“Have you seen the speed warm-up? It’s one rep of everything.”
I heard this recently from a coworker while she trained a Ninja who’s a physical therapist. We laughed, but they created an idea in my head. Rather than focusing on several reps of movement before moving on, what if we instead sequenced them so they’re all together?
Tinkering with this idea from Katie and Amanda, I wanted to focus on the big rocks. Following the Joint by Joint Approach reminds us our body has joints that fare best with a preferred balance of mobility or stability, and that these happen to be stacked in an alternating fashion.
We’re looking at maintaining or enhancing mobility at the ankles, hips, thoracic spine, and shoulder, while controlling movement at the knees and lumbar spine. How the hell can we do all of this? A simple sequence of three movements that are dense on desirable movement can help us address and enhance our current state of movement in just minutes.
This combination of movements specifically includes a Thoracic Bridge with Reach, a Spiderman Lunge with Reach, and a Deep Squat with Alternating Reach. I bet you’ve spotted something that these all have in common. Dat reach.
Reaching isn’t a futile attempt to elongate or tone the arms. That’s what Tracy Anderson is for! Instead, we’re using that Reach to drive movement of the rib cage and the spine, and to facilitate a more complete breath. We humans are really good and inhaling, but not as adept as exhaling, at least not in our usual sitting-in-front-of-a-screen positions. Oh I bet you know which picture is coming next!
That reach paired with a complete exhale along us to relax the muscles involved with the breathing process, creating a feeling of space between your ribs and vertebrae. Does this mean that you’re magically growing taller? I don’t think so. It just means that training is going to feel that much better.
If the Thoracic Bridge, Spiderman Lunge, OR Deep Squat with Reaches is completely new to you, I’d suggest practicing those for several repetitions at a time before moving to the medley of movements. That being said, I think one movement improves the next so they may flow from one into the next.
The combination from one to the next isn’t about creating a specific response, and I can’t say that sequence is significant. Rather, the integrative experience and kinesthetic awareness that comes from this trinity is important. Knowing where your body is in space is hugely important for creating a repeatable movement experience. You may be dancing, playing tennis, or training, but your body craves spatial awareness.
This sequence can work well for anyone who desires a little bit more movement in their day. You need minimal space to complete this, which means it may work well as mid-day activity interspersed at work, or as an effective warm-up in any crowded gym. Two or three rounds may satisfy those who are warm-up adverse, and if you’d like some active rest between sets, this is the way to go.