Static vs Dynamic Stretching

There two different forms of stretching; Static Stretching vs Dynamic Stretching. Both of them have their benefits but which one is for you? Check out the advice from Dr Samineh Baktash at Revolution Chiropractic in Auckland.

Static vs Dynamic Stretching – What’s the difference?

 

Dynamic stretches involve motion. These are active movements where joints and muscles go through a full range of motion. Whilst static stretching involve no motion. This is when a joint is at the end of it’s range of motion, and held there for a certain period. Both forms of stretching are beneficial to you and depend on the goals or needs of the body.

Benefits of dynamic stretching:

  • Performance temperature – Dynamic stretching work the muscles up to their functioning temperature gradually. Muscles in the body require a certain temperature in the body to function at optimal state. To illustrate, take a like a glass, if it’s suddenly filled with boiling water the glass will crack and shatter, however if it’s warmed up gradually, it does not break. This example correlates well with the human body. If the muscles are suddenly worked without warming up, they are more likely to suffer from injuries. It is important to raise the muscles to working temperature through dynamic stretching.
  • Sports Preparation – Dynamic stretching prepares the muscles and joints by going through movements that will be required. This equates to the body being engaged and ready for sports-specific response. Research has shown that combining dynamic stretching and plyometric training during warm-ups increases performance. This was noticeably seen in the vertical jump height in basketball players.
  • Improves flexibility – Varying flexibility is needed for specific sports. This is very important for athletes as the range of motion around the joint will increase gradually over time. For example, sprinters will increase the length of each stride gradually, which will allow them to travel for a greater distance for every cycle of their legs. This is important for development in becoming a more successful athlete.

Benefits of Static Stretching

  • Reducing stiffness – This is great for the body, especially which can be very tight after being idle for long periods, an intense workout, or sports game. During any intense sports or workout sessions, micro-tears are formed in the muscle. When recovering from these micro tears, the body lays down new muscle fibre which will result in growth. However, not all the new muscles are healthy new muscles, some are of the new tissue laid down is scar tissue. It is this scar tissue that causes muscle stiffness. Static stretching can mobilise the restriction caused by scar tissue and lengthen tight muscles. This is critical to improving the range of motion and performance.
  • Increasing blood circulation –  Blood flow is important for healing, the higher the blood circulation, the faster the body heals as the muscles can receive more oxygen and nutrients. It also helps the body recover faster by removing waste products in the muscles. These waste products are often inflammatory residue left in the body after an intense workout.
  • Mindfulness – Static stretching is excellent for calming the mind. This can lead to less stress in both mind and body. This is because when you are stretching, your nervous system triggers the release of a hormone known as ‘endorphin’ and slows down the production of stress-inducing hormones. Endorphins help relieve the body from stress and pain.

static vs dynamic stretchingConclusion

So there you have it! Static Stretching vs Dynamic Stretching. Which type of stretching is more suitable for you? Dynamic or static stretching? In summary, dynamic
stretching helps increase body temperature gradually, prepares the body for specific movements
and improves flexibility. Static stretching has many advantages for the body too; reducing stiffness, improving blood circulation and calming the mind, to name just a few. As a professional NZ Chiropractor and health care advocate, I would say a combination of both is important if you are constantly working out, or a high-performance athlete. However, if your excercise is light, static stretching would be enough. I hope this brings clarity as to which type of stretch you should do. Both are amazing and both should be included in your routine.

When to see a chiropractor?

It is often worthwhile to schedule an appointment with your Chiroprator before beginning any stretching routine, especially if you have strained muscles or existing injuries.  A good Chiropractor is uniquely qualified to assess which form of stretching should be used and when. It is our job to both prevent injury to the muscles as well improve range of motion.  When combined with a regular routine of care, stretching can be one of the body’s best defenses to maintaining proper function.

If you are searching to optimise your bodies health and functionality, consider chiropractic care to get and keep you in the best possible shape.

