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Strength building. A simple approach. Part 4

Dan John said a very simple sentence during his cert last year that struck a cord with me. “Making people look better isn’t that hard, just give them what they don’t have. For men that will usually mean mobility, for women it will mean strength”.

He is right. Most women are naturally more flexible than men and until recently, it wasn’t the in thing for women to lift weights, it was more about cardio, yoga and palettes. Men on the other hand, its always been about lots of chalk, grunting and as heavy a weight as you can move. Mobility???? What is mobility?

Thats why in my programming I took what he advised on board and added mobility into the rest periods. This why everyone gets what the want and need. Remember this program is not for a powerlifter or a bodybuilder, its for Mr or Mrs Average. They want to get a bit stronger, move a bit more and look and feel a bit better. That’s all. The drills included in this program, does just that.

Zenith

T spine mobility is something EVERYONE needs to improve. We sit in a protracted state so much that our bodies are starting to adapt. Our CNS recognises we are in a certain position so many hours of the day that it starts to think ‘this is what he needs so this is what we will do’. What happens then is our muscles begin to tighten to hold us in the position we are mostly in. Over months and years, the less we move the worse it becomes. Zenith is a simple and effective way of helping to counteract this.

Click the link to watch this simple tutorial that if done regularly throughout the day, will help open, all those locked up spines. All it takes is a few minutes a day to make a difference.

Straight leg bear crawls

This is the one drill I do every single day (because every new start in Primal is introduced to it). I love it. If you have tight hamstrings, this is a must for you. It combines a great stretch, cross pattern movement, a gait pattern and adds an element of strength as you are supporting the weight of your body throughout the entire movement.

Straight arm hanging.

Kids never seem to have any shoulder issues. Their mobility is fantastic (actually, it was until recent generations). The next time you are at a playground with monkey bars, watch what children automatically do. They hang and brachiate. Very rarely will you see kids trying a pull up without first being shown by an adult. Brachiating is a natural movement all humans instinctively know and do, probably a throw back from our evolutionary past, it is also a great way of getting shoulder heart back. Now, a word of warning, if you haven’t hung off a bar since you were a child and you are now a forty year old, over weight, adult, I strongly recommend that you do not just jump up on to the nearest branch and hang. Start easy, feet on the floor, hands holding a set of rings and lower yourself into a stretch still keeping your feet on the floor. This way you can dictate the level of intensity your shoulders are exposed to. Remember, enough, is enough. DO NOT hold on until failure!! Leave strength in the tank.

Six point rock.

Another simple to do and very effective drill, that every can do and will benefit from. Get on all fours, bring your toes up so you have them rating on the floor (think of a squat position except kneeling). Spread your knees apart, keep your back straight and gently push your butt back until you feel a tightness in your hips. Hang around there for a second or two, then come back to the start position. Repeat this movement, slowly trying to increase the ROM you can achieve. Do not push into pain. Allow yourself to build up the mobility over time.

Stoney stretch

This bad boy has given me more freedom in my shoulders and chest than I knew ever existed. Another Dan John special, this is one of my go to moves when I need to stretch myself out. Check out the video on YouTube for a full explanation.

Loaded lat stretch. This cheeky little number is one that slipped under my radar until someone (I will let you guess who) introduced me to it and it is fantastic! Its one of those stretches that just feels good. Make sure you walk your feet back and hinge back so far that if you were to let go of the KO8 handles you would fall. Thank me (or Dan) later.

We are almost finished! Tomorrow we put everything together and add the magic sauce, how to progress everything so that you make as much progress as possible.

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