What You SHOULD Do On Your “Off Day”

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Right off the bat, I just want to say thanks to all of those who left suggestions in yesterday’s blog. I haven’t spoken with her yet, but I can almost guarantee that my mom has gone through 18 boxes of Kleenex listening to every song that has been suggested. I don’t want you to stop there, though. By all means keep em coming. I’ll tell you what, if she ends up picking someone’s song for my brother’s wedding, I’ll send that person a CP t-shirt. And, if you play your cards right, I might autograph if for you. Just kidding (no I’m not).

On that note, I want to briefly discuss why I hate “off days.” Note: in this case, off days = days where you’re not lifting heavy things off the floor. Note # 2: for the record, I love off days. I’m just not a big fan of what most people usually end up doing. Note # 3: how hot is Diora Baird? This hot……

Generally speaking, for many trainees, their off day consists of hopping on the treadmill or elliptical trainer for 30-45 minutes, and calling it a day. All in all, I’m not that opposed to the idea. I mean I understand that there’s a “mental clarity” component to doing mindless steady state cardio from time to time (I think). That said, I definitely feel there’s more beneficial things that can be done during that same time frame. Including, but not limited to:

1. Passing a kidney stone.

2. Watching hockey.

Given that 90% of the people reading this blog right now are sitting in front of their computer looking like this:

…..and as a result, have forward head posture, atrocious thoracic spine mobility, less than great hip mobility, and have glutes that are as dormant as Lindsay Lohan’s movie career, it’s no wonder you feel like crap all the time.

While many are doing the right thing, and making a concerted effort to go to the gym three times per week, they’re still doing things that are only exacerbating their already crappy posture. For most, we spend our entire day in flexion, only to go train and do things that promote, you guessed it, more flexion (bench press, lat pulldowns, crunches, etc).

Worse still – and what I want to touch on today – many will go to the gym on their off days and do nothing but hop on the elliptical trainer or treadmill, neither of which provides all that much amplitude. In short, people need to MOVE more. Hopping on a machine that provides a 6-8 inch range of motion (at best) in order to burn a few calories does little (if anything) to address any of the musculoskeletal issues that plague most people.

What I’ve found useful is having people set-up some simple dynamic flexibility/activation circuits on their off days, which kills two birds with one stone. Not only will they get their heart rate up, but they’ll also indirectly address many of their postural deficiencies to boot. Win-win.

That said, below is a sample circuit I feel works well for most people who spend their days sitting in front of the computer day in and day out.

NOTE: Don’t be a hero. All of these should be nice and easy.

A1. Yoga Plex 3×5/side

A2. Face Pulls w/ External Rotation 3×12

B1. Goblet Squats 3×10

B2. Scapular Push-Ups- feet elevated 3×8

C1. Hurdle Step-Overs (forward and backwards) 3×5/leg

C2. Behind the Neck Pull-Aparts 3×12

D1. Side Plank w/ Row 3×8/side

D2. Hip Thrusters 3×10

E. Fist Pumps x infinity

Additionally, don’t forget to foam roll and check out Assess and Correct for more ideas.

As you can see, the above circuit addresses many of the issues that plague a vast majority of people. Namely, thoracic mobility, scap stability, hip mobility, glute activation, not being awesome, to name a few. Try this on your next off-day and let me know how it goes.

Did what you just read make your day? Ruin it? Either way, you should share it with your friends and/or comment below.

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Plus, get a copy of Tony’s Pick Things Up, a quick-tip guide to everything deadlift-related. See his butt? Yeah. It’s good. You should probably listen to him if you have any hope of getting a butt that good.

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