The eight exercises that can up your cycling, running or HIIT game, and even help to prevent injury and pain. Get ready for some serious ‘prehab’...
We’ve all heard of rehab, for various reasons, but how about prehab? And what if we told you that everyone should be doing it? Prehabilitation, or the prevention of injury before it happens, is integral to the new #MoveBetter campaign , an idea that’s the brainchild of the Ten Health & Fitness team with quality of movement at its heart.
#MoveBetter emerged principally from the personal experiences of Ten’s team, plus founder Joanne Mathews’ accident-induced injuries , and resultant recovery programme. Everyday Ten’s team of Dynamic Reformer Pilates Instructors, Physiotherapists and Sports Massage Therapists witness the perils of not moving better, with almost all of their clients reporting a niggle, limitation or more serious trauma at one point or another. Combined with the rise of more intensive, high impact exercise classes and challenges and the negative implications of our increasingly sedentary lifestyles (80% of us suffer adverse physical postural effects owing to our desk-bound lifestyles), the launch of #MoveBetter is both timely, and according to Joanne, ‘a no brainer’.
In a nutshell, to really reap the benefits of a workout and move with strength, power, efficiency and pain-free freedom, we must move better.
Wondering how to get started? Ten Physiotherapist and Clinical Pilates Specialist Elle Rich has devised a series of targeted moves to improve your performance in your workout of choice, reduce your risk of injury and generally combat the day to day aches and pains that creep up on us by way of computer screens, sofas and hunching over our phones. In short, it’s modern life insurance, one flex at a time.
What’s important? Building glute strength and pelvic stability.
Exercises: Single leg bridge and standing see saw
Why this exercise? When you’re running, you’re consistently landing on one leg - to deal with this uneven force and avoid injury you need strong pelvic stability and super strong glutes (the main muscle group responsible for pelvic stability). The single leg bridge strengthens your glutes and challenges your pelvic stability at the same time, making it a perfect exercise for runners. Meanwhile the standing see saw is a standout exercise for improving pelvic stability, so it’s a great move to work into your regime if you run regularly.
Want to learn more moves to nail your running technique? Sign up for Ten’s Pilates for Runners classes
What’s important? Keeping hip flexors open and mobile.
Exercise: Active hip flexor release
Why this exercise? Sitting on a bike when cycling holds the hips in a flexed position – the repetitive nature of cycling combined with this position means dangerously tight hip flexors. Ten’s Physiotherapists regularly see cyclists with this condition who are now dealing with problems elsewhere, such as further hip pain or groin pain.
The Ten’s Pilates for Cyclists class has just launched for October- book in to hone your cycling style
What’s important? Keeping core control when lifting heavy weights.
Exercise: Active plank
Why this exercise? When strength training or weightlifting maintaining a neutral spine is key. A neutral spine position is one which maintains the natural curves of the spine - it’s the safest way for our spine to accept load as our abdominals can protect our back. This exercise strengthens your core in neutral spine so that it can better support your back when training. This is especially key if you’re a regular in a kettlebells class, as the swinging motion and weight bearing action makes hyper-rounded backs on the way down and over-arched backs on the way up all the more likely, and both can elad to injury. Get practicing your active planks and you should notice your form improve!
HIIT and Crossfit
What’s important? Maintaining good ‘length’ in the calves and ankle stability in order to absorb force.
Exercise: Heel raise with inversion and eversion (a tilt outward and inward).
Why this exercise? HIIT and other high impact workouts involve a lot of force absorption and power based exercises. A common area of weakness for many people is their ankles. The problem is, those small ankle sprains add up over the years, causing a laxity in the ligaments that hold your ankles together. During power based exercises such as box jumps or other drills in which you absorb force through your legs, you need good control around the ankles in order to prevent injury. This exercise helps to wake up the muscles around your ankles, so that they’re more stable the next time you hit a HIIT class or Crossfit session.
For an intense class that will get you sweating without sacrificing good form try Ten’s very own TenHiiT classes
What’s important? Good thoracic rotational range of motion, and strong oblique muscles.
Exercise: Back bridge on a ball with rotation and vertical punch.
Why this exercise? To throw a great punch you need powerful glutes, plus strong core rotation and arm strength. This exercise covers all three making it a powerhouse of an exercise for boxers.
What’s important? Scapula control when weight bearing.
Exercise: Bull dog press up
Why this exercise? The odd hand positioning you adopt when doing a bulldog push up helps to wake up the scapula stabilizer called the serratus anterior. Your serratus anterior is one of the most important muscles that you use during weight bearing yoga poses, especially arm balances like crow and handstands, as it helps to keep your shoulder blades flush to your rib cage. This means that the muscle around your shoulder blades can work from a stable base - as a result your body can’t ‘cheat’ or compensate when you’re doing certain poses, which can lead to injury.
General workouts and counteracting a sedentary day job
What’s important? Spinal movement and neutral scapula position.
Exercise: Book openers
Why this exercise? Sitting at a desk all day stiffens our backs. Rotation is a brilliant, safe to restore movement in our spines. This exercise also allows us to open up our chest and stretch out our pecs, which helps us to avoid that classic slumped shoulder position. It really does feel great too and is perfect for your end of the day wind-down.
If you’ve mastered these moves and are curious about more ways to enable your body to move better, check out Ten’s #MoveBetter hub onsite and follow the hashtag on social media. From sports massages to stretching classes and general tips on how to not only get moving, but do so with the grace and skill, the Ten lot are trying to spark a movement revolution. We reckon they’re onto something…
This feature was created in partnership with Ten Health & Fitness
Follow Ten on Twitter @TenHealthFit and Instagram @tenhealthfitness . You can also follow the Ten trainer featured in the main image of this feature, Alice, @amacann , to see how #MoveBetter plays out in the studio.