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4-Week Durability Program For Fewer Injuries

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du·ra·bil·i·ty (noun): the ability to withstand wear, pressure or damage.

Durability does not tend to be a “goal” for many fitness enthusiasts, however if the body breaks down and becomes injured — any other goal doesn’t matter. Taking care of your posture, mobility and stability is essential to keep moving better, for longer and injury-free.

These are just a few maintenance exercises that should be included in any regular fitness program. Over the next four weeks, gradually add these into your training and notice the difference in your ability to move, preform and endure.

THE EXERCISES

HIP BRIDGES

Why: For glute strength and hip flexor release

The move: Begin by laying on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Squeeze your glutes and lift your hips off of the ground, so your knees, hips and shoulders are in alignment. Hold for three seconds and return to floor. Repeat 15 times.

BIRD DOG

Why: For back-of-the-body strength and stability

The move: Begin in a quadruped position and extend your opposite arm and leg out maintaining a tight and square middle. Hold tight for 30 seconds on each side.

T-SPINE ROTATION

Why: For upper back mobility and reduction of strain on your lower back.

The move: Start on your hands and knees with your hips directly over your knees and your shoulders over your hands. Place your right hand on the back of your head. Rotate your right elbow toward your left arm and then reach it as high toward the ceiling as possible. The goal is to keep the rest of the body as stable and “locked in” as possible. Repeat 15 times on each side.

SINGLE-LEG BALANCE

Why: For equal balance and stability on each side.

The move: Stand on one foot with the other elevated off the floor for 30 seconds. For an added challenge close your eyes.

DEAD BUG

Why: To strengthen your deep core stabilizers.

The move: Lie on your back and extend your arms upward toward the sky. Lift your feet and legs off the floor, bending your knees at 90 degrees. Lower the opposite arm and heel toward the floor while keeping your back pressed down toward the floor. Repeat 20 times (10 on each side).

HALF-KNEELING HIP FLEXOR STRETCH

Why: To release tight hip flexors

The move: Begin in a half-kneeling position with your right leg in front and left knee grounded. Squeeze the glutes on the left side to help release the hip flexors on the left, shifting your weight slightly forward. To add to this stretch, reach your left arm overhead and gently bend your torso toward the right. Hold for 45 seconds and repeat on the other side.

WALL SLIDES

Why: For good posture and to open tight shoulders

The move: Stand with your heels, butt, upper back, shoulders, forearms and backs of hands against a wall in a “goal-post” position. Brace your core to avoid arching your back. Press your hands up (as if doing a shoulder press) as high as possible while keeping them against the wall and not letting your back arch. Repeat 15 times.

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