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3658 Mt Diablo Bl. Ground Floor
Lafayette, CA 94549

925-299-9642

Personalized Movement Center in Lafayette, Ca. offering Pilates, Fitness, Barre, Yoga, CoreAlign and more.  Classes, Private and Group instruction in a comfortable setting.  We offer Instructor Training from industry leaders in Movement education in Pilates, CoreAlign, Anatomy, Barre, Suspension training and more.

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Intelligent Fitness Blog

 

 

Katharine Santos

Wrist Mobility. Why?    

As we age we spend less time on our wrists leaving them susceptible to pain and discomfort especially when we put them in a loaded position. We need our hands and wrists to assist with pushing up from the ground, assist in pressing up to standing from a chair or to simply turn a door handle, move the steering wheel in a car and for cooking and cleaning inside and outside of our homes. If you’ve ever suffered from a wrist injury or been diagnosed with osteoporosis in your hands and/or wrists you will know how much discomfort the inflamed, immobile and weakened wrists can effect your everyday life. This is what the doctors say: 

The three most common osteoporosis-related fractures include vertebral fractures (the bones in the spine), hip fractures, and wrist fractures. “Osteoporosis-related wrist (distal radius) fractures represent about 250,000 fractures treated annually in the US1. The prevalence of osteoporosis in patients with wrist fractures is 34% for women and 17% and men. Wrist fractures are often the first sign of osteoporosis and incurring a wrist fracture results in a two to fourfold increase in the risk of a subsequent fracture compared with individuals with no prior fracture”. The Rothman Institute.

We’ve put together these simple Wrist Mobility movements to help you increase blood flow to the affected areas and to gently start to moving the wrists and hands through their full range of motion. Start slowly and always move within a pain free range of motion. 

Wrists Rolls: Clasp the hands together loosely in front of your torso and make a circular motion in one direction, repeat several times in both directions. Always move within a pain free range.
Wrist Waves: Interlace the fingers and make a wave like action starting by lifting your elbow and moving through the wrists. (think 70’s dance moves!)
Forearms Stretch: Gently place the back of the hands together allowing each surface to touch as much as possible. 
Fist Rolls: Make a loose fist with each hand, keep the forearms in a vertical position and then make circular motion with the fists. Work in each direction and remember, always move in a pain free range of motion. 

Movement of the Month-Crab

Katharine Santos

As we get closer to adding movements together we move onto the Crab. The Crab experience is a great way to increase one's shoulder strength and stability which is helpful for many activities from holding a young child on your hip, which takes tremendous strength, to lifting and unloading objects which we do in our every day life. As we grow older we can loose the ability to raise our arms over our heads, another great reason to stay strong and mobile.
 The relationship between our shoulder and hip strength is interesting; when one presents with shoulder pain it can often be related to a hip issue be it alignment, strength or stability. In the Crab experience not only do we work on the stability of our shoulders but we work on the alignment of our hips when we lift them off the ground. Our back extensors work along with our hip flexors helping us find the appropriate sitting posture.  Next month, we will talk about sitting, which when done incorrectly can be the cause of many low back, hip and shoulder issues. 

Crab

  • Sitting on the floor with your hips halfway between your hands and your feet, place your hands behind you with the fingers pointing away, if you hyper extend your elbows try having the hands pointing toward you. Place your feet hip width apart.

 

Crab bum up

  • With an exhale draw the abdominals in and lift your seat off the floor.

  • Think about maintaining the length in your spine, including your neck, and keeping a neutral pelvis. To maintain a neutral pelvis think about the natural arch in your lower back and maintain that shape as you lift.

  • Replace the hips back on the ground.

  • Repeat this motion a few times until you are unable to maintain your posture. Try holding the position with the hips off the floor for a few breaths.

 

   Crab bum down - Leg Lift

  • To deepen this experience try lifting one of your legs off the ground with the hips down. Think about lifting the foot a small amount off the floor rather than kicking out in front of you.

  • Repeat on both sides. Keep your shoulders and hips even, and your head steady, maintain a neutral spine.

 

Crab hips down - Arm Lift

  • Now try lifting one of your arms off the ground, bending the elbow is ok, avoid over shrugging the shoulder, be mindful of the postural points as before.

  • Once you have mastered this experience try lifting your right leg and your left arm, this is called a contralateral movement. (No photo)

  • You may notice that your posture changes to accommodate the movement, practice staying true to the alignment, neutral pelvis, lumbar in neutral and the shoulder, hips and head steady.


Crab Bum Up - Contralateral - Opposite Arm/Leg lift

  • To complete the Crab experience try doing the above movements with the hips up, we refer to this as Bum Up!

  • Have fun and remember, practice makes perfect!

Movement of the Month All Fours-Quadruped

Katharine Santos

Movement of the Month

All Four’s - Quadruped: Opposite Arm/Leg Reach

Another great exercise, and all you need is a mat. We love the Quadruped position for many reasons, its a great starting place for many exercises as well as a great back strengthening exercise.  It allows us to continue working on our head, neck strength, vital for so many of us that spend time at the computer and allows us to start to feel comfortable on our hands and knees which is one of the stepping stones for crawling. Why would you want to crawl? Crawling is a wonderful way to strengthen many movement systems  simultaneously and a movement we have done in our early years as children. It can be performed as a basic coordination exercise all the way to knees off the ground crawling which, if you ever tried it, is incredibly challenging! But before we get ahead of yourselves here are the guidelines for Quadruped/All fours.

  • With hands and knees on the floor, spread your hands wide and place them directly under your shoulders.

  • Check that your knees are under your hips and the spine is in neutral.

  • Remember to lift your head and chest to keep the head in line with the spine.

  • With an exhale drawing your abdominal toward your spine for stability reach and your left arm out in front of you. If you experience shoulder pain only reach your arm as far as comfortable.

  • With another exhale slide your right leg out behind you. If you feel steady take the leg off the floor and balance on your standing knee and hand. This position is often called Bird Dog.

  • Take a few breaths in this position paying attention to your neutral spine, breath and abdominals then lower and repeat on the other side.

  • When you start to feel steady try lifting the arm and leg simultaneously.

  • You can experience this movement with your toes flat or tucked under.

  • For variety, try this exercise with the arm and leg lifted to the side, sometimes called the Fire Hydrant.

  • To finish roll over your back for Happy Baby to stretch the back muscles

         

Starting position with toes flat

Starting position with toes flat

 Starting position toes under

 Starting position toes under

Opposite arm/leg reach

Opposite arm/leg reach

Opposite arm/leg to the side

Opposite arm/leg to the side