hard way how important they are. The saying “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is so true. On that note, lets get after some joint prevention/optimization/maintenance!

Equipment needed: 1. Padded Mat (optional). We’ve got some great activation and range of motion action today! We are working on the flexibility, mobility, and stability of the t-spine aka your upper back and hips.

We are starting off with a rotation stretch and activation movement for your t-spine. The key with this movement is to continually try to rotate a little bit further in both directions. We aren’t just hanging out in these positions, we are active. We are then moving on to 90/90 hip hovers. You goal with this is to keep your core engaged and get as much activation in your hips as possible. Drive your hands down into the ground and try to lift as high as possible.

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Shoulders & Hips: June 22

Welcome back! It’s check in time. How are you feeling today? How have you been feeling this past week, past month? Are you noticing the improvement in the quality of your movement since starting Movement Vault? Are able to activate muscles better? Do you have less aches and pains? Do you have better connection to your body, muscles, and joints? Do you have less tight muscles and joints, allowing you to move through greater ranges of motion? These are just a few questions to ask yourself before or after performing this routine. Have fun!

Equipment needed: 1. Padded Mat. We’ve got a great 1-2 combo for you! Today we are working on the flexibility, mobility, and stability of your shoulders and hips.

We are starting off with an end-range stretch isometric technique for the front of your shoulders, lats, and rotator cuff muscles. The key is to get as deep into the stretch as possible and then start to activate your muscles. Really put the effort and focus into these as they are highly effective. Next we are finishing with an end-range stretch isometric technique for your adductor muscles, which are located on the inner area on your upper leg aka your groin area. Make sure you are keeping your knee straight on the leg you are stretching out and then push your hips back. Focus on keeping a relatively neutral spine with this one.

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Hips & Feet: June 21

It’s time to start your week off the right way with a feet focused routine. As much as your feet don’t seem as important as your hips or shoulders, they are, and maybe even more important. Everything starts at your feet and toes. If they are tight and don’t move well, the rest of your body above will have to compensate. Why do 99% of people have either tight toes and feet or non-stable aka “flat feet” or both? One of the big issues is due to the shoes you have been wearing since you were 2 years old. This is a long topic I can spend a lot of time on. Long story short: spend more time barefoot whenever you can. We are digging deep in the Vault for today’s routine. Enjoy and have fun!

Equipment needed: 1. Something to place your big toe up against such as a wall, box, or the leg of a piece of furniture. 2. Padded Mat (optional). Today we are working on the flexibility, mobility, and stability of your hips and feet!

We are starting off with a hip range of motion activation technique. Focus on keeping your mid section engaged throughout this movement. Try not to move your low back. All of the movement should be coming from your hip. Next we are working on two different feet and toe end-range of motion isometrics, where we are stretching out your feet and toes and then contracting the muscles while they are maximally stretched. These two are all about concentration. Put your brain in these small feet muscles, getting them to contract after they are stretched out.

You are now ready to salsa dance all the way to work…the gym….or to the ________________. Do you have any questions or suggestions? We love to hear from you. Send an email to grayson@movementvault.com and I will personally get back to you. Otherwise send us a message on instagram or Facebook @movementvault, or by using the chat widget in the bottom right corner . It’s go time!

Flow: June 20

Happy Sunday! Have you ever heard the phrase “move it or lose it?” There is definitely some truth to this phrase, specifically when thinking about range of motion of a joint. Let’s take your ankle mobility for example. A lot of people struggle with tight ankles, specifically with having limited ankle dorsiflexion. This is due to tight muscles and fascia in the back of the ankle and lower leg as well as ligaments that surround your ankle joint itself. The problem boils down to most people not using their full ankle range of motion for years and even decades. Your ankles then adapt to the range of motion that you use most of often which is most likely not your full range of motion. Quick global test: Can you squat with your hips (butt) almost touching or touching the back of your heels while your heels remain on the ground? If not, you could have tight ankles. We aren’t focusing on ankles in this routine, but try the global squat test before and again after today’s routine and see if you can get deeper or if it feels better being in this position. Have fun!

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

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Back & Hips: June 19

You know the saying, Movement Vault, we’ve got your back, literally. Today’s routine is all about helping you achieve a low back and hips that are ready for anything, at anytime. I’m giving you a big shoutout today for giving your body exactly what it needs to thrive on a Saturday. You are doing amazing, keep up the consistency!

Equipment needed: 1. Mobility ball or lacrosse ball. 2. Box, bench, or couch. Basically something to put your legs on for the low back muscle release technique. 3. Padded Mat (optional). Everyone needs some low back maintenance! Today’s routine is perfect if you have a tight back or painful low back. Today we are working on the flexibility, mobility, and stability of your back and hips.

We are starting off with a muscle/fascia release for your low back. The muscle we are focusing on is your quadratus lumborum which is located between your upper hip bone and your lower ribs. Next we are working on a stretch/activation movement for your low back. Focus on stretching out one side of your body while you activate the muscles on the other side of your body. We are next working on spinal circles. The goal with this movement is to activate and stretch out all of the muscles that surround your low back. This movement is all about focus and concentration. Do your best to feel and focus on the muscles that are moving your hips and low back. We are finishing up with a hip flexor and hamstring end-range stretch isometric technique. Focus on digging your heal into the ground as you push your hips back. This will activate your hamstring while you stretch it out.

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Shoulders & Hips: June 18

Yes it is finally here, Friday, we welcome you with open arms! But to really give Friday a proper bear hug we need to make sure you have optimal mobility in your rotator cuff muscles. The two movements for your rotator cuff in this routine are some of the most effective you can do. You are going to be ready to hug the world when you are done. Here is a big Virtual Hug coming at you!

