Wrist mobility

I was recently asked by an instagram follower how to improve wrist mobility.  Many lifters suffer from inadequate wrist mobility.  There can be some underlying factors to why the wrist lost its range of motion (ROM).  Injuries and lack of using the wrist though its full ROM is the most common reason for lack of mobility.  So first consider your past injuries, hobbies, and workout routines, you may have an old injury that is limiting you from full ROM.   Do you use the full ROM that you need?  If not, the increased mobility will not stick around for long.  Or maybe you need stability some where else, thats gonna be a different blog post.  

So lets think about what joints may have an effect/affect on the wrist (yes it can go both ways).  The elbow, glenohumeral (shoulder/GH), Scapulothoracic (ST), and Thoracic spine (T/S).  Lets go down the list and add the functions to the joints.  M=mobile, S=stabile, Wrist= M, elbow= S, GH= M, and ST= S T/S= M,  If you're having trouble with increasing mobility, then you may need to look at the other associated joints.  

SO back to the wrist, with a mobility band, place the band around the carpel bones. If the band is on the dorsal (back) side of the wrist, pull the hands and fingers into extension.  If the band is on the palmar (palm) side of the wrist, flex the hand towards you.  Try mobilizing with the fingers opened and closed, hold the mobility position for 30sec to a min.   It is possible to be hyper mobile (too much ROM).  If you have any pain in the wrist seek a professional before attempting to do this on your own. The stretch should be comfortable enough that you're relaxed and breathing normally, too much stretch will cause you to fight against the stretch.  Don't force the joint to become mobile.  Work on mobility a little bit at a time and work your way up.  Now the most important aspect of increasing mobility in any joint is... making sure you use the ROM every day. Practice adding light pressure in that new range, slowly build strength in the new range.  Adding too much load to fast will end in injury.  

When it comes to improving mobility or stability, it will always come down to core strength.  "Proximal stability for distal mobility" PNF concept.  If your core is not stable enough you will not be able to maintain mobility in other joints that are fighting against the mobility drills.  So If you are having a difficult time maintaining mobility, first see a professional, make sure that the joint is not compromised, then work on core stability.  I'll be writing a post on core stability and what not to do.  

Move smarter, move better, move pain free.


Your resting position can be affecting your pain!

The topic of sitting being the new smoking is getting notice all over.  Desk workers are asking for stand up desks to decrease back injuries.  It is true that sitting in a chair brought on a new level injuries.  Sitting in a chair is very unnatural for humans.  Our bodies are built for movement and function, not sitting for 3 to 6 hours in a chair.  When those movements and functions are not performed, our bodies will erase the muscular knowledge of being able to perform movement or posture.  In other works our bodies become stiff and tight. Most people just contribute the inability to age.  Well its not age,  it's that we don't get into those postures any longer (there are cultures who still perform these)

Take note to any difference in tightness from left to right.   This should be a comfortable position to sit in. (some may have knee pain with this position, if so modify the position to accommodate the knees)

Take note to any difference in tightness from left to right.   This should be a comfortable position to sit in. (some may have knee pain with this position, if so modify the position to accommodate the knees)

This position is known as a toe sit.  Dr. Craig Liebenson, and Anna Hartmans article Rest, Resilience, and Retuning the Body, describes 4 postures that humans did for millions of years as a resting position.  

Decreased big toe mobility will affect hip, sacroiliac joints and low backs.  The following is a chain reaction to decreased toe mobility,  The arch of the foot can not be fully loaded (less support and power), the ankle will decrease its range of motion, the hip can not fully extend, decreasing glute activation and hip mobility, lack of hip mobility increases stress on the low back.  The chain can continue all the way up, or pass over to the other side of the body.  Practice these rest positions in short periods often, and you will notice increased mobility during activity, less pain, stiffness and tightness, and increased resilience.  

Avoid Open Scissor Position

I want to lift like a competitive power lifter, and body build, and run marathons, and...

My people lift with a specific style because they see someone else doing it, or want to pretend to be a power lifter, or a crossfitter, or a weightlifter.  Theres two categories of people those looking to improve their health, their aches and pain. Then there are those who actually compete in weightlifting, power lifting, crossfit, bodybuilding, strongman, and endurance athletes.  Your workout should reflect your sport, or your goals.  Don't try to be good at everything, stick to what YOUR body needs.  

First I want to go over the open scissor position.  Go into any gym and you will see this posture in every lift.  The position refers to the positioning of the diaphragm and the pelvic floor.  Think of these two structures as the blades of the scissors.  open scissor position is when both structures are angled upward, like a pair of open scissors.  The spine is the point of access for these scissors.  This position creates a weak connection.  The core becomes unstable and decreases overall performance and strength.  

