Here are some extra moves to add into the rotation to work on building strength in the joints and mental toughness. They’re called “Isometrics“, an isometric exercise is a form of exercise involving the static contraction of a muscle without any visible movement in the angle of the joint. Since you aren’t moving joints while completing these exercises, there is less loading of tendons and less chance of injury. It’s also easier to have perfect form when you’re simply holding one position. However, don’t let the word “simple” fool you. These moves can be beneficial and challenging for any range of athletes. The more frequently these moves are performed and for a longer duration, will add durability to your body for all athletic endeavors. The goal is to be pain-free!
Complete these moves consecutively, one time through, with or without rest, starting at 1 minute each and adding 15 seconds each time after. If unable to complete the full minute, stop the time, take two deep breaths and continue until work time is complete. Assistance with balance can be done with walking sticks, PVC pipes or the back of a chair.
1. Isometric Lunge (each leg) – Lower into the lunge position, pelvis forward and tucked, flex back glute and forward hamstring as if digging into the floor. To increase difficulty, add weight.
2. Isometric Push-up – Lower into the push-up position, flex chest and back, squeezing back muscles together without slouching. To increase difficulty, add a range of motion deficits by performing on lifted surface such as two chairs, dumbells or push up bars.
3. Isometric Curtsy Lunge (each leg) – Lower into curtsy lunge, pelvis forward and tucked, flex glutes and hamstrings, feeling the stretch on the outside of each hip.
4. Reverse Plank – Raise into reverse plank with shoulders back and flexed, feet flexed, heels on the ground, press glutes up to raise hips for duration of exercise
5. Superman Hold – Lay on stomach, gently raise arms and legs off the ground, keeping the neck face down but lifted. Flex glutes and back.
6. Isometric Single Leg Hinge – Step in front of raised surface such as couch, table, chair or bench. Raise one leg behind and place toes on object. Keep other leg straight, back straight, and hinge forward like doing a “good morning” or “dead lift”, Hinge to 90 degrees and hold. To increase difficulty, raise shoulders.
This workout gives room to add other moves that help you feel good. Feel free to add in some knee circles, twists, yoga stretches, and other intuitive movements.