Words can not describe how excited I am to be given the go-ahead from my physiotherapist to start exercising again! After being out for a couple of weeks with a sprained back, I’m now slowly easing back into some movement (carefully and gently though!) and naturally, to get me excited to be getting back to the mat, I’m relying on Forever 21 to keep me recovery-chic in their amazing activewear line. Click through to read my recovery routine after the jump!
First of all, I am obsessed with this outfit! These leggings have gotten so many compliments (they come in blue too, kind of think I need both), this tank is the perfect piece to go from the gym to out and about afterwards and this sweater is casual chic to a T. Loving the great support from this sports bra too, perfect for the gentle movement I’m doing these days. Of course, everything is packed away in style in my Forever 21 bag—love how discrete it is, it’s already been from work to coffee to a workout with me.
Now, for the routine—I’m really all about low-stress, super back-friendly moves that are Lesley-approved (my physio) right now. These moves are more focused on the core while eliminating compression on your back, so whether you’re post-injury or not, add these into your routine to protect your back, gently strengthen your muscles and promote alignment!
1. Pelvis engagement and drop-outs
While engaging your pelvic muscles, slowly drop one knee out and bring it back to centre using your pelvic muscles (i.e. not cheating with your leg), alternating on each side and doing 15 each.
2. Modified bicycle
That typical crunch position can put a lot of compression on your lower spine, so instead keep your spine flat on the ground and with alternating arms and legs, slowly extend them while your core is engaged, not extending past the point that you can completely maintain that engagement—bring them back to centre and alternate, doing 15 each side!
I used to drop so low into a squat but have learned from my physio that I kind of cheated my way there by arching my spine—it may feel deeper for your hamstrings and glutes but it can do some damage to your back! It’s best for your spine to keep your back completely neutral and relatively straight, hinging at the hips as you drop into a squat with weight in your heels, slowly rising back up with that straight, neutral spine the whole time. Do 15 total!
4. Incline planks
Photos by Emaan
Until my back completely heals up, I’m doing a modified plank on an incline at something on chest level (and then something hip level, then knee level, then finally on the ground) so that I can really focus on form. Keep everything completely in line, engage your core and ensure that you’re not dipping down, and hold for 1 minute!
It’s definitely a bit odd (and a bit hard!) for someone who’s used to being quite active to have to modify so much of what I do but I’m so excited to be moving period. Whether you’re starting out for the first time, in the swing of things already or recovering like me, please come share your #WorkItOut journey with Forever 21 on social media and shop the brand’s whole amazing activewear line here!
A big thank you to Forever 21 for partnering with me for this post.