Ginger Daniels Movement Specialist
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
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