29 Mar Do This One Trick Daily
Are You As Stiff As A Board?
A Surprising Way To Instantly Reduce The Chance Of Injury
We get asked all the time about injuries. About coping with day to day niggles which get compounded by the exercises and the training we’re doing.
Nowadays, we’re not living like we used to do. We’re sitting on our arses most of the day. We’re in a bent over position riding a desk. Because of that, we’re getting issues around our hips, around our backs, and around our shoulders.
We think, to make up for all of this sitting, we’ll smash it out in the gym for an hour. As if it’s going to be a cure. Next thing, we’re down to the physio, we’re down to the chiro or your osteo, spending a shitload of money. Then, we’re not allowed back in the gym for another six weeks.
Here are some simple things you can incorporate into your program which can prevent injury. If you’re a desk jockey then try this at lunch time. Find somewhere with a bit of space and if you’re in an open plan office, it might draw a bit of attention. But hey, getting out of your comfort zone is good for you!
In this exercise, you’re going to get up and down from the floor using different levels of assistance.
Using your hands to help, I want you to lie down on the floor, stomach down, and touch your nose to the floor.
Stand back up, lie back down again, this time with your back to the floor.
Stand up and do the same (both stomach facing down then back facing down) with one hand.
Then repeat the same with the other hand.
Now, I want you to do it with no hands AND without using any elbows.
If you do that, over a period of just five minutes, you’ll have put your hips through all kinds of ranges of motion.
We’ve lost contact with the ground, the natural environment and the natural movements that our hips are meant to go through. Getting up off the ground, sitting and lying down on the floor is something that a lot of us haven’t done since we were kids.
These are natural movement patterns we should be doing all the time. We’ve lost it through synthetic 21st century style of living.
The other thing you can do is get yourself back into a point of balance, homeostasis. We call this structural balance. It’s working out where there’s asymmetries in the body. What is the bit that’s out of balance? Then, what can we do to work them out through a single limb regime. There’s a whole system of testing to find out imbalances, and you can deal with the basic imbalances at home.
The body’s filled with these asymmetries. These can cause problems. Take a runner for example; if we’re weaker on one side through the lower limbs, every time we’re walking we’re sending out imbalances. Shear force through the lower spine and hips every time we move, which eventually is going to present as a disc injury, maybe a bulging disc.
What you can do is test out each side of your glutes, see which one fatigues first. Workout what’s tighter, you may be tighter on one side than the other.
Video yourself squatting from behind and see if you drift to one side. Then make sure you prescribe an exercise program and stretching protocol that will alleviate those imbalances. Go back to single limb movements, working on the weaker side before you get back to big bang movements like squatting and deadlifting. Focus especially on single limb movements for the ankles, knees, hips and shoulders.
There’s lots you can do these days to offset being hunched over computer screens.
Even if you’re a runner, don’t neglect your shoulders. Focus on the rotator cuff system, the upper back and all the supporting muscles because it will help your running. Get these issues sorted before you start a general physical prep. This prehab is what we call a structural balance process.
Another thing I do daily is a simple yoga sun salute first thing in the morning. I only do one or two rounds, it’s 4am in the morning, so doing a quick round loosens things up a little bit. I don’t count it as an exercise session. It’s just a bit of movement after I’ve got out of bed, to lubricate the joints and start my day.
Doing these things really helps and adds towards injury prevention. It stops those niggles before they start, it gets rid of stresses and strain from 21st century living. Anyway give them a go and see if you feel a difference.