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Foam Roller: Calves Relief

You´ll hear/read foam roller is a self-myofascial technique. Ok, self-myofascial release is the term for self-massage to release muscle tightness or trigger points. By applying pressure to specific points muscles return to normal function. Normal function means your muscles are elastic and ready to perform.

Some of the basic, most obvious benefits are better movement and increased the range of motion. These benefits can decrease the chance of injury and decrease recovery time after a workout.

We should start foam rolling our calves. From the shoes we wear to the way we sit in a chair, our calves are suffering most of the time.

Read the main instructions on how to foam rolling, here.


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Swiss ball lower back stretch

This is one of my favorite stretches to do on a Swiss ball. It feels good on your back but also gives your abs, chest, and shoulders a wonderful stretch.

Lie back over the Swiss ball with the ball centered under your thoracic spine.
Allow your back to gently arch over the ball. Reach arms overhead keeping your elbows straight.

Hold this position and enjoy.


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Lying Gluteal Muscles & Low Back Stretch

This is a real simple and effective stretch. May be used to reduce low back pain, Sciatic Nerve Pain & other symptoms related to improper biomechanics. It stretches Tensor Fascia Latae, Ilio-Tibial Band, Gluteus Medius, Gluteus Minimus and Gluteus Maximus.

Lie on your back and cross one leg over the other. Bring your foot up to your opposite knee and with your opposite arm pull your raised knee towards the ground.

Enjoy.

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Leg extensions

For this exercise, you will need to use a leg extension machine.

First, choose your weight and sit on the machine with your legs under the pad (feet pointed forward) and the hands holding the side bars. Adjust the pad so that it falls on top of your lower leg (just above your feet).

Also, make sure that your legs form a 90-degree angle between the lower and upper leg. If the angle is less than 90-degrees, means the knee is over the toes which in turn creates undue stress at the knee joint. If the machine is designed that way, make sure that when you start executing the exercise you stop going down once you hit the 90-degree angle.

Exhale and use your quadriceps to extend your legs to the maximum. Ensure that the rest of the body remains stationary on the seat. Pause a second on the contracted position.

Inhale and slowly lower the weight back to the original position, ensuring that you do not go past the 90-degree angle limit. Repeat.

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Backward Lunge

Stand with your torso upright holding two dumbbells in your hands by your sides.

In preparation to step backward, slowly lift one foot off the floor and find your balance on the standing leg. Try not to move the standing foot and maintain balance. Hold this position briefly before stepping backward. The raised foot should land on the toes first. Slowly shift your body weight onto the lead foot, placing it firmly on the floor.

Inhale and lower your upper body down, while keeping the torso upright and maintaining balance. Do not allow your knee to go forward beyond your toes as you come down, as this will put more stress on the knee. Keep your front shin perpendicular to the ground.

Exhale, push up activating your thighs and butt muscles to return to your upright, starting position.. Repeat or change legs.


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Resistance band Squat and press

Stand on the band, hips width apart. Grab a handle in each hand and stand up straight. Contract your abs, bracing your torso. Pull your shoulder blades down and back. Your head and neck should be aligned with your spine. Do not allow the back to arch. Maintain these engagements throughout the exercise.

Inhale and start with a squat, flexing the knees and hips to lower your body. Descend as far as possible, maintaining good posture in the spine, hips, and knees.

After fully rising to a standing position, press the weights overhead by extending the elbows and flexing at the shoulder as you exhale. Repeat.


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Resistance Band Standing Row

Time to work our lats with resistance bands.
Anchor the band at the bottom of the door. Facing the door, grip a handle in each hand and stand 3 to 4 feet away from it. Feet with a wide stance, bend your knees and keep your back and head straight, your chest up, and shoulders backward. Your arms should be straight and pointed up towards the door anchor.
Exhale, gently contract your lats, squeeze your shoulder blades together, and pull the handles back until your hands are right below your chest.
Inhale and gently return to the starting position. Repeat.


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Inclined Dumbbell Fly

Incline dumbbell flys works the pectoral major. Set the bench to an angle of 30-60 degrees. Under 30 degrees is a flat dumbbell fly, and over 60 is a shoulder press.

Holding a dumbbell in each hand with palms facing each other, lie on your back on an inclined bench with your feet placed firmly (on the floor or the bench) so that you can keep your spine in a neutral position. Pull your shoulder blades down and back, making firm contact with the bench. Your head, shoulders, and butt should make contact with the bench throughout the exercise.

Press the dumbbells to a position shoulder-width apart with your elbows slight bent. Keep the wrist in neutral position. Do not bend the wrists.

Inhale and slowly lower the dumbbells in a wide arc until they are level with your shoulders. Keep the dumbbells parallel with each other during the movement.

Exhale and slowly return to starting position in the same wide arc pattern.


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Resistance Band Triceps Extension

We can work our triceps at home, using the resistance band.

Anchor the band at the top of the door and stand facing it. Your feet hip-width apart. Grab the handles and brace your abs to stabilize your spine. Keep your torso aligned and pull your shoulder blades back and down.

Exhale and contract your triceps, straighten your elbows and pressing the handle down toward the floor. Continue pressing until your elbows are straight but not locked.

Inhale and return to the starting position. Repeat.


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Dumbbell Triceps Kickback

An easy exercise for your triceps is the kickback.

Hold a dumbbell in the right hand. Stand in a split-stance position with the left leg forward. Keep your weight distributed through the heels of both feet. Brace your abdominal and core muscles to stabilize the spine. Slowly lean forward, shifting most of your upper extremity body weight into the left side. Pull your shoulder blades down and back. Your head should be aligned with your spine. Maintain these engagements throughout the exercise.

Bend your right elbow bringing your upper arm parallel to, and close to, your torso. Your forearm should hang perpendicular to the floor.

Exhale and slowly straighten your elbow. Your upper arm should remain stationary next to your torso. Do not allow the upper arm to rise during the movement. Do not allow the low back to sag or your torso to rotate.

Inhale and slowly bend your elbow, returning to starting position.

Repeat and change sides.


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