For a Lifetime of Fitness & Health, it is most important to practice being injury free
If you are in pain, your physical, emotional & hormonal profile changes. It influences you to do less of what you love because you are just managing not feeling like death, hurting intensely, or being uncomcortable… something we all try to avoid, but have occur from time to time.
What if you could have more control over staying injury free so you can do more of what you love AND explore new things that you may love? That, my friend, is what smart fitness training is all about. A fitness program (or as I like to call it, your Movement Prescription) should have a few basic principles:
- Postural Integrity
- Resistance Strength Training
- Injury Prevention & Restoration
- Aerobic & Anaerobic Conditioning
- Fun & Engaging Methods
- Joint Health & Range of Motion
- Flexibility/Mobility Protocol
Today, I want to share with you one of my favorite ways that you can be more injury free, improve joint health, and optimize your mobility & flexibility.
Having mobility means that your body – from the individual joint on your toe, to your neck, and every single thing in between – has the ability to be easily movable. Having the readiness to move easily, to be adaptable to the changing environment, & being free of pain or restrictions in my eyes is the Holy Grail of Fitness & Exercise Programming.
The ability to be self-reliant, able to be a strong independent person (physically and mentally) , and to have a life free of “I can’t, don’t, shouldn’t, won’t” so you can unlock more of your human potential is my passion in this industry. It is one of our POD Principles at Orca Empire Fitness; to Live Better Every Day and pursue what makes you feel most EMPOWERED.
In each session that I coach, we start our training with a combination of Mobility & Muscular Activation based on the focus of the workout… but this Worlds Greatest Stretch is truly an awesome addition to any program and person because it is easy to follow, highly effective for loosening up your body, and can be done in just a few short minutes with BIG results.
So enough about me trying to explain this thing; please enjoy this step-by-step walkthrough of the Worlds Greatest Stretch!
- Take 3 Full breaths in and out to set the tone. Take your inhale to the top of your lungs, squeezing a few final sips of air at the very top; follower by a complete exhale to the very bottom of your lungs, feeling empty and still for a moment
- Take hold of your shin and pull your thigh up against your body, standing stable while doing so. Try to pull your knee up & in towards your chest while breathing deeply in to “grow taller”.
- Lunge step that same leg forward, and ready your head over your hips and back shin into the ground to prepare for the next step.
- Gently Scoop your tailbone underneath your hips to keep the ideal stretch where you want it (another way to understand this is to tilt your belly button towards your chin). f comfortable, feel free to lean your upper chest & head back to promote thoracic spine extension. Then, reach your hands up overhead & slide your hips forward-down to ‘feel it’ a little more.
- Bring both hands to the floor underneath your chest, letting the front of your rear leg gently reach for the floor (you will come back to this position again).
- Place both hands to the inside of your foot and reach your hips back towards your heel to gain tissue length in your front hamstring (a.k.a. feel the deep stretch)
- Shift your body forward, lifting your chest tall and let your hips fall towards the floor. Then reach the arm that is closest to your front leg out, up & around to behind you, expressing a full range of motion at the Glenohumeral [shoulder] joint. Reverse that shoulder circle to bring your arm back to the floor underneath your torso, the same position as step #5.
- As if taking the shape of a triangle, reach your hips up & back towards the ceiling. I encourage to take an extra breath or two in this position, even taking some little wiggles in your hips & lifting/dropping your heel from the floor. Then bring both hands back to underneath your shoulders and hips are forward-down (step #5)
- Reach the outside arm towards the ceiling, rotating your torso away from your front leg. At this point, your arms will be making a straight line from floor to ceiling, focusing on big breaths out to gain rotation/twist in your upper body. After this return your hands to underneath your shoulders (step #5).
- FINALLY, lift your back knee, step on forward, stand tall & repeat on the other side!
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