Summertime … it means sunshine, warm weather, and active adventures. So whether that looks like a hike, a mountain bike ride, or a trail run, you want your body to be ready. We recently spent an afternoon with Lisa Lethbridge, a New Zealand-born powerlifter, Crossfit athlete, and Icebreaker employee. During our workout, we wore Icebreaker’s Cool-Lite activewear, which combines the comfort and breathability of merino wool with TENCELⓇ. What’s TENCELⓇ, you ask? Great question. It’s a natural wood fiber made from sustainably sourced eucalyptus that wicks sweat three times faster than wool alone, so you stay cool and smelling fresh. Wool in the summer: your new best friend.
All kitted out in our new Cool-Lite gear, Lisa brought us through a series of stretches, then through a quick and simple circuit that targets the muscles you need most when exercising outside. Oh, and of course, we couldn’t forget core. Here’s how our time with Lisa broke down.
First, sit down onto the ground. To get into the 90/90 position, bend your lead leg directly in front of you at a 90 degree angle. Line it up with your heel, and check to ensure that your back leg is also bent at 90 degrees, the heel lined up with the back leg, too. From there, lean forward. You’ll feel this in the quad as well as the glute. The further far forward you lean, the deeper the stretch.
Get into a lunge position with one knee on the ground and the other at a 90 degree angle. Instead of just sitting in the position, engage your glute. Tuck it in and drive forward through your core. It’ll allow you to feel the stretch through the quad and hip flexor. If that’s not enough of a stretch, gently pick up your back foot and pull it towards your bum.
Find a fence or wall against which you can place your hands. With your hands gripping the fence or against the wall, gently lower your upper body between your arms, feeling a stretch through the armpits, lats, and upper back. The straighter and more engaged you keep your back, and the broader you keep your chest, the better the stretch will be.
After we finished stretching, Lisa led us through a 20 minute “EMOM” workout … EMOM stands for “every minute on the minute.” This is to say that when you complete one exercise, you rest for the remainder of the minute. Then, it’s onto the next exercise. Repeat.
16 x walking lunges
Keep your feet underneath your hips. Take a big step forward in a straight line, and bring your knee down. Keep the weight through your heel and the shin stacked over your ankle. Keep your core engaged, chest nice and high. When you come up for the next lunge, push through the glute to get off the ground. Repeat 8 times on each leg, or 16 times total.
15 x bent over row (with resistance band)
Place your resistance band under your feet and hold on to either side. Start with your arms hanging down, then as you lift upwards, be sure to keep your elbows tucked close to your body. Continue to pull the band back and towards your waist, then release. Repeat the exercise 15 times.
8 x monster walk to the right (glute activation exercise with the band) + 8 x monster walk to the left
Place the same resistance band around your legs—around your knees, ankles, or calves, wherever is most comfortable. Sit into a slight squat. Take a big step to the right with your right leg, and let the left leg follow. Repeat this 8 times. Then switch to the left side, starting first with the left leg and letting the right follow. You should feel this in your glutes, as well as your quads.
20 x band pull-aparts (with the resistance band)
Standing up straight, core engaged, hold the resistance band out in front of you. Bring the band all the way to close, as if shutting a book, and then open it all the way, as far as your wingspan will allow. This should feel easy at first, and become gradually more difficult as repetitions increase. You’ll do this 20 times.
Repeat these exercises 5 times.
A classic core exercise, a hollow body rock works your abdomen, back, and quads. It’s a foundational position created by bracing your abs and creating total-body tension. To start, press your lower back onto the ground, tuck the knees to the chest and bring your shoulder up off of the ground. Extend your legs out and bring your arms over your head. Slowly and in control, rock back and forth for 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off. Repeat this 8 times.
Try out these stretches and give this EMOM a go … combined with a little core work, they’re the perfect way to get ramped up for the summer activity season. See where your weaknesses lie, where you might need to work a bit harder … identifying your problem areas is half the battle! See if you can manage more reps the next time you do this workout. We have a feeling you’ll be breaking personal bests in no time. Be sure to get kitted up in your new Cool-Lite gear, it’s smooth and dry on the outside and holds moisture to its core, so you’ll never feel too much of that summer sweat.
Big thanks to Lisa and the folks over at Icebreaker for spending their day with us!