Contact Revolution Chiropractic – Leading  Chiropractor Auckland

To Schedule your FREE CONSULTATION at Revolution Chiropractic E-mail or Call us on 09 418 3718.  

You can also book online here

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Ready to workout? Think again…

 

Warming up before a workout is even more important than you think!

 

How many times have we just jumped into exercising without warming up properly? How many times have we got injured? Well, the two things mentioned above, warming up and getting hurt, go hand in hand. Warming up is extremely important due to a couple of reasons. Firstly, it can help loosen up our joints, muscles, and ligaments. Secondly, it can raise the body temperature and increase blood flow to muscles. Finally, it can help improve our performance in whatever form of exercise.

Warming up is extremely important for the body to prevent injury. Having a good warm-up can help loosen the joints, muscles, and ligaments in our body and stimulate our nervous system. Before we start exercising, our body is stiff, and we cannot move as smoothly as we would like. This puts us in a state which is more fragile. As we warm up, our joints, muscles and ligaments begin to have more laxity gradually. This is because warming up can stimulate the body to create more synovial fluids around the joint, which means we will not be suddenly overstressing any part of the body.

Additionally, it will also increase the speed that nerve impulses travel, leading to improved balance, motor control, coordination, and proprioception. All those components are crucial for doing any sports as it helps with performance and avoiding injuries. As a result, warming up can decrease the likelihood of overstressing your body and minimize any falls or accidents.

 

Functions of Temperature 

 

Warming up our bodies before we exercise can also raise the core body temperature and increase blood flow to muscles. When the body transitions from everyday life to high-intensity physical workout, a host of biological changes happens to our body. That’s why it’s good to ease into it. During our warm-up, breathing and heart rate gradually rise, leading to an increase of energy increase. Due to the increase in energy exertion, the body gradually warms up. Additionally, with heart rate rising, the muscles will be supplied with more oxygen. This results in a higher metabolism as the body will need more energy to function at its capacity. Having a warmer body temperature for our muscles can lead to increase elasticity in the muscles again, this can result in decreasing the chances of any injuries

.

Effects on workout

 

Finally, warming up can increase our performance. This is due to two reasons; the alterations in the body and the change in mentality. As mentioned in the paragraph above, a good warm-up can increase our metabolism, helping reach one’s performance potential. A thorough warm-up can change our mindset and mentally prepare for the upcoming task. With most sports and workout, it requires high levels of alertness and concentration. This adjustment in mindset can enhance the concentration on technique. With better technique again, it can lead to a decrease in injury. Andrea Pirlo, a famous footballer once said, “We play football with the head. Your feet are just tools.” This quote cannot more relatable with any sports or workout. The first change that occurs should be in your mind before you start performing. This is where an excellent warm-up comes into play.

Warming up is often overlooked by many amateurs or people who have just started to exercise. It can be argued it may be one of the most important aspects of the workout. Warming up properly can help loosen the muscles, ligament, and joints in the body, and it can help raise our core body temperature. Both of these can diminish the chances of injury. Most importantly, though, it can help mentally prepare us for the workout, exercise, and game that’s coming up. So before jumping straight into it next time, arrive 15 minutes earlier to prepare and get a good quality warm-up.

 

Chiropractor Auckland

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Tips for Outdoor Running

Outdoor running

The weather’s getting nicer and you look outside and think “why not take my running to the next level and hit the great outdoors?”

Great idea. Outdoor running is a great way to get some fresh air, enjoy your surroundings and work some stabilizing muscles that don’t necessarily get worked on as much when running on a treadmill.

However, running can be quite taxing on the body and can be even more so when running on uneven surfaces outside. So we’ve got some tips for you to make sure you’re ready for the transition.

Warm-up/cool-down

-Your warm-up and cool-down is important to prevent injury and ensure that you’re getting the most out of your run.

-Make sure to get a good dynamic warm-up in before you set off for your run. This can include lunges, squats and leg swings. This is important to warm your muscles and prep them for the run.

-After the run is over, be sure to cool-down and lower your heart rate with some static stretching.

