Plank with the Functional Movement Brace

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DSC_0657

You will need the Functional Movement Brace on your back and the PVC pipe in place.

The Plank is a standard exercise for increasing core stabilization, developing deep core muscles (the muscles that help with posture, keep you breathing well and are the more important muscles in determining torso stability/strength/power).

Start by lying down on your stomach and have your hands underneath your shoulders. You should be on the balls of your feet with a 90 degree angle at your ankle. Press through the balls of your feet to straighten out your legs and have your butt engaged (squeeze your butt). Draw in your belly button towards your spine (this engages your deep core muscles), straighten your elbows so that your arms are straight and hold this position. Make sure that your shoulders stay away from your ears and focus on slow controlled breathing, spending 3 seconds each on the inhale and exhale. Have your weight evenly distributed between your two feet and both of your hands.

Because this is a stabilization exercise, it’s important to maintain stability and not allow your body to tilt, hike, or rotate at the shoulders, torso, hips, or feet.

 *Perform 3 sets of this exercise, holding each plank for up to 1 minute each time* 

Forward Ball Roll with the Functional Movement Brace

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Forward Ball Roll FMB

You will need the Functional Movement Brace on your back and the PVC pipe in place, along with a stability ball for this exercise.

This is a great exercise for your core. Like the Plank exercise, this will work on stability and strength of your core.

You’re going to put a portion of your bodyweight on the ball, and because it will want to roll about, you will need to stabilize your core against this natural ball movement. Start in a kneeling position with your forearms situated underneath your chest and also just behind the apex of the ball. You should also have your belly button drawn in throughout the Forward Ball Roll.

Roll the ball forward and stop at the point just before you lose form. Go to this end point and hold for 3 seconds, then return to the starting position. Breathe in when rolling the ball away from you and breathe out when rolling the ball back towards you. Keep the weight evenly distributed between your two forearms and knees.

*Perform 3 sets of 10 reps, at a tempo of 3 seconds to roll out, hold at the furthest position for 3 seconds and take 3 seconds to roll back to the original starting position*

Side Lunge with the Functional Movement Brace

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Side Plank FMB

You will need the Functional Movement Brace on your back and the PVC pipe in place

Begin with your feet shoulder width apart and your hands on your hips. Draw your belly button in and step out to the side, either at a 3 or 9 o’clock position (stepping to the left or to the right). Inhale while you keep both feet facing forward and bend the leg you’re stepping with. Keep the knee of the trailing leg straight, the leg that’s staying still, during the motion. Your hips will shift backwards as your torso falls slightly forward. Exhale as you step back up to the starting position.

Make sure you:

1)           Keep your belly button drawn in

2)           Keep your shoulders back and down

3)           Breath out on the way down; breath in on the way up

4)           Don’t let your torso twist

 *Perform 3 sets of 10 repetitions per side using only your bodyweight* 

Squat with the Functional Movement Brace

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Squat FMB

You will need the Functional Movement Brace on your back and the PVC pipe in place.

As shown above, start off with the bodyweight squat, meaning you’re just using your own bodyweight with no additional weight.

In the squat, your starting position is a tall standing position with your feet shoulder width apart, hands either on your hips or crossed on your shoulders. Bring your body down while observing the rules below, and then bring your body back up to the standing position.

 Things to look for:

  1. Knees stay behind toes throughout the motion
  2. Feet stay flat on the ground
  3. Keep your toes pointed forward (ankles, knees and hips should be shoulder width apart and in a line)
  4. Draw-in your belly button towards your spine
  5. Breath in when lowering your body & breath out when standing back up
  6. Only go as low as you can while maintaining perfect form
  7. Make sure both your legs are working equally and there’s no weight shifting
  8. When descending, have your eyes shift downwards; when ascending, have your vision shift upwards

 *Perform 3 sets of 10 repetitions per side using only your bodyweight* 

Forward Lunge with the Functional Movement Brace

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Forward Lunge FMB

You will need the Functional Movement Brace on your back and the PVC pipe in place

Begin with your feet shoulder width apart and your hands on your hips. Draw your belly button in and step forward about 1.5x your normal step length. Inhale while you keep both feet facing forward and bend both knees. As your legs bend, you should be going straight down. Continue bending your knees until you’re 2 inches from the ground. Exhale as you step back up to the starting position.

Make sure you:

1)           Keep your belly button drawn in

2)           Keep your shoulders back and down

3)           When stepping forward land with your heel first (on the forward foot)

4)           Breath in on the way down; breath out on the way up

5)           Don’t let your torso twist

*Perform 3 sets of 10 repetitions per side using only your bodyweight* 

Push Up with the Functional Movement Brace

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Push Up FMB

You will need the Functional Movement Brace on your back and the PVC pipe in place

Your starting position will be the same as for The Plank exercise. Start by lying down on your stomach and have your hands underneath your shoulders. You should be on the balls of your feet with a 90 degree angle at your ankle. Press through the balls of your feet to straighten out your legs and have your butt engaged (squeeze your butt). Draw in your belly button towards your spine (this engages your deep core muscles), straighten your elbows so that your arms are straight and hold this position until you’re ready to begin. Make sure that your shoulders stay away from your ears and focus on slow controlled breathing. Have your weight evenly distributed between your two feet and both of your hands.

