The Couch Stretch
If you haven’t heard of the couch stretch you’re missing out. This is the most readily available technique that you can do just about anywhere as long as you have a wall, chair or a couch. If you’re like most people, you’re are forced to sit at a desk all day long, which leaves your lower body tight and glued up. This technique is super effective for restoring normal range of motion in your lower body and breaking up the stiffness that tacks down the tissue in the front of your hips and quads.
Most people I work with for the first time have difficulty even getting into the proper position of this technique and holding it for a long period of time is a different story all together. Unlike the classic standing quad stretch this variation allows people to hit the end-range knee flexion and hip extension, which means you’re actually making effective change. If you’re forced to stretch why not make it count?
Biggest Issue – getting into the mobilization. If you find it difficult, keep your opposite knee flat on the ground like in picture two. Overtime the business in the front of your hips will be restored back to normal. Remember to keep your butt engaged.
After a long day at hunched over at your desk do you ever feel like your upper back is thrashed? The unavoidable computer desk position can get the best of anyone. Grab a roller and hit a simple T-spine smash. This mobilization is what we call a “global extension exercise,” which means we’re not targeting just one muscle group, but the entire soft tissue of the upper back. This means more bang for your buck!
You’ll need a foam roller, rumble roller or PVC roller to execute this mobilization. The key here is to be deliberate with your smashing. Squeeze your arms around your chest and keep the roller at the base of your ribcage. Start by arching the back and fully extending over the roller. After that you can move left and right while keeping the tissues tacked down to the roller. Trust me you’ll feel all loosened up even after even two minutes.
Biggest Issue – people rolling back and forth aimlessly with no intention. The point is not to roll like crazy, but to find a trouble spot, elevate the hips and add pressure. Be deliberate in where you roll and you won’t have to spend as much time rolling.
Plantar Surface Foot Roll
When your first steps out of bed feel like you’re walking on glass, there’s an issue. Plantar Fasciitis is an annoying injury that can happen to just about anyone starting an exercise program or ramping up. It’s a result of the plantar surface getting so stiff and inflamed that pain becomes present. This is what happens when we don’t practice mobility daily. If you’ve never done this technique trust me your feet are tight and after two good minutes you feel amazing!
To execute you’ll need a lacrosse ball or yoga tune up ball. Lacrosse ball is a two dollar investment folks, but two dollars that will change your life when you’re consistent with it. Focus on putting pressure down on the lacrosse ball as you move your foot horizontally up the foot and then vertically. By varying the pattern and spending time you’ll break up all the tissue. Don’t wait until your foot hurts; hit this mobilization daily at your work station or when you get home.
Biggest issue – not focusing on hot spots or placing enough pressure onto the lacrosse ball or yoga tune up ball. In order to effectively make some changes, you need to go after the tight spots and contract and relax when you find them. You’ll be surprised by the impact loose feet makes on your entire system.
All of these techniques were adapted from Kelly Starrett’s, Becoming a Supple Leopard. For more information check out mobilitywod.com. I’ve chosen these three for the simple fact that they’re extremely effective, quick and simple for anyone to execute on a daily basis, enjoy!