For most of us, we serve a vast level of fitness abilities. We serve weekend warriors, stay-at-home parents, adults who are finding fitness for the first time or coming back to it—just to name a few. And almost always, you will find a boot camper that needs your help with modifying exercises because of an injury or limitation. As a trainer, you should always take the time to review your workouts to make sure their are modified exercises that each level of fitness can do, but what can you do to take it a step further?
I find that when speaking to a camper about their limitations, a common thread is the lack of mobility or time spent on maintenance. Most spend so much time focusing on the workout, they often skip cool down or neglect to do any stretching or mobility work at home on rest days. So why not give a little time during the 45 to 60 minutes you have them for the day to devote a little time to that?
Here are 5 ways to sneak mobility into your cool down routine to give your boot campers a little extra bang for their buck. Add them to your current routine or use the flow below for a complete cool down.
Lateral Lunge hold with Overhead Reach
This is a great move to start with during the cool down while boot campers are still standing. This move is great for lengthening the adductors, hinging the hips and shoulder mobility all at the same time. Start standing, then step out into a lateral lunge, sending hips back. While lowering down into the lunge, begin to raise arm into the overhead reach position. Hold for a few seconds at the bottom, doing 5 reps on each side.
Runner’s Stretch w/Arm Circles
Next, transition while in a wide stance by turning toes to one side and come down into a lunge. Bring the back knee down to the ground and keep the forward knee over the ankle. Stay tall and engage the glutes to get a nice stretch in the hip flexors. Hold this position for a few breaths, then begin Arm Circles to work on shoulder and rotator cuff mobility. Take the arm on the side that the knee is up, holding it parallel to the ground. Begin to draw a circle backwards with the fingertips, turning with the movement until a circle is completed, then reverse the movement back to start. Do 5 circles on one side, then repeat on the other side.
Spider Lunge w/ Overhead Reach
From the Runner’s Stretch, bring hands down to the ground into a Spider Lunge position. This continues to open the hips further and incorporating thoracic spine mobility while opening up the chest. Take a breath to use the arm to brace against the knee. Then, take the arm that is on the opposite side of the foot that is forward, rotate upward and reach overhead. Repeat on the other side for 5 reps on each side.
Quadruped Extension and Rotation
From the Spider Lunge, transition into a Table Top position on all fours. Working more thoracic mobility along with shoulder and lower back tightness, take one hand and place behind the head with elbow out to the side. Start by rotating the elbow in towards the opposite hip, then reversing the movement and extending the elbow out, opening the chest. Complete 5 reps on each side.
Child’s Pose w/I’s
Lastly, working on shoulder mobility, come down to the ground and sit back in Child’s pose. After a few breaths, make a “thumbs up” with each hand. Raise the left arm just an inch off the ground, using the shoulder instead of the neck to lift, then lower. Repeat with the right and complete 5 reps on each side. Once done, rest in Child’s Pose for a few deep breaths to finish cool down.