Did you know that the discs used to move furniture can also give you a killer workout? Furniture slider exercises offer a unique challenge, because you are able to slide a foot or hand on the floor. This allows for unique positions that challenge your balance, range of motion and strength. Best of all, you can get a pack of furniture sliders for under $10.
Most often, furniture slider exercises target the core, but I’m going to show you other ways to use this piece of equipment.
Upper body, lower body and core can all be challenged by using simple glide discs or furniture movers.
Is your squat suffering because your heels keep coming off the ground?
Do you have the necessary mobility through your ankles to achieve a full squat?
Being locked up in the calves can be a sign that you won’t achieve the necessary mobility to get low into a squat. Use these three techniques to help improve mobility.
Start with a little SMR to the calves (gastroc & soleus), then some banded distraction to open up the joint spaces, then test with a half kneeling lean into a wall. If your heel comes up before your knee hits the wall, you may need more work.
If you’ve been living in a cave, under a rock with your eyes shut and your fingers in your ears, chances are this is the first time you’re learning about Pokémon Go. If not, then Pokémon is all you’ve seen on your Facebook feed, the news, or around your town with scores of kids and adults roaming the streets, often in packs to “catch em all!”
When was the last time you saw this many kids walking around the streets, or biking? What was once isolated to the couch, is now out in the open, getting not just kids moving, but adults as well. Pokemon is currently the talk of the gym, especially when we see people walk past, then stop dead in their tracks. Without fail, they’re looking for Pokemon. Doesn’t hurt that there are about 7 different Pokestops in a block radius.
Pokémon Go is the latest craze in gaming on your phone, with it already being downloaded over 7.5 million times in the US alone, sending Nintendo stock soaring, but we’re not here to discuss economics. We’re here to discuss how this craze has affected peoples NEAT or Non Exercise Activity Thermogenics. What the hell is that? Well, it’s the energy or calories you burn while doing all the activities you do on a daily basis that isn’t related to exercise or sports. Think yard work, cleaning, walking, or even as I’m typing, I’m using energy to move my fingers. All classify as NEAT. So why is NEAT important to note?
NEAT can largely influence how many calories you end up burning in a given day. Naturally active people or people that have active jobs tend to be in better shape than those that sit at a desk for hours on end. More movement, more health.
We’re a sedentary society to a certain extent. We spend massive amounts of time sitting, whether it’s at work or home or commuting between the two. There isn’t a huge amount of activity being done outside of actually going to the gym and working out. And when we do work out, it’s that 30-60 minutes and then we’re right back on our butts.
What Pokémon Go has done, is it has gotten people moving. It has people walking around, sometimes to the tune of miles a day, chasing imaginary creatures on their phone. Now some detractors may say that it isn’t enough, or that it doesn’t count. They are partially correct in that those engaging in the game aren’t doing something structured where the goal is produce some sort of adaptation. Again, that’s not the point. We’re not looking for structured exercise programs. We just want people to move more. Some people are moving so much that they were experiencing soreness in following days. That either says people were so inactive before that simply walking gave them DOMS, or that they walked so much that it created enough metabolic stress (I’ve heard reports of up to 4 miles+).
I think when the developers created this game, they may have had increasing activity on their mind. Take this sentence from the description from the App store: “Now’s your chance to discover and capture the Pokémon all around you-so get your shoes on, step outside, and explore the world.”
There is such a concern that kids and teenagers playing video games kept them cooped up inside the house all day, sitting in front of a TV screen. Now replace the TV screen with a phone, and then insert a lot more physical activity. Granted it is only walking, but remember, those that increase their NEAT, see more success when it comes to weight loss or maintenance. Low intensity cardiovascular activities like walking are a great way to get a little additional calorie burn without adding stress to the body, which makes it an awesome recovery tool. And if you’re going for a stroll, why not have fun with it too.
One of the biggest tips when it comes to exercise is to find something you enjoy, something fun. Clearly people are enjoying this game and are having fun with it. Now it may fizzle like most app crazes do, but who cares. Even if it is in the short term, it got people out of their houses where typical video games were being played, and out into the world, moving, and walking. Even if it took chasing imaginary monsters around to do so. And who knows, small activity now playing Pokémon Go could lead to bigger activities like working out at a gym down the line.
Who would have thought that babies would be the masters of one of the best exercises ever?
Crawling exercises are not only beneficial for your strength and mobility, they can also improve your brain performance and coordination. In addition to its ability to get you stronger, crawling has many corrective properties. It’s an all-in-one exercise.
The hardest part of crawling, especially when you haven’t done it for a long time, is learning or re-learning the movement. If you don’t use it, you lose it. Give it a try. Get down on all fours and try to crawl and coordinate contralateral movements. Tough? More challenging than you thought?
With the Crawl, you see the body and mind working against each other, struggling to find a correct plan of attack. The first common mistake is moving the same arm and leg, resulting in a feeling that it just isn’t right.
But keep trying—it’ll come back to you. The biggest benefit to adding Crawls into your program is that they help you maintain a neutral spine. And a neutral spine is pretty darn important, right? You use it for just about every exercise or lift at the gym.
Deadlift? Neutral spine.
Squat? Neutral Spine.
Push-Ups? You betcha!
Before you can run, you have to walk, and before you walk you have to crawl. What do you do before you crawl? In this case, you need to be able to hold the static position. From there, you can work through the progressions below to get to the full Crawl. First, you integrate moving your limbs separately, then together, to regain the motor plan and coordination for the complex movement ahead of you.
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