Bodyweight Basics for Improved Movement
Practicing and mastering the following three movements will give you a solid start toward developing power-enriching strength and mobility.
Place feet hip-width apart and pointing slightly out. Consciously engage your glute and ab muscles—tighten the muscles around your core but continue to breathe. Lift one leg in front of you with leg straight. Descend by pushing your hips backward and downward. Descend until hip crease falls below knee level (you may need to work toward this depth over a period of weeks). Ascend by pushing hips back and up. Keep knee from collapsing inward during this exercise. Work to keep it out and aligned with foot.
Start in a dead hang position with shoulders next to your ears. Engage the muscles around the trunk, glutes and abs. Initiate movement by pulling shoulder blades back and down and keeping the neck long. Keep butt and stomach muscles engaged through movement. This is critical to getting the desired functional movement effect! Follow through with a pull that directs your chest toward the bar. When chin clears bar return via the same path, core continuously engaged. You can purchase pull-up assist bands if you cannot do a pull-up by yourself.
With lower back touching the ground, point legs straight and tight together, point toes, and extend arms straight. Engage abs, glutes, upper thigh muscles. Start rocking back and forth without allowing the shape to break at any point.
Visit Gymnasticswod.com for video instruction and pointers on how to progress to these movements.
A Movement and Mobility Toolkit
If Starrett and Paoli’s philosophy sounds like something you’d like to explore, you can begin with the following movement and mobility toolkit, along with what they outline as the fundamental exercises you can begin working on to improve your mobility.
Hydrate throughout the day, every day.
Spike your water with electrolyte tablets to enhance the absorption of water into your body’s tissues.
Trigger Point Therapy
Trigger Point Therapy offers tools and techniques for recovery, restoration and injury prevention.
Kelly Starrett’s video blog has hundreds of workouts that take 10 minutes or less and guide you toward working on tissue, joint and overall mobility issues piece by piece. Starrett doesn’t just show you what to do but why you should do it. If you have a particular problem (hamstrings, feet, shoulders) do a keyword search and look for an appropriate blog post.
Carl Paoli’s archive centers on skill transfer exercises and progressions that he’s derived from gymnastics and are of value to athletes of any sport. Paoli hammers home the idea that midline stability is the crucial tool for an ideal flow of power throughout just about any kind of movement you can imagine. Spending a few minutes a day on Paoli’s blog will help a triathlete instill midline stability into his or her daily life as well as sport.
Video: The Biomechanics Of Lukas Verzbicas’ Bike Fit