At the end of Part 1, I know I said I was going to discuss three new topics (5 minute flow, maximal expansive breathing, and barefoot training), but there’s been a change of plans. In Part 2, I’m only going to cover 5 minute flow. What can I say…I started writing and the words started flowing. I actually wrote enough for each of the following topics to be its own blog post:
- 5 Minute Flow (below)
- Maximal Expansive Breathing (next week)
- Gut Health (the week after)
For today, it’ll just be the first one. So let’s get right into it…
Developed by Max Shank, and straight from the website:
“5 Minute Flow was created with a deep understanding of habit formation and behavioral psychology. It is organized so you will succeed, not for 30 days, but for the rest of your life. Life is movement—and movement is something that must be practiced daily.”
WHY: 5 minutes doesn’t sound like very long, but as Max states above, it was developed with a focus on habit formation and behavioral psychology. 5 minutes is a short enough time to eliminate virtually ALL excuses. Would more be better? Yeah probably. But 5 minutes done every single day is far more powerful than longer sessions done inconsistently. Also, to elaborate on the behavioral psychology part, once you start it’s easy to continue…getting started is the hard part. So if you set a timer for 5 minutes, you’re very likely to move for much longer than that.
Now on a personal note, I used to be stiff ALL the time. I required really long warmups to loosen up and feel ready for my workouts. Once I was warmed up, I always felt really good, but man did it take a while to get there. Enter 5 minute flow.
HOW: I started testing it out right after waking up. I figured if I worked all that stiffness out first thing in the morning, hopefully my newfound looseness would stick around for most (or dare I say all) of the day. And it has worked like a charm!
There are an infinite number of movements and combinations and “flows” that you could put together. I have kept it very simple with movements that are easy for me to start with fresh out of bed while I wait for my coffee to brew.
I start with a few rounds of the following:
- Child’s pose with a focus on diaphragmatic breathing and lengthening my lats
- Upward dog with a focus on extending from my hips (to stretch the hip flexors) all the way through my spine while looking side to side 180 degrees in each direction
After a few rounds of that, I hit the following:
- Runner’s lunge with external rotation of the front hip and thoracic rotations
- Runner’s lunge with extension of the front knee and thoracic rotations
By this time, my five minutes is up. But I keep going and I work on the following:
- Tactical frog with alternating hip internal rotations
5 minutes always turns into 10 minutes…once I start, moving feels so good that I just want to continue. I only stop because my coffee is ready. And I have to open the SHOP for the first class!
Again, on a personal note, this has completely eliminated my need for extensive warmups. I can be ready to rock & roll on a moment’s notice! Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy stretching and working to further increase my mobility, but I no longer HAVE to do it just to be able to complete a workout.
This practice is here to stay
For those of you that come to a SHOP workout as soon as you wake up, you probably don’t need to do this first thing in the morning because we’re already hitting that mobility work as part of the class. It would be great for you to do at different points throughout the day, especially if you spend a good portion of the day sitting.
For those of you that come to the SHOP at noon or in the evening, try this as soon as you get up. I think you’ll notice immediate benefits!