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.

 

Twin Lakes Hike Sunday July 30th

On July 22, 2017, in Portland Hiking, by Anne

It’s Laurie’s birthday weekend! Help her celebrate with a hike on Mount Hood Sunday July 30th. This 7 mile hike starts at Frog Lake sno-park, and goes out and back, with loops around two lakes (upper and lower twin lakes). We leave Sellwood at 8 am, contact me if you’d like to carpool, or if you have questions. (503) 705-4762

 

Anne McCranie is a Portland, Oregon based personal trainer and licensed massage therapist. She organizes seasonal hikes, outdoor classes and other fun activities to take advantage of our beautiful summer weather. Please read the details of this hike carefully (see above link) and consider your hiking experience, and your fitness level to decide if this hike is for you.

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If you have spent any time with me in the past six months you have probably heard me talk about my pull up goal. I am working on doing a proper pull-up (from hanging with straight arms, not jumping, overhand grip, shoulders down, pulling my face up higher than the bar, then all the way back down to straight arms in one smooth motion). My goal was to do one of these by my 43rd birthday (which was June 28 – mark your calendars for next year). It is now mid July and I am this close! I can jump, grab the bar and pull up, and I can do a chin up (underhand grip) from hanging, so I know that soon I will have it.

 

One of my clients recently brought me this New York Times article the author talks about his struggle with pull-ups, and how after running into some men at the park (not personal trainers by the way, just regular dudes) he realized he was doing pull-ups all wrong. What I love about his story is the way the men offered him corrections on his form. They seemed so sweet, as if they were genuinely trying to help him, not make him feel bad, or show him up.

The author realizes that in addition to correcting his form, he needs to strengthen all of his muscles, not just arms to effectively pull himself up. He writes:

“Novices rely too much on their biceps. A proper pull up is a yogic feat of concentration and grace. It’s possible only when multiple muscle groups are working in tandem: the biceps, the lats, legs, abs, and lower back”

What are your summer fitness goals and how can I help you achieve them?

 

Anne McCranie is a Portland, Oregon based licensed massage therapist and personal trainer. She works with her clients one on one and in small groups to aid in pain relief, build strength and reduce stress.

Chipotle Sweet Potato Salad Recipe

On June 29, 2017, in recipes, by Anne

One of my ladies brought this to a recent potluck (thanks Concetta!) and I loved it so much I am sharing it with you. The combination of smoky spices and bright colors offers a nice change from traditional potato salad. Loaded with fiber, B vitamins, and beta carotene, sweet potatoes pack a nutritional punch. Try this at your next BBQ and let me know what you think in the comments below…

Ingredients:
• 1 ½ lbs sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1 inch pieces
• ½ cup mayonnaise
• Juice from one lime
• 1 tsp chipotle chill powder
• 1 tsp smoked sea salt*
• 1 tsp black pepper
• ½ cup finely chopped red onion
• ¼ cup chopped cilantro

 


Directions:
1. Steam potatoes: Fill a large pot with an inch of water and a pinch of salt. Place steamer basket in pot, and place potatoes into basket. Cover and steam for 7 – 10 minutes (until potatoes are just render when poked with a fork). Remove potatoes, spread them out on a large pan and chill.

2. Make dressing: Mix together mayo, lime juice, chili powder, salt, pepper, onion and cilantro.

3. Once the sweet potatoes have cooled, mix them with the dressing. Adjust seasonings to taste. Chill for a few minutes and serve cold.

*I found smoked sea salt and chipotle chili powder at New Seasons. You may substitute regular sea salt if you like.

 

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.

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