How to Improve Mobility & Extend the Benefits of Your Chiropractic or Massage Treatments
Do you wish you were more mobile; more able to get out and move your body? You may benefit from adding a few simple mobility exercises to your routine.
Strength, or stability, is a key component of mobility. If your body is lacking stability due to muscle weakness, you are more likely to suffer from decreased mobility, pain, and discomfort. Thankfully, you do not have to be on an intense fitness program to improve your strength, it can be as easy as a few simple exercises a day. Improving stability will also allow you to increase the benefits of your chiropractic or massage treatment.
Mobility and stability are intricately connected. There is an abundance of scientific research, which has shown that strengthening the muscles surrounding your joints will improve stability, and mobility, and increase the longevity of a chiropractic adjustment.
Chiropractic and massage treatments improve the mobility of joints and surrounding tissues which allows them to function more normally. However, stability is also necessary for the body to work optimally. Exercise, particularly strength training, is a fantastic way to improve your body’s stability.
Here are a few simple mobility exercises you can do at home to improve stability:
Building up the core muscles is something that many people find overwhelming, especially as doing exercises like crunches can feel uncomfortable. A plank or half-plank is a beneficial, simple, and full-body exercise that can be done anywhere. The trick with a plank is not to overdo it. There is no need to hold the pose for a long time. In fact, simply doing this pose regularly for small intervals each day, will benefit your upper body and core strength. To perform a plank or half-plank, simply lie on your stomach, push up on your arms and feet, then hold. For a half plank, keep your knees lowered. Make sure your stomach is not sinking down as this will put pressure on your lower back.
- Lunges or Warrior Pose:
Lunges can be a fantastic way to release tension in your hips and build strength in your knees and legs, while also giving a nice stretch in your hamstrings, quads, and groin. A lunge simply involves stepping one knee forward and the other leg back on a parallel line. To add to this pose and engage the upper body as well, simply pivot the back foot to the side, and extend the arms up, or to the sides for a Warrior Pose.
- Chest and Shoulder Openers:
There are a few ways to open up your chest and shoulders and improve both posture and mobility. One way is simply to lie on your back and stretch your arms up over your head. This will give you a great stretch in your core while opening your chest. Another exercise to open your chest is the Sphinx pose. For this one, you will need to be careful not to over-stretch when starting off, especially if your lower back is tight. But you can lie on your stomach and press your palms and elbows into the ground while lifting your head and chest up. This will create a big stretch in your stomach and chest. So again, start small and allow yourself time to ease into it.
- Arm and Shoulder Circles:
These simple exercises are beneficial to improve shoulder and arm mobility. Stand up and spread your arms out to your sides in a t-shape. With palms facing down, do several small circles then begin to form bigger circles until your shoulders are at full rotation. Do this in one direction. Then, turn your palms face up and repeat the circle movements with palms up.
- Hip Flexers/Circles:
Kneel on the floor with one knee raised. Imagine your pelvis is a bowl of water and tilt it forward. Then, raise your arm on the same side as your lowered knee and tilt to the opposite side. You will feel a stretch through your hip and side body. This is great for those of us who sit too much during the day.
- Pigeon Pose:
Another great one for the hips, lower back and glutes is the pigeon stretch, start by getting onto all fours on the ground. Then cross one leg behind the other and slide back. Come down onto your elbows. You will feel the stretch in your hip and glutes.
When it comes to improving mobility, even taking time to do a small amount of exercise regularly will benefit your overall health and quality of movement.
Whether you’re an athlete looking to simply improve flexibility or recover from an injury, or you have never done strength training in your life, you will see the benefits. An added benefit is that you will also experience greater and longer-lasting benefits from your chiropractic and massage sessions.