Exercise

If ” they” could only make a pill that does everything that exercise does, “They” would be rich indeed.  Pain causes weakness,and weakness causes pain it can be a viscous ugly deteriorating spiral. Or the slow destruction can be interrupted by deliberately becoming strong.Types of exercises are endless, Movement can be interpreted as massage by some cells, it squeezes waste products out from between the cells, encourages capillary expansion and improves blood flow. Exercise changes the metabolism and alters the resting environment of the cells.  Here are some of the toys and pieces of equipment that have helped me or others I know. There will be a full subsection on glow in the dark toys…do not underestimate the power of moving in a fun way.

Amazon Image The Aero Pilates Magic Wheel is the piece of exercise equipment that makes it into my suitcase.  It does not give a lot of resistance but that is part of the magic.  When you squeeze in  gently with either  either your shoulders  or hips, the wheel pushes out. This gentle traction is helpful for a gradual opening stretch good in frozen shoulders, and a slew of hip and pelvic dysfunctions.  When you  create slack in the joint and there is a tight slip of scar tissue or ligament…that structure can be targeted if you have awareness and good stretching technique.   Worked right this is delicious. This can be used in dance exercise routines to completely change the direction of force from motions.   If doing my ‘cuppa joga’ exercise series, a Pilates magic circle can be substituted for that cup of jo…with no spilling possible)

 

Amazon Image My son, who has been on the All-Armed Forces Volleyball Team, introduced me to Jump Soles by asking for them for Christmas. Yes, they truely do help a person who uses them increase their vertical leap. They also provide the best calf stretch in the universe.  With these on it is possible to sustain the stretch that shows how connected the bottom is to the top…first the foot calf and ankle…then feel the hamstrings, quads and butt, feel the abdomen stretch and the shoulders move back and the head rest differently on your neck.

Notice the one I have recommended has some weird thing called proprioceptors…Yes it is worth the extra money to get these.   Without them you will still get an excellent stretch, but with them you can create challenges to the ankles, knees, hips and your full balance system that is phenomenal.  The proprioceptors are removable and can change position so if you need more length on your inner thigh you can insert  the proprioceptor  on an outside position. As always with any balance challenging equipment take steps to safely recover your balance or have help standing by if the activity you are attempting is more than you can handle at this time.  You may want to start with hands on the kitchen counter and a chair positioned nearby. When you work on improving your balance sometimes you have to lose it a little.  Take precautions until you know how your balance responds. They were designed by a college basketball coach

 

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Large balls are wonderful tools. They are great for seated balance challenges,  stretching over, putting behind your back during squats  They can be used as footstools and fidget gadgets.   Balls with a little squish in them are excellent for development of stability.     People who sit on them and bounce create the compression<–>decompression that seems to be especially helpful in improving disk health.

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  I use a large one as a desk chair, there are bases so if you want the buoyancy to promote disk health without having the instability issues inherent in a curved bottom  Amazon Image  

Sometimes if you are just looking for buoyancy and a minimal challenge  your existing chair, this insert may help you in your fight against gravity, train your pelvis or relieve pressure from prolonged sitting at work.  These are also good for people attempting to improve sitting balance and depending on the persons’s level of function can be used in wheel chairs, on flat mats or in the sand at the beach Amazon Image

 

 

Amazon Image I have been a fan of small ‘yogaballs’ for multiple purposes. Yeah!  Elaine Patrone has written a very good book and packaged it with the right sized balls so I don’t have to. The Miracle Ball Method has helped some of my clients not need me so much any more because they can relieve their own pain when they over do.

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Small soft weighted balls can be substituted for the coffee cup in cuppa joga exercises. still using them as a horizon, you can rotate the horizon without spilling :)  2lb and 3lb can also be used for positional reinforcements for cervical and lumbar curves, They can be used to support the weight of arms and legs when attempting new movement patterns.You can sit on them to stretch the pelvic floor or use them for sensory awareness activities

 

Amazon Image  I met the man who designed Body Blade at a golf fair at Riverwalk Golf Course in San Diego…I had never used a tool that challenged dynamic balance while improving shoulder stability. What a great full body workout. There is a biofeedback component to it because you have to get a rythm going.  I thought I got mine for my shoulder but found it was just as much a help in working on improving my pelvic stability and balance. I met him about two years before I had back surgery following an injury  but once I healed from the surgery and was cleared by my doctor to exercise , I was surprised how this helped decrease discomfort and help me feel more stable in my back.  I like this package because it is the original, it has wall charts to stimulate your creative use of this device.  I have had better targeted results with this in 45 seconds that i have with ten minutes of other exercises

