Day 4: Mobility
This entire day is dedicated to active recovery. That means exercises designed to keep you flexible, functional, and injury-free. You'll start on the foam roller, one of the most effective ways to loosen tight muscles and the tissues that connect tendons and ligaments to bone. Then you'll do four exercises that stretch and strengthen the back muscles (hammered by the previous days' regimens), loosen the hamstrings and glutes (both are likely shortened from life in a chair), and open the hip and shoulder joints to increase your range of motion and improve performance for the final workouts in the week.
Spend two minutes on each of the following foam-rolling moves.
Hamstrings and Quadriceps
Sit on a foam roller, palms on floor behind you, legs extended; roll to backs of knees. Flip over and repeat (as shown), starting at kneecaps and rolling up to hips.
Place roller under shoulder blades, hands behind head, feet on floor. Roll to neck and then back to start.
IT Band And Glutes
On your side, roll from knee up side of leg to hip. Shift body position to hit glutes.
Shins and Calves
Kneel on roller, palms flat on floor in front of you; roll from ankles to kneecaps. Flip over, and roll from backs of ankles to backs of knees.
Do the following four exercises, moving slowly and deliberately through the reps, for three total rounds. Rest as needed.
Stand holding a PVC pipe or broomstick in front of you with a wide grip, arms straight. Keeping arms locked, raise the stick up, over your head, and behind back. Reverse the movement, bringing stick back over head to starting position. Do 10 reps.
Trainer's Tip: If elbows bend, slide hands farther apart. If you can rotate easily, slide hands closer together.
Stand with feet hip-width apart, toes out. Squat as low as possible, pushing hips back and keeping chest up and back flat; place elbows at the inside of knees, and press palms together to push knees out. Hold 20 seconds, then stand. Do three reps.
Trainer's Tip: Keep heels glued to floor, and do not round your back in the bottom of the squat. If you feel yourself rounding or pitching forward, rise up an inch or two until back is flat.
Deep Lunge and Twist
Stand with arms in goalpost position, shoulder blades pulled down. Lunge forward on right leg, creating 90-degree angles with knees, and, keeping arms raised, rotate torso to right. Press through front heel to stand; repeat on opposite side for one rep. Do 10 reps.
Trainer's Tip: Resist the urge to twist quickly — spend two or three seconds rotating to fire the deep core muscles fully.
Start on all fours, hands and feet shoulder-width apart, hips raised as high as possible. For 10 seconds, press into palms to depress shoulders and push hips farther back. Release, coming down to hands and knees. Do three reps.
Trainer's Tip: Keep shoulders down. It's OK if heels don't touch floor; the goal is to loosen hamstrings to get heels closer to flat.