Monday, December 2, 2019

Daily Quick Stretching!


Daily Quick Stretching! 

Having a good stretch once or twice a day feels good and can help prevent injuries (flexible muscles can do more), improve your posture (and as a result help with back pain), increase blood and nutrients to your muscles, and help you to feel less stressed. 

Here's what I do: 

Spinal Stretch – lie on your back, bring your knee to your chest and then across your body. So your right knee will go over to the left side of your body. Hold this for at least 30 seconds. Then stretch the other side. 

Forward bend – Sit with your legs straight out in front of you stretch your arms up to the sky and then bend forward as far as you can. 

Spinal Twist- still sitting with your legs in front of you, bend one knee to your chest then twist your body and hug your bent leg.

Other quick stretches (you can do these at your desk) 

Clasp your hands behind you and pull back to stretch your chest. 

Hold your arm in front of your body and stretch it into your chest 

Stretch your neck from side to side or do neck rolls 

I bet you are feeling better already!

Also check out You Tube for some quick stretching routines: 

5 office stretches 
5 minute yoga 

Stave Off the Winter Blues with Massage Therapy

Stave Off the Winter Blues with Massage Therapy
There’s no escaping the truth; winter is coming around again. The days are going to start getting shorter and the sweaters are going to have to come out of the wardrobe. It’s not unusual for people to get the ‘winter blues’ – which is a condition many people in the northern hemisphere are afflicted with due to lack of sunlight during the colder and darker winter months.
The good news for everyone is that massage therapy can help increase health happiness for everyone during the cooler months of the year. Here a few reasons why…
Massage May Help to Banish Seasonal Affective Disorder
As we’ve mentioned, Seasonal Affective Disorder – sometimes known as the winter blues – is a problem for many people when there’s less natural sunlight. This is because sunlight causes the brain to release a feel-good chemical called serotonin that improves our mood. When there’s less sunlight, less serotonin is produced, which can lead to low mood, lethargy and difficulties in getting out of bed in the morning. In some people it can even cause serious depression


enough to warrant visiting a doctor. It’s not a happy place to be, but the good news is that booking in a regular massage can help to lift a low mood. A regular massage session will help to relax stressed minds and bodies, as well as releasing the serotonin and endorphins, the same chemicals produced by the body when you’re happy.
It Can Give Your Circulation A Boost
Massage therapy may also help boost circulation during a time of the year when nobody wants to get up and go outside for a run. Everybody knows that getting regular exercise helps keep circulation running smoothly, and also gets the oxygenated blood pumped around our bodies faster. This is all very well, but a lack of movement in the winter months can result in feeling sluggish, while poor circulation can lead to lethargy, aches, and pains. Here’s where a massage has extra benefits; it can help blood to pass through any congested areas and boosts overall flow, which also helps the lymphatic system to remove waste that builds up. At the same time, massage is well known to help decrease blood pressure.
It May Help Your Body to Fight Off Minor Infections
For anybody that’s prone to suffering from colds and infections during the winter season, massage might be the way forward. It’s been found that massage sessions can help to boost the effectiveness  


of the immune system, helping to fight off the bugs and viruses that circulate in offices, shops, and schools at this time of year. A gentle massage of the area around the lymph nodes also encourages white blood cells to circulate, and as this increases blood flow it also stimulates the white blood cells to start fighting any infection in your body.
These are just a few of the many benefits that massage therapy can bring during winter. Of course, there’s also the feel-good aspect of a warming hot stone massage, delicious aromatic massage oils and even just the act of taking time out to look after yourself when you need it.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

What is Cannabis Yoga?

What is Cannabis Yoga?
Hello, I am Riana the Cross Faded Yogi, I am a mobile cannabis wellness studio focused on education and building a global community. With a non-judgmental approach to plant medicine and spiritual practice, I offer an inviting space for elevated people to awaken their senses.

My hopes are to do my part in de-stigmatizing cannabis users and showcase the truly educated and conscious beings who are today’s “stoners.” Educating others on the benefits of using the medicinal factor of cannabis and ways to use the plant as an aid in reaching a higher consciousness are all goals of The Root.

Cross Fade Yoga is an outlet for people to consume cannabis in a responsible manner in order to seek their inner light through the mind, body and spiritual practice of yoga. 

