R.O.S.S. strategy for efficient, pain free movement!

If you have seen me for a class or one on one training session you have no doubt heard me talk about my R.O.S.S. concept. A few years ago during yoga class I was explaining the order of operations I prefer when doing any kind of movement (yoga, Pilates, strength work, interval training etc…) and one of my ladies came up with the acronym – R.O. S. S., for Release, Organize Strengthen and then Stretch. Thanks Maureen!

Why R.O.S.S.? By working in this order, you strengthen and stretch efficiently, allowing for freedom of movement without pain or injury.

Want to be able to garden for four hours on Saturday without injuring your back, or play on the floor with your grand kids without being hobbled with knee pain the next day? Well listen up because I have a plan for you!

So what does R.O.S.S. mean exactly and how would you incorporate this concept into your workouts? In five to ten minutes you could easily go through one of two of each of these moves for a quick, well rounded program, say when you first wake up in the morning. For one of our sixty minute classes we may start with five minutes of release work, another five to ten of organization, the next forty minutes or so of strength work, then the last five stretching.

When training a client who is recovering from an injury we might flip that equation, doing primarily release and organization work, and less strength work, depending on what her body needs that day.

Release:

Often when we are injured or suffering from muscle tightness we think “oh I should stretch”. Yes that is true. I would add that you should stretch after doing all of the above. By starting with even a minute or two of release work you allow time for your muscles to get the message, “hey all you tight muscles can relax, we don’t need you just yet”. A lot of us suffer from chronically tight neck, shoulders and hips (or upper traps, pecs, hip flexors, quads and glutes to be more specific) especially if you spend a large portion of your day in front of a computer, or driving, or both. By spending a few minutes at the start of your workout allowing these muscles to relax you are training your body to work more efficiently.

Here is Baby Bear, an example of release work:

Anne baby bear 2 5.16

Anne baby bear 1 5.16

Anne baby bear 3 5.16

 

Organize:

Our next step is organization, or stabilization. Now we ask the small organization muscles (paraspinals – the muscles that run along your spine, the group of shoulder muscles that make up your rotator cuff, the smaller glute muscles – medius and minimus, and your obliques for example) to get on board. These helper muscles keep us injury free by kicking in a millisecond before your large prime movers. For example, as you reach down to lift a heavy box your pelvic floor and deep abdominals engage, then your legs, back, shoulders, and arms activate to lift the box.

Bird dog is a nice example of stabilization work:

Anne Bird Dog 6.10

This work is about only using the muscles you need to (again, efficiency) to do the task at hand. For example during bird dog can you use the least amount of effort to lift your arm? No tensing your upper traps, rounding your back, or holding your breath.

Strengthen:

Ok we released, we organized, now it’s time to strengthen. ACSM guidelines call for 2 -3 days a week of strength work, including exercises that train major muscle groups. As you are lifting weights or executing body weight exercises can you breathe, maintain proper form, and perform your movements in a controlled manner, and through a full range of motion? If not, stop and reorganize yourself. Depending on your strength goals, shoot 2-4 sets, with 8-15 reps of each exercise. My favorite anywhere strength workout is a quick warm up (brisk walking or stair climbing) followed by two to three rounds of one minute of each – Squats, Pushups (or Plank hold), Lunges, and Dips.

Rows, one of my favorite strength exercises:

Anne Rows beach 6.10

Anne rows beach 2. 6.10

 

Stretch:

Now we stretch! The manner of stretching I do with my clients (and myself) has changed quite a bit over the years. Instead of holding long static stretching (or God forbid – straining, holding your breath or trying to muscle through tightness) I try to find ease and gentle movement while stretching. That might look like gently lifting and lowering your leg during a passive spine hamstring stretch (see photo below).

When we force our muscles into an overstretched position our bodies believe we are in danger of muscle injury and work like crazy to protect the area by shortening it. If we stretch in a relaxed fashion, breathing and moving with curiosity rather than force our muscles naturally lengthen and relax. Doesn’t that sound less like torture?

Here is an example of a hamstring stretch done with ease, moving gently in and out of the stretch:

Maddie Leg Circles 1. Jan 2013

Maddie Leg Circles 2. Jan 2013

 

The R.O.S.S. method allows you to be mindful about your movements, and also helps you prevent injuries.

Have you ever gone to a yoga class thinking “This is going to be great, I’m gonna feel so good after all this stretching!” only to injure yourself by overstretching? Next time try applying my R.O.S.S. principles – get to class a little early and go through a few baby bears and bird dogs. As you are holding static poses check in with yourself to see that you are staying organized. Often yoga poses incorporate strength and flexibility. For example in triangle (see photo below) can you avoid hanging out in your joints by unlocking your knees and elbows. Can you provide support by engaging your core, leg, shoulder and back muscles? Can you find length in your body without overstretching?

 

Anne triangle 2.16

 

Want to learn more about Anne’s R.O.S.S. program, or how to work pain free and injury free? Contact Anne today for your complimentary consultation. (503) 705-4762

 

Anne McCranie is a Portland, Oregon based personal trainer and licensed massage therapist. She offers classes, and movement + massage sessions to help her clients reduce stress, and improve strength, flexibility and balance.

 

Carrot Cake Baked Oatmeal

On May 2, 2017, in recipes, by Anne

Looking for a healthy breakfast idea? Try this baked oatmeal recipe and let me know what you think. While it does contain a small amount of sugar (from maple syrup, raisins, and carrots) it is also rich in vitamins, whole grains, fiber, and a little protein from the eggs, nuts, and and dairy.

carrot cake baked oatmeal final 5.17

These can me made a head and packed to go, and they freeze beautifully.