Set your running route

-When you’re running, the last thing you want to think about is whether you’re going in the right direction or wondering where you are.

-Before embarking on a new route, be sure to map it out. Know how to navigate it by walking the route beforehand.

-You can also buddy up with someone who has done the route before and is familiar with it.

-For ideas on what routes to run, you can check out running forums to inform yourself on popular trails and parks that people recommend.

Gear up

-When running, footwear is key.

-Your everyday running shoes are fine for running on the treadmill, but when you’re hitting dirt, gravel or slippery slopes, it’s crucial that your shoes have the appropriate tread to avoid any falls and injuries.

-Supports may also be necessary depending on your particular case so it’s always helpful to consult with a professional about this.

Start slow

-Outdoor running can be more demanding on your muscles, joints and bones, which can lead to injuries like shin splints and knee pain.

-Start with shorter distances on flatter terrain and work your way up to longer distances, uneven terrain and hills if you’re up for it.

Pace yourself

-Don’t push yourself to run at the same pace you would on a treadmill – it’s not the same terrain.

-Start at a comfortable pace and gradually increase it as your body gets used to the conditions.

There are many additional benefits of outdoor running, but the risks also increase. To ensure that you understand how to do it safely and effectively, consult with your structural chiropractor or other health professional.

 

Chiropractor Auckland

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Pull Your Head In: Posture Exercises

Today we’re going to give you some exercises you can do in your gym routine for good posture.

Commands like “stand up straight!” and “don’t slouch” were commonplace for our grandparents. When training to be a seamstress my great grandmother would have to sit as straight as a ruler or else be whipped by it. Such a method may not be approved today, which is probably a good thing however the importance of posture is as important now as ever.

Hyperkyphosis, the technical word for what we might call forward head posture, rounded shoulders or “hunchback”, has actually been shown to be linked with shortened life expectancy in elderly (Kado et al, 2004). If you are not currently elderly and you are reading this then chances are that one day you will be, and guess what, the habits you build around posture now will get harder to break as you get older. This is a good thing thought because if you instil good habits then those too will be harder to break as you age!

Being aware of your posture at work, home, when driving, sitting at the table for dinner and on the couch is important. But so is building the strength and muscles required to hold you in good posture.

Pretty much every activity we do in a day, except doing up your bra for you ladies, is done with our arms in front of us. This means our brains are very connected to the muscles on the front of our upper body, the pecs, biceps and muscles at the front of the shoulder. The muscles on our upper back like the posterior deltoids, rhomboids, lats and traps are often over stretched and under developed, almost forgotten by the brain. The issue is that these back muscles are vital to hold you in good posture.

So what must we do about it?

Don’t make the mistake of working the mirror muscles (biceps and pecs) more than the upper back. Aim to do twice the amount of reps for your upper back compared to the front of your body in a given training week. This means putting more pulling movements versus pushing movements in your routine such as:

  • Pull ups/chin ups
  • Cable rows
  • Cable/lat pull downs
  • Dumbbell rows
  • Barbell rows
  • Face pulls
  • Band pull aparts
  • Reverse flies

You can do these exercises during warm ups for the main lift of the day. You can also do them as extra work after your main lift. If I am going to superset a pulling exercise with a main lift like a bench press or overhead press I will do an easier/lighter variation like lat pull downs or face pulls so as not to use up too much effort that would cause too much fatigue. More intensive pulling exercises like pull ups, barbell and dumbbell rows can be done on their own.  However you choose to put them into your routine make sure you are doing them correctly! The focus should be on initiating the movement with your back by pull the shoulder blades together and don’t let your arms and biceps do most of the work.

Here’s to building a strong healthy posture.

Kado, D. M., Huang, M. H., Karlamangla, A. S., Barrett‐Connor, E., & Greendale, G. A. (2004). Hyperkyphotic posture predicts mortality in older community‐dwelling men and women: a prospective study. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society52(10), 1662-1667.

