The Defranco Agile 8

Think back to your days taking that lame old gym class in school.  Remember that gym teacher with the polo shirt, track pants and a clipboard who looked either way too skinny to even appear to be remotely in shape, or like he was never in shape at all?  You might or might not recall that all you wanted to do was play dodge ball; yet he might’ve made you work a bit first.  He’d have you jog in place for a good minute give or take, followed by jumping jacks.   He’d probably follow that up with having you run around for a minute.  Then, he make you perform static stretches, such as reaching down to your toes.  Well, turns out they were actually on to something.

Dynamic Stretching is crucial for a few reasons:

  • It increases your heart rate, pumping blood throughout your body faster.  This will bring your body temperature up, and in turn stretch your muscles more efficiently.
  • It also improves your mobility, which doesn’t just improve your training progress, but it will also prevent injuries better than static stretching.  Static stretching with cold muscles will cause an injury.

Are you currently working at home like most of the workforce in the country?  Would you normally be sitting down if you were at your job right now as I’d be?  Do you ever feel hip flexor pain when you’re squatting or even when your setting up to do any kind of Bench Press variation?  Does your lower back tighten up when you perform either of the two moves I just mentioned?  If you answered yes to just one of these questions, then you have a tight lower back or hips.

Your Lumbo-Pelvic Hip Complex, made up of your glutes, hips and lower back are crucial to everything regarding your posture, spinal stability and therefore optimal exercise performance.  If your hips aren’t loosened up before you begin any kind of training you will get hurt.

Enter the DeFranco Agile 8.  The brainchild of World Renowned, New Jersey based strength coach Joe DeFranco, the Agile 8 is a fantastic way to increase your heart rate, warm your body up for your training and of course, loosen your entire Lumbo-Pelvic Hip Complex in order to help you come out of your training injury free.  I first read about this in Jim Wendler’s book 5/3/1 For Powerlifting and ever since I started performing it just this past October, it’s done wonders for my hip mobility.  It’s a fantastic, well organized combination of Self Myfascial Release, Dynamic Stretching, and Static Stretching.  All it takes is eight moves, a foam roller, a lacrosse ball and at most ten minutes of your time.

The DeFranco Agile 8

  1. Foam Roll IT Bands – 10 – 15 rolls each side
  2. Foam Roll Adductors – 10 – 15 rolls each side
  3. Glute Piriformis Myofascial Release with Lacrosse Ball – 30 seconds each glute
  4. Rollovers Into V Sits – 10 reps
  5. Fire Hydrant Circles – Forward and backward circles 10 times each legs
  6. Mountain Climbers – 20 reps
  7. Groiners – 10 reps followed by ten second hold
  8. Static Hip Flexor Stretch – 3 sets of ten seconds each leg

Recommendations

As mentioned earlier, this is a combination of Self Myofascial Release, Dynamic and Static Stretching.  Since it also increases your heart rate I highly recommend you perform this combination before any and all training sessions.  And since a good portion of us are stuck at home and are mostly likely sitting, I’d perform this everyday at least once or twice a day, before you even begin your work day and somewhere in the middle of the day to break to monotony of sitting all day, and to reinforce loose and pain free hips and lower backAlso, that elementary school gym teacher of yours would be proud!

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