September Movement Challenge

On August 11, 2016, in Health and Wellness, by Anne

Do you (or does someone you love) suffer from chronic pain?

What if I told you there was a simple effective pain relief strategy that includes simple movements that you could do on your own in just minutes a day? Would you be willing to experiment with me for one month?

 

Anne baby bear 1 5.16

 

Now comes the hard part: the obstacles. “But I don’t have time” you say. Do you have five minutes a day? “I am traveling this month”. No problem, you can do these moves on the road. “I don’t have a gym membership”. No worries you don’t need a gym or any equipment to do these moves. “I don’t live in Portland”. No problem, You may do this challenge remotely, connecting with me via phone or skype when you have questions.

 

Anne Bird Dog 6.10

 

  • Who: You!
  • What: Simple, gentle exercises.
  • When: Challenge starts September 6th and runs through October 4th.
  • Where: Your home, office, my studio, in the woods, a hotel room… anywhere!
  • Why: To regain mobility and decrease pain.
  • How: Contact Anne to register. (503) 705-4762

 

standing-twist-peach (2)

 

Anne McCranie is a Portland (Sellwood), Oregon based personal trainer and licensed massage therapist. She offers one on one training, group classes, and massage therapy. Anne encourages her clients to utilize the combination of movement + massage to relieve chronic pain, gain strength and mobility, and improve the quality of their lives.

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.

 

New Class – Restorative Yoga Thursdays 9 am

On April 15, 2015, in yoga, by Anne

After requests for a more gentle yoga offering I am excited to announce we start a six week Restorative Yoga series next week and you are invited!

 

Kate Seated Twist Jan 2013

Why do I need restorative yoga?

We love to be busy. Pushing, achieving, multitasking. Racing from one appointment to the next, often overbooking ourselves only to cancel at the last minute has become the norm.

No one gives out prizes for eliminating something off your to do list. There is no PR for sitting quietly (although maybe there should be?). Think you are too busy to sit? Believe it or not the more you slow down the more you have time for.

Gentle restorative yoga, meditation, release work and passive stretching all help to improve your brain function, calm your nervous system and open you up both physically and mentally.

Have you ever chewed on a problem for days then when you are in a relaxed place, say just about to fall asleep, the solution just pops into your head? By allowing our bodies an minds to release we become more efficient. I have been guilty of holding on to things (ideas, stuff, people) that no longer improve my life. Letting go is hard work!

Release work is often more challenging, in a different kind of way, than an active vinyasa or power yoga class. If you took part in our Wellness Challenge last fall you may have found the meditation aspect to be the most challenging. Guess what that means you need to do more of? You got it – sitting.

This class allows you to baby step into mindfulness by focusing on gentle calming movements. I find it easier to get into a flow state if I have something to do, verses just sitting.

 

Pigeon

What is restorative yoga?

We start with release work. By softening and letting go of chronically tight muscles we allow for greater movement options – baby bear, gentle twisting, cat and cow. Next we get organized. With stabilization exercises we ask often underused muscles to kick in – dead bug, single leg lifts. Next up, moderately paced strength and balance work – gentle lunge, tree pose, bridging – to strengthen and stretch larger muscle groups. Lastly flexibility work – including hamstring, hip and shoulder stretches – allow us to release tightness , decrease pain and enjoy greater range of motion.

This class will run for six weeks – April 23rd to May 28th. You may use your class pass ($16 per class) or drop in for $20 per class. All levels welcome.

How do I sign up?

Why on the new online scheduler of course! Click the “view class schedule” box to the right. Type your first and last name into the box on the right and you will be emailed login information. Current clients you have an account already set up, all you need to do is create a password.

 

Anne McCranie is a Portland (Sellwood) Oregon based Personal Trainer and Licensed Massage Therapist. She offers weekly classes, one on one training and seasonal hikes here in the Pacific Northwest. Call her today to see if this class is a good fit for you. (503) 705-4762.

Fluid Movement + Massage, LLC

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