Chiropractor Auckland

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5-Minute Stretch – Total Body Cool Down

We’ve been over a general warm up routine you can do before your training sessions in our blog a couple of weeks ago, so today we’ll be going over a quick and effective cool down routine that will help with muscle recovery and promote blood flow. This routine is essentially made up of stretches so don’t push your stretch too far passed the point of comfort. Also, avoid bounce into your stretches as it may lead to a pulled muscle and it doesn’t help in any way.

As always, make this your own by adding in anything you may know and taking out anything you’re not comfortable with or not feeling.

When performing this routine just focus on your breathing by taking full breaths and slowing it down.

Here we go:

Overhead Tricep Stretch (30 secs/side)

  • Stand with feet shoulder width apart and raise your elbow while reaching for your upper back with the same hand
  • Use your other hand to pull gently
  • Repeat on the other side

Image result for overhead tricep stretch

Wrist Stretch (30 secs/side)

  • Stand with feet shoulder width apart and reach out in front of you with one arm (palm facing down)
  • Point your fingers towards the floor by bending your wrist and use your opposite hand to pull gently
  • Then point your fingers up towards the ceiling and use your opposite hand to pull genlty
  • Repeat on the other side

Image result for wrist stretch

Cross Leg Stretch (30 secs/side)

  • Stand with one leg crossed over the other
  • Flex your torso forward and reach for the foot of the straight leg
  • Cross the other leg and repeat

Image result for crossleg stretch

Glute Stretch (30 secs/side)

  • Kneel and place your shin flat in front of you
  • Sink your hips and relax into the stretch
  • Repeat on the other side

Image result for pigeon stretch

Cobra (30 secs)

  • Lie face down and raise your torso up with your arms
  • Keep your thighs on the floor, core engaged and look up

Image result for cobra stretch

Prayer Stretch (30 secs)

  • Start by kneeling and sit back on your heels
  • Lower your torso toward the floor

Image result for prayer stretch

And it’s as easy as that! Don’t forget to breathe into every stretch and hydrate well after your training sessions to maximize recovery.

 

Chiropractor Auckland

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5-Minute Total Body Warm Up

Warm up Wisely

It can be really tempting to skip your warm up and get right into an intense strength training session to maximize the time in your day. Not only will this decrease your performance in the session, it will also increase the likelihood of injury, which is never fun.

Today we’re going to take you through a catch-all warm that will ensure that all your joints are ready for motion and your blood is pumping. Feel free to mix and match these with other warm up routines to tailor it to your specific training needs.

Be sure to move within a comfortable range of motion and don’t push yourself too far too quickly. Keep breathing throughout and make sure you’re keeping proper form with control and you’re not flailing your limbs out uncontrollably or your may injure yourself.

We’ve combined movements in some of these to maximize the variety of movement your get in shorter time. We’ve presented the movements to time, but feel free to do them to a specific amount of reps or whatever gets your muscles warm and your heart pumping.

Here it is:

Jumping Jacks (1 min)

  • Start by standing with feet together and arms at your sides.
  • Jump while spreading your legs to shoulder width apart and raising your arms over head.
  • Jump back to starting position and repeat.

Related image

Squat & Twist (30 secs)

  • Squat down and use your left arm to hold your left foot while keeping your elbow on the inside of your leg.
  • Twist your torso and other arm towards the ceiling.
  • Twist back to the starting position and squat up.
  • Repeat on the other side.

Image result for squat and twist

Side Lunge with Frontal Raise (30 secs)

  • Spread your legs a little wider than shoulder width apart.
  • Squat down with your left leg while raising both arms out in front of you.
  • Stand up to the starting position and repeat on the other side.

