Jen Hamel, Edmonton Fitness Trainer

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Joint mobility and joint health

Posted by onthegofitness on October 10, 2009 at 3:42 PM

Excessive cracking (without pain) in joints is caused by muscular imbalances within your body meaning that one muscle maybe stronger than it?s opposing muscle therefore causing a muscular imbalance in your body. Someone asked me ?what does it mean when me knees crack during a squat?? Let?s examine the lower body joints focusing on the hip mobility. If you work at a desk job you will generally have tight Hip flexors due to sitting for extended periods of time, therefore the opposing muscle the Glutes are caused to stretch, weaken and become dormant. Your body then has to compensate by relying more on your lower back (causing lower back strain) and your hamstrings (causing tight hamstrings). Your body then is causing trigger points in your muscle tissue and causing more pressure on your other joints, knees and ankles.

To reduce the cracking and improve your joint mobility, I would prescribe adding some Dynamic stretches for the lower body to increase the joint?s mobility and range of motion. I recommend starting with 10 reps on each side you may add extra reps as mobility increase

Hip Mobility

1. Forward/backward leg swings

To increase range of motion in hip flexors & extensors

Stabilize yourself by holding onto chair

Stand up tall, start with small swings and increase range as comfortable

Swing leg forward and then backward

2. Side to side leg swings

To increase hip abductor & adductor mobility

Stabilize your self holding onto chair out front

Swing leg left to right start small and increase as comfortable

3. lateral squat with 2 count pulse

To increase adductor flexibility and stretch groin muscles

Point feet straight ahead

Keep chest up, stand up nice and tall

Ankle mobility

1. Ankle rolls

Stand up tall

Bend supporting knee

Bring foot off ground and rotate clockwise then counterclockwise

2. Toe taps

Stretch tibilais anterior muscle

Flex foot and then point toes

3. Medial and lateral ankle rotation

In seated position extend leg vertically rotate ankle inward then outward

Another aspect to analyze when contemplating joint stability is nutrition. Yes what you eat can not only affect your weight but also your joint health.

1. Eat Fatty fish or fish oil

Among other health benefits Fish will help to prevent against joint inflammation

2. Antioxidants

Foods that are high in antioxidants will help to improve the health of your connective tissue

Antioxidants are found in beans, grain products, fruits and vegetables.

Today we focus on Fruits and Vegetables

lutein can be found in some of the yellow pigments found in corn; orange in cantaloupe, butternut squash and mango

lycopene in red pigments of tomatoes and watermelon, and purple and blue in berries. So enjoy eating a variety of these products. It is best to obtain these antioxidants from foods instead of supplements.

Follow these simple guidelines to improve lower body mobility and joint strength.

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