Remember to:

  1. Lower yourself until you’re 2 inches from the floor
  2. Breathe in on your way down and breath out on your way back up
  3. If you need an easier version of this, start on your knees rather than your toes but follow all other instruction from above

*Perform 3 sets of 10 repetitions per side using only your bodyweight* 

Side Plank with the Functional Movement Brace

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You will need the Functional Movement Brace on your back and the PVC pipe in place

Lie on your left side with your knees straight and prop-up your upper body on your left elbow and forearm. Raise your hips until your body forms a straight line from your ankles to your shoulders and keep your hips raised. Engage your glutes (squeeze your butt) so that your hips are pushed forward.

Watch for:

 

  1. Position your elbow under your shoulder.
  2. Draw in your belly button towards your spine
  3. Make sure that your shoulders stay away from your ears
  4. Focus on slow controlled breathing, spending 3 seconds each on the inhale and exhale

 

 *Perform 3 sets, holding the Side Plank for up to 1 minute on each side * 

Deadlifts with the Functional Movement Brace

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deadlift

You will need the Functional Movement Brace on your back and the PVC pipe in place

You want to begin with a loaded bar on the ground in front of you, getting close enough so that the bar is above the center of your feet. Your feet should be shoulder width apart or slightly wider, with your feet facing forward or slightly turned out. Grab the bar with your palms facing behind you. Keep your hips above your knees as you perform the deadlift. Inhale as you both hinge at your hips and bend at your knees to grab the bar: this is the starting position. Exhale and start the lift by pushing through your heels and pushing your hips forward. It helps to squeeze your glutes (butt) during this upward movement. Keep pushing through your feet and pressing your hips forward until you’re standing up straight. Now take the bar back towards the ground by hinging at your hips and bending at your knees. The lift ends when the bar is back on the ground.

Things to remember:

  1. Keep the bar close to your body
  2. Use your hips rather than your back to lift the weight
  3. Bring your belly button towards your spine

*Perform 3 sets of 10 repetitions per side using the lightest barbell around* 

Kettlebell Swings with the Functional Movement Brace

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kettlebell

You will need the Functional Movement Brace on your back (the PVC pipe is optional) and you will need a Kettlebell.

This is an exercise for your hips & butt. Start with your feet placed outside your shoulders, either pointing straight ahead or turned slightly out, whichever is more comfortable for you. Hold the Kettlebell with two hands with your palms facing behind you. Your knees will bend slightly but most of your body’s movement should come from the displacement of your hips. The more stretch you can get on your hips and hamstrings, the more powerful your swing is going to be.  Push your hips back but keep your weight over the middle of your feet and slightly toward your heels. Begin by thrusting your hips forward and stand completely straight; your hands, and the Kettlebell, should be perpendicular to your body and parallel to the floor at this point. Your body should form a straight line from your shoulders through your hips and knees down to your feet.

 

 Things to remember:

  1. Keep your shoulders back and down
  2. End slowly and let the Kettlebell swing underneath your body to allow the momentum of the movement to slow
  3. The Kettlebell should come between your legs and behind you when you’re at the lowest position
  4. This is a power exercise so the movement will be quick
  5. At the top of the Swing, the Kettlebell will be parallel to the floor

*Perform 3 sets of 10 repetitions per side using the smallest Kettlebell around* 

Jumping Rope with the Functional Movement Brace

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jumprope

You will need the Functional Movement Brace on your back and a Jump Rope. Getting the correct rope length is paramount to jumping rope. When you stand on the middle of the rope with both feet, the handles should reach just under your arm pits.

Begin by holding the handles. Extend your hands and forearms at least a foot away from your body, at a 45 degree angle, and the rope situated behind you with the middle of the rope hitting your heels. Begin by swinging the rope over your head. Try not to move your arms, limiting movement to your wrists. Jump with both feet and try to only jump about 1/4 – 1/2 an inch off the ground. When performing the jump, land on the balls of your feet with your knees slightly bent.

Remember:

  1. Turn the rope using your wrists
  2. Jump over the rope with a very low bounce
  3. Jumping rope works on posture, so stay tall
  4. Try to keep you heels from touching the ground
  5. Do not lock your knees
  6. Use a flat surface flooring that has some give (ex: suspended wood floor)
  7. Shorter faster jumps are easier than higher slower jumps

 

 *Perform 3 sets, jumping rope for up to one minute in each set*