Tag Archives: Fitness

A Running Assessment and Increasing Mobility

A Running Assessment and Increasing Mobility jillconyers.com @jillconyers #running #fitness

About a month ago I went to the doctor for the recurring discomfort in my right shin. His recommendation? Working with a trainer and getting a running/movement assessment done. The assessment was not only looking at running form but also form with a variety of functional movements. The assessment is designed to help identify imbalances, muscle weakness, and mobility all of which affect form and performance. More importantly, the assessment will help explain why I keep having a pain in my right shin after every street run.

I’ve learned so much about physiology and functional movement. It’s fascinating to realize how the total body works together to do things like run, walk, and pick things up.

Training sessions go like this:

  1. foam roll and stretch
  2. movement assessment
  3. strengthening exercises and stretching based on the movement assessment
  4. movement assessment again to identify changes/improvements which helps target what exercises and stretches were beneficial to improving overall movement
  5. running assessment
  6. homework for the week

What the assessments have told me:

  1. tight gluteus medius
  2. tight hip flexors
  3. tight in the groin
  4. poor (little to no) ankle mobility
  5. poor hip mobility
  6. medial rotation (my right hip and leg turns inward when my foot is off the ground especially when my legs are tired)
Yikes! I didn’t see all that coming! From what I understand (I asked a lot of questions in the beginning) our bodies learn to compensate for weaknesses, immobility, imbalances, etc., but eventually it catches up with you when it causes such a strain on other parts of the body. On the bright side, (because at this point I needed a bright side), my strength and balance are good.
What I’m doing about it:
Twice a day a minimum of 6 days/week I do the following stretches and rolling.

The key is form!

A Running Assessment and Increasing Mobility jillconyers.com @jillconyers #running #fitness
Targeting hip flexors.
Form note: keep hips level and butt tucked

A Running Assessment and Increasing Mobility jillconyers.com @jillconyers #running #fitness
Targeting hip mobility and hip flexors (increases external range of motion in the hip and lengthens hip flexors)
Form note: hips level and back leg straight
A Running Assessment and Increasing Mobility jillconyers.com @jillconyers #running #fitness
Targeting the groin and hips.

Form note: butt tilted up and pushed back to the point of feeling the stretch but not painful. Alternately pushing each knee into the floor (I’ve done frog before but I’ve never added pushing the knee into the floor. It made a big difference in where and how the stretch felt.)

A Running Assessment and Increasing Mobility jillconyers.com @jillconyers #running #fitness

Targeting the gluteus medius.
Form note: when you roll onto a sore spot hold the roll there for an extended period of time.

A Running Assessment and Increasing Mobility jillconyers.com @jillconyers #running #fitness
Targeting the gluteus medius.
Form note: a lacrosse ball should be in every athletes gym bag! When I use the foam roller it doesn’t always feel like my hips/glute med need to be rolled. If that happens I use a lacrosse ball and I’m always able to find the trouble spots. Just like with a roller if you hit a sore spot hold the ball there for an extended period of time.

A Running Assessment and Increasing Mobility jillconyers.com @jillconyers #running #fitness

Targeting ankle mobility and tightness.
Form note: keep the ball right below the toes on the forefront of your foot and keep knee straight. Rotate side to side with as little knee rotation as possible.

A Running Assessment and Increasing Mobility jillconyers.com @jillconyers #running #fitness

Targeting ankle mobility and tightness.
Form note: make sure l leg, ankle and foot are in alignment (my right foot tends roll out with the stretch).

A Running Assessment and Increasing Mobility jillconyers.com @jillconyers #running #fitness

Targeting ankle mobility and tightness.
Form note: keep your foot under your body allowing you to apply slight pressure while rotating your ankle in each direction. Keep your forefoot and toes on the ground.

It’s been 4 weeks and, based on how running feels and range of motion with stretching, I have noticed an improvement overall except with hip mobility and medial rotation when my legs are tired.

Hopefully what I’m doing is in fact targeting what is causing the shin discomfort. Who knows? Maybe it’s not, but what I have learned is beneficial nonetheless.

My BIG take aways so far?

  • Make stretching more of a priority! If I’m short on time I’m bad about stretching very little.
  • I sit a lot at work and that has a HUGE affect on mobility and flexibility especially in the lower body.

I know you goes already know this but I am not a doctor or trained specialist. This information is based on recommendations of an orthopedic doctor, working with a certified trainer, my body and specific individual needs.

Do you make stretching a priority? Have you had a running/movement assessment done? What did you learn?