Equipment needed: 1. Mobility ball or lacrosse ball. 2. Pillow or yoga block to rest your head when during the shoulder technique pictured above. 3. Padded Mat (optional). Today is all about your rotator cuff and hip abductor muscles. These are two areas of your body that can cause pain and injury and can hold you back from being able to perform exercises/movement with good technique and form.

Today we are working on the flexibility, mobility, and stability of your shoulders and hips. We are starting off with a muscle/fascia release for your posterior rotator cuff muscles, specifically your infraspinatus and teres minor muscles. Make sure to rotate your shoulder in both directions as far as possible while performing the muscle release. Next, we are working from the same position, but adding in end-range stretch isometrics. With this technique we are first stretching out your rotator cuff muscles and then we are contracting and activating them. It is important that you stretch out these muscles maximally before starting the muscle contraction. Also, try to keep the back of your shoulder on the ground. We are finishing with a very effective hip stretch and activation movement. Try to keep the fronts of both your hips on the ground while performing. Additionally, try to lift your leg up as high as possible and flex it forward as far as possible. Have fun guys!

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Flow: June 17

It’s Thursday and that means that is time to Flow! I was talking with a very strong guy this week. He can deadlift well over 500 pounds. But then he was at the grocery store and dropped his credit card. He then bent down and twisted to his left and BAM, intense back pain and shooting pain down his leg. He said he literally dropped to the floor and couldn’t move for about 5 minutes. This was unfortunate to hear, but all too common in my world. This guy was extremely resilient in one plane of motion, but when he moved outside of this plane, he was extremely vulnerable to injury. After chatting for a while, I was straight up with him and asked him how do he feels being a fragile human? It took him a second to comprehend what I was saying because he has this story in his head of how strong he is, and don’t get me wrong he was very strong. But does it matter, if he was fragile to the point that the wind blows and he gets injured. Short story on why it is so important to do what we do at MV. Part of what you are doing every day in Movement Vault is building your most resilient self. Keep it up!

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

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Upper Back & Shoulders: June 16

The upper back is a very important area that a lot of people lack mobility and are unfortunately stiff. If it was up to me, we would be doing upper back focused movements everyday. Well, it is actually up to me as I design and plan Movement Vault’s program, but if we hit every area of the body every day, routines would be 60+ minutes long everyday. This is why we typically focus on 2-3 areas per day. With that said, really “put your brain in your upper back muscles” today when performing your active stretch joint mobilizations on the foam roller. Focus and concentration is key. Have fun!

Equipment needed: 1. Foam Roller. 2. Padded Mat (optional). Today is a great routine for all of you desk athletes out there. We are going to fix your rounded upper back and rounded shoulders. 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 an upper back joint mobilization and activation technique. Make sure to keep your abs engaged and locked in. From there, think about using your upper back muscles to pull you into the foam roller. Next we are working on an upper back activation and stretch in the sphinx position. Focus on arching your upper back as much as possible. Next up is a 3-part shoulder range of motion and activation movement. Focus on keeping your arms as high as possible the entire time. We are finishing up with a t-spine rotation stretch and activation. Continue to activate all of the muscles that surround your back and mid section aka your core to try to create more and more rotation.

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Shoulders & Upper Back: June 15

Welcome back! The ultimate goal is to be able to perform at a high level, with high energy, with great health, for a long time. This is possible if the right lifestyle practices are in place. These include optimizing sleep, stress, nutrition, movement and joint health, detoxification and toxin avoidance, love and community. To be the ultimate human you need to be thinking about all of the above. Don’t you worry we have you covered in the movement and joint health category, and the stress reduction side to a certain extent….more to come there. Have fun today!

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.

How good does it feel to feel good? If you are feeling really good, send us a message or post on your social media and tag us @movementvault. We love to hear from you! It literally makes our day. See you tomorrow!

Hips & Shoulders: June 14

It’s Monday and that means one thing, it time to get our butts in gear! To do this we need to make sure our hip external rotators, specifically our glutes and piriformis muscles are not tight and able to move the way they should move. Have you ever heard of piriformis syndrome? This is where your piriformis is so tight that it compresses your sciatic nerve, which then causes numbness and tingling down your leg. Not good! Let’s give your gluteus and piriformic muscles some love today!

Equipment needed: 1. Mobility ball or lacrosse ball. 2. Padded Mat (optional). Today is all about the glutes! We are working on the flexibility, mobility, and stability of hips and shoulders.

We are starting off with a gluteus muscle/fascia release technique. Next we are working on end-range stretch isometrics for your glutes and piriformis muscles. The key is to stretch your glutes out as much as possible and then start to contract them. We are finishing up with a hip, core, and shoulder movement. This can be challenging with a straight leg, so if you are struggling, try keeping your knee bent. Your goal is to lift your leg and arm as high as you can.

Keep up the good work! You are getting that much better everyday with every routine. Take some time out today to be conscious of how better you are moving throughout your day and/or in the gym.

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Flow: June 13

Happy Sunday! Wolf is Flow spelled backwards. It’s time to unleash your inner wolf with today’s flow routine. Just like a wolf you are going to move your body in multiple different ways and shapes and explore the possibilities in each of your joints. Creating movement variability in different movement patterns such as rotation is key to being a proficient moving human. Have fun today!

Flow day – Equipment needed: 1. Padded mat (optional). Today is a flow day!

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