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Dr. Corinne: Ready, Set, S-T-R-E-T-C-H; It's Time to Move!

Dr. Corinne Weaver : Sep 4, 2020  DrCorinneWeaver.com

Mobility prevents injuries, fixes muscle imbalances, and even helps you build more muscle...

Time to move. How many of you have been getting stiff due to lack of movement? Our joints were made to move so when they don't, everything gets stiff and hurts.  Let's discuss flexibility and mobility. Take a moment to think about these two words and try to define them. (Image: Pixabay)

The terms flexibility and mobility are often mistakenly used interchangeably. While flexibility is a component of mobility, mobility and flexibility are different. Flexibility is the ability of a muscle or group of muscles to lengthen. Muscle flexibility can be compared to a rubber band. When a rubber band is pulled, it stretches, making it flexible.

Mobility, on the other hand, is the ability of a JOINT to move actively through a range of motion. The thought is, if you stretch enough, you'll stay limber, mobile, and ready to move. However, flexibility isn't even always a great predictor of mobility.

Range of motion refers to the full movement potential of a joint, usually its range of flexion and extension. There are three types of range of motion movements: passive, active, and active-assistive. In passive range of motion exercises, the patient does not perform any movement themselves; instead, a therapist moves the limb or body part around the stiff joint, gently stretching muscles and reminding them how to move correctly. Active exercises are performed entirely by an individual with no assistance from a physical therapist. Active-assistive range of motion exercises involves partial assistance from the therapist while the individual does most of the movement. A strap or a band may be used to secure the joint before assisting the movements.

To improve mobility, it's crucial also to train the body's stabilizing muscles. Stabilizer muscles do just that, stabilize the body and its extremities during multi-plane movement. The stabilizer muscles work to keep certain parts of the body stable and steady, so the muscles doing the work can do their jobs efficiently. There aren't specific stabilizer muscles in the body. The name simply describes exactly what these muscles do.

Think about doing a squat. The glutes and quads are the target muscles being worked. However, the hamstrings, calves, lower back, abs, and obliques all act to keep everything going in the right direction. These are the stabilizing muscles for doing a squat.

Your level of flexibility determines the ease and depth of your movements while building strength and stability.

The benefits associated with being more flexible include:

- Fewer injuries

- Less pain

- Improved posture and balance

- Increased strength

- Enhanced physical performance

Mobility prevents injuries, fixes muscle imbalances, and even helps you build more muscle. Because mobility determines your range of motion, mobility has the ability to increase the range of motion available to you when working out. Taking an exercise through a greater range of motion means you get more out of every rep. Mobility can also impact your quality of life. Healthy mobility and range of motion allow you to move with ease and perform movements pain-free.

If your flexibility is limited, there are many exercises you can practice to increase flexibility.

Let's review a few together.

This first exercise is called Downward-Facing Dog. When done properly, the stretch works your hamstrings, gluteus maximus, deltoids, triceps, and quadriceps:

- Come onto all fours with your hands under your wrists and your knees under your hips.

- Press into your hands as you tuck your toes under and lift your knees, keeping your heels lifted.

- Extend through your spine and lift your sitting bones up toward the ceiling.

- Bend your knees slightly and press into all of the parts of your hands.

- Bring your head in line with your upper arms or relax your neck and tuck your chin into your chest.

- Focus on stretching and strengthening your body.

- Hold this pose for up to a minute at a time.

- Do the pose 3–5 times after a short rest or in between other poses.

Increase flexibility in your erector spinal muscles, pelvic muscles, quadriceps, and hamstrings with a deep side stretch:

- Stand with your right foot in front facing forward and your left foot slightly back and at an angle.

- The right heel should be in line with the left heel, and your feet should be about 4 feet apart.

- Bring your hands to your hips and make sure your hips are facing forward.

- Slowly exhale to hinge at the hips to bring your torso forward on the right side, stopping when it's parallel to the floor.

- Then, allow your torso to fold forward as you place your fingertips on the floor or on blocks on either side of your right foot.

- Drop your head down and tuck your chin into your chest.

- Press firmly into both feet and focus on dropping your left hip and torso down.

- Hold this pose for 30 seconds.

- Do the opposite side.

Tight hips are common because most of us spend the majority of our day seated. Try this stretch to improve hip flexibility:

- Lie on your back and bend both knees with your feet flat on the floor.

- Bring your left knee closer to your chest and bend it at 90 degrees, so your calf crosses over your body.

- Bring your right knee towards your chest, making contact with the ankle or shin of your left leg.

- Wrap your hands around your right leg and pull it closer to your body, deepening the stretch.

- Hold this pose for 30 seconds.

- Do the opposite side.

