No More Pain With These 9 Moves
Holistic Living

No More Pain With These 9 Moves

Posted

17 September 2017

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As much as it is imperative to maintain an active lifestyle, it is equally important to focus on rest and recovery after every session of physical activity. Keeping fit or training for an event without enforcing after-care can lead to muscle imbalances and fatigue.

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The general consensus these days is to rest more, do less, take meds and undergo surgery. But, this is obviously just a quick fix. What does it mean when muscles are imbalanced? This is when there is insufficient strength and flexibility in the muscles inevitably leading to poor form.

Frederick Khoo, is a passionate physiotherapist whose main aim is to make a difference in the local rehabilitation scene, about what can be done to prevent strained muscles, bad posture and reduced performance. From years of experience treating injuries and helping people maintain their active lifestyle, he discovered that the following exercises were the most useful in preventing muscle imbalance.

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1. Modified Pigeon Stretch: Glutes

  • Kneel on all fours on a mat and keep your abdominals engaged, a neutral spine and shoulders stabilised
  • Pull your right foot to your left hand, keep your right knee to the right with your shin positioned perpendicularly to the front
  • Slide your left leg back and in towards the centre and keep your hips and torso squarely facing the front
  • Do not let your right glute touch the floor and slide your left arm around your torso towards the mat
  • Push down slightly with your right hand to make your torso rotate to the right
  • Hold for 20 seconds. Do three sets on both sides

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2. Hip Flexor Stretch: Hip Flexors

  • Kneel on a mat with your torso upright keeping your glutes and abdominals engaged, a neutral spine and shoulders stabilised
  • Place your left foot forward keeping your hips and torso squarely facing the front
  • Push your hips forward – your left knee will bend slightly. Avoid arching your lower back, contract abdominals and right glute to create a ‘tail bone tucked under’ movement, which will create the stretch
  • Hold for 20 seconds. Do three sets on both sides

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3. Side Bend Stretch: Obliques, Lats (back muscle)

  • Stand one foot away from a wall with your left side closest to the wall
  • Step back with your right leg and place your left leg into a half lunge position keeping your torso squared, glutes and abdominals engaged and shoulders stabilised
  • Place your left palm flat against the wall at hip level with your fingers pointed back
  • Bend sideways towards the wall and place your right palm against it with your fingers pointing back
  • Push your left hand slightly against the wall to create more stretch on the right side of your waist and lats. Keep your right palm on the wall while your right arm straightens at the top
  • Hold for 20 seconds. Do three sets on each side

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4. Chest stretch: Pecs (chest muscles)

  • Using the corner of two walls, stand one foot away from the corner
  • Place your right in the corner, place elbows against the wall at shoulder height
  • Push your right knee, hips and chest as close to the wall as possible while keeping your abdominals engaged and shoulders stabilised
  • Hold for 20 seconds. Do three sets on each side

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5. Upper trap stretch: Upper trapezius (major muscle in the back)

  • Stand with your right shoulders stabilised (pressed down and backward) and chin tucked in
  • Hold the right part of your head at the area above the right ear with your left hand
  • Tilt your head to the left and use your left hand to gently push down slightly
  • Hold for 20 seconds. Do three sets on each side

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6. 4-Point Spine Twist: Strengthen mid-back and facilitate thoracic rotation

  • Start in an all fours position. Keep abdominals engaged, a neutral spine and shoulders stabilised
  • Place your right hand on your forehead with the palm facing the mat
  • As you inhale, twist your chest to the right with your right elbow pointing to the ceiling and squeeze the middle of your back keeping abdominals engaged, chin in, shoulders stabilised
  • As you exhale, return to your starting position
  • Repeat the last two steps for 10-20 repetitions (one set). Do three sets on each side

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7. Hamstring Stretch: Hamstring

  • Stand with your body squarely facing a platform – preferably below hip height with soft firm surface
  • Place your right leg on the platform keeping both legs straight and hips squared
  • Pull your right hip back slightly by sliding your right foot back, then drop your right hip
  • Move your left shoulder towards the right leg as this will increase the stretch
  • Hold for 20 seconds the repeat on the other side. Do three sets

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8. 10-10 Glute Bridge: Strengthen Glutes

  • Lie down on the mat facing up, with your knees bent and feet hip distance apart. Keep a neutral spine, shoulders stabilised and arms straight down the side of your body with palms facing down
  • Lift your hips into the bridge position and squeeze glutes. Keep hips squared and facing the ceiling with abdominals engaged
  • Repeat the last two steps for 10 repetitions. On the last rep, hold hips up for 10 seconds. Do three sets

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9. Plank: Strengthen Abdominals

  • Kneel on all fours on a mat with your elbows at shoulder distance and your knees at hips distance. Keep a neutral spine and shoulders stabilised
  • Straighten your legs while squeezing your abdominals and glutes as hard as you can
  • Hold for 20 seconds. Do three sets

Disclaimer: You may experience some pain due to muscle imbalances. Discomfort should reduce after performing these exercises. If pain persists, seek your closest physiotherapist for advice.


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