Do this 10-minute rou­tine by Third Space elite per­sonal trainer Andy Vin­cent (@andyvin­centpt) three times a week to re­duce your risk of in­jury by strength­en­ing, sta­bil­is­ing and mobilising your most vul­ner­a­ble ar­eas

Women's Health (UK) - - BEST BODY -


do 2 sets of 3 reps on each foot

tar­gets Fore­foot and rear foot mo­bil­ity

(they should work in op­po­si­tion and freely), an­kle mo­bil­ity, knee and hip sta­bil­ity

why? Shoes are like coffins for your feet. They need to move – with 26 bones and 33 joints ar­tic­u­lat­ing to the sur­face of the floor, send­ing sig­nals to the brain to tell you about your body po­si­tion.

Feet can be over­looked, so bare­foot prehab train­ing is a great way to un­lock them.

(a) Stand bare­foot, feet par­al­lel, at the cen­tre of an imag­i­nary clock face.

(b) Imag­ine you’re glid­ing a coin along the floor with your right foot. Reach it for­ward to 12 o’clock, ex­tend­ing your right leg and keep­ing all your weight on your left foot – avoid lock­ing your stand­ing leg. Re­turn to the start­ing po­si­tion.

(c) Re­peat to 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 o’clock. You can turn out your hip as you move, but keep your left foot on the ground and avoid tens­ing or grip­ping with your toes.


do 2-3 sets of 5-8 reps on each side. Re­peat this ex­er­cise again after move 3

tar­gets Foot mo­bil­ity and hip flex­ors, glute and core ac­ti­va­tion and spinal align­ment

why? Mus­cles adapt to the de­mands placed on them, and sit­ting for pro­longed pe­ri­ods can shorten the mus­cles around the pelvis, mak­ing them tighter and/or weak. This move gets your feet, hips and pelvis work­ing to­gether, as they do when you walk, run or jump.

(a) Stand with your right foot slightly in front of the left, both point­ing straight ahead. Lift your back heel just off the floor, keep­ing the big and lit­tle toe joints in con­tact with the ground.

(b) Keep­ing your back knee straight, squeeze your left glute and draw your abs in, tuck­ing your tail bone un­der­neath you. You can bend your front knee to push your hips fur­ther for­ward.

(c) Raise your left arm, driv­ing it up to the ceil­ing for a lat­eral ab­dom­i­nal stretch.

SCAPULAR CARS (con­trolled ar­tic­u­lar ro­ta­tions)

do 4-8 slow ro­ta­tions in each di­rec­tion

tar­gets The mus­cles around the shoul­der joints and shoul­der blades

why? Good shoul­der blade con­trol and align­ment are cru­cial for shoul­der health. This ex­er­cise can re­duce pain by im­prov­ing mo­bil­ity and con­trol.

(a) Kneel or stand on the floor, stretch­ing one arm out in front of you. If you’ve never done this ex­er­cise be­fore, start off kneel­ing.

(b) Ready? Draw the shoul­der blade of your out­stretched arm back and down, then for­ward and up, tak­ing the shoul­der joint through its full range of mo­tion. Imag­ine the air be­com­ing 30% denser as you move, con­sciously con­tract­ing the mus­cles around the shoul­der blades.

The up­ward mo­tion should be a glide, not a squeeze. Take care not to con­tract your neck mus­cles. Re­peat clock­wise, mov­ing for­ward and down, then back and up. Re­peat with the other arm. 90/90 FLOW do 10 reps

tar­gets Mo­bil­ity and con­trol of end ranges of the glutes, ad­duc­tors, ham­strings, in­ter­nal and ex­ter­nal hip ro­ta­tors as well as core ac­ti­va­tion, body aware­ness and con­trol

why? Cy­cling, row­ing and run­ning can over­work the hips, lim­it­ing their range of move­ment, as they put em­pha­sis on the front of the thighs and hips. This ex­er­cise will build flex­i­bil­ity, strength and con­trol around the pelvis and spine.

(a) Sit on the floor with your left leg bent at 90° in front of you and your right leg bent at 90° with your foot be­hind you. Keep your spine straight. Lean­ing for­ward will in­crease the glute stretch.

(b) Press­ing your heels into the floor, lift your knees, keep­ing your trunk as long as you can.

(c) As slowly as you can, with con­trol, swivel your knees so you bring your left leg into a 90° bend in front of you, and your right leg into a 90° bend be­hind you.


do 2 sets of 10 reps each side

tar­gets Obliques and trans­verse ab­do­mi­nis

why? This full-body iso­met­ric ex­er­cise re­in­forces strength and con­trol, back­ing up ev­ery­thing you’ve done so far.

(a) Set a cable ma­chine or wrap a re­sis­tance band around a fix­ture and hold it just be­low chest level. Stand side-on to the cable, hold­ing on to it with both hands. Step one leg back so you’re in a stag­gered lunge stance. Raise your back heel, ground­ing the other foot firmly into the floor. In po­si­tion? Good.

(b) Squeeze your glutes and tuck your tail bone un­der, keep­ing your torso long, chin tucked – think about giv­ing your­self a dou­ble chin. Set your shoul­ders down and back.

(c) In­hale deeply. As you ex­hale, push your arms out in front of you. Don’t al­low the cable to pull you of­f­cen­tre. Re­turn your arms to the start.


do 1-2 sets of 3-5 reps on each side

tar­gets Tho­racic spine mo­bil­ity and con­trol

why? Com­pen­sat­ing for im­bal­ances in the lower body can cre­ate ex­ces­sive mo­tion in some parts of the spine (usu­ally lum­bar and cer­vi­cal) and a lack of mo­tion in the tho­racic spine. Cue ten­sion in the neck, shoul­ders and lower back. This drill opens up the tho­racic spine.

(a) Lie on your left side and rest your right knee on a foam roller or rolled-up towel, bent at 90° in front of you. Stretch both arms out in front of you, softly slid­ing your shoul­der blades down your back.

(b) Take a deep breath in, then slowly draw your right arm over­head in a cir­cle, match­ing the move­ment to a full ex­ha­la­tion. PRONE SWIM­MERS do 2 sets of 5 reps

tar­gets Up­per-back strength in end ranges of shoul­der move­ments

why? Weak­ness in the up­per back and mus­cles that at­tach to the shoul­der blades can cause in­cor­rect align­ment of the shoul­der gir­dle. Strength­en­ing them will help im­prove up­per-body pos­ture.

(a) Lie face down on the floor with your fore­head in con­tact with the ground and your chin tucked (that dou­ble chin again). Ex­tend your arms out in front of you with your palms fac­ing each other.

(b) Start the move­ment by sweep­ing your arms down to­wards your hips. As your arms pass your shoul­ders, turn your thumbs down and de­press your shoul­der blades.

(c) When your hands reach your hips, bend your el­bows and bring your hands up your spine, reach­ing as far as you can. Rest your hands on your back and press your el­bows to­wards the floor. Hold for 2-3 secs, then re­v­erse.

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