I figured with this week's post we'd have a little fun! I mean, it IS Christmas time! And, as the song says, It's the most wonderful time of the year!
If you're a parent like me, every night as you're heading to bed, the panic hits you: We forgot to move our Elf on the Shelf!
If you're unfamiliar with the Elf on the Shelf, the Elf is said to be one of Santa's helpers. And every year, the Elf arrives at your house to help Santa manage his Naughty and Nice list. Every night, the Elf returns to the North Pole and gives his daily report to the Big Man. He always returns to the house before the kids awake, but he always seems to cause some mischief while he's at it. In our house, our Elf, Charles Butterscotch, has been known to string a zip-line across the living room, roll down the stairs while inside a toilet paper roll, perform snow angles in Rice Crispy cereal after pouring it on the kitchen counter, and even "poop" a Hershey's kiss.
He's quite the trouble maker (as are most elves)!
But recently, I saw something that made me smile. One of our clients posted a picture of his Elf actually doing something good, something beneficial. Yes, this Elf was doing Static Back and using a Rubik's Cube as his "Egoscue block." How cool is THAT?
Of course, it got me thinking. I started to wonder: What other e-cises could my Elf on the Shelf do? So, without further ado, here's what I came up with! And, just so we're clear, YOU can do these e-cises alongside YOUR Elf on the Shelf! By doing the following e-cises, your Christmas, and your Elf's nightly travels to and from the North Pole, will be pain free and much more enjoyable!
1. Lie on your back with your legs up over a block or chair so your hips and knees are at 90 degrees.
2. Place your arms out to the sides at 45 degrees from your body with palms up.
3. Relax your upper back and notice if your low back flattens to the floor evenly from left to right.
4. Hold this position as directed.
STATIC BACK PULLOVERS
3 SETS OF 10
1. Lie on your back with your legs up over a large block or chair, knees bent at 90 degrees
2. Relax your legs, lower back and stomach
3. Reach arms straight up above your chest, elbows locked and hands clasped together
4. Now lower your hands down to the floor above your head
• Do not contract your abdominal muscles, keep the stomach and lower back relaxed
• Do not let your arms bend at the elbow, keep them straight throughout the e-cise (Our Elf is doing them wrong!)
• If you are unable to lower your hands all the way to the floor behind you, go only as low as you are able while maintaining the straight arm position
5. Return to the starting position and repeat as directed.
ASSISTED RUNNER'S STRETCH
1:00 PER SIDE
1. Kneel down in front of a chair or table you can use to stabilize and support yourself.
2. Place the back of your left heel to the front of the right knee.
•Be sure that you are up on the toes of your right foot, with bottom of the foot pointing behind you.
•Keep the left foot, right knee and right foot in line with each other
3. Keeping your hands on the chair stand up and begin bending over while rolling your hips back to place an arch into your lower back.
•The heel of your right foot should now be on the ground.
4. Tighten your thighs (quads) while relaxing your upper body.
•Keep your weight on the inside of each foot and keep your lower back arched.
5. Hold as directed on your menu.
6. Switch sides and repeat.
KNEELING GROIN STRETCH
1:00 PER SIDE
1. From a kneeling position, place one foot out in front of you with your knee bent
2. Interlace your hands and place them on your front knee
3. Lunge forward
• Keep the knee of the forward leg directly above your ankle
• Push into your hands to move your chest away from your knee.
• Your front leg should be supporting you as you are lunging forward
• You should feel the stretch on the opposite/back leg
4. Hold as directed on your menu
5. Switch sides and repeat
STANDING OVERHEAD EXTENSION
1. Stand with your feet pointing straight and hip width apart.
2. Interlace your fingers together and reach your arms overhead, pressing your hands to the ceiling with palms up.
3. Look up toward your hands and keep your arms straight, do not bend at the elbow.
• Do not lean back.
• Try to keep your arms directly overhead, not forward of your head, bring your shoulders down.
• Relax your stomach muscles.
4. Hold as directed on your menu.
So...after finishing this menu of exercises, what is different to you? Do you feel more balanced? Do you feel less pain? Do you have better range of motion? Well guess what? Although he might not say it, your Elf feels better too!
QUESTION: Which of those e-cises was your favorite?
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While some might hear that Tiger was hurting and become alarmed, for me that was not the most alarming portion of Tiger’s press conference. No, the most alarming statement in Tiger’s post-round presser was how he ended it.
“This is my offseason right now,” Woods said. “It will be nice. I got lots of soccer games and practices to go to, so I’ll be doing that and just working out, training and trying to get more fit” (emphasis added).
Trying to get more fit…
Trying to get more fit…
Trying to get more fit…
It’s like a bad dream. Those words keep repeating in my head.
Trying to get more fit? Let me make one thing perfectly clear: Tiger is the fittest golfer I’ve ever seen as well as the greatest golfer I’ve witnessed in my lifetime.
It can be argued that the game of golf hasn’t seen another golfer as dominant as Tiger, and the game may never see his level of dominance again (although I believe we all need to stay tuned to Jordan Spieth’s career).
Tiger doesn’t need to “get more fit.”
Let’s be honest, golf isn’t a get-more-fit kind of sport. When thinking about the greats of the game–guys like Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, and Lee Travino–and their respective levels of fitness, with all due respect, those guys don’t look like they just got finished competing in a Mr. Olympia contest. While golf can be a fit-man’s game, golf isn’t just a fit-man’s game. I mean, come on, Craig Stadler’s nickname is “The Walrus” for crying out loud.
You see, this isn’t about “fitness,” Tiger. This is about imbalance. It’s about the body’s ability to swing a golf club. More specifically, this article is about your body’s ability to swing a golf club around your structural dysfunctions. The body is so good at getting you through the swing that the motion is accomplished, often times, despite the physical consequences. That’s exactly what your body has done. The average TV viewer sees you’re swinging a golf club just fine, but I see that your functional limitations are preventing you from doing it pain free. If you’ll allow me to make a comparison to Tom Cruise’s character, Maverick, in Top Gun — You’re writing checks your body can’t cash.
Let me cut to the chase, Tiger: Your level of fitness has nothing to do with how good or bad your golf game is. Instead, it has everything to do with your lack of proper hip function which has started a cascade of structural “events” throughout your body. If you haven’t already, take a minute and read about The Importance of the Hip Flexor. If you choose not to read that article, just remember one thing: If momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy. Just like mom reigns supreme at home, the hip flexor and its function reign supreme in the body. Whether that body belongs to a pro golfer, an attorney, an entrepreneur, or a high schooler who plays piccolo in the marching band, proper hip function, specifically hip flexor function, is the key to a pain free life.
While Tiger didn’t specify which hip was hurting him, it honestly doesn’t matter. Both hips need to be balanced. My hips need to be balanced. Your hips need to be balanced. We would all benefit from bilaterally functioning hips.
Tiger thinks that the Ferrari he calls his body will perform better if he simply increases the horsepower of the engine. What’s true is that he instead needs to get the frame straight. Only then will the “Ferrari” perform as it’s designed to perform.
Tiger, this offseason, don’t get “fit.” Get balanced.
QUESTION: What are your thoughts on Tiger’s latest injury?