Common Myths About Mobility

Common Myths About Mobility

Mobility is the ability to actively control the range of motion your body is able to produce. This means, you may have more passive range of motion (ex: sitting in a split), but if you can’t actively lift your leg into a split while standing, then you are lacking full mobility in that range of motion. This is the difference between passively stretching, called flexibility, and actually having control of your body with mobility.

Let’s discuss some of the common myths I hear very often of some techniques and tools that can help mobility.

MYTH 1:

I need to SMASH into my tissue with barbells, foam rollers, and lacrosse balls to release my muscle tissue or fascia.

False. As research continues to progress, this simply is just not true. It requires nearly 200 TONS of force to truly deform fascia (the overlying connective tissue that covers and connects all our muscles). If it was so easy to lay on something to cause a true “release” we’d have extremely loose butts from sitting all day long and increased pressure from the chair.

Unfortunately, quite the opposite is true. When we roll, or even get a massage, we are actually STIMULATING receptors within the tissue/fascia/body to RELAX through the nervous system. So, it is more about relaxing rather than releasing. I cover this much more, plus the proper techniques on HOW to use a foam roller more effectively in THE MOBILITY METHOD.

MYTH 2:

I must maintain neutral spine at all time to avoid back pain.

Again, not necessarily true. Believe me, I teach and train how to find neutral spine because I believe it is important. BUT, if we fear movement, we also increase sensitivity to pain just by telling the brain that a certain movement is “bad.”

We move, bend, twist, turn all through life. Even when walking! If we lose our ability to twist the spine during gait, we often increase force through the hips and knees and end up with stiff necks! So learning how to safely and effectively keep that spine young is essential to our health. Check out how to safely increase spinal mobility through THE MOBILITY METHOD.

MYTH 3:

I need to roll out and stretch my IT Band (iliotibial band) to relieve my knee pain.

Oy. This goes back to Myth #1 a bit. The IT Band is REALLY thick fascia. To think that we’re ever going to be breaking and releasing that up to relieve knee pain is just silly.

What COULD work is rolling along the side of your quad (not directly on the ITB) to try to RELAX that quadriceps tightness. But I generally believe that the knee is the victim to limited hip mobility or ankle mobility. When the joints above or below become stiff or lose mobility, the joint in the middle will often take on more than it can handle to compensate. Hence, knee pain. To see if your hips or ankles could be causing your knee pain, check out THE MOBILITY METHOD.

MYTH 4:

Stretching will decrease my strength and power for performance.

Mindless stretching will not be beneficial. But stretching with a purpose to increase true mobility will only INCREASE strength and power. Mindless stretching means holding a position for 10-30 seconds one time after a workout and expecting any kind of carry over to the next day. Or stretching areas that are already very open just to stretch them with no specific carry over to what is actually limited in your body.

PURPOSEFUL mobility happens when we find the areas that are tight and restricted within our OWN body, consistently focus on them daily and find strength and control at the end range of motion for carry over into strength training. For videos on purposeful mobility to increase your workouts and performance, check out THE MOBILITY METHOD.

Decrease Low Back Pain at Work

DESK JOB TERRORS
Finishing up this little desk series by addressing the lower body!
When sitting, the idea is to be seated directly over your “sit bones”, also known as your ischial tuberosities. Emphasizing sitting into more of an anterior pelvic tilt ⤵️ (hip bones forward toward thighs) helps you better find these sit bones and align the spine into a more natural state when you lean back directly over them.
Secondary to muscular restrictions, or just pain laziness 😜, we tend to fall into a posterior pelvic tilt when sitting which then flexes the entire spine forward, causing the rounded shoulders, stiff upper back, and forward head posture.
Let’s address the muscles that could be pulling us into this posterior pelvic tilt.
🎥: GLUTES! I show a stretch for that side gluteus medius and the piriformis. When seated in a posteriorly tilted position, not only are those glutes inactive, but they’re in a shortened position. Open them up with these stretches and then be sure to sit with BOTH feet on the floor. Stop crossing those legs ladies 🙅
🎥: HIP FLEXORS! These babies rest in a shortened position all day long at a desk. Get up and stretch them out! This standing one also helps to activate your posterior chain as you press through the toes, straighten the leg, and squeeze the glute as you drop the hip and stretch your anterior chain.
Think of reaching UP and over to the leg in front.

These are important!
Do them before leaving your job today and enjoy your weekend!

