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Are your moving parts not moving anymore?

In my day to day routine, I’m always watching people … and no, not in a creepy way!  I am fascinated by body movement and watch how people pick things up, reach for things, walk, run, turn, etc.

Because of this, I train my clients with a focus on body movement and not just muscle movement. For example, your brain doesn’t know that you’re lifting a fork or a dumbbell as the movement is an arm curl, with different weights.

I met a couple in their home for a consultation, and part of the consult was to look in their pantry to see how they were eating.  I noticed that they didn’t have anything on the top or bottom shelves and of course, I asked why.

They told me that they couldn’t reach up or bend down.  This was also why they moved from a two story home to a single level one.  Have you ever noticed that the easier we make things, the less we move?  From the T.V. remote to cars with a back-up camera to escalators and elevators. 

As time goes on and we move less and we’re training our bodies to move less as well.  Basic movements are lost when you change what you do.  Your body will remember how to move through the space around you.  Do you take the stairs stimulating your hip, knee and ankle muscles?  Or do you take the escalator or elevator?  Do you reach and rotate to get things?  Or do you turn your whole body around?  Can you turn your torso and neck to see into your back seat?

The next time you see someone moving slowly across the ground, look at their feet.  Do they lift, shuffle or flex at all?  Without balance or strength in your lower legs you lose the confidence to lift your foot and do a single leg stance.   If all you do is walk on flat level floors and don’t stimulate your balance, you will lose that too. 

How far down can you squat?  Everyone starts with the ability to squat all the way down.  Just look at kids when they play.  Do you still have that ability?  Tight knees, ankles and hips are usually the problem as we age.  Squat as far down as you can (while reaching forward), where do you stop?  What stops you from getting your hips below your knees?

Are you able to reach high?  An assessment I do for my golf fitness clients is the overhead reach.  Put your back on a wall (feet 6″ from wall) with a ruler pressed between your lower back and wall.  With your thumbs up and arms straight, raise your arms as high as you can.  If you can touch the wall with your thumbs, excellent!  If you can’t, you should find out why.

Where in your shoulder are you tight?  Is it the front, back or underneath?  Being unable to reach high can be troublesome for getting things from the top shelf of your cupboards, or putting on a jacket, sweater or t-shirt, as your shoulders have lost their mobility.

Movement therapy by participating in yoga classes like ours, or resistance training focused on specific movements, will help get you there.  Just try to keep moving as much as you can. 

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