Taking Care of Your Joints for Longevity
Sports with stretch-shortening cycles (SSCs) are among the highest with tendon injuries. So let's take a page out of their book to maintain elasticity in our bodies. Here are 5 techniques to help keep you in the game.
1.) Dynamic stretching must be performed during your warm up prior to full engagement in physical activity. Static stretching is recommended after physical activity not before. Dynamic stretching added to your warm up increases circulation (supplying muscles with more oxygen and nutrients), loosens muscles, and also makes them more supple and pliable.
2.) PNF stretching (proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation) is somewhat of an active stretch. It usually take two people to perform. When you see professional athletes being stretched by trainers, this is what they're doing. There are ways to PNF yourself (that came off rude but I promise it wasn't) that can be found on YouTube. It's difficult to describe in text. This shows positive effects when performed prior to most activities.
3.) I highly suggest yoga. Even if you're only doing vinyasas for 5-10 minutes a day (or even 3 times a week) after a long run, CrossFit WOD, or any other grueling workout yoga is incredible for balancing the body and allowing to sit symmetrically at rest (we'll touch more on symmetry shortly). For every action in yoga you practice the reciprocal, as well both sides of the body. This is great for opening up your joints and relieving pressure. It also carries with it a positive aura. This should be done after workouts or during rest days. Static stretching before workouts will lower performance.
4.) Maintain symmetry in your training. There are three anatomical planes (if we categorize all the sagittal planes under the cardinal sagittal plane). This means, you should be as close to symmetry across these planes as you can, barring any physical impediments. This is where I find yoga so helpful, Kelly Starrett also has incredible information covering the subject of opening up the joints and being healthy in movement patterns.
5.) Kinesiology tape, when there are weaknesses or you simply want to retrain movement patterns. You can retrain your movement patterns using AI Tape, and increase recovery time of a weakness or injury. You can familiarize yourself with taping techniques for any specific ailment you may have. AI Tape has so many uses there are way too many to list here. Check out our website to see how we can help you maintain healthy joints.