Image result for side lunge with frontal raise

Forward Leg Swings (30 secs each side)

  • Hold on to something to the side and start with both feet under your hips
  • Swing the outside leg forward and backward while gradually increasing the range and height of your swing
  • Repeat on the other side

Related image

More exercises

Lateral Leg Swings (30 secs each side)

  • Hold on to something in front of you and start with both feet under your hips
  • Shift your weight to your right leg and swing your left across your body and out to the side (left)
  • Repeat on the other side

Image result for leg swing

Skipping Shoulder Circles (30 secs forward/30 secs backward)

  • Skip forward or in place and make circles with your arms going forward
  • Repeat with your arms going backwards

Related image

Walk Out with Shoulder Taps  (30 secs)

  • Start standing with feet shoulder width apart, touch your toes and walk your hands out to a plank position
  • Tap your right shoulder with your left hand while keeping your core braced and torso stationary
  • Walk your hands back to your feet, stand up and repeat

Image result for plank shoulder taps

***Give this routine a try and feel free to mix and match with movements to make it your own!

 

Chiropractor Auckland

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Should I Warm Up Before & Cool Down After Exercising?

Throughout any intense exercise session, the body is handling stress and has a risk of injury. This can be minimised by warming up and cooling down before and after your workout.

Before getting into your sport or strength training session, you want to get a warm up. This is going to prepare your body for exercise and increase your heart rate and breathing. Ideally, your warm up routine will consist of two-parts: a general warm up and specific warm up.

The general warm up

consists of jogging, biking, rowing or any other cardio exercise followed by dynamic stretching. Dynamic stretching is not your typical “touch your toes” stretching. It consists of movements that take your joints through their ranges of motion to warm up and stretch the muscles. For example, you can perform leg swings, shoulder circles and bodyweight lunges. The bodyweight lunges serve as a nice stretch for your hip flexors while also adding a little resistance exercise for your quads and glutes to warm them up.

The specific warm up

consists of specific exercises that closely resemble movements that you’ll be performing in your actual sport or training. For example, jumping exercises before getting onto the basketball court or some lightly weighted squats before your leg session in the gym.

The warm up is essential for your performance as it increases blood flow and oxygen to muscles, increases neural impulses to wake up your muscles and, most importantly, decreases the stiffness of connective tissues (ligaments and tendons) to avoid any muscle tears. Studies have shown that a structured warm-up can reduce your chance of injury by more than 50% and that’s on top of helping you perform better!

The cool down

is also important as it helps flush out any lactate (waste), prevent dizziness from blood pooling. It also decreases muscle soreness after your session. It consists of gradually decreasing your heart rate and stretching out your muscles. This also has two parts: general cool down and static stretching/foam rolling.

The general cool down

is similar to the general warm up since you can use jogging, biking or any activity at a progressively decreased intensity. Your aim should not be to sweat and go fast at this point, you just want to go through the motions and let your body slow down to a relaxing stop.

Following your general cool down you can get into some static stretching, which is the basic stretching where you hold stretches for around 15-30 seconds. You can also choose to use foam rollers or massage balls after your exercise to restore length in the connective tissues. The stretching and foam rolling helps reduce muscle soreness, increase muscle flexibility and stimulate circulation to flush out the lactate.

Be sure to hydrate well and eat a healthy meal after your workout to keep your body fuelled and recovering well!

Stay tuned next week for when we’ll take you through our ideal general warm-up and cool-down routine to cover all your bases!

Chiropractor Auckland

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File:Man Doing Warm Up Exercise Cartoon.svg - Wikimedia Commons

 

Cervicogenic Headaches, How To Fix Them

What is it?

 

Cervicogenic headaches are headaches that originate from the upper neck (upper cervical spine). The pain is felt at the head, however, the dysfunction and cause of the pain is in the neck. Typically, these headaches come from dysfunction of the upper three vertebrae of your spine, which is referred to as the upper cervical spine.

Specific movements and positions can cause irritation or compression of the structures and nerves, which leads to cervicogenic headaches. This is due to the nerves of the upper cervical spine merging with the trigeminal nerve, which is responsible for sensation of the head and face.

 

Cervicogenic, how does it happen?

 

These types of headaches can be caused by a variety of activities that put too much stress in the upper neck. The cause can be traumatic, such as whiplash (see previous blog post) from a car accident, or more commonly a gradual build-up of stress with poor posture over time(from being in front of your computer or while studying).

