Commonly Utilized Fitness Tools: Part 2
As promised, below are some of the techniques that can be used with the fitness tools discussed in my previous blog post. Note that there are many different activities and drills that can be performed in addition to the one’s that I show here.
Here I am utilizing the TheraCane® as a means of trigger point release at the border of my shoulder blade. I also like to have patients use this device on their upper trapezius, posterior rotator cuff, and lower back.
In this image, I have a lacrosse ball under my left side of lower back and I’m bending my knee towards my chest. The ball is on the quadratus lumborum muscle. This is another form of trigger point release. The lacrosse ball is also great for posterior rotator cuff (shoulder blade region) & calf muscle triggers.
Below, on the left, I am using the Stretch Out® Strap to stretch the hamstring muscles of my right leg. I typically like to hold stretches for 30 seconds and perform at least 2-3x/day. On the right, I am using the strap to stretch the quadriceps muscles of my left leg. The half kneeling position really allows me to stretch my hip flexor and to target the rectus femoris muscle.
The two below are great for helping you to restore your posture. Many of us get stiff in our mid-back and chest regions due to all the desk work performed as a part of our job duties. The exercises below will help to combat these postural problems. In the image on the left, I am extending the middle of my back over the foam roller (kind of using the foam roller as a fulcrum). Be sure to keep your ribs down and do not arch your lower back while performing this drill. On the right, I am allowing my arms to fall to the ground over a prolonged period (typically about 3-5 minutes). The purpose of this activity is to stretch out the pectoral (chest) muscles. You can add a light weight in each hand if you so choose to increase the stretch.
In the images below, I am using the foam roller to perform a drill called an “open book.” This is great for thoracic (mid-back) mobility. It improves the mobility of the thoracic spine and stretches the pectorals. This one is a personal favorite of mine!
In the coming week I will be posting videos via our Instagram account so that you can all watch me perform these exercises. Stay tuned- more to come!
Paul Nasri, PT, DPT
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Staff Physical Therapist
Sarrica Physical Therapy & Wellness