Helping you build a lifestyle of mindfulness for your environment and your own personal health and expressing yourself in a unique, chic manner wherever you might be. 

Consuming cannabis before a yoga class allows you to become more present on the mat and hone in on the mind-body connection a little easier.  I have always found it difficult to slow the mind down during seated meditation and even during a vinyasa flow, but with cannabis, I am able to control the mind and focus on my body and what it is asking of me and telling me.  

The Root will take practitioners through a guided flow asking them to tune into their bodies to learn more about what the body and mind need from them. Once we are able to satisfy our physical needs (i.e. tension in the body) we can begin to release tension and chatter in the mind to connect to our higher self – the spirit. 

Connecting the mind, body, and spirit is the highest objective of yoga and something we should all work toward every time we are on our mats. 

Bhakti Yoga is the practice of union through love and devotion. At The Root, we practice Bhakti through dance and free form movement. Whether that be through freely flowing on your mat, incorporating your own movement and stretches, or through literal dancing and chanting -you can practice Bhakti.
 
During class, I will offer up the opportunity to express yourself freely on your mat as a form of self-expression and letting go. There is something very freeing about letting go of your inhibitions and just dancing!  I’ve found that cannabis gives me a little more courage to practice Bhatki on my mat.
 
My belief is this class will provide students with the guidance they need to tune into their bodies, to heal from within, using both yoga and cannabis, as well as, connect the mind and body for a deeper physical, and spiritual connection. 

Sunday, September 29, 2019

WHY CORE STRENGTH IS IMPORTANT

Clipped from: https://www.shape.com/fitness/tips/why-its-so-important-have-core-strength

Stop seeing abs work as an aesthetics-only endeavor. After this, you'll consider your core your most important muscle group.
For as long as crop tops, bikinis, and, well, Britney Spears have been around, there's been an all-consuming obsession with having a flat, six-pack stomach. Eavesdrop on a personal training consult and, more often than not, you'll hear the client say, "I want abs." Take a peek around the gym and you'll probably see half the population cranking away at crunches, bicycles, the ab wheel, and other core moves that'll make it hurt to laugh tomorrow. (Ex: this insanely hard obliques workout.)
Don't get us wrong, it's hella important to have a strong core. But it's about time we appreciate this ever-important muscle group for what it really does, and stop placing all its value on its resemblance to a pack of Coke cans.
These reasons will convince you to stop seeing your abs as a vanity project, and start seeing the beyond-skin-deep benefits of working it out.

Your core is your entire support system.

Your core muscles play a huge role in your everyday activities, from getting out of bed, to walking down the street, and bending over to grab your purse-but, most importantly, they literally help you stay upright.
"That's because your core muscles are the base of support for your entire body," says Meredith McHale, P.T., D.P.T., regional clinical director at Professional Physical Therapy. They completely surround and support your spine and pelvis and connect your upper body and lower body, effectively transferring forces from one to the other.
Here's an anatomy refresher: Your abs aren't just one muscle. The deepest layer of abdominal muscles, and arguably the most important, is your transverse abdominis (sometimes called the "corset" or "Spanx" of the core), which stabilizes your spine and pelvis. Then you have two layers of oblique muscles, which control lateral flexion (think a side bend), rotation, and other spinal movements. Last but not least is the topmost muscle, the rectus abdominis, which runs vertically in the front of your abdomen and is the muscle you see as a six-pack. It flexes your torso forward, like in a crunch.
And when you're talking about your whole core (versus just your abs), there are even more muscles involved: your pelvic floor muscles, the back muscles that stabilize your spine, and your diaphragm (the main muscle involved in breathing), says McHale.
"A strong core helps keep a more upright and erect posture whether you're being active or just sitting at your desk," says McHale. Think of it like the tree trunk of your body (albeit a lot more mobile): It has to hold its ground so that your branches (arms and legs) can do their ~thing~ any which way.

Core strength is crucial in every movement you do.

