Restore: The Core program


Level 3

Stir the Pot

By this point in your core stability and strength journey, you should have a firm grasp on the purpose of many of the exercises in this volume 1.

In simple terms, we’re challenging our trunk to “react” and create stability in the presence of movement of some other areas or parts of our body, right?

With this Stir the Pot exercise, we’re challenging our body with an unstable Swiss Ball as our base of support, and we’re adding in the movement of our arms and shoulders.

As you watch the instructional video, pay very close attention to the subtle ways in which this exercise can and should be scaled to your own skill level.

  • Move your legs further apart to create a wider base of support, making the exercise easier.

  • Move your legs closer together to make it slightly more challenging.

  • Extending your arms further out in front of you drastically increases the load on your core. Even a tiny distance can have a dramatic impact on how difficult or easy this will feel.

  • Creating larger circles as you “stir” or conversely making those circles a bit smaller in diameter, can serve to increase OR decrease the dynamic load. Or simply put, how easy or hard and challenging it might feel.

Adjust and scale according to where you’re at, at that point in time.

Authentic movement quality – moving well – IS A MOVING TARGET.

What do I mean?

  • If you are a cyclist spending time on your bike: when you sit on the saddle for 2, 3, or more hours, HOW YOU move the next day changes. For example, your hip flexors will have tightened, and that tightness changes glute activation and effective glute strength.

  • Or, when you sit in your car or at your desk for hours on end, how you will move in the hours AFTER that marathon desk or driving session, changes.

  • Anytime your overall exercise or running volume goes up or the intensity of that exercise goes up, how you will move in subsequent runs or training sessions, may also change. Simply put, compensation (the recruitment of inappropriate muscles to perform a task, such as stabilizing your pelvis) patterns are easier to fall back into, due to the increased demand on your body.

  • If you were to “lightly” sprain an ankle, or strain a hamstring, hip flexor, or groin muscle, your motor control – stability changes in subtle ways, very often away or far from the actual site of the injury or issue. You will move differently on the heels of what might have “seemed” like a very minor tweak. Compensation for that injured area can turn your movement from authentic to dysfunctional, in one fell swoop.

  • If you were to exercise intensely and experience some post-exercise discomfort and soreness after that workout, the “pain” may impact how you move following that session. Simply put, pain and injury CHANGE how we move. They alter motor control, which is another way of saying your stability changes.

The bottom line is this: as the training and racing piles up, you no longer MOVE the same way you did PRIOR to the repeated bouts of training stress, minor “tweaks,” and lifestyle challenges.

In other words, most of us will never reach a point where we can say, “I move well now, so I don’t need to think about that anymore.” 😊There is no guarantee that a neutral pelvis today, ensures you will have that same neutral pelvis, 1 week, month, or year from now.

So, what to do?

Come back to THESE movements routinely. Get back to the basics. Groove the groove every day.

Think of it like showering or brushing your teeth: just because you did it today, doesn’t mean you won’t have to do it tomorrow or the next day, right?

Food for thought. 😊

If you’d like to be able to read this offline, then CLICK HERE to print a PDF of the written material. Enjoy!