I arrived limping, I left walking.
Tom, Maidenhead

New Year’s Activity Push


Now that the Christmas festivities and New Year celebrations are out of the way for another year, it’s time to get down to business and get fit again!  –  Sound familiar?

Our New Year’s resolutions are always made with the best of intentions, but sometimes we set ourselves up to fail without even knowing.

One of the main mistakes made, is that we go from being sedentary over Christmas, to throwing ourselves in at the deep end with our exercise.  Typically, this will feel pretty good for the first few weeks until we get injured, lose motivation and then wait for 31st December to come around again!

Don’t let it happen this year.

When starting out in exercise for the first time, or returning after some time out, we need to remember to prepare our bodies for the rigours of exercise.

Some simple mobility drills and a little bit of prevention work can go a long way to keeping you injury free.  Here’s how it works.

 

The lasting effect of the ‘Christmas Specials’ 

We all fall into the typical habit of spending extra time in front of the television watching the same old Only Fools and Horses or Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.  The problem with this, is that we spend increased time in a ‘flexed’ position.

By the end of Christmas, some of us end up only a few steps away from returning to the foetal position.

The issues created by spending long  periods flexed through the spine and hips, coupled with rounding of the shoulders, is that we lose our ability to extend.

The structures at the front of the body become restricted and do not allow the extension muscles to work adequately.

This can have serious effects on the majority of the activity we actually participate in, because most of them require us to be able to ‘extend’ in some capacity. Where you are running, playing a tennis shot, golf, swimming technique.  All need extension at multiple joints in the body.

If we take some time to mobilise these joints back into a more extended position, we can prepare our bodies for some of the movements before they get too stressed.

 

Try it Yourself:

  • Anterior Chest / Shoulder Release

Using fingertips, massage along the length of sternum, ribs and pectoral muscles. Spend 20-30 seconds massaging at each point.

  • Kneeling Hip Drives

Kneel on floor with one knee.  Keeping back straight and chest up, gently rock hips forwards stretching the front of the hip. Repeat 10-12 times.

  • Standing Hip Drives with Arm Swing

Standing with one foot forwards, toes pointing forwards.  Gently rock the hips forwards, reaching overhead with arm. Repeat 10-12 times.

  • Kneeling Arm Reaches

Start on all-fours. Reach one arm towards ceiling, turning through upper back. Keep hips as still as possible. Repeat 10-12 times.

Want some help with these exercises? Give us a call and book a one to one session with one of our Physios!

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