Movement specialist Lenny Parracino says whether you hike, bike, run or play tennis and such, a series of warm-up movements helps prevent imbalance injuries like tennis elbow, plantar fasciitis, or runner's knee. Yet many exercisers wrongly pay attention only to the injured area.
"So if we only inhibit the hamstrings from that tightness sensation and not get to the underlying cause, the person's going to constantly have these problems, which may lead to bigger problems," says Parracino.
So Parracino offers a solution. Using a doorway, chair, and towel, here is a movement series that could help almost any exerciser:
Each move should be done 10 times each, and on each leg.
1. With one foot placed on a rolled towel, allow the opposite leg to move forward and upward, then back again.
2. Next, with the leg in an upright position, allow hips to slant side to side, then rotate the hip right and left.
"What we're looking for is a timing," says Parracino. "Making sure as he drives his body right and left in this rotatory motion. We're getting adequate foot and ankle motion."
Parracino says keep it even for stretch and strength.
3. Next, put the foot on a chair and rock forward and back.
4. Afterward, rock hips side to side, and in circular rotations both ways.
5. Finally, rotate the torso keeping the head straight forward. If tennis elbow is an issue, flex fingers back to stretch forearm flexors. Then swing arm at a higher level to open up the chest and sides of the trunk.
Remember, make sure and do each move 10 times each and on both sides of the body for best results.
If plantar fasciitis has you down, many experts suggest switching your activities to take weight off your foot whenever possible.
To alleviate morning pain, try rolling your heel over a can of frozen juice concentrate or an ice-filled plastic jar.
In a study with people that had this condition, the experts found this stretch helped relieve pain:
Sit and cross your legs so the affected foot rests on the opposite knee. Then grab the base of the toes and pull toward the shin, so you feel the stretch across the sole. Hold this position for 10 seconds.
Try this 10 times, three times daily for a two-month period.
For more information about the whole body movement series contact Lenny Parracino.
(818) 957-1980, ext 2