Prioritise these key areas:
- Every joint in the body requires a certain amount of mobility and a certain amount of stability in order for the body to produce efficient movement patterns. According to the joint by joint approach (Boyle and Cook), some joints/regions of the body require more mobility and some joints require more stability
- If the joints that are supposed to be mobile are not mobile, then the joints that are supposed to be stable are forced to be more mobile (creating problems with movement and motor control, and being a risk factor for pain and injury)
- The 3 joints/regions that happen to be most commonly stiff and restricted are the ones that are supposed to be some of the most mobile: The ankles, hips, and thoracic spine
– Ankles: good dorsiflexion, in particular, is needed for movements such as walking, stairs, squatting etc. Locked up ankles = problems upstream and downstream. So get some fresh air and go for a walk!
– Hips: A ball and socket joint that should have a ton of mobility. Stiffness here is very common, and our sitting and sedentary lifestyles are the biggest root cause. Stiffness here affects many other regions (knee and low back in particular). Exercises to improve hip flexibility will help a lot.
– Thoracic spine: another commonly stiff area that should be moving a lot. Sitting and habitually flexed postures being a big root cause. Shoulder, neck, and low back dysfunction is often a result. Back stretches will help you to keep the thoracic spine mobile.
Get the right areas moving!