Lutzofgreens is excited to launch a new project, Motivation Monday. We will have a feature athlete every Monday and they will share with us their favourite at-home workout routine and exercises as well as their favourite plant-based snack. Our first feature is with Russian born-Canadian Figure Skater Lubov Ilyushechkina. Lubov is a 4-time Canadian National Medalist, multi Grand Prix medalist and 2017 Four Continents Bronze Medalist. She is best known for her innovative acrobatic moves and jaw-dropping flexibility.
Here are some tips that Lubov would like to share about her training:
Hard to believe, but I was never naturally flexible. My lower back was bendy, but everything else is a result of the hard and long work.
In order to do beautiful lines, nice positions and be visually appealing, you need to accept that expanding your body limits hurts. The good thing is you can go at your own pace depending on how you feel. If you want to achieve the visible result, you need to stretch consistently. An hour every day for at least two weeks. The first time may not be as painful. But the second day and the whole following week may seem like you can’t even do the splits as low as you did before without an increased pain. You shouldn’t be scared of this. It is normal. Stretching your muscles and putting your body through something it’s not used to doing causes a protective reaction. The muscle tissues are trying to repair themselves to their usual condition and protect themselves even more. So that’s why it’s very important to stretch consistently in order to keep improving.
When I stretch my right and left splits, I put my front leg on something high, a step or right now even a couch, then slide the back leg into the split, set my timer for 3 min and wait. Trying to relax and go as low as I can.
Then I put my back leg on the couch facing away from it and hold the exact same split for 3 min. Then I usually repeat another 3 min of one or the other exercise. So we have 9 min for one split in total.
For the other split the routine will be the same, just the other leg in front.
Its important :
- to keep the hips facing straight forward and not let them twist sideways
- to turn the front foot outside like an open balletic position
- to stretch the knees and to point the toes
All these key points form good performing habits. Stretching the middle split I also use a step of a couch to increase the height. Also 3 min per side and an additional 3 min on the least comfortable side. So again, 9 min in total.
After I’m done with my splits, I do all the “leg up” variations that are used in the lifts, spirals, field moves etc. The Y-stands, Camels, bielmanns, front leg up (like on the picture), and all the moves from the leg up forward to the side to the back to the bielmann. Of course, both sides).
As far as plant-based snacks, Lubov has shared with us a recipe given to her from her boyfriend’s mother, June Harrison. They are tasty cookies that are healthy enough to be a training snack or sweet enough to be a dessert.
Banana Oat Cookies
Out of all the ingredients we will have approximately 20 cookies.
Set oven to 350F. You’ll need:
- a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- mashed banana – 2 cups
- vanilla extract – 2 tsp
- apple sauce – 2 tbsp ( You can use apple snack. I read the ingredients of apple sauce and apple snack, clearly the exact same thing)
- large old fashion oats – 2 cups
- cinnamon – 1/2 tsp (up to your taste)
- Cranberries, raisins, pumpkin seeds, other seeds etc. to your taste. I used cranberries and pumpkin seeds.
- Mix all the ingredients together till the consistency is even.
- Scoop the mix out on the cookie sheet.
- Measure around 1,5-2 tbsp of mix per cookie.
- Flatten lightly.
- Cook 15 minutes on one side.
- Turn and cook 15 minutes on the other side.
Cool & Enjoy:)
Now please excuse me, while I go whip up a batch of these cookies!
See you next Monday for another edition of Motivation Monday with a new inspiring athlete!