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cross-body pattern – get moving!

in the january edition of "i've got your back", we talk about how to activate the cross-body pattern that supports so many activities we love. from cross country skiing and snowshoeing to hiking and paddling! this cross-body pattern is already in so many of our movements, but it's worth practicing it and making sure that pathway, that trail, is well-traveled so it's there when we need it! try to do these moves slowly and smoothly, with control. the slower you go, the smoother the motion can be.

this is best done lying on the ground, but can be done sitting in a chair as well. if you're lying on the ground, have your knees bent and feet on the floor. you can also do this laying in bed first thing in the morning or when you climb into bed at night!

:: four corners - press back ::

we'll begin by isolating each 'corner': right shoulder, left shoulder, right hip, left hip. start by pressing, just a teensy bit, your right shoulder behind you. into the floor or into the back of the chair, or even just the air! it's just a 10% effort, the point is to wake up the muscles and the neurological connection to that motion. send your whole shoulder blade back. then relax and come back to neutral / resting position. repeat with your left shoulder. move to your right hip. this is going to be a little trickier if you're seated, but it's still possible! imagine the back of your hip, the broad back side of your pelvis, pressing into the mat a little bit or into the chair behind you. notice what muscles it takes to make this happen. repeat with the left hip. you can press back once or twice on each of these 'corners.'

:: four corners - pull forward ::

same corners, different direction! this time you'll do a gentle tug to pull the right shoulder forward a bit, then relax. repeat with the left shoulder. then the right hip, imagine that front hipbone going forward, and notice what muscles it takes to make that motion. repeat on the left hip. the shoulders will kind of feel like you're slouching, the hips might be kind of a foreign motion for you, but just be curious and be patient.

:: cross-body ::

now it's time to put it all together! send your right shoulder and left hip back at the same time, noticing the length along the front of the body that creates. they get further away from each other! then send your left shoulder and right hip back. you can alternate sides, doing one with the right shoulder and left hip, then one with the left shoulder and right hip. repeat.

then keeping those diagonals, bring the right shoulder and left hip forward at the same time. repeat with the left shoulder and right hip. as they come towards one another, i imagine that there's a string that connects them that you can tug to bring them together.

this will probably feel clunky and awkward at first! that's ok! it's about being playful, patient, persistent, and positive. the most important thing is to be curious and consistent, and you'll be amazed at how much easier it gets.

listen to the full interview here, and stay tuned the last wednesday of the month for "i've got your back" at 8:20(ish) on's north shore morning show!

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