That stable base is super important when you start moving: "The ab muscles play a dominant role in movement in every plane of motion: sagittal (forward and backward), frontal (left and right), and transverse (rotational)," says Scott Mitsiell, C.S.C.S., strength coach at Soho Strength Lab in New York City.
Even when they don't seem important, your core muscles are often the first-and most important guest-at the party.
"Typically, the core muscles fire or activate prior to us doing an activity," says McHale. "Our nervous system anticipates the activity, and braces for support, really, when we go to do anything. If you don't have that core stability and support acting as a brace or a girdle for your spine, you're likely going to compensate with other muscles."
And, ICYDK, compensating is a quick route to injury: "A weak core is the number-one risk for potential injuries, especially lower-back injuries," says Kristina Jennings, a certified functional strength coach at Mike Boyle Strength and Conditioning in Boston. Research shows that core strength training (and training the deep trunk muscles specifically) can help alleviate lower-back pain.
"While back injuries are very common with a weak core, you can also injure other parts of your body as a result, like your shoulders, hips, and knees," says McHale. Even if a weak core isn't the sole reason for a person's injury, it usually plays a part, which is why McHale says she almost always incorporates core work into her patients' rehab.

You need to build enough core strength before you can build strength anywhere else...

For the most part, core strength is what keeps you from being able to complete or continue an exercise-even in moves where you're not primarily working your abs, says Mitsiell. For example: During push-ups, are your hips sagging? Is your lower back arching and is your stomach is touching the ground first? In an overhead press, does your lower back arch and ribs pop forward to get the weight up? In a deadlift, does your back hurt or are you forced to either hunch forward or extend (arch) your back? In any of these cases, it's likely you have weak abs, he says.
That's why many exercise programs-like the American Council on Exercise's Integrated Fitness Model-call for core stability and joint mobility work before introducing any other exercises. Building the proper base will not only help you avoid injury, but will help you perform better too. A study of runners published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that runners who did six weeks of core strength training increased their speed in a 5000m run.

...but you need to use it correctly.

Having a strong core is just one part of the equation, though; you also need to know how to use it. "The majority of people who come in to see me have weak abs," says Mitsiell. "But often, they're not necessarily weak-their body just isn't in the optimal position to use them, and may just not know how to 'turn them on.' This could be due to prolonged sitting, hunching, or even overextending/arching (which is what many people think good posture is)."
McHale agrees: "It's more about increasing the person's awareness of the muscle, then once they're able to activate it, it's much easier to activate that muscle in all exercises." Use these tips to learn how to engage your core, and follow these instructions to make sure your core is working during all your workouts.
But before you add massive sets of Russian twists and leg lifts to your workout, listen up: "You're at a higher risk for injury when repeating patterns such as flexion and rotation of the spine (ex: crunches or medicine ball twists) if done too frequently or incorrectly," says Jennings. Instead, focus on stabilization or anti-rotation moves that keep your back from going into extension, like planks, she says. "Surprisingly, performing squats, farmer's carries, and push-ups are also great ways to improve your core strength since it's the main stabilizer and must be actively engaged throughout the exercise."
And next time you catch yourself counting abs in the mirror, remember: It's what's deeper that really counts.
  • By Lauren Mazzo

UNILATERAL TRAINING


Muscle imbalances, be gone.
What do one-legged doggy styleBulgarian split squats, and tossing a frisbee have in common? They all technically qualify as unilateral training—the underrated, highly beneficial style of exercise that involves working one side of your body at a time (don't @ me, the sex position counts!).
"Unilateral training is one of the most overlooked training styles there is, but it's so important," says Alena Luciani, M.S., C.S.C.S., a certified strength and conditioning coach and founder of Training2xl. "Yes, it can build a more symmetrical body, but it can also help prevent injury, give you the extra strength you need to bust through a plateau, and improve stability and mid-section strength." Not too shabby.
But, what exactly is unilateral training and why is it so damn effective? Here, Luciani and other strength experts share the 411 on unilateral training—including how to add it to your workout regime.

What Is Unilateral Training?

If you took Latin in high school—or know what a unicycle is—you likely understand that "uni" means one, and therefore can deduce that unilateral training entails using one of something.
"It's any training that entails isolating and using the muscles on one side of the body at a time—as opposed to distributing the workout evenly between both sides as you do with traditional, bilateral training," explains Luciani.
For example, a pistol squat (also called a single-leg squat) entails keeping one leg raised in the air, then squatting all the way to the floor using the strength of the single, standing leg. That's a unilateral move. One the other hand, the basic air squat or barbell back squat are bilateral moves that work both sides at the same time.

