4 stretches to improve balance and flexibility

PArden The Prank, but balance and flexibility are certainly very closely related, says physical therapist Emily Gustin, DPT, who specializes in treating patients with balance problems. “When muscles and tendons are not able to move freely and evenly, it is difficult to do everything with balance,” he added.

This is especially important because the range of motion (or motility) tends to decrease after adulthood due to changes in both biology and behavior. Not only does muscle flexibility decrease somewhat over a lifetime, but “as our bodies change we are not usually adding new activity to our lives,” Dr. Gustin explains. “The types of our movements have also become smaller and less diverse.” So, for example, if you only move backwards and forwards, it will be difficult to move from side to side because your body is not accustomed to it.

The good news: Although baseline flexibility must vary from person to person, a daily stretching routine will increase your personal flexibility factor. And according to Dr. Gustin, if you lose your balance, it can help you catch yourself. “If you’re already accustomed to flying in all these different directional planes, you’ll be more able to protect yourself from falling because off-balance doesn’t seem to be‘ out of the ordinary ’,” he says.

According to Dr. Gustin, the lower muscle groups tend to be the most restricted areas. “But be aware of any place that seems tight,” he said, “because it can be different for everyone.”

4 stretch to improve balance

To maintain balance-improving mobility, Dr. Gustin recommends aiming to do these four exercises once a day for 30 seconds. “Thirty seconds is enough time to take a few deep breaths and pass that time which is a little uncomfortable,” he says. “Over time, you can create up to one minute at a time and / or twice a day.” If just stretching seems monotonous, Dr. Gustin fully supports playing a podcast, audiobook or show that will keep you confused — and work with your balance.

1. Stretch the calf for ankle mobility

If you have a step with a railing, stand on the ball of your foot and rest with your toes at the end of the step below. Holding the rail, dip a heel below the level of the step. (Alternatively, you can bend your foot against a wall and lean forward.) Repeat with the other heel.

How it helps: “As we get older, we tend to be more random, even when we can walk, so we can’t lift our legs too much, and if your calves are stiff, your plantar is more likely to be flexed, where your legs point downwards, Dr. Gustin says. So bending your toes in the opposite direction will help keep your foot and calf muscles more balanced and increase their range of motion. “Stretching the calves can really help us move more dynamically without falling or falling,” he added.

2. Runner’s stretch for hip flexors

Stand with your hands behind a chair or on a countertop for balance. To extend your right leg, place your left hand on the surface supporting you and kick your right heel towards your buttocks. Hold the right ankle with your right hand. Stand really tall, keeping your knees parallel to the left in front of your thighs and pointing to the floor (as if you are standing on it). For a deeper stretch, gently push your hips straight forward. Repeat with the other leg.

How it helps: “Buttock flexors are part of the muscle group that helps bring our knees toward our bodies,” Dr. Gustin explains. “They can be really tight, which puts us in a position to lean forward. This keeps our progress short and less confident. ”So loosening them will help improve your posture and keep you straight and protect your center of gravity from being pitched too far forward.

3. Stretch seated for hamstrings

Sit on the ground with both legs straight in front. Square your shoulders and bend one knee open, rotating outward to the hip socket if it is available to you. (Otherwise, place the sole of the foot on the ground with the curved knee pointing upwards.) Reach the foot straight with your arm. You can only reach your knees – that’s fine! It’s normal to feel a little uncomfortable, but go back if you feel something like a sharp, shooting pain. Repeat the same procedure on the other side.

How it helps: “Tight hamstrings will greatly impede your mobility,” says Dr. Gustin. “Another important reason to stretch your hamstrings is that they can put a lot of pressure on the lower back if they are too tight.” Also, due to the position between your glutes and legs, they play an integral role in all the movements below the body, so if they do not work optimally, you have a good chance of losing your balance while walking and moving. Days.

4. Stretch for “take neck”

Stand tall on the edge of a chair or kitchen sink for support if needed. Keep your body down from the shoulders, while you turn your head as far to the right as possible. Repeat on the left. Bring your head back to the center and gently look at the ceiling, then pull your chin down to look at your feet. To deepen the stretch, combine these four aspects in a full circle of the head, right and left.

How it helps: “Almost everyone in our society is in this blurry, round shape because of the phone and the computer,” said Dr. Gustin. “Not only that, with age we use less of our neck speed range. It forces you to turn your whole body in response to what you see or hear. “And it can upset you in a way that you just don’t like being able to turn your neck.

Final acceptance

Tight muscles can loosen the center of your balance and make you more sensitive to travel and fall. Doing a few daily stretches that target the core muscle groups – calf, buttock flexors, hamstrings and neck – will increase range of motion (or mobility) or these parts of the body and help improve your balance. Work up to 60 seconds and try to stretch to increase balance for 30 seconds every day.

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