movement-cleanse-workout

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