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Helpful Hints for Joe's Mat Series - March Matness


 

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March 1: #hundred

  1. If you feel your low back or hip flexors, bend the knees to table top or place the feet on the ground.
  2. If you feel your neck, keep your head down.
  3. Breathe into the diaphragm versus shallow breaths to improve form. 


March 2: #rollup

  1. Prevent the shoulders from elevating as you roll down or up. 
  2. Feel the glutes stay active to control the motion. 
  3. Keep the hands down on the ground if it’s too intense to have them elevated. 


March 3: #rollover

  1. Keep the chin out from the chest.  
  2. Slow down the motion for more efficiency. 
  3. Breath deeply through the tighter areas of the spine to gain more flexibility. 


March 4: #onelegcircle

  1. Bend the knee or do smaller circles if the hips can’t stay still. 
  2. Keep the shoulders relaxed and still through all ranges of the leg circle.  


March 5: #rollingback

  1. Try to keep the forehead drawing towards the knees throughout the whole exercise. 
  2. Try to prevent pulling with the hands. 
  3. Relax the shoulders. 


March 6: #onelegstretch

  1. Avoid twisting the knees out sideways as they bend in. 
  2. Kick lower to advance the work; kick higher if the leg extension strains the back.  
  3. Keep the head down if the exercise strains the neck. 


March 7: #doublelegstretch

  1. Avoid going too low with the lowered leg if it strains the low back. 
  2. Breath deeply into the diaphragm with each scissor kick. 
  3. Avoid pulling with the hands. 


March 8: #spinestretch

  1. Round and articulate forward and back versus flat back hinging. 
  2. Prevent the shoulders from rounding forward through the exercise.  
  3. Slow down the motion through areas of the back that feel tighter to regain more flexibility of the spine. 


March 9: #rockerwithopenlegs

  1. Lengthen the head and neck on the rounding back up to prevent elevating the shoulders. 
  2. Try not to grip with the hands, instead utilize the breath. 


March 10: #corkscrew

  1. Prevent twisting the hips as they shift to one side. 
  2. Keep both shoulder blades evenly down on the rollover motion. 
  3. Keep the wrists flat throughout the motion to avoid going into the neck. 

 

March 11: #saw

  1. Activate the glutes and inner thighs when twisting the spine to avoid rotating the hips
  2. Bend the elbows or lower the arms if the work goes into the shoulders with straight arms. 
  3. Round forward versus leaning forward to gain more flexibility of the spine. 


March 12: #swandive

  1. Activate the glutes and abs to prevent dumping into the low back. 
  2. Relax the shoulders on the lift. 
  3. Try to round up feeling a chest stretch to avoid going into the low back. 


March 13: #onelegkick

  1. Keep the hips stable during the motion by turning on the glutes. 
  2. Fire the abs to prevent dumping into the low back. 
  3. Avoid using momentum to keep the work in the muscles versus joints. 


March 14: #doublelegkick

  1. Move slowly and with precision to execute the coordination of this exercise.  
  2. Separate the legs if the motion pinches the low back. 
  3. Use the breath to maintain the form and to stabilize. 


March 15: #neckpull

  1. Imprint if neutral strains the back with this advanced exercise. 
  2. Arms can cross over the chest if the exercise makes the shoulders elevate. 
  3. Bend the knees if straight legs is too advanced. 


March 16: #scissors and #bicycle

  1. Keep the pelvis stabilized by turning on the glutes during the leg motions. 
  2. Avoid tucking the chin into the chest. 
  3. Slow down the motion to prevent moving with momentum versus precision. 


March 17: #shoulderbridge

  1. Avoid going too high or lifting too fast if the hamstrings cramp or the low back aches. 
  2. Prevent the knees or feet from turning outward with a slight inner thigh activation to maintain alignment.
  3. Keep the eye sight up to keep space in the neck.


March 18: #spinetwist

  • Avoid sinking while twisting to prevent compression of the spine.
  • Keep head aligned with the rest of the spine.
  • Activate the glutes and inner thighs to anchor the hips to maintain a stable pelvis.

 

March 19: #jackknife

  • Prep with bent knees if the exercise can not be done with control versus momentum.
  • Activate the glutes on the way down to slow down the motion and to prevent collapsing.


March 20: #sidekick

  • Keep the shoulder wide and relaxed versus rounded forward and elevated.
  • Activate the abs on the pull back motion to prevent popping the ribs.
  • Lengthen the spine on the kick forward to prevent rounding and collapsing forward.


March 21: #teaser

  • Although the abs are definitely going to be working, fire the glutes to assist to take it out of the hip flexors and back.
  • Keep the shoulders relaxed going both directions.
  • Bend the knees or keep the feet on the ground if a prep is needed.


March 22: #hiptwist

  • Plant on the forearms versus the hands if the elbows can only hyperextend or if the exercise is felt in the neck.
  • Bend the knees to simplify the motion.
  • Deeply exhale to assist with the lift.


March 23: #swimming

  • Slow down the exercise to start before progressing into a faster variation.
  • Feel both hip bones stay evenly down while alternating the leg motions to keep pelvic stability.
  • Lift the ribs with an ab contraction to prevent dumping into the low back.


March 24: #legpulls (front and back)

  • Keep a micro bend in the elbows to prevent hyperextension.
  • Exhale with each lift of the leg to drive the motion with the core versus the low back.
  • Try to not twist the hips with each single leg lift.


March 25: #kneelingsidekick

  • Lift away from the base hand to take it out of the wrist and base shoulder.
  • Activate the glutes, especially from the base leg, to prevent dumping into the hip flexors.


March 26: #sidebend

  • Feel the ribs hug the spine from all directions to prevent rib popping on the lift.
  • Use the glutes to lift the body up and down to control the motion.


March 27: #boomerang

  • Pause between each segment of the exercise if precision is being lost.
  • Bend the knees if the hip flexors begin to take over.
  • Keep the chin out of the chest on the rollover.


March 28: #seal and #crab

  • Prevent the shoulders from elevating in this c-curved position.
  • Hands can be on the floor for assistance if necessary.
  • Keep the forehead reaching towards the knees to maintain the position.


March 29: #rocking

  • Place the hands on the ground by the ears if assistance is needed.
  • Keep the head in extension to keep the nose from touching the floor.
  • Turn on the glutes to take it out of the low back.


March 30: #controlbalance

  • Use the glutes and inner thigh muscles to prevent the hips from shifts during the scissor motion.
  • Relax the shoulders out of the ears throughout the exercise.


March 31: #pushup

  • Drop to the knees if the push up is dumping into the low back.
  • Bend the knees gently on the roll down to prevent hyperextension of the knees and pulling on the low back.
  • Keep the head in alignment with the rest of the spine versus letting the head hang towards the floor.
 

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