MOVEMENT – Move This

A Holiday Mobility Program to Overcome the Season’s Overwhelm

By 24Life

The “silly season,” as I have heard it referred to, is the time during the preparation leading up to Christmas and New Year’s Eve. While there is so much work to do to prepare the home for the holidays and to get ready for Christmas concerts and having the kids back home from school, it can get a bit silly.

This silly season, don’t forget to take some time for yourself. Here is a great “work-in” (as opposed to a workout) program that focuses on mobility. A work-in is a phrase I coined to describe the action of using movement to enhance your energy, not expend it. This is the type of program you will want to do when you are feeling tight, sore, overwhelmed, stressed, tired or just feel like you need a mental break. It does not take too long, and you can repeat it multiple times in a day.

WARM-UP

Quick Walk: Enhancing circulation throughout the body is the first step to increasing energy and mobility in the joints. Without good circulation, we struggle to provide the joints with healthy, nutritious fluids.

Rub and Scrub

This is a very technical term for creating friction in key areas of the body.

  • Take your right hand and aggressively but not painfully rub the top of your left forearm. Create some heat to the skin of your arm and around your wrist area. Do the same with the other arm.
  • Then move to the back of your head. Rub the back of your head where the neck meets the skull with your fingertips as if you are shampooing your hair.
  • Then rub your lower back, specifically the sacrum. Make a fist with both hands and aggressively scrub your lower back with your knuckles on the sacrum bone.

WORK-IN

Hamstring Nerve Floss

  • Elevate your right leg by placing your foot on a stool or box. Keep a slight bend in your knee and point your toes toward your nose.
  • Hinge at your hip to lengthen the hamstrings. Tilt your trunk forward and maintain a long spine.
  • Rotate your hip side to side while maintaining an anchored position of the heel. This will look like your foot is a windshield wiper.
  • Continue this in a very slow motion for 30 seconds. Repeat each side twice.

Half-Kneeling Anterior Hip Stretch

  • Assume a half-kneeling position with your left knee on the ground and your right foot out in front of your center. Place your hands on your hips.
  • While maintaining a very tall spinal position as if you are having your picture taken, reach your right knee as far forward as you feel comfortable, leaving your trail leg behind to stretch.
  • Adjust your feet, as needed, to get the optimal stretch in the trail leg while maintaining your balance. If your knees are delicate, place a mat or soft block or folded towel under your trail knee.
  • Hold the stretch for 15 seconds, then ease off on the stretch. Repeat three times on each leg.

Lower-Back Stretch

  • Lie on your back with your tail as close to a wall as possible.
  • You will need to place your legs up against the wall to make that happen.
  • Point your toes back toward your nose while keeping your entire back flat on the ground.
  • Practice breathing through your nose. Breathe in for four seconds, hold for one and then breathe out for four seconds.
  • Remember that when you breathe in, your belly should raise higher. When you breathe out, your belly should descend. Repeat for five cycles of breathing.

Figure-4 Hip Stretch With Twist

  • Lie on your back in a supine position with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor. Take your arms out to form a T with your upper body.
  • Place your left ankle over your right knee.
  • Drop your right knee down to your right, twisting through your hips. Keep your shoulders flat on the floor.
  • Hold and then release and repeat on the opposite side.

Tree Balance With Deep Breathing

  • Stand with your feet under your hips. Come into Tree Pose, placing your left foot on the inside of your right ankle or thigh.
  • Reach your arms overhead and make large branches with your arms. Hold this position for 20 seconds. Repeat on the other side.

COOL-DOWN

Quiet Time: Take five minutes and find a quiet place to reflect on all the wonderful things you have in your life. Another year has gone by! A new year is about to bless us. Continue to cultivate happiness with your family and friends. Choose to make time for yourself. You deserve it. Sit peacefully, be still and find your authentic self.

MEET THE MODEL

When 24 Hour Fitness Personal Trainer Erica Johnson was 3 years old, her mother decided it was time for her to dance in a studio instead of all around the house. Johnson says the dance world transitioned to the world of fitness modeling, when she realized that she was promoting fitness but didn’t know as much about it as she thought she should. Johnson got her personal trainer certification and started working with clients, and we asked her to take a few minutes to answer our questions about her journey since then. 

24Life: Now that you’ve made the leap to the training side of fitness, have your goals changed?

Erica Johnson: I’ve gotten into weightlifting, and I am currently scouting for my first powerlifting competition in 2020. I’m super excited!

24Life: What’s your source of inspiration?

EJ: I’m a big fan of David Goggins, Jocko Willink and people who are highly dedicated to their craft with no excuses. But my family is definitely a source of inspiration. My dad was a natural bodybuilder. He suffered from lung cancer. It does a lot when you see someone’s full potential and what life does to them. That changed my whole perspective and outlook on life and whether I am being good to myself and good to others. 

24Life: How do you start and end your day? 

EJ: When I wake up in the morning I start with thankfulness and gratefulness. Last thing I do before I go to sleep, journal about what happened today, what went wrong, what went right, what can be corrected, and continue with my gratefulness. What am I grateful for that I didn’t even expect to happen today?

24Life: If you could say one thing to 24 Hour Fitness members, what would it be?

EJ: Remember why you started. 

Video credit: nicolasme, Adobe Stock
Photo credit: julief514, Getty Images
GIFs: Tom Casey, box24studio.com
Hair & make-up: Chanel
Model: Erica Johnson, 24 Hour Fitness

Background

Don’t leave without becoming a 24Life Insider! Get free 24Life workouts, recipes, lifestyle hacks and more direct to your inbox.

Author

24Life

A mighty and fiercely curious team focused on creating stories and curating ideas for you.

Want free 24Life workouts, recipes, lifestyle hacks and more direct to your inbox?
+