Pilates - Is Your Body Balanced

Pilates - Is Your Body Balanced

References: Peter Brukner and Karim Khan, Clinical Sports Medicine, Revised Third Edition, 2010.

Do you stretch? How often? The joints in our body are designed to be moved smoothly through their full range of movement, and it is ideal that we have the about the same flexibility on both sides of our body. You may not be as flexible as your friend as there is a hereditary component to your general flexibility. You also may find certain joints in your body are particularly stiff due to injury, inactivity, or even over-activity.

It is widely believed that stretching is an important factor in preventing injury, and should be introduced as a regular session for you to do throughout the week. When you stretch a muscle, it should feel comfortable with no pain, and you should have close to the same range on either side of your body.

Have a go at these stretches and compare your left side to your right. Can you stretch as far on both sides? Does the stretch feel the same?

Neck: Upper trapezius stretch – Keeping shoulders relaxed tilt head to one side, making sure not to rotate head. Use hand on top of head to apply slight over pressure. Looking in the mirror, see how far your ear is to your shoulder. Repeat the stretch on other side and compare the distance from ear to shoulder. 

 

Lumbar (low back) rotation – Lying on your back on the floor, pull your right knee across your body with your left hand. Aim to rotate your lower back segment, but still keeping your right arm and both shoulders flat on the ground. Can you get your knee onto the ground? Compare the gap from your knee to the ground when repeating the stretch on the other side.

Calf: Knee to wall stretch – Stand facing a wall, lunge forward with your knee over your toes so your knee touches the wall whilst keeping your heel on the ground and foot flat. If this is easy, shuffle your foot away from the wall whilst still touching your knee to the wall. Measure the maximum distance from your big toe to the wall using a ruler. Compare to the other side.

Glute’s stretch (sitting) – Sitting on your chair with equal pressure through your “sit bones” place your left ankle on your right knee. How high is your knee sitting from horizontal? Keeping your back straight, how far can you lean forward?

Hamstring – Laying on your back, wrap a stretching band or towel around your right foot, keeping your left leg on the ground and keeping your right knee straight, gently pull your leg up to feel a stretch in the back of the thigh (hamstring). Repeat on opposite side. Can you lift your left leg to the same height? 

 

Shoulders – Standing with your back against the wall, feet out from the wall 30cm so in ¼ squat, and arms flat against the wall, palms facing out. Keeping the backs of your hands against the wall, slide your arms up the wall. How high can you go without your body moving? Does it feel the same through both your left and right arm? 

If you are having difficulty performing these stretches or you notice that one side is significantly harder or painful, talk to your Physiotherapist at Your Health Domain, as you are at greater risk of injury. They can also tell you about the different types of stretching and how they can help you prevent injury.

 

To make an appointment to see a Physiotherapist at Your Health Domain at our Pitt Street or King St clinics, call 9251 5111 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Pitt St. City Practice

Address:
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Hours of Operation:
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Telephone:
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