TENDON STRENGTH MONTH

A car is powered by its engine and fuel but the transmission carries the power to where it is manifested.

Let’s focus also on our transmission which is our joints and connective tissue.

Here is a three month plan to build up the the tendon mind health and connection. Tendons take longer than muscle to grow and change so take care to listen to your body and never play the music out of tune. Practice the holds and movements below in an alternating manner where you spread them. Do each one three times a week to let the body build itself and come together in a new way of locomotion.

Three times a week:

  1. LOWER BODY – Bend at the ankles, knees and hips till you reach a ninety degree angle at the knees and the feet are under the hips. Walk 120 breaths forward and the same backwards, sideways and turning. Keep your back upright at all times and allow yourself to relax your face and neck.
  2. LOWER BODY – Place your feet on a sliding surface ( a sock on a stone floor or smooth plastic on a rug) as you lie face up on the ground. Inhale and lift the hips up by pressing one foot backwards and repeat 60 times per side and alternate with each step.
  3. SPINE – Lie on your back and arch to for a full body arch with all limbs joining the arch. Breath and rock forward and back for 120 breaths. Repeat while on your stomach and on each side. Allow one arm on the ground when you are doing the sides to ease into the movement. Keep the arch alive instead of stiff and move from your breath.
  4. UPPER BODY – Hang on the bar and sway forward and back for 120 breaths. Avoid straining yourself in the beginning and build to a full 120 breath of swinging forward and back. Once you can do it in one go, advance to playing and swaying in different directions and heights. Swaying is much more taxing than static holds so progress with care.
  5. UPPER BODY – Hang on the parallel bars for a 120 breaths. Sway the body forward and back and again, take your time in getting to doing this in one set. Make sure your shoulders do not sag and on the other hand are not tense and your entire body moves as one.

Enjoy the movement.

Loose joints

Some people are stiff. Some are on the other end of that spectrum and require work to reach higher joint stability.

The work is easy but consistency is required to achieve success.

Here is an example for loose shoulders:

Place yourself in a push up position, you can begin against a wall and work your way to the ground.

Now, with your breathing as rhythm, Tense and relax one shoulder and then the next for sixty breaths.

Continue, by pulling the arms together and pulling them apart to the sides. Inward with the inhale and outward with the exhale. Repeat for sixty breaths.

Continue, by pulling the arms up and down and switching the direction between the sides. Inhale one way and exhale with the exhale. Repeat for sixty breaths.

Continue, by bending the arms at the elbows to half the height of the push up and repeating the process and then hovering a feather width above the surface.

For added, dynamic stability, follow the same process while facing away from the wall or by holding a stick in different angles. More on that, in my online mobility classes.

Do this twice to three times a week and you will see the results soon.

Stand straight and smile

There are many ways to correct things. One of the best is to show that there is an alternative to an imbalance.

We hurt in the shoulders neck and back due to posture and movement and more. To heal it, we begin in alignment and how to heal movement patterns from the base.

Begin in sitting on your behind and placing your hands at the sides of the body. Raise the knees up and keep the body from the knees to the shoulders parallel to the ground for 30 breaths and relax down. This is a start in reclaiming your balance of muscle activation back.

Continue to the same hold only with body straight from the ankles all the way to the shoulders with just the hands and heels touching the ground.

Continue to the same hold only with palms facing away from the body for the same amount of breaths.

Continue to placing a sliding surface under your heels ( a plastic box on a rug or an expensive exercise device, you decide and with each inhale, push up to the straight hold and relax down on the exhale. Repeat 60 times.

There is very little our bodies cannot do with the right guidance and care. Care for your body and 🙂 Come to my class.

How to learn and improve from injury/illness

We are sick and injured from time to time and it is a hidden gift in reminding us of our mortality and we learn to move with and around those areas and come out of the tunnel even stronger and in better neural and mental shape.

Examples:

The cement mixer: torso

Sit on your behind and have your legs together and your back straight in the air. Use your breath as tempo and rotate your legs in the air in small circles in one direction and then in the other. It may help to do circles with your arms as well.

The doorway into heaven: shoulders

Stand in front of a stout door-frame. Place your palms on the inside of the frame and do a standing push up as you press the arms outward.

Repeat the push up with the back of the palms and then with the sides of the hands and alter the angle to fit the tension needed.

