5 of MY BEST Basic, Functional, Get-in-Shape Exercises

These can be done just about anywhere, anytime, with no equipment…and with 3 different levels of difficulty, by just about anyone.

Bird Dogs:

This has many different names, but whatever you want to call them, there should be minimal trunk movement, the spine straight & level.

Easy:   start out just 1 leg, then 1 arm at a time

Moderate:   do opposite leg & arm at the same time

Challenging:   tap elbow-to-knee underneath OR try same side arm & leg

 

 

 

Plank:

Yes, the plank – remember doing these in P.E. class? Great things withstand the test of time. Just like with the Bird Dogs, there should be minimal body movement, spine as straight & level as possible!

Easy: start out with forearms on a wall

Moderate: forearms on a countertop, or a chair

Challenging: on the floor. Or for a real challenge try them on an exercise ball!

 

 

 

Squat:

Talk about functional – it doesn’t get much more functional than a squat. Spine should be straight, focus on using the legs!

Easy:  start out holding onto a railing or sink then sit back a bit to focus the effort on the buttocks muscles = less strain on the knees

Moderate:  hold arms out front & increase depth of the squat

Challenging:  raise arms up overhead, staying tall & erect

 

 

 

 

 

“Posterior Chain” Stretch:

What is the “Posterior Chain?” It’s the chain of tissue, including nerves, muscles, & fascia that runs all the way down the backside. The hamstrings, sciatic nerve, and Achilles tendon are all part of this chain.

Easy: start out with hands on a wall or a counter top for support; lower slowly until a stretch is felt

Moderate: lower hands to a coffee table, a low chair, or a foot stool

Challenging:  now hands to the floor, but pay attention – DON’T OVERSTRETCH! You can really do some damage.

 

 

Lunge / Hip Flexor Stretch:

Tight hip flexors are a primary driver of low back pain! The more we sit, the tighter they get, & the more we need to stretch them. Be sure to hold this stretch at least 30 seconds.

Easy:  put forward foot up on a bench / chair / low table; slowly move body forward until stretch is felt

Moderate: both feet on floor, use a chair on each side to support your weight, lower down, bending back leg

Challenging: no hands, go deeper so your back knee touches the floor; try raising arms up overhead & even turning towards front leg

 

 

CONGRATULATIONS! Now your body is activated, loosened up, & you’re ready for whatever’s next!

Trouble or pain with any of these? Please reach out to us via email or phone call, so one of our experts can help you!

Written by Damon

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