August is Back-to-School month, and I wanted to celebrate with a special Fandom Fitness Friday. One of my favorite books growing up was Anne of Green Gables. The story of a young orphan who comes to Avonlea and embarks on many adventures with her classmates is perfect this time of year. And the Anne of Green Gables mobility workout is perfect for this school year in particular.
School is definitely looking a bit different this year than in years past. Some students are going to school only part-time, others are doing virtual classes, and many more are shifting to homeschooling. Honestly, whether we are going to school or to work, mobility has never been more important. Moving throughout the day and stretching periodically helps improve our focus, our creativity, and mental clarity.
Anne of Green Gables mobility is perfect for helping us creatively. Anne Shirley was a spirited girl with a wild imagination (who I could immediately relate to). While she and her classmates go on wild adventures through Avonlea, their story isn’t as action-packed as a Marvel superhero movie, or Sci-Fi adventure. So, a more low-key workout, focusing on moving, but not high anaerobic exercise suits this workout well.
School Girl Memories
Anne of Green Gables was a favorite of mine growing up. Well, to be honest, it was my older sister’s favorite story growing up. She read all the books in the series and was heavily influenced by the time-era of the stories. I remember her subscribing to the Victorian magazine, which focused on Victoria-era fashions. She loved Laura Ashely, called her best friend her bosom-buddy, and swore she would name her first boy Gilbert. I mean, to be honest, it’s a pretty epic name. But that was Kim. She loved Anne of Green Gables.
Being Kim’s younger sister, I looked up to her, and if she adored Anne of Green Gables, by golly, so did I. But I really did actually love the story of Anne growing up in this picturesque town of Avonlea on Prince Edward Island. I related to Anne’s imaginative spirit. My own imagination sometimes got me into just as much trouble as Anne’s got her into.
I also remember watching the 1985 mini-series with Megan Follows as Anne, and my sister and I sighing over the handsome and charming Jonathon Crombie as Gilbert Blythe. Then they continued the saga with a television series called Road to Avonlea. The show didn’t feature the same characters as Anne of Green Gables, but it still had a great story.
Bringing Mobility to Our Lives
I’ve shared a few mobility workouts in the past. One of the things I emphasize with ZooFit is to make fitness, movement, and exercise a part of our lives. Make it fun, worth doing. And make it easy.
This workout can be done all in one go, perhaps on an off-day to practice active recovery from strength-training or high cardio. But one way I like to practice this workout is to break it up throughout the day- do one set of mobility exercises every half hour or so to get up and stretch.
Whether you use this as a workout or as a stretching break, let Anne of Green Gables bring you joy with this special mobility fandom fitness workout.
Anne of Green Gables Mobility
Do 10 repetitions of each exercise. You can find my demonstrations here on my YouTube channel, and practice the moves along with me, or do them after viewing the video.
- Green Gables Good Mornings: Hold the dowel rod behind your back across your shoulders. Your grip can be neutral, whatever is comfortable. Keeping your back and legs straight, but knees soft, hinge at your hips to bend over. Keep both your back and legs straight to feel a stretch. Go only as far as your body will allow while keeping good form. Slowly return to standing.
- Avonlea Around the Worlds: Hold the dowel rod in both hands in front of your body with a wide grip. Keeping your arms straight throughout entire movement, raise your left arm above your head and keep your right arm straight down at your side. Swing the bar around your head to the back, then lower your left arm down to your side while raising your right arm above your head as you swing the bar around to the front again. Repeat for 10 repetitions, then switch up your direction, raising your right arm first and bringing the bar counter-clockwise.
- Anne of the Island Inchworms: Start in standing position. Curl your body down, keeping legs straight and place hands on the ground. Walk your hands out to reach a plank/push-up position. Lower your knees to the ground to stretch your back, return to plank and shift to downward dog. Walk your hands back to your feet and curl your body back up.
- Windy Poplar Leg Swings:Place one hand around the dowel rod for support and all your weight on the opposite leg. Swing the leg closest to the pole straight out in front of your body forward and straight behind you back. Keep leg straight and find full range of motion (going only as high as your leg will allow itself to go). Repeat movement for 10 reps, then switch pole to other side and repeat with other leg.
- House of Dreams Hip Circles: Start with hips thrust out in front, then lean to the side, stretching one side of your hip. Hinge forward with straight back, then lean to the other side. Ten circles in one direction then switch directions.
- Rilla of Ingleside Reverse Pigeon: Lay on your back. Bring your ankle in your hand as close to your chest as possible. Go only until you feel a stretch, then release. Repeat for 10 repetitions, then switch feet.
- Ingleside Invisible Fence: Stand in neutral, tall position. Bring one knee up. Slowly move the leg around to the side of your body while keeping the torso forward facing. Keeping the knee at that height, turn the leg so that your heel is as high as you can hold it and the knee is facing forward. Circle the leg towards the back of your body, maintaining that height for as long as you can. Slowly lower the knee back to starting position. Now reverse the move. Bring the heel to the ceiling, while maintaining upright posture. Circle the knee out and around to the side with the heel reaching to the ceiling. Hold it as high as you can. Slowly bring the knee back around to the front of the body to the starting position.
- Rainbow Valley Squat to Forward Fold: Squat as far to the ground as possible. Grasp your ankle, calves, or under your toes and straighten your knees to come into a forward fold. Bend the knees to come back to a squat. Repeat for ten reps.
- Chronicles of Avonlea Cat/Cow: Start in a neutral position on your hands and knees, with your wrists directly under your shoulders, and your knees directly under your hips. Center your head in a neutral position as well, and soften your gaze downward. Inhale as you drop your belly towards the ground in cow pose. Lift your chin and chest and gaze up toward the ceiling (or sky). Draw your shoulders away from your ears, broadening your shoulder blades. On your exhale, draw your belly towards your spine, rounding your back towards the sky in cat pose. Release the crown of your head and bring your chin towards your chest.
I feel that this one is close to your heart. It’s also a great mobility workout to get the body moving on an easy day. Perfect match I think to the books. I really don’t see Ann going hard core beast mode on the grassy hills of Avonlea.