We always start Fitness Fire group classes or a training session with some dynamic stretching and then a couple corrective exercises. This is meant to prep your body for use and warm up the areas you're about to workout. It's great to pin point weaker areas of your body and do specific corrective work for those issues. Here's a break down of some of our favorites!
Wall slides: These are great for those of you who sit at a desk all day long and may be trapped in that forward-leaning position. Wall slides work your thoracic spine and really help to open up your chest and shoulders which helps greatly with good posture.
Stand with your back against a wall with your feet about 6 inches away from the wall and a little less than shoulder width apart. Tuck your tailbone forward and make sure your back is nice and flat against the wall, you may need to adjust where your feet are for this to happen. Tighten your tummy and bring your hands up to the wall with your elbows bent at 90 degrees. Now squeeze and press your shoulder blades against the wall (make sure your back is still touching!) and begin to slide your arms from rib height straight up then back down again. Do 10-20 reps with good form.
Bridges: If you have a hard time engaging your glutes, this is a great one for you.
Lay on the ground with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Make sure your back is flat. Push through your heels and squeeze your glutes simultaneously to bring your butt off the ground. You want to make sure you're keeping your hips level and squeezing your glutes very tight. Pause at the top and repeat. Do 15-20 reps. To increase difficulty you can do a single leg bridge by bringing one foot off the ground and extending the leg towards the sky.
Clam shells: This exercise targets your glutes, inner thighs and hips, which are key for a healthy back and stable knees.
Lie on your side with your hips and knees bent 45 degrees, legs and ankles stacked. Keeping your feet touching each other and head resting on the ground, raise your upper knee as high as you can while keeping your hips stack. Do 15-20 reps on each side. For added difficulty, put a small resistance band right above the top of your knees.
T-W-Y-I: These target the muscles of your upper back that stabilize your shoulder blades (trapezius and rhomboids). They also strengthens your rotator cuff and help promote good posture.
Start by laying on your stomach. Flex your toes into the ground and make sure they stay touching the ground the whole time. For Ts: Extend your arms out to your side, palms down and gently squeeze your shoulder blades together lifting your chest off the ground. Pause at the top and come back down. For Ws: Bend your arms 90 degrees at the elbow or make a "touchdown" shape. For Ys: Put your arms slightly above you in a Y shape, thumbs pointing up to the ceiling. For Is which are the hardest: Arms come straight above you, palms down. Channel superman or superwoman for this one! If you feel any pain in your low back leave out the Is until you become stronger. Do 8-12 reps of each. You can make this more challenging by holding light weights.
Quadruped opposite arm/leg lifts: his move strengthens your glutes and core, as well as strengthening the stabilizer muscles around your spine which can help immensely with alleviating low back pain.
Get down on your hands and knees with your palms flat on the floor and shoulder-width apart. Tighten your tummy, and raise your right arm and left leg until they're in line with your body. Briefly pause and return to the starting position. Repeat with your left arm and right leg. Continue to alternate sides until you've completed 10-15 reps on each side.
Give these a try... which are hardest for you? This means you should be doing the hardest ones a couple times a week!
It's important to strengthen and engage your weaker areas. If you're diligent, you'll most likely notice improvement quickly.