Happy Thursday to you all!
Today I selected the subject of the kinetic chain because last week I spoke to a number of my clients about its importance as well as its uniqueness pertaining to each individual. What is the kinetic chain? Well, in simple terms it is "the relationship or connection between your nerves, muscles and bones" as defined by the National Academy of Sports Medicine. If you are out of alignment because of a scoliotic curve, an abdominal split, or virtually any type of injury be it knee, hip or ankle, your kinetic chain will most definitely be disrupted.
This week I worked with someone who broke his wrist. Not only does his wrist feel uncomfortable, he is also twisting to one side to compensate for the injury. Two others with scoliotic curves in their spines are both suffering in varying degrees with bunions on one foot. One individual's S curve is actually creating a bunion while the other individual's bunion has already progressed into severe hip pain and IT Band issues. Working on correcting the alignment of the kinetic chain throughout the entire body can help these symptoms to lessen and sometimes, with patience, improve altogether without any invasive actions.
For all 3 of these clients I choose to start from the top: typically the twist in their spine continues from head to toe, so I begin with proper head alignment over the shoulders. The shoulders are often crooked, or one is higher than the other because the muscles on the tops of the shoulders are overused on one side. The ribs can be twisted, causing one side of the ribcage to push forward. The hips can be elevated on one side and/or twisted, causing the hips and/or knees to be either too far inwardly rotated or externally rotated. Finally the feet can pronate, rolling in on the arches, or turned in or out depending on the person. It works best and is most effective to align the spine against a wall to check and correct these compensations.
Here is a 3 exercise combo to help correct a twisted spine illustrated in the video below. Remember, if your spine is twisting toward the right, you want to perform an exercise twisting towards the left and vice versa. Keep in mind that one side needs lengthening while the other side needs strengthening, so performing a side bend with the right side and then twisting to the right using the left arm will help strengthen the left side of the spine. The balance on the left at the end of this exercise combo is for aligning the hips and strengthening the typically weaker stabilizing leg through the glutes and lengthening the hamstring. Lifting the right knee strengthens the lower abdominals on the right side. Don't forget the alignment of the feet and ankles. It's hard to believe that a little bunion can be made better by working on all of these various body parts, but hopefully you can see that with a little patience and persistence anyone can create strength and length in their body. You can also see my little imperfections in my body in this video if you watch closely... it's good to know, no one is perfect. :) Ginger
As I awake to this glorious first day of 2016, I feel inspired to share my thoughts on creating successful, realistic goals that I can keep throughout this entire coming year….
Many of us feel motivated right in this first week of a new year to get organized about getting healthy and making all those fitness goals we felt we had no time for in the previous year. However, as the weeks continue, it is difficult to maintain our goals, perhaps because we begin with such gusto that we create some ideas that are a little bit superhuman. SO my motto this year is to take baby steps. I want to set attainable goals that I can carry through ALL THIS YEAR and I want to help you to do the same for yourself. For instance, if I haven't run even a quarter mile 4-5 days per week for the last several months and I suddenly decide that I should enter and run in the upcoming LA Marathon that is only a month away, that might be taking on too much too soon. I will most definitely burn out quickly and I might even create an injury because my body needs a longer time block for conditioning.
I personally have new clients who are always coming into a new year with huge weight loss goals right out of the gate. Let's try this: Begin with the goal of getting into shape. Committing to an attainable goal of working out just 3 days per week, for one hour per day ALL YEAR LONG. The weight will come off naturally if you make the commitment to yourself to stick with this goal that you've set for yourself. Remember, slow and steady wins the race. I'm not saying that we shouldn't aim high, but rather take smaller steps so that we keep our goals in a place that they can actually be achieved. Just think if you commit to this one simple goal, that marathon could be something to add to the list of goals next year. Here's to the best year yet!