Most of us have goals to get in better shape, maintain weight, lose weight, and/or exercise to feel better and live longer.
We know that moving more is important but HOW we move can make all the difference. We all have muscles, just hanging out on our bodies and unless we move them (correctly) they become weak and the result can be injury and pain. This applies to everyone. Whether you are a runner, athlete, or couch potato, it does not matter: we can all benefit from this concept “Think Laterally” and live with less pain as we age.
Forward and back motion over and over!
We spend much of our day sitting, walking, biking, jogging, running, and climbing stairs and if our day includes a gym workout, maybe we'll do some squats, lunges, pushups, pull-ups, or cardio on the elliptical machine, etc. What do these positions have in common? They are all in a forward/backward motion and they lack lateral movement. This repetition can result in a body that is imbalanced and impaired in the ability to move well in all directions.
Athletes, Runners, Cyclist, & Active People
Linear athletes like runners are prone to overusing the quadriceps and injuries can result like ‘runner’s knee’ (patellofemoral pain), achilles tendinitis and IT Band Syndrome. Adding lateral movement won't fully prevent injuries from happening, however, it can decrease the likelihood of these injuries occurring.
Not So Active People
If you are not actively working out, you most likely are still moving in a forward/backward motion leaving your body imbalanced and increasing the risk of pain as you age.
Move laterally and age stronger… Everyone!
With lateral strength we can all protect our hips, knees, ankles, and ultimately we'll age stronger and with less pain.
I’ve got some good ideas for you! You can do these movements anytime and anywhere during your day. Adding a resistance band intensifies the exercises.
LATERAL STEP – In a semi squat position step laterally 4-6 steps to the left and then 4-6 steps to the right. Keep your hips and shoulders square. Repeat for 30-60 Seconds. Be careful to not bring your knees forward over your toes.
LATERAL LEG LIFTS – Balance on one foot and lift the opposite leg laterally. Repeat 12-15 times on each leg for 2-3 sets.
PLANK TAPS/SLIDES – Plank Position and tap one foot at a time side to side. This is a great move as you are strengthening your core and arm stabilizing muscles at the same time. You can intensify this by adding gliders or even microfiber towels.
CLAMSHELL – We can ALL benefit from doing clamshell. Clamshell can help strengthen your medial glutes, increasing the power and stability of your hips. This can also mean a decrease in injury to the lower body, greater stabilization in agility workouts, and more strength and power in your squat.
- Lie on one side with your feet and hips stacked, your knees bent 90 degrees, and your head resting on your right arm.
- Draw your knees in toward your body until your feet are in line with your butt. This is your starting position.
- Keeping your abs engaged and your feet together, raise your top knee as far as you can without rotating your hip or lifting your bottom knee off the floor.
- Hold for 1 second, squeezing your glutes at the top of the move, before slowly lowering your left knee to the starting position.
- Continue for a total of 20 reps, then repeat on the other side.
The icing on the CAKE is that lateral movement will help develop a beautiful and strong BOOTY!
Cheers to more mindful movement!