Liam Curran, Chartered Physiotherapist with Platinum Physiotherapy, shares with us a step-by-step guide to preparing your body for WellFest 2019 in association with KBC.
This article is sponsored by PlatinumPilates.
Summer is nearly upon us; the winter cobwebs have been shaken off and we are all in eager pursuit of that health and vitality which accompanies the sunshine. Days are longer and we have the opportunity to spend more time outdoors. With WellFest just around the corner, a weekend of movement and activity beckons. Here are a few tips to avoid any niggles or pains and to get the most out of your body at WellFest:
Engage your trunk, pelvis and diaphragm:
Lie on your back and raise your legs into tabletop. Feel your lower back press gently in the floor as your pelvic bone lifts towards you. Straighten your arms straight out to the sides, opening up the chest and shoulders. Hold this position and deeply inhale into your tummy, feeling your tummy and sides expand outwards. This engages your diaphragm and encourages deep healthy breathing while challenging the trunk muscles to maintain a strong contraction. With this quick and simple exercise, you are activating crucial muscle groups allowing better movement of the pelvis, hips and spine.
Open up your hips:
Allow some room to breathe with the couch stretch. Sitting and driving a lot causes our hip flexors to stiffen, resulting in poor movement through the hips and lower back. Set yourself up into a lunge position in front of a chair or couch and bend the back knee so that the top of your back foot is pushing down into the couch. Squeeze the muscle in the backside and straighten yourself up nice and tall, and breath deeply. The result is a strong but empowering stretch from the front of the hip, down the quad muscle towards the knee.
Tie it all together with a Bird Dog pose:
Start on your hands and knees, with your hands aligned under your shoulders and knees aligned under your hips. While keeping your middle strong and stable, extend one arm and the opposite leg, reaching as far as you can in either direction. Try to maintain balance throughout, hold at the end, and return to starting position. This exercise is a fantastic tool to engage your core, improve body awareness, and challenge your balance and breathing.
Spend 3-4 minutes to complete this circuit, loosening tense tissue, switching on muscles that may have become lazy and firing up your nervous system. Considering it as a personal body check, running through the anatomical checklist to make sure everything is doing its job. Everybody is unique, so get familiar with how all of the movements feel on your body. Prevention of injury is key and these exercises are handy tools that you can keep in your inventory and use when needed. Get to know your body and try something new at WellFest 2019 that may be a little bit out of your comfort zone.
Move well and move often!