The toy drive over the weekend was a big success! Through the generosity of my neighbors and the online community at my Facebook page, we brought in 7 toys and raised $100 for the Nashville Rescue Mission! Thank you all so much for your generosity and love this holiday season!
For the free workout portion of the drive, my neighbors attended. They're both in their late 50s or early 60s, both very active, and former athletes. In fact, the husband was the captain of the 1984 US Olympic Field Hockey Team. We went through proper diaphragmatic breathing, a series of stretches to open up tight joints, and got the blood pumping through a little bit of dynamic movement.
The main lifts we went over were deadlifts and push ups. The main issue I found with the husband's deadlifts was that he wasn't engaging his glutes in the deadlift, but was relying on movement through his spine to have his body "feel" that it had achieved an upright position.
What was happening, was, at the top of the deadlift, he was putting his head and shoulders in to an "upright" position by moving through his lower back, but his glutes weren't squeezed all the way. This was telling me that he wasn't using the big muscles of his body -- his glutes and hamstrings to their maximum potential AND he was putting undue pressure on his lower back.
To correct this, I had both of them lay on the floor and tighten their stomach up like they did in their diaphragmatic breathing. Then we did a glute bridge with the stomach clinched and with the stomach not engaged. I showed them the range of motion difference between the two movements -- that if the stomach isn't engaged the body *thinks* the glutes are squeezing and getting through full range of motion, but what is actually happening is the range of motion is being made up by the spine, because the core isn't engaged.
We then did some deadbugs, practicing how to move our hip joint and shoulder joint independent of our spine moving. We did this just to prime the core a bit more and teach the brain to stay tight.
On the husband's next set of deadlifts, the very first one, he had his core tight and squeezed his glutes all the way forward -- he said, "Oh Wow! I really feel that difference!" It was great to be able to coach and help people learn to move better and care for their body better.
All in all, we raised money, we collected toys for underprivileged kids, and I got warm fuzzies from seeing the light bulb go off for someone (an olympian mind you) on how to move their body better.