Be HEALTHY. Be HAPPY. Be YOU.

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Finding Joy In the Now

Finding Joy In the Now jillconyers.com #believe #bepresent @jillconyers

There hasn’t been a whole lot of talk about running on the blog lately and, actually, there hasn’t been a whole lot of talk about running in my life at all.

Whenever I’m asked anything about exercise the conversation almost always comes around to running. It’s my first choice for fitness, stress relief, relaxation and me time. It’s what I love, but what happens when that love of running no longer brings you joy?

I am not injured and I’m still running but I have had to significantly cut back (no run longer than 3 miles at an easy pace). I’ve been frustrated with the fear of re-injury due to problems in my right shin (where I had the stress reaction last year) since about February or March. Days, but not miles, are passing bringing me closer to goal races and not being ready. See why there hasn’t been any chit chat about running lately. It wouldn’t be a very pleasant conversation.

Your circumstances don't determine where you can go. jillconyers.com @jillconyers #believe #quote #motivation

A change in mindset and perspective from frustration and discouragement to putting all of my thoughts, effort and attention in the NOW. I have accepted where I am without judgement of good or bad, success or failure. It simply is. The negativity of the situation is diminished and I have been able to take things day by day without fear or stress. At first, accepting the situation as it is felt like I was giving up and it’s quite the contrary.

Thoughts:

  • there are still times when this all sucks and at those times I acknowledge and accept “yes, it does suck” and move on
  • the without judgement part can be tough
  • being open to change made this possible
  • the personal journey (and growth) I have found myself on over the past year is how I was able to change my perspective of the situation
  • I’ve stopped focusing dwelling on races I might not run and goals I might not meet
  • I don’t talk about any of this very often, I just do

I’m taking it day-by-day and step-by-step and seeing what will come of it.

I’m ready for family time and celebrating July 4th. Chad and I are running the Run For Liberty 5k this morning and then, considering, going to a movie. We have fireworks and a build your own burger bar with a forecast for perfect weather. What else could I ask for?

When was the last time you changed your perspective of a situation and just accepted it as it just is? How are you celebrating July 4th?

The Ultimate Coffee Date #linkup #blogging jillconyers.com

How about meeting me for coffee tomorrow? Stop by anytime!

Be HEALTHY. Be HAPPY. Be YOU.

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Immersive Fitness: The Next Level of Fitness

The latest innovative fitness concept by Les Mills!

I haven’t missed being a member of a gym until hearing about the new Les Mills Immersive Fitness™. I’ve been a long time fan of Les Mills, the creator of global group fitness and team training programs such as BODYPUMP™, BODYCOMBAT™ and RPM™. In fact, Body Pump is my go-to for strength training and yoga.

Now, Les Mills brings you a new exercise concept that is seriously like no other, Immersive Fitness™. Immersive Fitness™ combines exercise with technology and creative design to give you not just a workout. It’s a fitness EXPERIENCE.

How fun would it be to participate in studio fitness that features cinema quality video content projected onto screens of a purpose-built studio! An instructor cues the exercise moves that synchronize perfectly with music and graphics, creating a truly unique fitness experience. This exercise concept is about total immersion in the zone, “a state of mind where you perform at peak or optimal, a place of focus, of achievement, of fulfillment. It is a place without time, a place removed from our day-to-day.”

Imagine, taking part in a cycle class and you’re scaling a giant mountain at night in the Alps or sprinting your way around a digital velodrome then back off the pace as a sun sets across water around you. Take a dance class that immerses you in a tent at a music festival, where everybody’s dancing together. Try squats while ducking to avoid objects flying overhead in a virtual obstacle course. With wrap around projection and LED technology, fitness is no longer limited to what’s within the walls of the studio.

The Project: IMMERSIVE FITNESS™ consumer launch in the United States is planned for 2015. You can follow the pr0ject on Instagram on a promotional tour through Europe giving fitness enthusiasts the opportunity to experience the new program.

This is so cool! I love the combination of fitness, technology, imagination and creativity for an awesome workout.

Sign up to receive updates here> Immersive Fitness™

Do you belong to a gym? Would you like to see Immersive Fitness offered at your local gym?

The next level of fitness is here. IMMERSIVE FITNESS™ surrounds participants with cinema quality video content projected onto screens of a purpose-built studio.  Exercise moves synchronize perfectly with music and graphics, creating a truly immersive fitness experience. Learn more

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Les Mills. The opinions and text are all mine.

