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Strength Training Programs – Open and Anchor


It doesn’t matter if you are active or sedentary, there is always a never-ending fight to stay mobile.

If you train or participate in sports regularly, you have to be consistent with your recovery strategies from these intense activities.

If you sit around all day or have a 9-5 job where you’re stuck in front of a computer, you have to deal with long-term / long-duration, flexion-based postures.

Both scenarios require consistent recovery strategies and smart programming.

One key programming tactic that has worked for us is what we call Open and Anchor.

Open and Anchor is a sequential progression through which you can program your pre-workout warm-ups or your supplemental work, i.e., the exercises in the workout after the primary movements of the workout.

Here is how it works:

First you “open” up the athlete’s movement potential with a dynamic mobility exercise and then you “anchor” the new range of motion with a strength exercise.

All movements require both mobility AND stability.  But, introducing new ranges of motion OR re-establishing normal / optimal postures and movement isn’t enough.  You have to engage the athlete in an environment where they are required to create stability and control through these patterns.

Joe D. ( ) and I actually devote an entire CPPS Workout of the Month to this recovery strategy.  Watch for this specific program in May 2013.

Open and Anchor

Here is a simple example of one sequence we like to use – of course, there are many others.  For example, striders could be replaced with groiners and lunges could be replaced with hip thrusts through hip hyperextension.

Striders with Rotation

Striders are great for opening the hips, getting some glute activation and teaching the athlete to find neutral posture.  Adding in rotation also introduces some thoracic extension and rotation into the movement.  I also like to use this opportunity during the rotation to introduce deep belly breathing while the athlete is in this restricted position.   Taking 3-5 deep belly breaths will allow the athlete to better “own the movement.”



Lunges activate the core stabilizers, quads, and glutes – while improving deceleration mechanics.  Lunges also dynamically stretch the hip flexors on the trail leg.


Try out this sequence and let me know in the comments how you liked the Open and Anchor technique.


By on March 18th, 2013


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