 

What are the signs and symptoms?

 

  • Headache that feels like a constant dull ache on one or both sides of the head and face
  • Neck pain or stiffness
  • Pain comes on during or after specific head movement

 

How long does it last for?

 

Typically, with appropriate treatment from a health care professional, ushc as a physiotherapist or  structural chiropractor, cervicogenic headache cases will resolve within 1-2 weeks. However, more complex cases may take weeks to months for complete resolution of symptoms.

The outcome and resolution depends on the severity of the dysfunction, your ability to get appropriate treatment and modify/avoid activities that aggravate it.

 

How do you treat it?

 

Seeing as posture is the most significant contributing factor to cervicogenic headaches, you should aim to improve posture with exercise and treatment. An individualized exercise and treatment plan will be most effective when treating cervicogenic headaches. A qualified structural chiropractor can assess your specific posture and condition to develop a personalized treatment and exercise plan best suited for you.

In our office, the structural chiropractors take an individualized approach utilizing a variety of techniques, including one that focuses on the specific problem area in the upper cervical spine.

Here are 3 exercises that may help with cervicogenic headaches. DO NOT perform these if they produce pain or unusual sensations (consult with a health care professional).

 

Chin tucks

 

  • Keeping a neutral spine and using your index finger as a guide on your chin, tuck your chin towards your chest (like you’re trying to make a double chin)
  • Hold for 5 minutes
  • Repeat this 10 times, 3 times a day

 

Scapular retraction

 

  • With your hands at your sides and your palms facing forward, bring your shoulder blades down and pinch them together
  • Hold for 10 seconds
  • Repeat this 5 times, 3 times a day

 

Neck flexor strengthening

 

  • Lie face up on the edge of your bed with your head hanging off the edge
  • Flex your head forward until it’s in neutral position and hold for 5 seconds
  • Return to starting position
  • Repeat this 8 times, 3 times a day

 

Chiropractor Auckland

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Clinical Support Tool For Management Of Headache Following Concussion/mTBI

The Daily Happy Feet Routine

Your feet are the 2 things that take you everywhere throughout your day. Imagine if they were in pain all the time and you couldn’t use them… Ask anyone who’s had plantar fasciitis or any other foot injury – it’s no walk in the park (pun intended).

Whether you’re an avid runner, working on your feet all day or even if you just enjoy the occasional stroll in the park, tension can build up in your feet that may lead to pain, discomfort or even injury. This is especially apparent in people today since more and more people are being put into shoes at a young age and the musculature in the foot begins to waste away since they’re not being used. This leaves the foot susceptible to injury

Getting in the habit of mobilizing your feet for less than 10 minutes a day can help prevent the pinch points in your feet from developing into problems. All you need is a ball and some space to stretch. The ball should ideally be hard like a lacrosse ball or yoga ball, but a tennis ball will do the trick too.

Ready? 3 simple steps.

  1. Start in a kneeling position and stretch the tops and bottoms of your feet.
    Focus on your breathing and go deeper in the stretch on your exhale.
    Do about 30 seconds to 1 minute on each stretch.
  2. Lift your big toe while keeping your little toes on the ground.
    Then reverse and lift all your little toes while keeping your big toe on the ground.
    If you have trouble doing this then you know you’ve got some tight feet. Try mobilizing your toes by separating them with your fingers but putting your fingers in between your toes. Spend about 30 seconds to a minute on each foot.  Watch this video.
  3. Take your ball and start rolling it under the bottom of your foot.
    Start with the ball at your heel and work your way through the arch to the toes.
    Spend extra time on the spots that feel more tense and alternate the pressure and speed. Spend about 1-2 minutes on each foot. Watch this video.

By doing this simple routine every day or as often as you can, you can help prevent overuse injuries in your feet to make them mobile and happy.

Chiropractor Auckland

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Core: 7 Exercises

Core: 7 Exercises

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Chiropractor Auckland

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