Movement of the Month: Forward Bends (aka Multisegmental Flexion)
This month's Kaia FIT Movement is Forward Bends!
This movement is considered a prerequisite for hip hinge training. The ability to stand and touch one's toes requires not only appropriate muscle flexibility, but more importantly, good weight shift and postural control. We cannot expect those powerful muscles to work well together under load without postural control.
This month our KMS exercises are between corrective movement exercises and strength training, in a category called high threshold.
We are trying to boost the threshold at which your compensations occur, to preserve quality movement throughout your day, and especially during your training when you pick up heavy stuff.
So let's test it.
- Stand with your feet together, knees straight.
- Round down reaching your hands for your feet, and see how far your fingertips get.
- If they don't get to the floor, let's take it one step further.
- Now sit on the floor, legs stretched out in front, knees still straight.
- Reach for the toes again, and see if your endpoint is any different.
- Next, lie flat on your back, and lift a straight leg up and see how close you can get it to vertical.
- If the muscle is tight, that is, too short to allow you to reach your feet in standing, it should be no different in that long sitting position or on your back.
- If, however, you get closer to your feet when you're sitting, or if your leg gets up to vertical when you're on your back, it's not too short, it's just too taut.
- That means some of its teammates (back muscles and glutes) are not helping like they should, and the poor hamstrings are under so much tension as you forward bend in standing that they just scream at you!
Gain flexibility, gain good weight shift and postural control.
1. Stand with your feet together. Bend your knees slightly and fold your torso over your legs, moving from the hips, not the lower back.
2. Place your hands next to your feet or on the ground in front of you.
3. Inhale and extend your chest to lengthen your spine. Keep your gaze directed forward.
4. Exhale and gently press both legs toward straight. Lift the kneecaps and gently spiral your upper, inner thighs back. Keep your legs straight without hyperextending.
5. On an exhalation, extend your torso down without rounding your back. Stay long throughout your neck, extending the crown of your head toward the ground. Draw your shoulders down your back.
Do these movements as your warm up for the day and for your workout. Getting the nervous system prepared for what's coming is as important as getting your heart charged up and your muscles supple. Just think of what can happen when all systems are firing at the highest level...
You can find more information from Carina Abrams over on her on Instagram @kaiamoves or on her YouTube Channel Kaia Moves!