Rope ladder: Legs and arms

Hold a looped rope in one hand straight overhead and place the bottom of the loop to hold the middle of the sole of the opposite leg. Press the leg downward as the arm and shoulder deliver resistance and reverse it on the way up. Keep your spine and head neutral to keep the work where you want it to be.

The exorcist: spine, back and leg tension balance

Lie on your back with your behind almost touching a wall and your legs straight but not locked resting on the wall. Inhale and roll your shoulders out as you raise your hips up and push your heels against the wall into a bridge that is wall supported. You can do this two legged or one leg at a time and even roll from this to your stomach. Keep your head from pressing to the ground and let your spine and hips decompress.

Twisted mobility

Here are three mobility movements for the shoulders, spine and hips. All involve moving two patterns of movement together to create human movement. We are more than one tool playing in the dark.

  1. Shoulder mobility comes to release held tension and fixation in the shoulder and upper spine.
  2. Spine mobility comes to release rigidity of movement and release new patterns of movement in the spine to avoid injury and facilitate energy transmission over the spine in intake and outtake.
  3. 3. Hip mobility comes to release fixation in the hips and to allow the body to channel movement to and from the ground.

 

1+1 = more than two sometimes.

Notes from Class: Continuity

Here is a progression of games to play. They come to bring to light the virtue of continuity and as a quality to change your encounters from collisions to freedom within the meelee.

 

  1. Have a partner place a fist or foot on you. Tense and then relax your frame to achieve two goals. First to let go of the vector the contact is leaning toward and second to drape yourself withing the contact movement. This means you allow your shape to move without stopping withing the shape your contact has at the moment.
  2. Have a partner place a fist or foot on you. Relax toward them without moving them and drape your body over them with this in mind. Start each try with either shoulder or hip so you create an array of momentary solutions to each contact and build your inner constelation of awareness. From awareness you can make a key for the door instead of trying to break down the door.
  3. Have a partner push you continously as you move with them and maintain as much contact as you can with them. Make sure your eyes are relaxed from fixating on the horizon and allow your spine to move without forcing it to keep a line.
  4. Have a partner engage and push and pull on you as you walk from A to B. Relax on the move so your partner cannot distract you from your heading. Increase the contact to body pushes and holds as you move and relax your spine to keep moving without bracing against the push pull contact.
  5. Have your partner hold you by some way (neck, arm, eyelashes or belt ). Avoid getting out of the hold and instead use it to relax your body so you bring both of you to the ground. Do not go limp. Do not stop looking and play dead. Move continously and sink instead of using your wight as an excuse to not do the work.

 

Relaxing means : moving without excess tension. It does not mean you get to expect going limp will do the work for you.  Try it out.

A very good way to relax and align the upper torso is to use a simple door frame. Stand at an arm’s length from it and place your fists at shoulder level. Now slowly lean into it keeping your head from bending and relaxing your shoulder blades and torso. Rise and raise your fists a bit and repeat till you cannot anymore. Change the angle of your fists (thumbs pointing down, inward, up, to the sides) and repeat the drill.

Remember to keep your breath continuous so the tension moves naturally out of you and to keep your eyes relaxed so the head remains where it should be, between your shoulders and as a natural line with the spine.

Let the exhale lead most of the forward opening movement so the relaxation will be greater and your rib cage will open as well.

Keep your feet relaxed and flat on the ground and use the knees and hips to navigate this way.

At the end do a few reverse movements where you lean from within the door frame back to feel if you moved more than you wanted to and to let the density built in the extra shoulders move in the body and return to where it should be.

To learn to roll with tools such as rifles and bars and to relax the shoulders start with a broom stick or even a broom. Sit on your behind and hold both ends of the stick. Now roll from side to side and forward and backwards avoiding hitting yourself with the stick or pressing it against your soft parts. Now Sit on one knee and do the same and than from a squating position. Change the grip to a shoulder width grip in the center and repeat the drill. Take care to watch your head and spine and look around as you move. Now hold the stick as you wish and place it at the back of the neck and repeat the drill, change to gripping the stick using your back and elbow pits (at the back) and see what solution you find to protecting your spine when your roll using this hold. Breath to relax and to start the movement in a better direction and than if you have a partner hold the stick in any way you like and have him move the stick as you balance yourself (while it is at the back of the neck or behind the back are good starting point) and roll if you need to. Remember that rolling is not something you do for it’s own importance. It is a tool to get somewhere and sometimes for fun.