 

 GOLF TOYS

Yes  I’m a golfer…I have ‘legitimately broken a hundred,’ play in scrambles, and even won a putter in a long drive contest (although I’m not certain that I wasn’t one of two women in the tournament and the other went further but out of bounds).  I took up this aggravating sport after back surgery. I wanted to get rotation back. I was lucky to be introduced to Rex Cole and his golf lessons and applying the concepts of the golf swing freed up my back and set about  changing childhood trauma restrictions I didn’t even know I had.   It was in breaking down the components of the swing that I realized that the golf swing done correctly is a perfect full body PNF pattern and so anything I use to improve any component of the swing helps perfect the pattern.

Amazon Image The power fan swing tool can be used seated or standing and in planes that have nothing to do with golf.   This is good for baseball players, kayakers and dancers. Using this takes the edge of slight irregularities in a movement plane while at the same time strengthening the joint while creating a relaxed lag on it’s antagonist. Wheel chair and bed bound persons can wave this with as much power as they can muster to build abdominal strength. The resistance being created by air makes this a good tool for pregnant women wanting to use their obliques. The power fan is also good for shoulder rehab, elbow  and wrist stabilization are also recruited. I’m a fan. I should paint up a pair and use them like poi…now that would be a workout.

sklz tempo and grip trainer Amazon Image   is one of my favorite tools. The handle has finger grooves and thumb slot that if your hands, wrists, elbows, shoulders can find a smooth path from address to back-swing all the way through to follow-though you will have a decent if not excellent golf swing because your ankles knees hips and back have to cooperate in order to make that so.  The balanced position of the hands is a nice little stretch between the shoulder blades if you let the weight pull your arms forward from the blade attachments to the spine before you allow lengthening to occur in the shoulder joint capsule. I vary my swing distance, speed, foot position. Other times I hold various points in the swing in the best possible position and move one inch back and forth Pilates style with all the awareness of a Feldenkrais devotee. this can be used in my living room, my mothers patio, or in a park. Although marketed as a golf tool it is also an excellent rehab tool for someone with some but incomplete  hand, and shoulder function or    compromised standing balance but fair sitting balance. it can almost be a seated cane to provide stability or as a strengthening pole more aerodynamically contoured than an ordinary dowel.  it can be held between palms to increase power and sense of mid-line even rolled

The Medicus Amazon Image   is a hinged club which remains in alignment as long as you swing well.   it is another biofeedback tool that checks the correctness of your PNF pattern.  It is amazing that in a well executed golf swing the right arm will rotate one way while the left rotates at the same speed the other direction. This tool can be used to check the ability to shift weight from left to right and back to left again. momentum helps to create motion through areas that may not have strength, ‘grooving the swing path’ reinforces the best path gives the body at least one well purposed motion where the whole body must work together.  The motion should be perfected without a ball the important thing is that perfect pattern where the vertebrae elongate, rotate, the ribs disengage from the shoulder blades and I won’t even begin to describe  all that happens in the pelvic girdle.  It is a frustrating tool. but worth the aggravation,

An impact bag like the skilz smash bag  Amazon Image has multiple uses. in golf it helps develop the ability to power through creating  divots without breaking the wrist of the lower extremity line.  Powering through impact into the first part of follow through develops muscles of acceleration. This is one of those sneaky toys because basically it is an empty zippered bag you fill yourself made of material sturdy enough to withstand club head impact without ripping.  You can vary the weight by what you fill it with. think towels, clothes that the Salvation Army would reject.  if hitting it and watching it’s follow through is too depressing, try pushing it in a straight line with a broom.  It makes a nice kiddy chair, ottomon or is easily pushed into a closet. The handle makes it so the bag can be used much the same way as a kettle weight. a creative person can load the bag so it is deliberately heavier on one side than the other if there is a reason to do this.

 

Cuff weights and weight belts are good for many purposes from strength, endurance,  coordination, balance,  weight loss, and bone density issues. Weight belts worn below the waist heavy side back can be used to help counter the weight of a large chest .  they can ride sideways across the shoulder to give gravity a hand by separating the shoulders stretchingAmazon ImageAmazon Image them down and away from the neck

 

 

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