There are some things that get better with age: cheddar cheese, cast-iron frying pans, and especially Jane Fonda. One thing that is not on the list is our common health. Seriously, how many times have you heard – or maybe you have said it yourself – "Ooh, my aching joints!"
That's because joint mobility decreases as we get older, thanks to a combination of nine to five desk jobs, lounging on the couch, and poor posture when we use our phones and computers. Joint mobility is our ability to access all areas of movement within our joints, explains physiotherapist and certified strength and condition specialist Grayson Wickham, founder of Movement Vault, a mobility and exercise company.
The consequences of reduced joint mobility? Pain that is compensated with the wrong muscles and joints to move, how you move, and even injuries. "Around the age of 40, the injury rate starts to rise because at that point, we've taken our bodies and worked in suboptimal positions for four decades," says Wickham. This results in tight muscles and joints and that means we have less freedom of movement, which really stresses the body. "
Without optimal mobility, it's harder to do anything." Mobility is what enables us to meet our daily needs, washing things such as washing dishes, throwing a Frisbee to the dog, training without pain and even getting out of bed. "That's why it's important to work for your quality of life in old age as you work on your flexibility in your main joints (think hips, ankles, shoulders, and wrists)." Integrating flexibility and exercises into your routine means your freedom of movement Fortunately, it's never too late to develop a mobility practice that can prevent injury and pain later in life ̵
In this sense, Wickham has put together a five-step mobility routine to improve movement and function in your key-joints, and can comfortably carry out daily activities and exercises over the coming decades Take these moves as often as possible in your ro utine and try five or more times a week.
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T-Spine Joint Mobilizations
At first glance, this might look like smooth rolling foam. But this exercise is specifically designed to increase upper spine mobility, all with a massage sensation. Considering that back pain and arthritis cost Americans more than $ 200 billion (!) A year, this could save you money and misery, according to a 1945 Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation .
How It Works: Take your handy foam roll and put it behind you with your upper back on it. Keep your hands behind your head as if you were crunching or stretch your arms over you. When you are ready to begin, you are attacking your core.
The goal is to create movement on every single level or vertebra in your thoracic spine, the part that runs from the base of your neck to your abdomen. To do this, bend the foam roller back as far as possible while holding your abdominal muscles tight. When stretched as far as possible, squeeze the muscles that touch the foam roller by trying to squeeze your shoulder blades together. Hold for five seconds and then return to the starting position. Repeat this for three repetitions of five seconds each.
Next, move on the foam roller about an inch toward the neck and repeat the above sequence. Repeat the entire upper back.
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In addition to costly, back pain is also common. "Back pain is something that 80% of people will experience at some point in their lives," says Wickham. "But spinal circuits help you activate and activate all the muscles around your back and torso, allowing you to move more freely side by side."
How it works: Start with your Hands and knees. Put your tailbone and push your back to the ceiling, so that your back has the shape of a Halloween cat. As you do so, extend your neck so that your ears come down from your biceps.
From here you start to make circles in this pose. Start by squeezing all the muscles in your core. Bend to the left side by squeezing all the muscles on the left side of your body, making your body look like a crescent. Hold on for two seconds and then return to your starting position. Then move to the right. Activate the muscles on your right side so that you bend to the right. Hold for two seconds and then return to the home position.
This is a full spine circle. Repeat this for five repetitions.
Hip flexor stretch: end-range isometry
"When you are restrictedly mobile in your hips, your body compensates by keeping your knees and ankles moving insecure, which can lead to injury time," says Wickham. "We are the weakest and most vulnerable in the movement of our hips, but the activation of the muscles and joints by this stretch helps to increase flexibility and strengthen the joint." The goal of this exercise is to stretch and train your hip flexor, then tighten the muscles around your hips, increasing hip stability.
This is how it works: Begin in a half-kneeling position with your right knee up. Engage your abdominal muscles, then intensify the lunge step forward so that you feel the stretch in the front of your left hip. Once you feel the stretch, contract the left hip muscles. Remember to put your left knee on the mat to activate it. Hold for 10 seconds.
Next, relax your hip flexor muscles, but stay in the stretch. Rest in this position for a few seconds, then press your buttock muscle for 10 seconds. This is a rep.
Switch sides and repeat three times on each leg.
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Ankle Stretch: Plantar Flexion Take off
"If you can not If you are agile in the ankle, you can do certain movements – such as squats, lunges and even walking – either not performing or you can not perform these movements well, "says Wickham. This stretching can help to increase the mobility of your ankle, especially at the front of the joint.
Action: Start on your hands and knees, with your toes coming into contact with the foot mat. While keeping your core moving, push the tops of your feet into the mat as you extend your knees as far as you can. Squeeze your squares on top of the movement, hold for three seconds, then slowly lower to the mat again.
You should feel the ankle front open as you perform this movement. Perform 10 slow, controlled repetitions on each side.
Shoulder Stretch: End Area Isometry
This stretch helps open the shoulder and chest muscles, says Wickham. 67% of people eventually have shoulder pain, but Wickham says improving shoulder mobility can help reduce the risk.
How To: Start face down on a mat. Bring your left arm, palm down, at 90 degrees to the side. Put your right hand on the floor, push it into the floor and lift the right side of your body, increase the stretching in the front of the left shoulder and pec area. Activate the muscles in the front of your left shoulder by remembering to press your left arm and your hand into the ground. Hold here for 10 seconds.
Then relax the front of your left shoulder and contract your muscles in the opposite direction. Imagine lifting the left hand and arm off the floor. It probably will not go anywhere, but as long as you activate the muscles on the back of the shoulder, do the movement properly. Back to the start. That's a repeat.
Perform the above sequence three times per shoulder.