Thursday, June 14, 2012

How is your Range of Motion?

Please be absolutely certain to keep your lower/mid back flat on the floor during the entire time you are trying to do these movements. Never force. This is not about forced range of motion. It 's best to either memorize the steps or have someone read them to you as you put your body into each position.

Lie on the floor with your knees comfortably bent, feet pointing straight ahead and lined up below the corresponding hipbone. Press your lower back into the floor and maintain it there for safety throughout.

WARNING: If your back comes off the floor at any point during this exercise do not continue!

Bring your arms straight up perpendicular to the floor and shoulder width apart. (Shoulders stay back and on the floor.) Bend your elbows so that they are now parallel to the floor with loose fists acting as an extension of your forearms. Palms should face inward toward each other. Keeping that right angle open your elbows to the sides until they hopefully touch the floor. (Your arms should look like this
l_ 0 _l

If they touched that’s good if not you already found some muscle imbalance.

Next place the flat surface formed by your pointer finger curling

Keep that back flat and slowly inch those hands over head but make sure that you keep the flat surface I described touching the floor. Can you keep the flat of hand, shoulders and lower/mid back on floor, elbows totally straight and parallel to the floor with elbows behind ears and neck relaxed with chin neither up or down? If not you have found a decreased range of motion.

Ok now relax and place arms straight down at your sides and take a few breaths. Put your head in neutral position chin neither raised or tucked, let gravity turn your head to one side as far as it will go but DO NOT force it. If your nose isn’t pointing over your shoulder parallel to the floor you have decreased range of motion. Now check the other direction.

There are other self tests one can do to assess for muscle imbalance with both upper and lower body but that’s another subject for another day.

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