Improve your mobility and stiffness with strength

     

Let’s set the stage. You’ve been dealing with tight shoulders or tight hips for months. You spend 10 minutes before you work out on the foam roller, then    another 20 minutes of stretching after your work out. It feels good for a while afterwards, but the next day you’re right back where you started. What gives?

The problem is many people don’t have a mobility problem but a strength problem. More specifically, a POSITIONAL strength problem. So, what does that mean? To help you understand, here is the definition of positional strength:

The ability to maintain the proper positioning of a joint through a given range of motion under stress from exertion and/or resistance.

So when your mobility and stretching isn’t working, it may be because you’re dealing with a positional strength deficit. The problem comes not when your stretching or rolling, but when you’re working out or training.

Let’s use your shoulder for example. You start with 130 degrees of elevation or overhead movement, which isn’t too bad but still not within a proper range. You do some stretching and now you have 170 degrees! Awesome! But now you go right into your work out with push-ups and pull ups. Afterwards, your range goes back to 130 degrees. The problem was your body didn’t feel comfortable in that newfound mobility, so it compensated. When under stress, your body went back to what it knows, 130 degrees not 175.

Now let’s use the same example with a different approach (and we see this work in the clinic everyday). Instead of stretching before your work out, you do some strength work (see below for video). Now you still get the 175 degrees before you train but guess what? Now you maintained 160 degrees! Your body is learning to stay in better positions and it maintained more. And the more you work on it the more consistent it stays.

So, what do you need to do?

The first thing you need to do is assess your movement. You can check that out in our blog on self-assessment here.

https://xcelmp.com/blog/index.php/2018/07/24/know-your-movement-part-1/#more-44

 

The other 2 highly effective drills that can help with shoulders and hips are below:

Supine swords

Knee hold bridge

So there you have it! Try these positional strength drills before AND after your work outs for the next 2 weeks and you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how much better your mobility can change.

We’d love to hear your success so be sure to tag us in any of your videos or send us an email with your before and after pictures! You can email me directly at brian@xcelmp.com.

You can also get in touch with me for any other questions regarding mobility or joint stiffness problems.

Xcel your health,

Brian

 

Top Three Supplements You Should Be Taking

There are so many different supplements out there with so many different claims as to how they can help you.  Take this and get rid of your pain!  Take this and improve your athletic performance!  Take this and become a superhero!  Ok, ok that last one may be a tad dramatic but some labels will basically say that without so many words.  If you have a supplement routine that you love and is working for you…great!  However, there are three supplements that you should consider incorporating into your daily routine (if you aren’t already).

 

#1 – ZMA 

ZMA is a combination of zinc monomethionine/asparate and magnesium aspartate plus vitamin B6. It’s strongly supported by clinical research to be an effective supplement for enhancing muscle recovery, boosting the immune system, and aiding in improved sleep quality.  Ideally taken 30 minutes-1 hour before bedtime on an empty stomach for maximal absorption.

Zinc is know to boost immunity/fight colds, help with nutrient absorption,  has anti-inflammatory properties,  and acts as a powerful antioxidant agent.

Magnesium is involved in hundred of biochemical reactions in your body, may boost exercise performance, help regulate the nervous system, and can help relax you; therefore, improving sleep quality.

B6 is one of the 8 B vitamins that our bodies use to convert the food we eat into the energy we need to function.  B6 specifically keeps the brain and nervous system functioning properly.  It is also involved in the process of hemoglobin, the protein in your blood that carries oxygen throughout the body.  B6 also helps the body make serotonin (mood boosting hormone), norepinephrine (stress coping hormone), and melatonin (sleep regulating hormone).

Purchase here:

https://www.amazon.com/NOW-Sports-ZMA-90-Capsules/dp/B0013OZGQ0/ref=sr_1_5_s_it?s=hpc&ie=UTF8&qid=1533742617&sr=1-5&keywords=zma

#2 – FISH OIL

According to the U.S. Library of Medicine the average ratio of omega 6 fatty acids to omega 3 fatty acids has increased from as little as 1:1 to 30:1 respectively.  Omega 3 fatty acids (found in fish oil) are crucial in preventing heart disease and potentially lowering blood pressure.   Some studies show that it can also help in managing inflammation, improving eye health, skin health, and focus.  It can be tough to get enough omega 3’s via diet so supplementing with fish oil is ideal.  Be sure to get a quality supplement; unfortunately, a lot of the knock off brands contain a ton of fillers which will still make it tough to meet your daily need.  Liquid fish oil is absorbed better by the body making it more ideal than the capsule form.  I like SFH fish oil best.  Not only does is have sufficient EPA and DHA but it also provides 1000 IU of vitamin D3; most of us lack vitamin D and SFH tastes delicious so its a win, win, win!

Purchase here: 

https://www.sfh.com/so3-d3-omega-3-oil-8-oz.html

#3 – Turmeric Curcumin

Turmeric has been used in India for thousands of years as not only a spice but also a medicinal herb.  Curcumin is the main active ingredient in turmeric.  It has very powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.  Unfortunately, curcumin is poorly absorbed by the bloodstream so simply spicing your food with turmeric is not sufficient enough to reap the medicinal benefits.  This is where supplementing with turmeric curcumin comes into play.

Fun fact: if you take a black pepper supplement with your other vitamins/supplements they will be better absorbed by the body as black pepper increases absorption.

Purchase here (this one has black pepper included!): 

https://www.amazon.com/Turmeric-Curcumin-Bioperine-Joint-Relief/dp/B0112M60KI/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?s=hpc&ie=UTF8&qid=1533755949&sr=1-1-spons&keywords=turmeric+curcumin&psc=1

Summary 

We all have different health and supplement needs, but across the board these three will help you to feel well, sleep well, and overall be well!  ZMA boosts your immune system and improves your sleep quality.  Fish oil helps prevent heart disease and fights inflammation.  Turmeric curcumin also fights inflammation as well as being a strong antioxidant.  Sounds like three key ways to supplement you in your quest to leading a healthy lifestyle.  If you have any questions feel free to reach out to us via our contact page.  We hope this helps you to #feelwellwithxcel !

-Sarah Homer, Recovery Specialist

 

Want to read more?  

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/10-proven-magnesium-benefits#section11

https://www.everydayhealth.com/diet-nutrition/benefits-of-vitamin-b6.aspx

https://draxe.com/zinc-benefits/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3076650/

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/13-benefits-of-fish-oil#section7

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/turmeric-and-black-pepper#health-benefits