The October Five For Spine Mobility, Core Strength, And Shoulder Stabilization

This month’s Five include Pilates and yoga exercises to strengthen your core, shoulders, and back, improve your balance, and stretch your quads and hip flexors. Especially useful if you sit at a desk most of the day. Want to see these in person? Join an ongoing class or call Anne to schedule a one on one.

King Arthur

  • Start in a low lunge with right knee on the ground (pad your knee with a towel or yoga pad if needed).
  • Stack left knee over your ankle, and make sure hips are level and facing forward.
  • Lift left arm up and over into a slight back bend/ side bend
  • Psoas stretch, balance.


Lion Drinking

  • From hands and knees.
  • Bend your elbows straight back towards your ribs as you move the top of your head forward.
  • Straighten arms to come back to cener.
  • Core strength, shoudler stabilization, tricep strength.


Thread Needle

  • Hands and knees.
  • Reach right arm out to the side, then slide right arm under your torso, stretching your mid-back.
  • Spine twist, chest stretch, core strength, shoulder stabilization.

Roll up

  • From seated, round your back and reach your head towards your knees. Relax your shoudlers.
  • Start to roll back onto the ground. Stop before you feel pain or tightness in your back, and roll back up to seated (imagine you have passed out and are lazily dropping back to the floor).
  • Eventually you will roll all the way back onto the floor, and back up to seated without tensing your neck or back.
  • Core strength, shoudler stabilization, spine flexibility.


Dancer (shown above)

  • Stand on your left leg.
  • Grab your right foot with your right hand. gently pull your heel towards your bum.
  • If you can keep your hips level, and both hips facing forward try drawing your foot back behind your hip.
  • Standing balance, quad stretch, shoulder stretch.


These five exercises are meant to remind you of the work we have done together. Please see your medical professional prior to beginning a new exercise program.

September Challenge 2017

Fluid’s 2017 Challenge begins on Monday September 11th. I hope you can join us!

  • Who: You! And your Fluid family
  • What: Month long self care program, with simple assignments you can do in less than ten minutes per day.
  • When: September 11th – October 8th
  • Where: Anywhere! Meet with me for your initial one on one in person, over the phone or via skype. The remainder of the challenge is conducted via email.
  • Why: Learn easy stress reduction techniques, and establish a self care routine so you head into winter and feeling your best!

The details:

Meet with me via skype or in person prior to September 8th to go over your goals, and craft your personalized movement, nutrition, and mindfulness plan. You receive weekly emails from me reminding you of that week’s goals. You are welcome to send feedback about how you did that week, and let me know how I can help you be successful. Mark your calendar for your brunch/ wrap party Saturday October 14th. Payment is due by September 8th. $75 covers your phone call, skype, or in person meeting with me, your weekly emails, and wrap party.

Contact me to sign up or with questions (503) 705-4762


Learning Proper Pull Up Form From Rastafarians In The Park

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.

Client Case Study – Post Surgery Strength Training

Meet Doug. In 2015 he suffered a shoulder injury that left him with pain, and limited range of motion. A few months later he underwent a successful surgery to reattach a torn tendon. He then went to physical therapy, religiously did his exercises and has regained all of the lost mobility in his shoulder. He began meeting with me for movement + massage sessions in the fall or 2015. Over the past two years he has been lifting progressively heavier weights, and is now stronger than he was before his surgery.

He and his wife love to kayak. In fact right now they are in Mexico where they have done something active every day: lifting weights, yoga, Pilates, swimming, kayaking, hiking to waterfalls… Before he left for Mexico we talked about his desire to continue his workouts while on vacation, so that he wouldn’t lose the strength he has built over the past year. I offered my favorite body weight travel exercises (squats, lunges, push ups, dips) in case there was no traditional gym where they were staying. He concocted a plan to make his own weights using dowels, sandbags and a fishing scale to confirm the weight (did I mention he is a creative genius?). I wasn’t sure exactly what he was talking about until he sent me this photo.

Dougs homemade barbells 3.17

I present to you Doug’s homemade beach barbells! Maybe I will have him video a tutorial on how he created these once he is back in town.


Who do you know who is recovering from surgery? Could your person benefit from strength training with Anne?

Contact her to set up a consultation and discuss if you are a good fit (503) 705-4762.

Anne McCranie is a Portland 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, increase strength, and improve mobility. 

September Five Exercises For Core, Leg, Arm and Back Strength

Ah the dreaded Mountain Climbers. Second only to Burpies (or maybe Medicine Ball Push Ups) for the amount of cursing that goes on during class or a training session when we do these. Never fear, I have an easy beginner version that does not involve jumping. If you have healthy knees please do try to do these as quickly as you can (moving without pain of course). Camel is one of my most/ least favorites, meaning it is very difficult for me and something I should be doing more of.

The photos below are meant to jog your memory about the exercises we have done together. Click here for detailed descriptions of these exercises. If you are new to this type of movement please join one of our ongoing classes or schedule a one on one session with me so we can go over these safely. As always our goal is to push ourselves just enough to feel challenged, but not enough to cause pain of injury.

September Five:


Mountain Climbers

Mountain climbers 8.15 (2)

Side Plank

side plank Maddie 9.15


Camel 9.15


Kathleen corkscrew 9.15

Roll up

Marnie roll up 2


Anne McCranie is a Portland (Sellwood), Oregon based personal trainer and licensed massage therapist. Please see your medical professional prior to beginning a new exercise program.