What is O.R.K. H.Q.? It is an acronym for how I set up perfect posture for any exercise. You may have heard in a reformer class to "zip up your abs" or "stack up one vertebrae at a time." These cues help you get into the right position to get the most out of your workout and avoid injury in our classes. Did you ever think about using these cues in your everyday life? How about when you are teeing up on the golf course, working in your garden, or even just going for a walk? Especially when you go for a walk. Walking with intention can be a more powerful workout for your core than any crunch class. Train your stabilizers to do what they do best. Just remember O.R.K. H.Q. to set yourself up for perfect posture everytime.
O stands for OPEN UP THROUGH YOUR HIPS. Sitting at a desk, driving and watching movies can really take a toll on this area. Engage your opposing muscles. This is your glutes' moment to shine!
R stands for ROLL YOUR SHOULDERS BACK. Our whole lives are in front of us. Working on the computer, checking the phone, holding babies… When was the last time you swung a mace behind your back? Tried a back-hand spring lately? How about crab walk across the room? (Crossfitters don't answer that last one.) Oh those poor neglected traps and lats.
K is for KNIT YOUR RIBS DOWN INTO YOUR ABDOMINALS. I love this one. The more you do it the more you can feel your abs drawing up to secure your whole front side. So powerful!
H is for HEAD PLACEMENT. Bring some attention to your head. Is your chin reaching forward? Imagine increasing the amount of space between each vertebrae in your neck. Now is your head centered over your shoulders?
Q is for Quiet. Keep your torso as quiet as possible. Imagine you have headlights attached to the front of your hips and shoulders. Would they be safely showing the road ahead or wildly checking out the ditches? Unless one day you find yourself in a three-way walk off with Giselle Bundchen and Naomi Campbell- you better keep it quiet.
Try this the next time you go for a stroll. Check in when you start and when you're half way home. It's easy to let your mind and posture drift if you haven't been practicing this long. Neurologically it takes 50,000 repetitions for a pattern to become automatic. After a while it will be second nature. You might even think you've grown taller. Better get going!