Balanced Body COREterly
Pilates and Athletes
8 Must-Do Moves for Warm-Weather Sports
By Amanda Altman, Workout by Viktor Uygan with Heidi Marie Coles
Now that spring is in full swing, and your skis and snowboards have long been stowed away, it’s time to welcome warm-weather sports back into your repertoire. No matter your game, the MOTR can give you that extra edge—and in your living room, backyard, no less.
“With the MOTR, athletes can take advantage of resistance and balance training and foam roller release work—all in a small portable device,” says Viktor Uygan, a Balanced Body Master Trainer and the inventor of the Konnector. “Athletes train so hard and don’t have much time for cross-conditioning; they can bring the MOTR to the court or use it at home on their own time.”
In the spirit of the season, we’ve asked Viktor the MOTR exercises that will help prep the body to excel at three of our favorite sunny sports: golf, tennis and swimming.
FOR THE SWIMMER
KNEELING BUTTERFLY REVERSE
Why do it:
* Promotes shoulder and thoracic mobility
* Strengthens the hip adductors
* Enhances pelvic stability
STARTING POSITION: Facing away from the MOTR Arm, kneel with your thighs squeezing against the MOTR and palms facing forward in the straps.
MOVEMENT: Reach your arms forward as your flex your thoracic spine; as your hands begin to pass shoulder height, internally rotate your shoulders and move into thoracic extension, circling your arms overhead, around and then back to the starting position.
POINTERS: As you move your arms through space, maintain good scapulae rotation without excessive elevation of your shoulders. To promote shoulder mobility, use a lighter resistance. You may also reverse the circling of your arms.
SWIMMING SUPINE (MOTR Arm Only)
Why do it:
* Provides feedback to the hip extensors
* Promotes shoulder/scapulae strength and stability
* Enhances trunk integration and control
STARTING POSITION: Lie on your back with your legs extended long and arms overhead. Place your feet in the straps and hold onto the MOTR Arm.
MOVEMENT: Keeping your arms overhead, head in line with your spine and pelvis in neutral, lift your arms/head/neck/chest/legs off the floor into a boat-like position. Using a percussive breath pattern (i.e., like you do in the Hundred), flutter-kick your legs from your hip while maintaining shoulder stability.
POINTERS: Allow for a slight posterior tilt of your pelvis to avoid lumbar extension or low-back pain. Avoid excessive elevation of your shoulders by engaging the depressors.
FOR THE GOLFER
SIDE KNEELING WOOD CHOP + HIP ROTATION
Why do it:
* Works spinal rotation and pelvic stability
* Challenges the internal and external rotation of the hips
* Builds shoulder mobility and abdominal strength, particularly in the obliques
STARTING POSITION: Kneel sideways on the MOTR with your outer foot in the back strap and hip externally rotated. Hold onto the front strap in both hands with your spine rotated toward the MOTR Arm.
MOVEMENT: Keeping your gaze on your hands, rotate away from the MOTR Arm, moving into shoulder flexion over your opposite shoulder while internally rotating your outside hip. Repeat on your other side.
POINTER: Keep your hips square throughout while maintaining good use of your shoulder depressors.
VESTED SPINAL ROTATION SEATED
Why do it:
* Encourages feedback in the serratus anterior
* Deepens spinal rotation and oblique strength
STARTING POSITION: Sit on your heels facing away from the MOTR Arm. Cross the straps, and place them around your shoulders like a vest.
MOVEMENT: Rotate your torso to one side, bringing your arms with you. Continue to reach your arms further to promote additional thoracic mobility while looking away from the rotation. Repeat to your other side.
POINTERS: Keep your hips square and sit bones even on the MOTR. Allow your torso to initiate the movement. Want more challenge? Rise up onto your knees.
FOR THE TENNIS PLAYER
Why do it:
* Provides feedback to the hip abductors and extensors
* Integrates spinal mobility and shoulder mobility
STARTING POSITION: Begin in a 90-90 lunge position facing the MOTR Arm, with your back knee on the MOTR. Place the inside strap around the top of your front knee. Bring your spine into a forward fold with your inner hand in the opposite strap and spine rotated.
MOVEMENT: Maintaining pelvic placement, “slice” your forward arm into the air, reaching overhead and rotating your spine to center as your move your thoracic spine into extension. Bring your arm forward, flexing and rotating your spine back to the starting position. Repeat on your other side.
POINTER: For more resistance, move further away from the MOTR Arm. Avoid excessive elevation of the shoulder.
LUNGE CLOCKS (MOTR Arm Only)
Why do it:
* Increases overall hip strength
* Challenges balance, weight shifting and ankle/foot mobility
* Promotes bicep strength and shoulder stability
STARTING POSITION: Stand in a neutral position with your feet in the straps and the MOTR Arm at shoulder height with your elbows by your sides.
MOVEMENT: Keeping one foot anchored to the floor, lunge your other leg forward to 12 o’clock, and then step back to the starting position; repeat at 1 o’clock, 3 o’clock, 5 o’clock and 7 o’clock (curtsey lunge). Repeat on your other side.
POINTERS: Keep your hips facing forward and spine upright throughout.