Strong and Stretch: A Stability and Mobility Recovery Workout by ACE

Personal Training

Strong and Stretch: A Stability and Mobility Recovery Workout by ACE

Most clients dedicate much time to training, but often fail to commit to a flexibility-training program. The Superfunctional™, a suspension fitness training bar by Queenax™, offers a new and effective way to stretch. Check out this stability and mobility recover workout featuring the Superfunctional bar, which effectively integrates static and dynamic stretching with core-strengthening exercises.

Strong and Stretch: A Stability and Mobility Recovery Workout on Queenax™ 

Elizabeth Rae Kovar, M.A., ACE Master Trainer

 

Recovery programs are an essential component of a fitness regimen, specifically for improved performance. Most clients dedicate much time to training, but often fail to commit to a flexibility-training program. It’s time for a new way to stretch with the Superfunctional, a suspension fitness training bar by Queenax. From post-workout stretching to an active recovery day training program, the Superfunctional bar stabilizes, mobilizes and lengthens the body like no other tool on the market.

The Importance of Stability, Mobility and Flexibility

The stability and mobility relationship of the kinetic chain serves as the foundation to all effective movement and programming. Movement efficiency requires appropriate levels of stability and mobility simultaneously.

Joint stability is the ability to control joint movement, but doesn’t compromise joint mobility. Joint mobility is the uninhibited movement around the intersection of two bones, but doesn’t compromise joint stability. Each major joint is designated as either a stable or mobile joint, but with some degree of flexibility.

For example, the lumbar spine is a stable joint, but the lumbar vertebrates allow for some degree of movements. The primary focus is to maintain lumbar stability, not mobility. Thus, mobile joints require some stability and stable joints will have some degrees of mobility. The goal is not to override the joint’s prime function. If this occurs, the joint above or below usually compensates for the movement. For example, if a person lacks shoulder mobility, when raising the arms overhead, the rib cage compensates and moves forward to lift the arms overhead. Ample flexibility is necessary for joint and movement wellbeing.

Flexibility is defined as the ability to move joints through their normal ranges of motion. Two common flexibility-training methods include static and dynamic stretching. The American Council on Exercise (ACE) defines static stretching as “moving the joints to place a targeted muscle group in an end-range position, holding up to 30 seconds.” Dynamic stretching, by contrast, “mimics a movement pattern to be used in the upcoming workout or sporting event.”

The Importance of Core Strength for Stability and Mobility

It is important to maintain core strength to protect the spine and mobility of the limbs. The common expression, “proximal stability equals distal mobility,” means that increasing core stability can enhance the mobility in distal joints (think of the hips and shoulders).

With these concepts in mind, the following program features the Superfunctional bar and integrates static and dynamic stretching with core-strengthening exercises. The goal is to lengthen every major muscle group in the body, while also stretching the spine via flexion, extension, lateral flexion and rotation. Watch the video above as a reference for each stretch.

Strong and Stretch Program

1) Standing Quadratus-lumborum Stretch
Set-up: Place the bar at head height in the Superfunctional straps at number thigh height.

Performance: Grip the bar with hands shoulder-distance apart. Take a small step backward with both feet, cross the left leg behind the right and push the left hip toward the left. Hold for 20-30 seconds. Next, lift the hips slightly and cross the right leg behind the left. Push the right hip toward the right and hold the stretch for 20 to 30 seconds.

2) Forward Lunge With Chest Opener
Set-up: Place the bar at chest height in the Superfunctional straps at waist height.

Performance: Stand beneath the anchor point with feet hip-distance apart. Hold the Superfunctional bar in front of the chest. Slowly lunge the right foot forward, allowing the arms to lift as you stretch the chest. Step the right foot back to the starting position and repeat with the left leg. Alternate lunges, completing five repetitions on each leg. Next, take a small step forward and continue lunging for five repetitions on each leg. This allows the chest to open more expansively. Exhale when lunging forward.

​3) Superfunctional Hip Hinge
Setup: Place the bar at chest height in the Superfunctional straps at waist height.

Performance: Position the feet shoulder distance apart with hands on the Superfunctional bar, which should be directly beneath the anchor point. Exhale and shift the hips back while the hands push the bar forward, opening the chest and posterior leg muscles. Return to center and shift the hips back and slightly toward the left, as the left hand pushes the bar toward the right. The goal is to lengthen the side of the body. Return to center and shift the hips back and slightly toward the right, as the right hand pushes the bar toward the left. Continue this pattern and move in each direction four times, for a total of 12 repetitions. Hold a static hip-hinge stretch for 20-30 seconds at the end, if desired.

4) Standing Lunge With Lateral Flexion and T-Spine Rotation
Setup: Place the bar at chest height in the Superfunctional straps at waist height.

Performance: Position the body into a split-foot stance, keeping the back heel off the floor with the pelvis slightly tucked forward. Place the right hand onto the Superfunctional bar. Exhale and reach the left arm overhead, laterally flexing the spine, while the right hand pushes the bar away from the body. Inhale and return to center; exhale and reach the left arm across the body while the right hand pushes the bar away. Reach the hand beneath the Superfunctional as far as is comfortable. Initiate the movement from the spine while keeping the legs stable. Perform six repetitions in each direction, with one set on each side of the body. 

5) Static Quadriceps and Hip Flexor Stretch
Setup: Place the bar in the Superfunctional straps at thigh height.

Performance: Place the right foot onto the bar, using it as a contact point to aide balance. Lower the right knee into a static lunge and hold this position for 20-30 seconds. Repeat the same stretch on the left leg.

6) Flowing Knee Extension to Standing Split
Setup: Place the bar at knee height in the Superfunctional straps at knee height.

Performance: Place the right foot on top of the Superfunctional bar, with the knee bent 90-degrees. Place the hands on the strap in a comfortable position at head height. Extend the knee, pushing the foot into the bar, to stretch the calf and hamstring. Slowly return to center. Next, extend the knee and push the body weight forward into the bar until the left hip flexor stretches. Return to center to the starting position and repeat the motion. Complete six repetitions on each leg.

7) Seated Straddle Roll-ups
Setup: Place the bar in the Superfunctional straps at knee height.

Performance: Assume a seated straddle position and place the hands on the bar. Exhale, round the spinal cord and slowly roll with gravity onto the floor. Inhale at the bottom and exhale as you roll the spinal cord up and off the floor, hinging from the pelvis to reach the bar forward. Inhale to center, exhale roll down. Next, roll up and hinge from the hip, reaching the bar toward the right leg. Return to center, roll down and as you roll up reach the bar toward the left leg. Maintain a neutral spine as you hinge from the hip and use control when rolling down with gravity. Complete four reps into each position of this movement.

8) Dynamic Hip Bridge
Setup: Place the bar in the Superfunctional straps at the lowest level.

Performance: Lie on the floor and place both feet on the Superfunctional bar. Lift the hips in and out of a bridge pose using a two-to-two-count tempo. Keep the bar beneath the anchor point. Complete 12 repetitions.

Author Information

Elizabeth Kovar
Elizabeth Kovar's picture

Elizabeth Kovar, MA, is based in Seattle, WA, where she serves as a fitness coordinator at a local recreational center. Elizabeth has studied yoga in five different countries, and completed her master's thesis on "Creating Yoga Programs for People with Movement Disabilities", implemented on a 12-week study for people with Stage 1-2 Parkinson's disease.

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