Do the movement cleanse workout

A necessary recovery period is the ideal time to learn new fitness skills.

For high-performers, the start of a new year inspires the opportunity to cleanse mental and physical buildup from the past, and focus on constructive ways to achieve your fitness goals. Furthermore has partnered with science-based haircare company Living Proof to celebrate the launch of their Perfect hair Day™ Triple Detox Shampoo, which removes hair and scalp buildup (from product, hard water, and pollution). Together, we present The Cleanse Movement, featuring actionable, inspiring ways to cleanse your fitness mindset and routine, and unlock your true potential.

Exercise—especially when performed at a high intensity—acts as a stressor to the body, raising cortisol levels, triggering an immune response, and creating a fight-or-flight neurological response, says Ariel Comeau, Tier X coach at Equinox Tribeca. While these effects are a necessary part of making fitness progress, they can compound over time to result in burnout and diminished performance. To combat this, top athletes commonly schedule de-load weeks—call it a movement cleanse—into their workout programming, pressing pause on their exercise routine by taking time off or pursuing other exercises. During these periods, the body and nervous system can recover, and you can use the time to learn new skills or movement patterns. Comeau explains that the prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain responsible for behavior and decision making, is most active when physiological stress levels are low, enabling the body to move in new ways.

“Joint mobility is one of the most fundamental things that we miss in training,” she says, “We often think of mobility as an add-on piece at the beginning and the end of workouts, but it’s something that needs to be consciously trained, and recovery periods are great opportunities to do so.”

The movement cleanse workout below, created by Comeau, employs low-impact, low-intensity exercises to help the body down-regulate its stress response and promote recovery. Meanwhile, you’re also learning new movement patterns that will support future athletic performance and reduce the risk of injury during physical exertion.

Athletes with a robust fitness schedule should incorporate one active recovery day into each week, and might even add a longer de-load of a few days after four to six weeks. Building these exercises into these days of regeneration will keep the body limber and active, while aiding in flexibility.

If you’re struggling with a fitness plateau, fatigue, or a lack of motivation, you may want to do these moves daily, performing them after waking up, before bed, or as part of a warm-up or cooldown. Try some of these exercises throughout the day, whenever you have time, or do them back-to-back for a total of two or three rounds. Comeau recommends moving through slowly and with control, while taking deep, diaphragmatic breaths.

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  • Serratus Rolls

    Serratus Rolls

    Place sides of your hands on a foam roller that's horizontal against the wall at shoulder height. Protract shoulders to flatten back between shoulder blades. Maintaining this position, raise and then lower your arms to roll the roller up and down the wall. Move slowly, keeping shoulders protracted and upper back flat. Perform 8 to 12 reps.
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  • 90/90 Hip Switches

    90/90 Hip Switches

    Sit with knees bent and heels on the floor in front of you, spread wide. Clasp hands in front of chest, torso tall. Rotate to the right, allowing the outside of the right thigh and inside of the left thigh to fall toward the floor. Chest should point directly over right knee. Pause, then reverse the movement in the opposite direction over left knee. That’s one rep. Perform 6 to 8 reps.
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  • On-the-Wall Theraband Walks

    On-the-Wall Theraband Walks

    Stand in front of a flat wall and hold a resistance band taut against wall, hands parallel and elbows pointing down, bent to 90 degrees. Move hands up, then back down wall in small, alternating steps. That’s one rep. Perform 3.
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  • Bear Crawl

    Bear Crawl

    Get down on all fours and brace core to lift knees just off of floor. Crawl forward, stepping with opposite arm and opposite leg. Don’t let weight shift from side to side. Take six steps per side. Reverse the movement to return to start. That’s one rep. Do three.
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  • Bench T-Spine Extension

    Bench T-Spine Extension

    Grab a dowel and, in a kneeling position, place elbows on a box or bench with palms facing toward you. Tuck pelvis to minimize dip in your low back and come to table-top position. Sit hips back toward heels and drop chest toward floor. Curl dowel toward shoulders to feel stretch in upper back. Hold for 5 to 10 seconds, then release. That’s one rep. Perform 6 to 8.
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  • Sumo Squat with Rotation

    Sumo Squat with Rotation

    Stand tall with feet twice shoulder-width apart, toes pointed diagonally away from your body. Push hips back and bend knees to lower body until your elbows touch the insides your knees. Place hand on same-side foot, then rotate torso to extend opposite hand to ceiling. Match gaze to raised hand, keeping torso long. Pause, then rotate to other side. That’s one rep. Perform 6 to 8.
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  • Kettlebell Windmill

    Kettlebell Windmill

    Stand with feet slightly wider than hip-width with a kettlebell at the inside of your left foot, your left arm by your side, right hand on hip. Push hips out to the right and gaze up over your right shoulder as you slide left hand down to grab the kettlebell handle. Stand up with the bell, then return to start. That’s one rep. Perform 6 to 8 reps, then repeat on opposite side.
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