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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Let's Talk Mobility

(Little shaky and a little muffled! Sue me! The camera guy works for free.)

How flexible are you? Do you have normal range of motion in all your joints? Does it really even matter?

I think it does. After two spinal fusions, one in my neck and a double in my lower back, I was left with decreased mobility. This decrease in mobility puts me at greater risk of disc herniation above and below the fusions. It's also caused me to hold myself in a different way putting extra strain on my hips and shoulders and probably every other major joint in my body. 

Yoga has allowed me to regain a great deal of flexibility. It took a good 4-5 months before I started to see an increase in my hip flexibility. I've also gotten some neck mobility back with such moves as the "Plow". 

However, yoga hasn't solved all the problems. I also do extra mobility exercises in an effort to strengthen and soften up fussy muscles, tendons and ligaments. 

I use therabands, foam rollers, tennis balls, and broom handles to stretch, mash and twist my body into submission. You Tube has been invaluable in finding stretches for my problem areas. I've also begun to implement a few gymnasty moves like handstands to help in this area.

As we age things get fixed in place and we compromise our movements a lot of times unknowingly out of habit and pain avoidance. Actively working on mobility will help in that aging fight as well as make us more able to fight off injury and soreness.

A site to check out: This site is run by Kelly Starrett who wrote Becoming a Supple Leopard. Great info and super easy to follow. 

What is your favorite mobility exercise or what area of mobility do you need to work on?

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