Why Is Unilateral Training So Important?

Raise your hand if you have a dominant side of your body. Tricked ya! Everyone has a dominant (stronger) and non-dominant (slightly less strong) side of the body—whichever arm you raised is likely your dominant side.
"We are all naturally stronger on one side of our body than the other," explains Luciani. For instance, "if you write with your right hand, your left arm is weaker and if you always take your first step upstairs with your right leg, your left leg is weaker."
These strength imbalances are typically more pronounced in athletes, says Luciani. For instance, if you're a runner, the leg that you accelerate off of is stronger than the other. While, if you're a pitcher or tennis player, the arm you use to pitch or serve is going to be more muscularly developed.
Yes, it happens naturally, but the trouble is muscular asymmetry isn't ideal. "Right to left, side to side, imbalances in the body are bound to happen, but you want the muscle tissues on each side of your body to be evenly strong and mobile," says Erwin Seguia, D.P.T., C.S.C.S., a board-certified specialist in sports physical therapy and founder of match fit performance.
And if they're not? Well, two things can occur. First, the stronger side can overcompensate for the other, further widening the strength gap between the two sides. Often, during bilateral movements like the bench press, push press, deadlift, or barbell back squat, the stronger side will do slightly more than fifty percent of the work, explains Allen Conrad, B.S., D.C., C.S.C.S. If you've ever squatted heavy and been more sore on one side compared to the other, that's because that side likely did more work. Basically, the dominant side picked up the slack. This can prevent the weaker side from catching up, strength wise.
The second possibility is that instead of the stronger side overcompensating, different muscles on the weaker side get recruited (that shouldn't get recruited) to help complete the movement. Let's use a heavy bench press for example: It primarily works the chest and triceps, with the shoulders and back acting as secondary muscles. If during the very end of the movement, one side is lagging behind—even if it's just an inch or two—your body may recruit more of your shoulders or back (and possibly even, yikes, your lower back) to complete the rep. (Related: Is it ever okay to have lower-back pain after a workout?)
Unfortunately, the potential consequences of imbalances are major. "The muscles on the stronger side can fall victim to overuse injury," says Luciani. "And the joints and muscles on the weaker side of the body become more vulnerable to injury."
There's another v important benefit of unilateral training: Improved core strength. "In order to keep you stable while you do these single-limbed movements, your trunk has to go into overdrive," says Luciani. "Any time you load one side of the body, it's going to work and strengthen the core." (A strong core has an insane amount of benefits—beyond just a ripped midsection.)

Test Your Muscular Imbalances

To reiterate, almost everyone has some degree of muscular imbalance albeit because of sport or just life. (#Sorrynotsorry. We're just the messengers!). If you're really concerned about being uneven, you can always consult a trainer or physical therapist for an evaluation. Otherwise, here's a rudimentary way to determine how imbalanced you are and learn how much you'd benefit from unilateral training.
Let's say you can bench press 100 lbs. You might think you should theoretically be able to press half of that weight with your right and left arm individually, but it doesn't usually work that way, says Grayson Wickham, D.P.T., C.S.C.S., physical therapist and founder of Movement Vault, a mobility and movement company. "It requires a lot from your stabilizing muscles to move weight on just one side and it takes more coordination with one arm at a time, as opposed to two," says Wickham. "Most people can lift closer to 30 percent when doing the one-limbed version of an exercise vs. the two-limbed version."
So, how do you test your muscle imbalances? Test each side separately. Try the single-limbed version of the movement, building up in weight very, very slowly to see which side is stronger, says Wickham.
Try this test with the single-leg deadlift, as an example:
  • Start with a bare barbell or relatively light dumbbell and do three reps in a row, per side.
  • If all reps on both sides were performed in good form, go up in weight, says Wickham.
  • Then, repeat. Continue adding weight until one side can't go any heavier with sound form.
More than likely, you'll be able to use a heavier weight on one side than the other. "If you still have gas left in the tank on one side and think you can lift heavier... don't," says Wickham. Instead, as soon as your form starts to deteriorate, stop and note how many pounds you were able to do lift and which side felt strongest. Don't be surprised if this weight is lower than you expected. "Single-leg deadlifts are way more challenging than deadlifts where both of your feet are on the ground because of the balance required," he says. The same can be said for many unilateral exercises like pistol squats, lunges, and step-ups, among others.
The goal here isn't necessarily to PR, but to see if the strength on each side of your body is equal. If you don't lift regularly, you can also test each side of your body with bodyweight moves too, keeping tabs on how many reps you can do on each side. (That will more specifically test your muscular endurance vs. muscular strength.) Remember: the goal of this test is to how you might be able to benefit from doing unilateral movements—you don't want to get injured in the process.

