Moves

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STAIRS

It’s the first day of  March. You have two options: In Place or Forward (and up the stairs, of course –preferably two at a time if your knees are willing). Therein lies  #TheFitCycle Move of the Week and we’re climbing metaphoric mountains here, championing causes before lunch. I have to dedicate this post to a lovely Chicagoan named Alex who just celebrated her Birthday and gave us this amazing gift:

The Decision: Make one, or two, per day to start. Decide whether you’re going to stand around and let things happen or move your feet and get things done. Yes, I’m being literal here. Now for those of you with knee issues, I may just grant you a “Pass Go! Collect $200 Card” but you’re not entirely off the hook either. Do an arm workout while your escalator ascends. Backpack bicep curls, coffee cup rotator cuff twists, magazine measured flys –just do something.

Muscles (major groups) worked: Glutes, Hamstrings, Quads, Hip Flexors, Core

Considerations: Posture, posture, posture! This is no time for lean with it, rock with it. Remember, we’re going UP the stairs not “forward the stairs.”

Core engaged, body aligned vertically from top of head to tailbone

“Receive” the stair, don’t stomp. Try to take the stairs “quietly” and lessen pressure on your knees. Also, try to avoid leaning on your knees with your hands and arms. This behavior again adds undue pressure on knees and negates the point of the workout

Arms: Use them as you would when you run. Opposite arm, opposite leg. Arms are our propellers and will lead us upward.

Breathing: Inhale, exhale. If you need to pause, pause —> and then keep moving

Rhythm controlled, speed increased for difficulty

Equipment needed: Stairs, naturally.

Variations: Before we begin with “taking the stairs” options, let us first get to the stairs. Make a decision. Choose stairs over the escalator or elevator. Forward March. Now, we begin. One step at a time, quick feet. Two stairs at a time with tempo. Three stairs at a time, deep elevated lunge! Lateral side steppers, both sides –watch where you’re going. Stairs with overhead backpack press. Stairs with donkey kick holds. Place entire foot on stair or just ball of foot to alternatively work calves. Run the stairs. Walk the stairs. Jog the stairs.

Location: At work. At school. Ascending out of the depths of a subway station. At home, especially if you live on the 5th floor of a walk-up building. No, I’m not complaining. At the local high school football stadium. At the mall. When channeling your inner Rocky on the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. You have a plethora of options folks, handle your business.

Challenge: Try a different location and variation every day of this week and post a photo/video of your favorite. Shout outs on #TheFitCycle Facebook page and future videos! Send to TheFitCycle@gmail.com for inclusion.

Get it in where you can fit it in! –Andia

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UPTOWN DIPS

This week’s #TheFitCycle Move of the Week  can take you uptown, downtown –shoot, all around! I call them Uptown Dips though they’re known in general fitness circles as Bulgarian Dips or Elevated Split Squats.

Muscles (major) worked: Glutes, Hamstrings, Quads

Considerations: Angles: top of foot to shin AND calf to hamstring of both elevated back and grounded front leg. Hamstring of grounded leg is parallel to ground in starting (base) position

Hips and torso should remain square and facing straight ahead in the same direction that the front and grounded foot faces

Foot of extended and elevated back leg should rest on bench midway and be positioned flat, facing downwards

Because this is a pulsing move, practitioners must understand and be secure in their original starting position in order to return to base properly. Starting position (base) – rise upwards – hold – return to base – repeat.
Arm movement is just as in running, or walking for that matter. Opposite arm, opposite leg. For example, if my right front leg is base, my left arm moves upwards as I rise. Left leg base, right arm.

Core and glutes engaged to assist in postural and tempo maintenance

Progressions, either in the form of added weight or timed loading, will come as technique and balance is improved upon.

Equipment needed: None! Unless you choose to hold weight in your hands

Variations: Simple split squat position without elevated back leg, starting position isometric timed holds (no pulsing), timed eccentric loading series by which you slowly lower out of the “rise” position back to base (hamstring parallel to ground). Holding weights in each hand as one might “Dumbbell Run,” holding a weight plate (or other odd object: backpack, laundry basket, human, etc.) directly in front of body with extended arms parallel to ground or directly above head with arms extended perpendicular to ground.

Location: Bench, sturdy chair, stacked and secured boxes, edge of a golf cart seat

Challenge: Try not to rip your pants if you’re wearing tight ones and do send photos! Shout outs on #TheFitCycle Facebook page and future videos! Send to TheFitCycle@gmail.com for inclusion.

Get it in where you can fit it in! –Andia

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BRIDGE

This week’s #TheFitCycle Move of the Week  is dedicated to Olympic Champion Gabby Douglas who I saw briefly in New York over the weekend.

Muscles (major) worked: Glutes, Core: Abs, Lower Back

Considerations: Except for advanced practitioners, it’s best to begin in supine* position on a flat and firm surface with knees bent and feet shoulder width apart.  *Supine – on back, face up

Progression in bridge variations will come as technique and flexibility is improved upon. No need to rush or get bent out of shape trying to attempt contortionist level flexibility. Yes, I went there.

Core and glutes engaged to assist in posture maintenance.

Equipment needed: None! Oh, well, besides a flexible attitude.

Variations: Modified in reverse table top –supine– position with arms fully extended, shoulders over wrists. Or, try simply bridging bottom off of ground, hips towards sky while shoulders remain grounded; try pulsing with isometric holds at the top of the move. Moving bridges can be performed by walking forward, backward or laterally as a crab might.

