Exercise needs to be part of a daily routine. It is known that exercise can ward away pain, opioid use, depression and can enhance activities of daily living from the basics to the sports that are played. Many
people participate in regular exercise but do not always know if they are positioned correctly to complete the task at hand.
Positioning can vary from gravity eliminated, gravity assisted or against gravity. The gravity eliminated and assisted positions are to be used when there is a weakness present. Trying to exercise a weak muscle against gravity is too difficult to complete the entire range of motion. By positioning yourself correctly, the other positions can possibly allow the muscle to contract through the full range. Then, when strong enough the gravity resisted position can be used.
Advancing further, weights can be added to the exercise while others use body weight as the resistance. Others combine the two. Any of these methods can contribute to your health and wellness BUT proper positioning is key to not utilizing the wrong muscles or damaging the joints being exercised.
All joints function properly when the normal biomechanics can take place during joint movement. There are many different types of joints and depending upon the anatomy and type of joint, motions take place. Some joints only move in one plane of motion while other move in two or three.
The bones slide forward or back, tilt, or roll and slide and move around an axis. The muscles attach to the joints and when they contract, movement occurs. Movement in the joints occur when the muscles (or gravity) act on the joint. Where a muscle attaches causes the bone to move in that direction. Proper balance of these muscles are essential for them to work synchronously to create purposeful movement.
If there is muscular imbalance, a joint can be rotated or tilted in an abnormal manner. If this is done repetitively, overtime, wear and
tear can occur and result in an injury. Proper movement is assumed. The body should work correctly, right?
Well, most have realized that this is not the case. If you are middle aged or older, chances are your joints are not what they used to be. In actuality many experience pain or dysfunction in at least one joint by middle age. Some of these injuries could have actually been caused by doing exercises incorrectly. Now muscles may be stiff, ligaments may
be stretched, bursa may be inflamed, and the bone or cartilage may be damaged.
A question is often asked, “How many repetitions should I do?” Can you imagine performing extreme amounts of repetitions with weights if joint dysfunction is present? Further breakdown can result. It seems this is happening to people every day. The muscle or joint breaks down, joint mechanics are altered and repetitive use further injures the area.
Do not fret about what to do.
Finding the right position can still allow you to participate in some
form of exercise. If imbalances are corrected and proper muscles are used, better joint mechanics can be accomplished and a progression towards a successful workout can be resume.
Don’t let exercise intimidate you! Participate and make yourself aware of your body and how it moves. Life is short. Stay connected.
To Your Health!
For further information please call Paula Allia, PT, DHSc, at the downtown Fitness Together (239) 263-9348.