16 Jun So I’ve Taken the Intro to UrbanFit, What Do I Do Now?
So I’ve Taken the Intro to UrbanFit, What Do I Do Now?
by Britt McNeill
After an hour and a half filled with air squats, mobility drills, and terms that have gone way over my head (like how the heck does my butt wink?!?) you probably don’t want to think anymore about what you need to force your body to do. Hopefully in this post you will have a very easy to guide for surviving the next 2-3 days while the muscle soreness subsides! Just take a look at a few of the things that are going through your mind right now below:
This is exactly what you should not do after an UrbanFit workout.
(gotten from http://cosmic-fitness.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/ben-hunter-tired.jpg)
This might be the biggest issue that people face from their first few UrbanFit classes (heck every other program area taught at Urban Evolution). Naturally when we are sore, we want to relax, lie on the couch, and just sleep it away. While sleeping is probably the most important aspect of muscle healing and growth, simply remaining still will not help the muscles to recover quickly. Here are a few things that I have found to help quickly decrease muscle soreness following a difficult workout:
First you must stretch! Ever since your first Presidential Fitness test, you’ve been taught some very basic stretches to use to help with some sort of mobility necessary to athletic performance. I have found two stretches to be very effective for helping to reduce soreness from some of the most used movements in the UrbanFit Intro. The goal that we have with our stretching here is to help minimize imbalances in tightness, so if one side feels tighter than the other, do that one for 10-15 seconds longer.
Use the Couch Stretch (pictured above) to help mobilize the hips and quadriceps muscles which will be sore from all the air squats you performed. I find that doing this once upon waking up and before bed for about 60-90 seconds on each leg can greatly help reduce the delayed onset muscle soreness in my quadriceps and hip flexors.
Stretching the pectoral and deltoid muscles will also greatly help the healing process along for those muscle groups as well. A very simple stretch that can be used on almost any wall that you find anywhere is the Front Deltoid and Chest Stretch (pictured above). This can greatly help decrease the tightness in your chest and shoulders following all the pushups that you did during your intro class. I like to do this one for 60-90 seconds on both sides.
Foam rolling can be a great tool for reducing muscle soreness as well in the days following your workouts. While you could spend upwards of $100 for a single foam roller, I wouldn’t recommend it. A simple $10 firm foam roller would be a very good investment for anyone who is interested in fitness. Hopefully you were shown many different muscle groups to roll during your intro class, and here are a few of my favorites that I use before and after exercise.
Again, the quadriceps will be an important muscle group to focus on because they are so heavily loaded when performing air squats. Simply place the top of both your thighs on top of the foam roller and use your arms and hands to help roll your body forwards and backwards on the foam roller. I like to do 10-15 passes up and down when performing this drill.
Another important muscle group to roll is the glutes. Glute tightness has been linked to everything from lower back tightness to hip pain. Mobility in the glutes can help improve quality of movement very quickly. Simply set one of your ankles over the opposite knee, place your hands behind you, and begin rolling the glute on the leg that is being crossed over. I like to do about 10-20 passes on this drill, depending on how sore and tight my hips feel.
Finally, the thoracic spine should be rolled. This portion of the spine typically gets very tight based on the sedentary lifestyle that many of today’s office workers are forced to live. Improving mobility in the thoracic spine can greatly improve your ability to perform a handstand, do pullups, and even make your posture while seated at a desk much better. To properly roll the thoracic spine, simply place the foam roller at the bottom of your rib cage on your back, support your head with your hands (like in a situp), bend backwards on the foam roller, and begin rolling up and down. I like to perform 10-20 repetitions of this drill (sometimes more because it actually feels great to do this drill).
Just Move! Sometimes the best thing to help you feel better the day after a tough workout is to do the same motion just a few times. That means that after your intro to UrbanFit, when the muscle soreness is at its worst, do 10-15 air squats. The movement alone will get the blood flowing again and help the healing process occur at a faster rate.
The next thing I recommend is to come to the next available UrbanFit or Bootstraps class! I know that may be biased because I am one of the coaches, but seriously, strength training alone will make you feel better. The UrbanFit classes are more of a classic strength training program, whereas the Bootstraps classes are more of a corrective exercise class based around various bodyweight exercises. Our Bootstraps classes rotate on program area focuses on a weekly basis (Aerials/Gymnastics/Parkour) so that you can pick and choose what weeks you want/need to go.
The UrbanFit community is much more than that, we are a family. Friendships made among students in the UrbanFit classes are some of the closest I’ve experienced at the gym. We push each other during our classes, crack jokes to help lighten the mood during a long and tiring workout, and even spend time together eating tons of food at various establishments in the area, Korean barbecue more often than not.
Any additional questions for post workout tips can be asked to any of the UrbanFit instructors at your next class! Take notes about how your body responds to certain drills and exercises and know what works for you! Happy Lifting Everyone!!!