Better Health: Improve Your Athletic Game With Chiropractic, Exercise | Health

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Many athletes are in full swing. Good biomechanics are necessary to fully maximize your swing.

Improve both form and function with this exercise to correct your posture: Start by standing with your heels about three inches from a wall, and with your buttocks and back, and the back of your head , touching the wall. Next, flatten your shoulder blades back so they’re flat against the wall, then try to bring your heel a little closer together while keeping your body against the wall.

Notice what good alignment looks like; it can be difficult to maintain this, which means you may have excessive mid-back and shoulder roundness. Chiropractic can gently improve this.

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Most sports tire the shoulders. Throwing and hitting balls involve powerful arm movements that put a lot of strain on the rotator cuff muscles. It is important to keep these muscles in shape, in order to be able to withstand the stress.

Try gently engaging your shoulder muscles, stopping the arc before you feel pain. Leaning over the edge of your bed, gently swing your arm side to side, back and forth using a 1 pound weight.

Resistance bands can be used to swing the arms in abduction. Start with green stripes if you are an average weekend athlete. Use blue if you play three to six days a week and progress through the increased resistance series: green is moderate, while blue is strong and black is high resistance.

Twisting to hit and throw balls requires lower back flexibility. Spinal misalignments cause the back to lose the ability to twist as much as possible, and then other parts of the body compensate for this and suffer from overuse. Then the shoulder may start to hurt and wear out faster.

Sports that involve twisting put a lot of stress on the knees. The knees suffer from rapid changes in direction, especially turning the foot and leg inward (medial rotation), which creates a valgus strain that strains the medial knee compartment of ligaments and meniscus.

Practice squats and lunges to strengthen the hips and knees. If your knees aren’t used to this workout, you’ll find it helpful to use a handrail or counter for balance. Work up to three sets of 10 reps, gradually increasing the depth of the knee bends.

You can put a stability ball behind your waist and lean against a wall, then roll yourself up and down while doing squats. Chiropractic can also increase hip flexibility. I often see the hip extension range of motion tripling after an adjustment.

Dr. Cheryl McFarland-Bryant has practiced in Citrus County for 26 years. She is a licensed Doctor of Chiropractic and Medical Laboratory Scientist and has over 10 years of experience in Holistic Functional Integrative Medicine. Contact her at 352-795-8911 or visit 6166 W. Gulf-to-Lake Highway, Crystal River, or betterhealthchiropractic.us.

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