5 Ways To Increase Your Range Of Motion
1. Isometrics is a form of exercise involving the static contraction of a muscle without any visible movements in the angle of the joint. For example, an isometric for your anterior shoulder muscles, lift your arm in front of you, stop when you feel pain or restriction, then put the other hand on top of the arm and lightly press your arm into that hand for six seconds. Repeat six times but rest in between. This would result in being able to lift your arm a bit higher than before. You would then repeat the procedure at your new increased upper range of motion. Each repetition of this procedure thereafter would result in a further increased range of motion.
2. Hydration: Water is rarely regarded as an essential nutrient, yet it ranks after oxygen as the most important element necessary for life. Hydration allows the tissue cells to expand for greater mass, strength, elasticity, endurance, range of motion, and stability. Specifically, water speeds metabolism to burn more fat, increases elasticity which decreases wrinkles, and increases oxidation, which in turn increases blood volume, nutrient level, and recovery time.
3. Movement: This simply refers to activity beyond any sedentary position, whether be it lying down, sitting, or standing for long periods of time. Remaining in one position for too long results in the shortening of the muscles involved. Conversely, the more you move your body, the more you will increase the length of the muscles involved, which increases flexibility.
4. Reverse-Pattern Activity: Think of a habit, like bending your neck to one side to hold your phone to your ear. These habitual positions are largely unconscious, and unfortunately result in muscle shortening and the potential for injury. For example, if you are always hunched over, you'll shorten your chest muscles while lengthening your rear shoulder and back muscles. Besides creating poor posture, it changes the forces on your spine, which can result in back strain and other muscle, spine, or joint issues. Simply raise your straight arms out to the side with thumbs pointing to the ceiling, rotate your thumbs backwards while gently bringing your shoulder blades together. This will reverse this habitual stance and increase your range of motion.
5. Pandiculation: You can think of pandiculation as the daily unconscious instinct of stretching and yawning upon awakening. The practice is essentially one of brain exercise for brain fitness. Using the process of pandiculation, your brain can reprogram how your muscles function and awaken your sense of control. Signals of pain and pleasure are generated from your brain. It is vital to integrate your brain and body to improve overall functioning. Your brain and body need exercise to continue to evolve for your well being. One example of pandiculation is to stand and inhale as you side-bend your body to your left while reaching up with your right arm. Become aware of the contracting of the left side muscles and lengthening of the right side muscles. Then exhale as you slowly return to a neutral standing position.