How to Incorporate Unilateral Training Into Your Workout Regime

Good news: It's not rocket science. Any movement that entails moving just one side of your body at a time is a unilateral exercise and, when done in good form, can help fix these imbalances.
Upper-Body Unilateral Exercises: Seguia recommends the single-arm overhead press, single arm chest press, single-arm row, bottom-up kettlebell press, and single-arm overhead walk.
Lower-Body Unilateral Exercises: In addition to single-leg squats and deadlifts, he says, "Any lunge is a great option." Try experimenting with walking lunges, reverse lunges, front rack lunges, rear elevated lunges (also called split squats), and curtsy lunges. Luciani adds that single-leg step-ups, single-leg weighted step-ups, and single-leg glute bridges are effective.
Full-Body Unilateral Exercises: Try  Turkish get-ups, windmills, and walking single-arm front rack carries. "I can't recommend them enough, because they tax and strengthen the whole body, one side at a time," says Seguia. (See more: 7 Dumbbell Strength Training Moves That Fix Your Muscles Imbalances).
When you're first getting started with unilateral training, stay within the 5-12 rep range and let your weaker side determine the weight you use, she says. "The goal here is to help the weaker side catch up to the stronger side, not necessarily to make the stronger side even stronger." Noted.
Two more tips: Start with your non-dominant side. "Load your less-strong side first so that you're tackling the weak side when your body is fresh," says Luciani. And keep the number of reps the same on each side, she says. (See above paragraph for a reminder as to why).
As for how to implement these moves into your routine? It doesn't reallyyy matter, according to Luciani. "Truthfully, unilateral training could replace all your bilateral training because it's only going to make you even better at those bilateral movements," she says. So, "there isn't really a right or wrong way to incorporate unilateral training into your practice, especially if you're currently not doing it at all," she says. Good point.
If you need some guidance, consider turning three of the above movements into a circuit two days a week. (Related: How to Build the Perfect Circuit Workout)
  • By Gabrielle Kassel

HOW GOOD IS YOUR BALANCE



Whether the idea of doing tree pose makes you cringe or fills you with pride, these dynamic balance tests are worth a try.
Unless you're an avid yogi or surfer, chances are you don't think about your balance-and how good or bad it is-all that often. But Pete McCall, M.S., C.S.C.S., adjunct faculty member in exercise science at Mesa College in San Diego, says it's an integral part of each and every movement you make. "You want to be able to maintain your balance as you move through space, change direction, or do any kind of quick movements," he says. Doing so can prevent injuries, whether you're working out or doing everyday tasks like cleaning the house or taking care of the backyard. (Did you know we're dedicating the entire month to becoming more balanced as part of our #MyPersonalBest program?)
Plus, Joel Martin, C.S.C.S., assistant professor of kinesiology at George Mason University, says there's always room for improvement. These four exercises will help you see how your balance stacks up, and provide a starting point for those looking to spiff up their skills.

Single-Leg Balance and Squat

A single-leg balance is exactly what it sounds like-balancing on one leg with the other lifted up, knee toward your chest, for as long as you can. Ideally, you can do this for 30 seconds on each leg with no problem. If not, McCall says to start here and work on improving your time until you hit that 30-second threshhold.
If you're ready for more of a challenge, test your balance with a single-leg squat. Starting in a single-leg balance on your right leg, lower into a squat until your leg is nearly parallel with the ground, reaching your left hand toward your right foot. McCall says to let your left leg float behind you or wherever is most comfortable, and focus on pushing your hips back so your standing knee doesn't come past the toes. This counter balance not only tests how stable you are, but also incorporates flexibility. (Speaking of, do you know how flexible you are?) Repeat 8-10 times, then switch to the other leg. If you find yourself falling and losing your balance after two or three reps, that's your cue to incorporate this exercise into your regular routine.

