, ,

HOW TO IMPROVE MOBILITY

In this photo Roy Khoury shows a local Southern California section PGA (SCPGA) instructor an assessment for mobility to check body swing connection Roy_Khoury_Fitness

In this photo Roy Khoury shows a local Southern California section PGA (SCPGA) instructor an assessment for mobility to check body swing connection Roy_Khoury_Fitness

If you had a rusty hinge that was getting tougher and tougher to move but you needed to use it on a regular basis would you…

A) Re-align the hinge and oil it so it would work smoothly
B) Apply more pressure to get it moving
C) Ignore it altogether and don’t use it

I hope you answered A) Re-align the hinge and oil it so it worked smoothly.

So what does a rusty does a hinge have to do with golf or fitness?  Let’s think about joint pain and flexibility.  I wish the answer to joint pain and movement for the body was as easy as spraying a little WD-40 on it, but its not.

Many people live with joint pain.  Doctor’s tell us it’s bone on bone pain, degenerative joint disease or arthritis.  Live with it, take some Advil or Tylenol when it flares up, etc then when the time comes we will replace it. I disagree, surgery is always a last option only.
As someone that specializes in optimizing movement, I see a lot of people choose and live with B) Apply more pressure to get it moving.  People just tough it out and power through whatever they need to do, aggravating the injury and not doing anything to change what may be causing it.
I also see a lot of C) Ignore it altogether and don’t use it. I refer to it as couch therapy; rather than try to find a better way people sometimes decrease movement, avoiding whatever irritates it.  Instead of running they use the elliptical, when that hurts they go to the bike, when that hurts they go to the pool or get to a point of not moving at all and just lay on the couch medicate themselves.
So you may be thinking, my joints hurt, how do I improve my situation? Mobility training.  The best advice I can give people is not the easiest but with consistency it works and it gets better. When the body is allowed to heal itself it will, we just have to give it the right signals.
Here’s an example: say you have knee pain and there is discomfort bending your knee, my solution is:
1) Foam Roll- Sometimes surrounding muscles are too tense to allow for good movement of a joint.  Foam rolling helps to break up any adhesions or scar tissue that may be impeding movement.
*Click here to purchase a quality foam roller- I suggest the 3 ft long, 6 inch round roller for general use, or the 1 ft long, 6 inch round roller for travel

2) Stretch- Now that the muscle has been worked on and some tight tissue has been loosened up, stretch the muscles to allow for increased movement
3) Activate- Last thing to do movement wise is to use the muscles!  You can start with non-weight bearing movements then progress up to standing movements and weighted exercises as the joint becomes more stable and strength is gained through a greater range of motion.

Beyond mobility training some other things to incorporate are:

1) Hydration- Most people do not drink enough water.  We all know what beef jerky is right? DEHYDRATED MEAT, that being said you don’t want beef jerky for your muscles do you?  Poor hydration causes the muscles to restrict movement which ultimately will affect joint movement.  It’s so simple but such a common problem.

2) Fats- You may consider supplementing with Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oils, flax seed oil, etc).  Omega-3’s help to decrease inflammation in the body which will help with joint mobility.  The western diet is typically low in Omega 3’s.  Try supplementing 1 quality Omega 3 capsule with each meal and see if that doesn’t help improve your mobility.

3) Decrease grains and dairy products- Many people (whether the know it or not) are intolerant to gluten (grains) and lactose (dairy).  Although the media says these are healthy things for us you may need a little break from them.  Try eliminating 1 of them from your diet for 2-3 weeks then re-introduce it.  If you symptoms decreased while you were off that product, then return after adding the product back into your diet you may be intolerant to that product and without knowing aggravating you.
*Check out Dangerous Grains for more info on Gluten intolerance.

Enjoy!