Your gonna say, then why is it that I am stronger when I do that.  Well you've done it for how long now, and your body is compensating for this lack of stability with other muscles.  Its only a matter of time that you injure your self, or have re-injure something.  

In order for the core to properly function, the diaphragm and the pelvic floor needs to be parallel.  This is the most stable position for your core, and low back.  The ribs should be set through out the entire movement.  At first your strength will be decreased, but once you strengthen your core, your PR (personal record) will continue to be broken.  Not to mention you will have less injuries along the way.  I have seen this position many different lifts, the most common is the squat, bench or chest press, deadlifts, and any over head lift.  

Power lifter do this in their bench press because it gives them a mechanical advantage to lift heavy weights. The moment arm is decreased, this allows them to bench press much more weight than the average person.  Don't forget that these are trained athletes, they have been working on strength and technique for years.  So don't confuse this with proper lifting for the average person.  

For the average joe who does not compete be smart about lifting, work on your weaknesses to improve overall health and durability.  If you see a new lift, or want to learn a specific style, seek out a professional (a true professional, not just some fitness person on instagram claiming to be a professional).  Find someone who has been certified in the specific style, or find a reputable strength coach.    

Here are is a small list of groups who teach proper lifting technique:

Kettlebells: Strong First, RKC

Barbell lifts: Certified strength and conditioning coaches, at least a level 2 crossfit coach, Strong first barbell cert.

Weightlifting: USA weightlifting coach

Core stability: DNS practitioners, followers of Stuart McGill and Craig Liebenson, some pilates and yoga teachers who DO NOT teach to suck the belly button toward the spine. 

Powerlifting and strong man: Actual competitive power lifting and strong man coach

"I feel so stiff getting out of bed"... I'll tell you why.

I often get asked, or told during a history, when I wake up in the morning and try to get out of bed my back is so stiff and achey.  When I start to move around and warm up my body feels fine.

This is a very common situation.  Why does this happen?  What causes the stiffness? And, why does it go away after some movement? 

Well lets consider the resistance that we fight against every day of our lives... GRAVITY!  When we lay down to sleep at night, our body has less spinal compression.  The intervertebral disc height is allowed to increase, water is pulled back into the disc. So when we go to get up in the morning the ligaments around the joints are slightly over stretched, which causes the stiffness and tightness.  Once you allow gravity to add some compression, the disc begins to return to the normal height, the ligaments are not over stretch, and the stiffness has improved.  

Go check out my instagram @sportschiropractor for exercises and videos on youtube MoveSmarter channel.  


NO MORE back pain!

I think you will agree with me when I say:

Chronic back pain is draining, and depressing.  Life is much different living with chronic back pain.

But what if you didn't have to live that way?

What would you do to not have pain, how much would you pay, how far will you travel?  Well, you can be pain free with out surgery, With out tons of gadgets, or hours of stretching and foam rolling.  You can get back to your hobbies, and not have to worry about back pain.  Just by adding THREE simple principles.  

Here's the deal.

80% of back pain is a  mechanical problem, improve the mechanics and the pain goes away.  BUT! you're gonna say well I have a herniated disc, or sciatica... Structural damage does not create pain.  Many people live pain free with herniated discs, torn ligaments, arthritis... Improve your spine, and hip mechanics is the first step.  The second step would be fix your posture, it doesn't have to be perfect 24/7.  Lastly adding strength will build resiliency.  

You can be pain free,

Dr. Daniel Cordero D.C.

Follow me on instagram @sportschiropractor of informative information, and call to get started on becoming pain free.

What will this blog contain?

This blog will inform readers about, correct movement, pain, fitness, exercises, and general wellness information.  

I was a former strength coach, and a personal trainer, I was certified by USA Weightlifting, RKC kettlebell instructor, NSCA Certified personal trainer, and NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning specialist.  I use my knowledge and experience in the strength and fitness background into my current chiropractic practice.  I do not treat like the majority of chiropractors, I would consider my treatment to be more like a physical therapist, rehab specialist.  I am not a physical therapist, so I can not call my treatment physical therapy.  Since I am a chiropractor with out a physical therapy degree I must be called physiotherapy or rehabilitation.  

If you become a patient of mine you will see the difference in my treatment compared to most chiropractors and physical therapist.  If you are looking to decrease injury, reduce pain, strengthen your weak links, come make an appointment.  You will be surprised how proper movement can solve most of your aches and pains.