My Morning Routine - How to Be Successful with Stretching, Mobility, and Body Maintenance
Sitting for a long time is hard on the body.
Standing for a long time is hard on the body too. It gets stiff.
I remember being in a wedding party and standing on the stage in a church waiting for the bride. She was late, and we all stood there for 30 minutes, standing as tall as we could to look good in our suits, without moving. By the end of the ceremony, my back and legs weren't painful, but were stiff and uncomfortable.
Training helps us stay loose but it can also be tough on the body in a different way. If you don’t take care of yourself and plan your training properly, it can make you stiff too. When done, it makes you feel light, fluid and strong.
One thing I've learned is: when you get stiff, things start to go wrong. Your muscles don’t work as well. You can’t move properly. You can’t get into the safest, strongest positions, so you have to compensate. Your knees take more loading. Your back too.
That’s when the pain comes. Maybe not at first, but eventually. It might not be much, but you’ll feel it. And it won’t get better until you learn how to fix yourself and stop being stiff.
MY MORNING ROUTINE
MY ROUTINE – PART A
It’s simple. I perform some self-massage on my lower body. Most of my fitness training involves my lower body (you’ll know this if you’ve seen my arms, lol), so it requires more upkeep. It takes me 2.5-3mins per side.
This is my minimum commitment. I may also add some extra drills, but no matter what, I don’t leave my bedroom until I’ve done 5 total minutes of massage.
THIS MAKES A HUGE DIFFERENCE WHEN DONE DAILY. I FEEL 100x BETTER.
You may have seen me talk about it before, but I use a car buffer/polisher. It’s electric, oscillates at jaw-shaking 4500 RPM, takes almost no effort, and makes my muscles feel great! Sounds insane? Maybe, but it works.
I usually spend about 30 second each on the front, back, inside and outside of my thigh, and another 30-60sec total going all around my lower leg and foot.
You can use the flat surface of the buffer for more sensitive spots and angle it up on the edge to get in deeper.
MY ROUTINE – PART B
If I feel like it, I’ll do 1-2mins per side of self-massage on my chest, lats and arms too.
And often I’ll run through about 3-5 minutes of movement drills.
A typical sequence looks like this:
WHY IT WORKS: CONVENIENCE & EFFECTIVENESS
This works for me for three reasons.
1. It’s simple and effective. I don't have to think too much or get into painful, awkward positions. I just lie in my bed and buff my legs. The machine does most of the work.
2. The time commitment is small so it’s easy to fit into my day: I can do it in as little as 5 minutes.
3. I promise myself that I’ll do it EVERY DAY NO MATTER WHAT. I have a rule. I can’t leave my bedroom until it’s done. I don’t allow myself to start my day until I massage my legs. Many days I want to get-up and start my day, but I don't. I put in at least 5mins of body maintenance. Ordering this as the first thing in my day means I can’t get busy with other stuff and skip it.
OTHER PARTS: MOVEMENT THROUGHOUT THE DAY & PROPER TRAINING
The last piece of the puzzle is moving my limbs through a complete range of motion throughout the day. I try to spend some time sitting and relaxing in the bottom of a squat. I try to spend some time stretching my calfs, which tend to get tight with the running I do. I try to move and focus on the areas that I know need attention.
I also make sure that my training program is balanced and has enough targeted work on my weaknesses. That’s it! But it all starts with my 5-minute morning routine.
And it keeps my body feeling like a million bucks.
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