Monday Move

Author demonstrating the stretch.
Images by author. Can you spot two cats?

A few weeks ago, I developed a dull, aching pain in my left knee: patellofemoral syndrome, according to the nurse practitioner on the other end of my telemedicine appointment. Her prescription was for rest, ice, and a few weeks of physical therapy exercises, and I’m happy to say I’m feeling…

Monday Move

Author demonstrating the stretch.
Images by author

If you have stiff or sore wrists from using your computer or phone, you’re about to do a workout that involves push-ups or planks, you’re preparing for a yoga session, or you simply want to keep your joints limber — this move’s for you.

Clasped-hand wrist rolls

Monday Move

Images by author

Confession: My arms are a little neglected. I’m so focused on functional fitness that I sometimes forget the smaller muscles that don’t play as major a role in things like posture and balance. But arms are important too! I’m regularly hauling around my two children, picking up groceries, pushing, pulling…

Monday Move

Images by Author

Tight hips? This active stretch — sometimes known as the “world’s greatest stretch” — will open them up and get you ready for a workout, a jog, or even just a long day of sitting. The gif below moves quickly (gotta keep that file size down!), …

Monday Move

Author demonstrating the move.
Images: Anna Maltby

We’ve talked about “dead butt syndrome” before, and if your butt and hips are weak from too much sitting, you’re not alone. Here’s a nice way to activate them — it’s great anytime, but especially if you’re about to take a run or a long walk, since more active gluteus…

Monday Move

Images: Anna Maltby

For those of us with a bit of a shoulder hunch — and/or with forward head posture (exactly what it sounds like) — strengthening the upper and mid-back, and stretching the chest, can help counteract our slouchy positioning. Correcting forward head posture may even reduce pain (in the neck, shoulders…

Monday Move

The single-arm farmer’s carry is a powerful way to strengthen your core, protect your lower back, and improve your grip strength. Images: Anna Maltby

Unilateral exercises (those that work one side of the body at a time) are some of the best ways to build a stronger body because they tend to engage the deeper muscles of the core to resist rotation, and because they reveal strength imbalances (i.e. …

Monday Move

Images: Anna Maltby

Happy Labor Day! I hope you stayed safe and dry during the storms last week, and that you’re enjoying this much-needed long weekend.

If you want to build a strong core, exercises that involve rotation should be part of your, well, rotation. Rotational core work uses all the muscles of…

Monday Move

Author demonstrating a stretch.
Images by author

Do you ever find yourself sitting for so long that, when you stand, it feels like the fronts of your hips have somehow become fossilized? If you’re tired of the creaky stiffness, this stretch is for you.

Kneeling hip flexor stretch

Monday Move

Images by author

Whether you’re a push-up lover, a computer and phone user, or a new parent who spends all day hunched over a baby, chances are very good that you should be stretching out your pectoral muscles regularly. This is one of my favorite ways to do it, and all you need…

Anna Maltby

Editor and writer. Past: Elemental, Real Simple, Refinery29, SELF. Certified personal trainer; prenatal and postnatal exercise specialist. Cat & person mom.

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