Fit for Life…Everyday Exercise 7 of 10

HIP BRIDGES! This is the seventh exercise of ten in the functional fitness series. This move targets the glutes and the core (abdominals and spine) and promotes hip flexibility and strength in the hamstrings and hip adductors.

HOW TO PERFORM:

  • Lie on your back.
  • Place your feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart, toes pointing forward, with your knees bent.
  • Contract your abs and your glutes.
  • Exhale and lift your hips off the floor until your body is a straight line from your knees to your shoulders.
  • Hold this position for a two count and lower hips back to the floor.
  • You may perform the bridge as a continuous movement, or hold the pose for extended periods of five seconds or more.
  • Remember to keep breathing normally if you hold the pose for an extended period.
hip bridge

Basic Hip Bridge

HOW TO PROGRESS: There are several variations that will challenge and activate additional muscle groups in your legs, hips and lower back. Progress to any of the following only after you can perform 1 – 2 sets of 8 to  12 repetitions of the basic hip bridge without hamstring cramping or lower back strain.

  • Single leg hip bridge. After you lift your hips off the floor, extend one leg into the air. Or start this hip lift with one leg on the floor and one leg extended. You may perform this pose as a continuous movement for a count of two, or hold the pose for five seconds or more.
single leg hip bridge

Single leg hip bridge

  • Perform a basic hip bridge with your feet above floor level (on a chair or bench) or on an unstable surface like a stability ball.

 

glute bridge on ball

Hip Bridge on Ball

Functional exercise number 8 of 10 will be posted by December 9th.


It’s Not Too Soon

Ready or not, today is the first day of the last month of 2015! For some, this may come as a welcome relief…the end of a long, hard year is almost over. For others, perhaps, the year has gone by too fast, leaving much undone on the ever present to-do list. Either way, I just wanted to take a moment to remind you and myself, that we still have time…before we say good bye to the old year and welcome the new.

Here’s the gist of my blog today: one month from now, we’ll be ringing in the new…hello 2016! Hello New Year’s resolution, right? I know, I know, this is so not going to happen. And I get that, because I don’t like New Year’s resolutions either. They are over done, over rated and their typical life span is shorter than that of the ordinary house fly. So with that said, I just wanted to give us a nudge to consider a better way…in regards to making our next year one of our best…a year of living  which we can attend; on purpose; with intention and attention.

You may be wondering what I propose, so here’s the deal. What I am proposing is that you (we) consider preparing a Personal Mission Statement or PMS for short. Yes, a mission statement!

Now I know some of you are going to balk and say that only big business and corporations and agencies with donor dollars at stake have mission statements. And I agree…you are right about that, however, preparing your own PMS has its benefits. For instance, a thoughtful preparation can help you learn more about yourself; it can also provide you an opportunity to imagine and discover who you are, what you believe, what you value, what you want to do or create with your life, and how you will achieve those desired outcomes. Yes, and here’s the greatest benefit of all: you get to decide what you want your life to look like; and hopefully you’ll decide it will reflect the real you! It is your life after all, and it is the only one you have to live, so why not live it on purpose?

If you are intrigued or maybe even put off by the idea of creating your own PMS, you are in good company. This task is not something that can be accomplished over night or say, in the life time of an ordinary household fly. Yes, you’ll actually have some planning, thinking, and dreaming to do; and then after you spend some time wondering how you would actually describe your life and how you would plan on living it, you’ll then have some writing to do.

Well, what do you think? We have one month before we wave, good-bye to 2015. Are you on board to quash the resolution racket and make 2016 the most lived-in year of your life? If so, follow along with me as I toss some ideas and guidelines out on this blog in the days and weeks to come. There are so many good resources on line (and in your library and bookstores too), and all of these resources will provide more than enough substance to guide us through this most important and perhaps life changing or enhancing activity: creating and drafting our very own PMS.