A Weekend of Fitness, Health and Happiness

A Run Date and Girls Day Out

Red Legs 10K jillconyers.com

Chad and I ran the Red Legs 10K on Saturday. Just a 10K, right. No big deal. Not! All of last year was about distance and ultras and I hadn’t run a race with a time goal in a long time. When I put the timing chip on my shoe my heart literally started beating faster. Stay focused on the goal of a 10:00 pace.

Not a minute of doubt was allowed to creep in.

The start was a bit congested. No doubts. No excuses. It was hot. No doubts. No excuses. After the crowd thinned out it was total focus. Chad and I barely spoke after the first mile or so until we crossed the finish line. I can’t give you a single detail about the course (other than 2 bridges and ending inside the Reds Stadium) or any of the other runners. By the way, there is just something so cool about running around the field of a professional ball stadium! Before we left we watched the start of the kids race. They take off with an intensity that makes me laugh. They don’t hold back!

Success!

Distance: 6.22
Average pace: 9:58.
Time: 1:01

I surprised myself! I was on cloud 9 for the rest of the day!

Girls Day Out jillconyers.com

One of the best things about blogging is the opportunity to attend live events. On Sunday Alyssa and I enjoyed a girls day out starting with Simple® Skincare and Popsugar’s Passport to Healthy Skin event at a farmer’s market in the heart of downtown Cincinnati. Findlay’s Market is a huge outdoor market with 100s of food vendors and produce stands and I wondered how they were going to pull this off. Yoga and massages? I couldn’t picture it.

As soon as you walked under the white canopies you walked into an oasis of skincare, nutrition, fitness, and relaxation.

Simple Skincare Passport to Healthy Skin jillconyers.com

Simple Skincare Passport to Healthy Skin jillconyers.comSimple Skincare Passport to Healthy Skin jillconyers.comSimple Skincare Passport to Healthy Skin jillconyers.com

Simple Skincare Passport to Healthy Skin jillconyers.com

Simple Skincare Passport to Healthy Skin jillconyers.com

Simple Skincare Passport to Healthy Skin jillconyers.com

We had the best time! A few hours chatting about the things I am most passionate about and want to teach my daughter. Yoga and refreshing fruit infused water. A massage and healthy snacks. It was more like hanging out with friends who all felt the same.

Popsugar Must Have Box jillconyers.com

Popsugar Must Have Box jillconyers.com

Part of the event was everyone receiving Popsugar’s Must Have Box and Simple® Skincare product samples. Alyssa liked the skincare products and the perfume that smelled like suntan oil the most. Me? I love the infuse water bottle with the juicer that attaches to the bottom. How cool is that? Simply press, twist and infuse.

For more information, locations and dates of future events visit simpleskincare.com. If you get the chance to attend, do it! It’s a great way to spend the day!

I was compensated for attending the event sponsored by Popsugar on behalf of Simple® Skincare. I was not required to write this post, but I had such a great time how could I not. As always, all opinions are my own.

Have you ever had a weekend that was all about health and fitness? Have you ever attended a live event as a blogger?

Be HEALTHY. Be HAPPY. Be YOU.

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A Letter to My Body

From my heart.

A Letter To My Body jillconyers.com

I’m not defined by the mistakes I’ve made. I’m defined by my determination to keep trying. Jill Conyers

May 27, 2014

Dear Body,

We just finished an amazing run and there are a few things I need to say. Just hear me out. Over the past year I have made some training mistakes. There is no point in going into the details. Just know that I have learned from my mistakes.

I believe that a lot of what has happened over the past year needed to happen for me to be who and where I am today, a much happier and stronger person mentally and physically.

Give me another chance.

I will strive for progress not perfection
I will not take for granted all that I expect of you.
I will be open to learning and help from friends but in the end I know what is best for us.
I will acknowledge your efforts regardless of the outcome.
I will not make decisions based on trying to prove I AM ENOUGH.
I will accept being perfectly imperfect.
I will not try to do so much that all that we’re doing is compromised.

You’re magical and you do amazing things and yet I continue to insist that you need to change or somehow improve. I can feel you holding back when we we’re running. Maybe out of fear of being injured again or fear of failure. Maybe we got stuck in the comparison trap. Whatever the reason, don’t hold back! I believe in what we can do! We’re going to give 100% and feel good about knowing that we did. Most importantly, we’re going to enjoy this journey every step of the way.

Love,
Jill

What would you say in a letter to your body?

Inner peace. jillconyers.com

Be HEALTHY. Be HAPPY. Be YOU.

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