Location: Bridge to somewhere. Bridge over troubled waters. Bridge worlds and ideas!

Challenge: Try a modified bridge, grow into full and do send photos! Shout outs on #TheFitCycle Facebook page and future videos! Send to TheFitCycle@gmail.com for inclusion.

Get it in where you can fit it in! –Andia

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RENEGADES

It looks like we’re on a roll —->skate! Or push up. Whichever you prefer, though I’m partial to the latter this week for what it’s worth. Pleased to again present #TheFitCycle Move of the Week and this time with a little attitude, you Renegades you!

ren·e·gade noun \ˈre-ni-ˌgād\  an individual who rejects 
conventional behavior

Now, just to clarify, traditional renegade push ups involve “rowing” (read: pulling) a dumbbell on each alternating push up-stroke and returning to the Push Up base. For our purposes though, simply alternate “stepping” up with each hand as though “climbing” a stairway to nowhere. RIGHT hand step up, LEFT hand step up, RIGHT hand step down, LEFT hand step down, push up, REPEAT circuit. Or, to make things more intriguing, try this combination:

Push Up base – R up – Push up – L up – R down – Push up – L down – Push up *This variation produces height staggered Push Ups

Muscles (major groups) worked: Pecs, Shoulders, Deltoids, Triceps, Core

Considerations: Maintain proper Push Up form with straight body line from crown of head to bottom of feet, hips engaged. No sky-high butt, people!

Full expression of Push Up at top and bottom of move. Top: arms fully extended. Bottom: Nose towards floor by lowering body not by simply dipping head.

To take pressure off of wrists be certain to displace some weight into fingertips

Breathing: Inhale downwards, exhale upwards. Load, unload!

Core engaged to assist in posture maintenance

Rhythm controlled, speed increased for difficulty

Equipment needed: None, aside from the “step” or ledge on which to work

Variations: Modified on Knees, Step Height, Step Stability, Hand Placement Width (ie narrow to work triceps), Tempo, Isometric Hold at top and bottom of move, Hand Order (left-right, right-left, or cycle), inclusion of Push Up at bottom of move, Push Up at staggered hand position, Depth of Push Up

Location: Steps or sturdy box secured against a wall. Other ideas: bath tub ledge, truck tire, low rung of playground ladder, foot rest or even a bench if you’re feeling extra strong, adventurous and in control!

Challenge: Try a different variation every day of this week and post a photo of your favorite, especially if it involves an odd location. Shout outs on #TheFitCycle Facebook page and future videos! Send to TheFitCycle@gmail.com for inclusion.

Get it in where you can fit it in! –Andia

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KNEE DRIVES

Back again with the second installment of #TheFitCycle Move of the Week! This week’s special guest -great for high intensity interval training- Knee Drives.

Muscles* (major) worked: Quads, Hamstrings, Glutes, Hip Flexors                    *Move is great for speed development and drive phase coordination in sprinting

Considerations: Knee Drive towards chest, returning to floor with dorsiflexed foot –alternating legs throughout movement

Straight body line from crown of head to bottom of feet, hips engaged

Arms firm, elbows neither locked nor excessively bent

Core engaged to assist in posture maintenance

Rhythm controlled, speed increased for difficulty

Dorsiflexion: upward movement of the foot at the ankle joint. Allows for application of force, against ground, in this instance

Equipment needed: None! Proper footwear is suggested to ensure efficient dorsiflexed footfall and aggressive drive off of ground

Variations: Tempo, Knee Height, Isometric Hold at top of move, Angle of Approach and more!

Location: Wall or any other sturdy vertical element so that your hands will be positioned flush against the surface

Challenge: Try a different variation every day of this week and post a photo of your favorite, especially if it involves everyday attire or location. Shout outs on #TheFitCycle Facebook page and future videos! Send to TheFitCycle@gmail.com for inclusion.

Get it in where you can fit it in! –Andia

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LUNGE

Introducing #TheFitCycle Move of the Week! This week’s special guest, and a personal favorite, the standard lunge.

Muscles (major) worked: Quads, Hamstrings, Glutes

Considerations: 90, 90, 90 – degree angles that is. Top of foot to shin. Hamstring to calf. Hip Flexor of forward leg to trunk.

Back in neutral position, not bowed or arched, and core engaged

Tempo smooth and controlled to maintain balance

Equipment needed: None! Unless you so choose: dumbbells, weight plates, Kettle Bells, medicine balls, bands, weight sticks, etc. OR, odd objects that you find around the home, office, garage –laundry basket maybe?

Variations: Static, Walking, Lateral, Tempo Based, Sliding, Backwards, Overhead, Twisting, Plyometric and more!

Location: Anywhere, everywhere and always!

Challenge: Try a different variation every day of this week and post a photo of your favorite, especially if it involves an everyday object or location. Shout outs on #TheFitCycle Facebook page and future videos! Send to TheFitCycle@gmail.com for inclusion.

Get it in where you can fit it in! –Andia

©Copyright MMXII The Fit Cycle | Andia Winslow. All Rights Reserved.

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6 thoughts on “Moves

  1. I was at a clinic watching AccessHealth and saw a session about this website. This is so cool. I am going to try some of the easier moves in my daily routine. lol

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