Bounds

You may not have ever heard of a bound, but it's just a fancy way of saying, "jump." To get started, stand on one leg and make a small jump forward. Pause for 2-3 seconds with good control, then jump backward. See how many you can complete on each foot while maintaining your balance. Pro tip: It's all about the landing technique, says McCall. Once you perfect a stable landing (practice makes perfect!), you'll be able to jump forward and backward comfortably, making it easier to maintain balance whenever you find yourself in an unsteady stance.
Once you've mastered the forward and backward bound, try lateral bounds. Standing on one leg, make small jumps side to side, about a foot in each direction. McCall says you should be able to comfortably do 6-8 bounds on each foot without losing your balance. The lateral movement works your outer thighs, which is where a lot of power comes from for runners, he explains. It also helps prevent injury, as lateral movements can be ignored in everyday workout routines if you're not careful.

Handstand

Unless you grew up doing gymnastics, chances are handstands don't come easy to you. But Martin says they're a great way to switch up your balance training routine. If you can hold a freestanding handstand for five seconds or longer, you're a balance pro. But if that seems intimidating, kick up into a handstand against a wall, and work up to holding it for 30 seconds. Not only will this help you get a better sense of your center of gravity, but Martin says you'll also work the stabilizing muscles in your upper bod while you're at it. (P.S. Here are 9 Yoga Poses That Will Help You Nail a Handstand.)

Single-Leg Romanian Deadlift

You'll need to grab a kettlebell or dumbbell for this one. Start by balancing on your left leg, weight in your right hand. Hinge at the hips and, as you slowly bring the weight down toward the floor, lift your right leg up behind you with toes pointing toward the floor. Once you reach close to the floor (or as far as you can reach), reverse the movement until you're back to a standing position.
If you've never done this movement before, McCall suggests beginning with a light weight to gauge your level of comfort-you can always add more later. The goal: 8-10 reps using a 10- to 15-pound weight. "This exercise really requires a lot of control, coordination, and core strength," he says. If adding weight is too tough, try doing 8-10 reps with just your body weight until you're ready to bump it up.
  • By By Julia Rachel Malacoff for FITNESS

HOW WEAK ANKLES AND ANKLE MOBILITY AFFECT YOUR BODY

Your body is like an elaborate domino setup. If one thing is off, chances are the whole thing's going down.

As much as we love to target specific areas of our body during workouts (hey there, abs and booty), it's worth remembering that your body isn't a bunch of separate sections. Like that giant Jenga set at your fave bar, everything is connected. While you can pull out a piece here and there, the tower won't stand (or withstand a drunken table bump) if it isn't solid.

In case you couldn't tell, that Jenga tower is your body. And guess what's the base? Your feet and ankles. (Mind-blowing, we know.) Mess with those babies, and you can bet it's all going to be crumbling down.
"Your body is a kinetic chain," says Jason Barone, regional clinical director at Professional Physical Therapy in Wilton, CT. Everything works together to create movement. Why that matters: Having issues in one spot can cause other things to go awry.

"If you have very weak and unstable ankles, that can make you more susceptible to a knee injury, to a hip injury-it can even lead to problems with your low back," he says. If weak or immobile ankles are affecting your walking or running gait, over time that repetition is likely to cause one issue or another, whether it's chronic tendonitis (like runner's knee), hip bursitis (inflammation of the bursa, which acts as a cushion for the outside of your hip bone), or IT band issues, says Barone. The biggest ankle issues boil down to two major problems: 1) lack of ankle mobility, and 2) weak ankles. It's ideal to have a balance between ankle strength and flexibility, says Barone-just like with all your muscles. But ├╝ber-busy schedules, footwear, injuries, and natural anatomy can make it tough to maintain that balance without making an effort.

1. Poor Ankle Mobility

How many times have you dashed out the door for a HIIT workout or a quick run around the neighborhood without a proper warm-up? Then then immediately return to hop in the shower, eat, and speed off to work or another commitment, without a proper cool-down stretch? If that do-and-dash workout sounds familiar, there's a good chance you have tight calves, which translates to limited ankle mobility. "If you're always strengthening and never stretching, that's going to be problematic," says Barone. (Try this total-body mobility workout to keep you injury-free for life.)

