Your Movement Guide
If you are like most folks, you may feel that the last year and half didn’t involve much of the same amount and types of movement you did before the pandemic had most of us all staying home.
This last year and a half was a big change from how we typically moved our bodies and even where we might have moved our bodies. Some of us may have enjoyed walking with friends, a dance class, going to the gym or a circus arts class. Now that, as least here in the US (and most other rich countries) infection rates are low and vaccination rates are high, it feels like coming out of our shell and exploring the world again feels doable.
But now that you’ve begun to explore going out again and moving your body again, you’ve noticed you’re just not feeling quite like yourself. You almost feel a bit like a foreigner in your own body. Or maybe a little like a baby giraffe trying to stand for the first time.
Let me be the first to say you are not alone. This past year and a half had us all adapting to a different way of living and being. It’s only natural that you are feeling a little trepidation about how to find movements that will feel good for you in a body that has been moving, or not moving, in a very different way.
Where to begin is usually the biggest question and thus the biggest hurdle to starting. I encourage you to find movements that feel good to you and thus have you feeling reconnected to your body.
I coach people to explore trying something that is just a little bit more than the day before and something they feel very, very confident they’ll achieve.
However, sometimes, the open-endedness of it all can also end up being a stopping point for some. If you find yourself in that camp, below are a few videos that move most of your joints through some movement that can help limber them up and reacquaint you with your body again.
Half Kneeling Ankle Dorsiflexion
This mobilizes and stretches your ankles. Additionally, this movement stretches the muscles around your knees and hips. Perform 5-8 repetitions on each side.
Side Lying T-Spine Rotation
This mobility exercise stretches your upper back, shoulders, chest and neck. When lying on your side, use something to prop up your knee. It doesn’t need to be a foam roller. Perform 5 repetitions on each side.
Segmental Cat Cow
This mobilizes your whole spine. While performing this movement, imagine someone is touching one vertebrae at a time along your spine from your tailbone to the base of your head. Slowly move from the cat position to the cow. Repeat in each direction 4-5 times.
T-Spine Rotation in a Straddle Forward Fold Position
This movement mobilizes your upper back, shoulders and neck while also stretching your inner thighs, chest, shoulders and the back of your legs. Do 5 rotations to one side, then switch to rotating to the other side.
A whole-body mobility and stretching exercise. You’ll feel the front of your hip stretching and maybe even the back of the leg. The upper body twisting will mobilize through the upper back and shoulders and stretch your chest muscles. Perform 5 repetitions on each side.
Toe Touch Squat
I love this one! It’s a full body mobilizing exercise and it stretches so many muscles. Please only stretch as much as feels like a slight stretch for you. I am Gumby and can stretch pretty deep into many of the positions, but for you, do what feels good. Do 5-10 repetitions.
Putting it all Together
Often creating the routine can be difficult. With the above videos you could make a little mobility playlist in YouTube. You may find having the videos as a playlist helpful.
When starting new things, I often coach people to try something they feel really confident that they’ll achieve. This could mean, in the beginning, that you aim for one exercise a day. Or maybe you aim for half the exercise routine twice a week. Rediscovering your body doesn’t have to be an all or nothing thing.
And it really shouldn’t be.
Let’s be kinder and gentler with ourselves.
Take baby steps to change. This way, you’ll rediscover movement in your body, and your’ll find it with joy.
Happy Exploration~ Theresa
P.S. If more in-depth guidance is what you’re looking for, or something more tailored to you, we do that! We coach in-person or from a distance with our online program. If you have questions or don’t see what you’re looking for contact us.