Carrot Cake Baked Oatmeal

carrot cake baked oatmeal ingredients 5.17

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups oats
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 egg
  • 4 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 ½ cups milk
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp. coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup carrot, grated
  • 1/3 cup raisins

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Grease an 8X8 pan with one Tbsp of coconut oil.
  3. In a large bowl, combine oats, walnuts, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, cream cheese, milk, maple syrup, the remaining oil, and vanilla (small lumps are OK).
  5. Add wet ingredients to dry and stir to combine.
  6. Fold in carrots and raisins.
  7. Pour mixture into pan and bake for 30 minutes, or until set.
  8. Let cool for ten minutes, then slice and serve.

 

Anne McCranie is a Portland (Sellwood), Oregon based Personal Trainer and Licensed Massage Therapist. She offers this recipe to tickle your taste buds. Please see your medical professional for specific dietary advice.

Creative, Low Tech Workout Journal

On April 30, 2017, in Fitness, by Anne

What system do you use to track your workouts?

One of my ladies has been struggling with keeping a consistent self care schedule. She is very smart, organized, driven, and runs her own business, so she can set her own schedule. Over the past year she has been coming in to see me about once a month for a movement + massage session. Her goal was general relaxation, and to reduce the chronic tightness and pain in her neck. While she was going to weekly yoga and Nia classes, and walking, she was doing no specific strength work or release work for her neck.

Together we went through a few gentle, easy, neck release moves, and the Five. During her massage we worked on general relaxation with a focus on her neck. She agreed to do her exercises at home, for five minutes twice a week. I emailed her exercises and sent her on her way. When she came back the next month she was disappointed that despite coming up with a plan, she was not about to find the time to do her exercises.

In October she decided to put a reminder on her phone, and when the bell went off she would do her exercises. She did do her exercises a few times that month, then she would just start ignoring the alarm when it went off. She then picked two days (Sundays and Wednesdays), but when I checked in with her she was still struggling with consistency. She felt frustrated that she could be so organized at work, yet fail what seemed like a simple task – take care of herself by doing just a few easy exercises twice a week (does this sound familiar ladies?).

Last month I emailed her to check in, and she was so excited to tell me about her new system. She came in last week with this beauty:

Emily's workout calendar 4.17

Y’all know how I love a paper calendar right? Oh man did this bring joy to my heart! She gives herself a green sticker for her classes, a yellow sticker for walking – half sticker for short walks, full sticker for walks over 10,000 steps –  and a red sticker for her strength work on her own. She is on a roll for April!

Her calendar is simple and easy to use, and is a colorful visual reminder of her success. With a quick glance she can see what she heeds to do to round out her program for that week.

What I love about her story is she was motivated to learn new exercises, she saw the value in adding strength work to her current cardio and flexibility routine, she was motivated to do the work (reduced neck pain and tightness), but still faced roadblocks. Rather than getting frustrated and giving up, she found a solution that works for her!

What do you use (phone apps, paper journal, organizer) to track your workouts? Leave me a comment below about what has helped you be successful…

 

Anne McCranie is a Portland (Sellwood), Oregon based Personal Trainer and Licensed Massage Therapist. She works with her clients one on one, and in small groups to build strength and mobility, and alleviate chronic pain.

Contact her today for your complimentary consultation (503) 705-4762.

Healthy Feet Workshop Saturday May 20th

On April 24, 2017, in healthy feet, by Anne

Have your poor feet spent the winter crammed into boots? It is time to give them some well deserved TLC.

Join us Saturday May 20th for Fluid’s Healthy Feet Workshop!

 

anne feet 6.14

  • If you suffer from bunions, plantar fasciitis, hammer toes, or general foot pain this class is for you!
  • If you wear heels, dress shoes, soccer cleats, climbing shoes or traditional running shoes on a regular basis this class is for you!
  • If you are not able to stand or walk barefoot without pain this class is for you!
  • If you have relatively healthy, pain free feet, and want to enjoy a day of foot pampering with your Fluid family this class is for you!

Anne provides all equipment. You bring your feet, your loved ones, and the shoes you wear most often. You will learn how to make good choices about your footwear, and foot care so that you can continue hiking, running, traveling, and living your life pain free!

Want to come to class for free? Post a photo of your feet on Fluid’s facebook page from now until Wednesday May 17th. Anne will pick one lucky winner who will receive a free pass to this class, and a goody bag.

Anne healthy feet S.Y. promo

 

  • Who: You!
  • What: Foot soak, healthy feet/ healthy shoe discussion, strength and flexibility exercises, self massage, and myofascial release work.
  • When: Saturday May 20th, 12:00 – 1:30 pm.
  • Where: Fluid’s Sellwood studio 1644 S.E. Clatsop Street, Portland, Oregon 97202.
  • Why: Reduce foot pain, learn how to strengthen and stretch your feet and ankles, and visit with your Fluid family.
  • How much: $25 per person, (or $40 for two people).

Anne will also have foot care goody bags, therabands, myofascial release balls, Correct Toes and Toe Socks for sale.

This class will sell out so contact Anne today to reserve your spot.

(503) 705-4762

 

Anne McCranie is a Portland (Sellwood), Oregon based personal trainer and licensed massage therapist. She works with her clients one on one and in small groups using a combination of movement + massage to aid in pain relief.

Fluid Movement + Massage, LLC

Anne McCranie | Personal Trainer/Licensed Massage Therapist | 1644 Southeast Clatsop Street, Portland, Oregon 97202 (Sellwood) | License #9460