"The most common issue I see as a personal trainer is the lack of ankle mobility, particularly when trying to flex the feet," says Jonathan Jordan, a Tier 3+ personal trainer and group fitness instructor at Equinox in San Francisco. "When you lack sufficient range of motion, the body figures out other ways to get the job done," he says, even if that means causing other issues down the line.

For example, proper ankle mobility is necessary to do a squat with good form. Tight calves and heel cords (the Achilles tendon, or the tendons that run from the heel bone to the calf muscles) might cause your heels to pop up during squats, which "can cause pain and damage to your knees, disengage your glutes, and, practically speaking, you're likely to fall down," says Jordan.

Here's Jordan's go-to drill for testing ankle mobility: Start in a half-kneeling lunge with the front toes about five inches away from a wall. Gently reach knee forward knee toward the wall. See how close you can get to the wall without letting your heel pop up. If you can't reach the wall, you'd benefit from working on your ankle mobility. (Be sure to test both sides.)

Your Remedy
  1. Warm up and cool-down: For starters, make sure you're warming up and cooling down pre- and post-workout. Try a five-minute dynamic warm-up and a few minutes of stretching afterward (like this head-to-toe cool-down), says Barone.
  2. Spend time stretching: Twice each week, dedicate 15 minutes to some total-body stretching, allowing 30 seconds for each stretch to really lengthen the muscles, he says.
  3. Foam roll: Jordan also recommends foam rolling calves for 90 seconds to two minutes, working up and down the muscle as well as rocking side to side. "This will help reduce tension in the calf muscles and minimize pulling on the ankle joint from the Achilles tendon," he says.
  4. Ditch the heels: If you're an avid high-heel-wearer, you might want to consider swapping for flats or sneaks (like these sneakers that are cute enough to wear to work or happy hour). If you want the inches under your feet, at least be sure to stretch your calves post-wear: "Wearing high heels will cause tight heel cords and calves, really limiting ankle mobility," says Barone. (BTW, high heels aren't the only accessories hurting your body.)

2. Wobbly, Weak Ankles

Weak ankles are super common, says Jordan, "meaning the muscles, attachments, and connective tissues around the ankles are weak or lengthened, which can lead to 'wobbly' or 'flimsy' feet." This can be a result of genetics or a past injury (like straining or spraining your ankle). "You have to think of the ligaments around the ankle as a kind of rubber band," says Barone. "If you overstretch that rubber band, it may never go back to the way it was before."
Usually, people with weak ankles can tell because they lack proper support and usually suffer from poor balance and frequent injuries, says Jordan. Not only do those injuries (even minor ones) mean time away from the gym, but they also may encourage improper movement patterns. "Our bodies are amazing at doing whatever we ask it to do," says Jordan. "It will always try and find strength wherever it can to produce the movement you are requesting of it-and it's not always pretty." (Here: more common bone and joint problems or active women.)

If you find yourself rolling your ankle often or feel unstable on uneven surfaces, you may have weak ankles, says Barone. If you have an acute injury or are in pain for more than a week, you should always go see a professional, he says-but if you think you lack general ankle stability, you can do some of these move to strengthen the joints.

Your Remedy
  1. Ankle letters: This is the perfect multitasking activity for solo Netflix and chilling. Sit in a chair and imagine you are writing the entire alphabet from A to Z with your feet, making each letter as sharp, pronounced, and large as possible, says Jordan. "This helps mobilize the talocrural and other joints of the foot," he says, and it's great for after foam rolling.
  2. Ankle gliding: Grab a resistance band and tie it around a table leg, pole, or other anchor, making a loop. Stretch the loop until there's tension and place one foot inside, the band looped right around the ankle joint. "Be sure it fits snugly underneath both your malleoli (the ankle bones on each side of your foot)," says Jordan. Elevate your toes a few inches by placing it on a cushion or mat. With the knee bent, gently glide shin forward. Shift back to start, then glide forward again. (P.S. Jordan has a how-to video for this exercise on his website.)
  • By Lauren Mazzo
https://www.shape.com/fitness/tips/how-weak-ankles-ankle-mobility-affect-your-body
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