Our core or abdominal muscles are some of the most used muscles in the body. By improving flexibility in your core, you'll achieve more in every activity:

- Begin lying on your stomach with your hands on the floor beneath your shoulders.

- Keeping your elbows tucked in, lift your head and torso by pushing with your hands until you feel a stretch in the front of your abdomen.

- Hold for 15 to 30 seconds.

This is a challenging pose for those with tight shoulder muscles. It stretches the front of the shoulders as well as the triceps:

- Begin either sitting or standing.

- Extend your right arm straight up, then bend it at the elbow and let it fall behind you.

- Bend your left arm back behind you and attempt to grab the fingertips of your right hand. If you can't reach, you can use a towel to extend your reach.

- Hold for 15 to 30 seconds then repeat with the other arm.

It's just as important to improve your stability and mobility. Some of the exercises may seem simple, but they will go a long way in increasing your mobility when practiced regularly.

Let's get started!

Up first is a wrist stretch:

- Start in a tabletop position on all fours with shoulders stacked over wrists and knees under hips.

- Shift shoulders an inch or two forward, feeling the stretch at the back of the wrists.

- Shift back to tabletop, then lift palms while keeping fingers on the floor. Lower back to starting position.

- Repeat 8 times.

Mobility in your hips is essential for getting around:

- Start in a low lunge position with right foot forward and left leg back, left palm pressing into the floor with the right arm extended forward. Turn the right foot, so toes point out and open the hip by pressing the front knee out to start.

- Slowly circle right arm overhead, then backward, down, and around to return to starting position.

- Repeat 5 per side.

The arch and curl of the spine improve mobility in two different directions:

- Start on all fours with shoulders stacked over wrists, knees under hips, and spine neutral. Slowly arch spine, lifting chest and tailbone while lowering belly button toward the ground.

- Draw the belly button toward the spine to round back toward the ceiling, dropping the tailbone toward the floor and curling the chin into the chest.

- Repeat 8 to 10 times.

This move helps with the mobility of your shoulders, upper back, neck, chest. You'll need a towel, resistance band, or broomstick:

- Hold your available object horizontally against the front of your body, with your hands down and set wide.

- Lift the arms overhead, and, if possible, all the way behind you to touch your hips in the back.

- If you have limited shoulder mobility or this causes pain, you can just bring the arms straight overhead or slightly behind. You can also make your hands wider or bring them closer in, depending on your mobility level.

- Keep your core tight and ribs down, so you don't arch your back.

- Repeat the move 10 times.

When you understand the link between flexibility and mobility, it becomes clear that stretching exercises are an important part of the mobility equation.

The key is to practice daily to maintain muscle and joint health, so get moving today!! I love working one-on-one to help people live healthier lifestyles. My mission is to help you get healthier without needing more medications. If you or someone you know needs help, make sure you reach out because I am available for a telehealth call. Let's continue to share Hope in this world and get on our knees to pray to our Heavenly Father asking Him to strengthen us daily realizing  it's impossible to live the Christian life without Him. Subscribe for free to Breaking Christian News here

God Bless!!

Keep Breathing,
Dr. Corinne Weaver 

Email: Dr@DrCorinneWeaver.com
Website: 
www.DrCorinneWeaver.com

References:

Stabilizer muscles 

Very Well Fit

Range of motion

Flexibility

Flexibility-CoachUp

Flexibility-Self

Mobility moves-Gold's Gym

Dr. Corinne Weaver is a compassionate upper cervical chiropractor, educator, motivational speaker, mother of three, and internationally bestselling author. In 2004, she founded the Upper Cervical Wellness Center in Indian Trail, North Carolina. Over the last 13 years, she has helped thousands of clients restore their brain to-body function. When she was 10 years old, she lost her own health as the result of a bike accident that led to having asthma and allergy issues that she thought she would always have to endure. Then, after her first upper cervical adjustment at age 21, her health began to improve thanks to upper cervical care and natural herbal remedies. This enabled her to create a drug-free wellness lifestyle for herself and her family, and she also enthusiastically discovered her calling to help children heal naturally.

Dr. Weaver was named one of Charlotte Magazine's "Top Doctors" in 2016 and is now a number-one internationally bestselling author to two books: Learning How to Breathe and No More Meds. 

Upper Cervical Wellness Center is known for finding the root cause of health concerns through lifestyle changes, diagnostic testing, nutraceutical supplementation, and correction of subluxation (as opposed to just medicating the symptoms). The practice offers cutting-edge technological care at its state-of-the-art facility, including laser-aligned upper cervical X-rays, bioimpedance analysis (measures body composition), digital thermography (locates thermal abnormalities characterized by skin inflammation), and complete nutritional blood analysis, which is focused on disease prevention.







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