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The Restorative Power of Nature

The Restorative Power of Nature

Maybe my most lamest new-age title so far. I couldn’t resist. Great view though.
Photo by John Silliman on Unsplash

Worry not, I am not turning into a naturopathic charlatan recommending people to snort a combination of celery powder and dragon tears thought a cinnamon stick to cure a nasty case of donkey breath.

But we can agree (as does science) that getting outside does something wonderful to us. Like with all the living things, being a human is better with a daily dose of outdoors.

Staying focused on the drops of rain hitting our face as we navigate through a national park. The calming effects of silence during a bush walk and feeling reinvigorated as we plunge into the cold water while canyoning.

Feeling invigorated as the pulse ramps up during a hilly trek. The intoxicating sense of fresh air rushing through our lungs when sprinting the last five hundred meters.

The sense of stress subsiding as we break for a meal and stare into the distant stillness. Taking in the peaceful view from far above the tree tops.

That’s why we keep showing up. That’s why we train. For the promise of being able to soak in the nature with all our senses.

Stronger Butt to Reduce Knee and Ankle Ache in Running, Hiking… and Stuff

Stronger Butt to Reduce Knee and Ankle Ache in Running, Hiking… and Stuff

A stronger (dare I say ‘perkier’) butt leads to a better quality of life. It sounds dramatic, but it’s true. The glutes are the muscle of youth. They are the powerhouse of your body propelling you forward in the world during these uncertain times. If your butt would be a person, it would be a train.

Strengthening the glutes can alleviate back tension, knee problems, and even ankle issues. Sure, it’s not always that straight forward. But you can often see huge improvements in how the body feels and performs by honing in on the butt.

Here’s a progression to make you butt-abled. Start with the 1/2 kneel lift and work your way to 1-leg deadlift. Once you have progressed from one exercise to the next (without butchering the technique) you don’t have to keep coming back to the earlier ones. Unless you feel like your butt needs some reassuring.

I’ve added notes to make these exercises home-friendly, where necessary. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have a cable column stacked in a lounge-room corner.

1/2 kneel lift
x 8-12 reps x 2-3 sets

Use a band or just a weight of any sort. Keep most of your weight on the down leg, drive the down knee into the ground and keep ribs to hips. Powerful exhale at the top. Work up to an inline stance.

Golfer
x 3-5 reps x 2-3 sets

Front leg does the work. Push the front knee towards your little toe. Keep ribs to hips (starting to see a theme?), and push the ground away with your heel on the way up. Those exhales are important.

1-leg hinge reverse reach
x 8-12 reps x 2-3 sets

Keep hips level. Most of your weight is on the front leg.

1-leg hinge swing
x 12-15 reps x 2-3 sets

Keep hips level. It helps to look at a point a meter in front of you on the ground.

1-leg deadlift
x 8-12 reps x 2-3 sets

I’ve had success with looping a resistance band under the foot on the ground. Try it if you don’t have weights. Keep hips level.

You don’t have to do all these in a single workout. Well, you can. But you could also keep doing your usual training and plug an appropriate progression to where you would normally do a hip dominant single leg exercise.