Proper Foam Rolling Techniques

FOAM ROLLING
This is something I prescribe on a daily to patients and I use myself to aide in warmups and reduce soft tissue restrictions.
@hypericeusa is one of the best on the market. I’ve seen patients and athletes using it daily who love it!
Besides bringing blood flow to tissues and aiding in acute flexibility increases, foam rolling in large works with your central nervous system to tell the brain to CHILL OUT. A foam roller stimulates the mechanoreceptors lying within the fascia (connective tissue overlying all your muscles), altering the activity of the muscles below.
Mechanoreceptors are sensory receptors under the skin detecting touch, pressure, vibrations and cutaneous (skin) tension. The @hypericeusa not only adds pressure to the myofascia like other rollers, but it also taps into the vibratory receptors for added effect.
Use code “DOCJEN30” to get 30% off! Only good until New Years Eve!
Foam Roller Demonstrations:
🔹Gastroc/Soleus
🔹Hamstring
🔹Quadriceps
🔹Thoracic Erector Spinae
🔹Lats
🔹Pecs (can also be done with vibrating ball!)
Goals: 3-5 minutes before and after every workout

How to Increase Wrist Mobility to Prevent Pain

WRIST PAIN
When speaking with a yogi, a pilati (making it a thing 😜), a gymnast or a weight lifter, it’s extremely common to find wrist pain when loaded in extension. Tomorrow I’ll explain why this can be affected all the way up to the shoulder and later on how this can even affect your neural tension (nerves 😱).
But today I just want to address all the things  💁we can do to help gain more wrist extension 🙏and to help take pressure (and pain) off of your wrists once you load them. Hardly ever do we load the rest in flexion, unless of course you’re one of my crazy calisthenic friends. There’s also rarely a time of the day when your wrist is going to reach full extension with the fingers extended in your daily movement. Yet, full wrist flexion is a common occurrence when opening jars or other objects. Just as well, those wrist flexors are working hard throughout the day as we carrying groceries, drive and even text 📱 No wonder that wrist extension gets so restricted and starts causing pain when you decide to force it! 🤔
DEMONSTRATED:
🔹Foam Roll! #everydamnday
🔹PNF = proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation stretching used to increase wrist extension flexibility
🔹Passive & Active stretches to increase that ROM!
🔹Finger Flexor stretches: because the flexor digitorum muscles connect all the way from the elbow to the fingers and could restrict extension range!
🔹Banded Joint Mob: place the band at the TOP OF THE HAND to assist in extension as you lean over. Hold about 10 seconds, 10 sets.

Decrease Neck Tension At Work

DESK JOB TERRORS
I am fortunate enough to be up and about working on patients. Unfortunately, most are sitting at a desk behind a computer. With the focus and intensity I’m sure most of you are putting into your work 😉 that nose starts to drift forward, the shoulders round, the upper back stiffens, the tailbone slips underneath you and suddenly you’re wondering why you appear to be shrinking
This week, I’ll suggest some of my favorite home remedies to prevent future pain.
🔶THE NECK🔶
🔹Forward Head Posture: this happens when the natural lordotic curve in the neck starts to straighten out over time. The deep neck flexors (front) become lengthened. The short neck extensors (back) become shortened.
🔹Suboccipitals: a set of 4 muscles reside directly under your head. When the neck is forward, these get extremely tight!
🎥 My favorite way to release them is with 2 tennis balls taped together. But I show it with one lacrosse ball. Followed by my favorite stretch. Think about rotating the head over an axis as you push the chin down & back and back of head up & forward.
🔹Deep Neck Flexors: there are 4 muscles in the front of the neck responsible for keeping the head in alignment. They go to sleep 😴 when the head falls forward.
🎥: I love activating them with chin tucks lying on the back first. BUT you can do them sitting anytime, anywhere. To advance them, try lifting the head up less than an inch. How long can you hold that while maintaining a double chin? It should be TOUGH when done correctly 😰
🔹Levator Scapulae: this muscle attaches from the high neck into the tip of the shoulder blade. This muscle typically feels the pain because it’s constantly working eccentrically to keep that head up at the desk!
🎥: Hold this stretche 30 seconds to a minute when feeling that pain creep up.
🔹Sternocleidomastoid (SCM): this muscle comes from the back of the ear to the from of the collar bone/sternum. With a forward head, it gets real nice and tight 👌
🎥: Hold the collar bone/sternum area, tilt the head away as the chin lifts toward the sky.

How to Touch Your Toes in Minutes

FORWARD FOLD uttanasana

Now that you know more anatomy than you probably need to, let’s address the brain more! How your brain interrupts the forward fold will determine how far it allows you to go.
A lot of people think the forward fold is determined from lower back flexion. Yet, you’re missing the first step if this is the case. –
🔹HIP HINGE: teaching the body how to properly hinge at the pelvis, moving into an anterior pelvic tilt is the first step toward a better forward fold. Shift your weight into your heels, keep your spine neutral, and draw your hip bones into your thighs
🔹SEGMENTAL FLEXION: gaining motor control through the entire spine will teach the brain how to fold through every segment rather than just the low back. –
🔹GAIN STABILITY: if the brain thinks there is a lack of control and you could fall, it could restrict movement. Thanks to my handsome model, Lewis Howes, we made his stabilizing muscles work harder and changed his surface to calm the brain down when once back to standing ground. –
🔹CORE CONTROL: by engaging in the core, we teach the spine to flex forward with control. This helps to tell the brain it is safe to flex forward and move toward the ground. Here, I have Lewis Howes pressing into the legs at various ranges while contracting the core to round the spine.

Increase brain control 👉increase your forward fold!

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