Do You Feel Creaky as the Tin Man?

In my practice, I often hear “When I wake up, I feel creaky as the Tin Man?”

There can be so many factors that contribute to waking up feeling like the Tin Man.

For today I’ll focus on flexibility, mobility and stability of the joint.

Flexibility is the ability of a muscle to lengthen or stretch when needed.  Think of it like a rubber band. If you pull both ends and it stretches. If it doesn’t stretch, it’s inflexible. It’s the same principle with muscles.

Mobility on the other hand is the ability of a joint to move actively through an intended range of motion. Let’s look at your shoulder joint.  It is designed so that you can move your arm forward, backward, side-to-side and in circles. If it can move like it should, the joint has healthy mobility. If you can’t move in all those directions, for example you can’t keep your arms next to your ears when raising your arms overhead, that’s a lack of mobility.

Stability is defined as the ability of the joint to maintain control of movement by coordinating the actions of surrounding muscles and ligaments.  Stability of a joint depends on 3 main factors:

* *the shape, size and arrangement the bones that connect joint;

**the ligaments in the joint;

**the tone of the muscles surrounding the joint.

This is why I love the exercise bodyweight squats so much.  They are a great example of flexibility, mobility and stability.  We need flexibility in our muscles to bend at the hip, mobility in our joint to perform the squat without hurting our knees or back, and joint stability to move thru the movement without assistance.

I think the best way to keep things flexible, mobile and stable is to work on it every day.

Here are two everyday examples of how you can acquire flexibility, mobility and stability without going to the gym.

When you are emptying the dishwasher, notice how are you bending when you pick up the dishes? How you are bending when you put them away in a lower cabinet?  Do you bring your torso down with your legs straight or bent or are your bending from your hips, knees and ankles into a squat?  Bending as in a squat will help you keep your joints mobile and your muscles flexible, while strengthening your stabilizing muscles.

How about when you are walking or sitting? Are you aware of your posture?  Simply keeping your head, shoulders and hips in alignment will help.  Oh and of course, when you are sitting, and you get up, please do it without using your hands or swinging your feet.

You are only as strong as your weakest link.  The key to getting stronger and more fit is to “oil up” those joints every day, so you aren’t as creaky as the Tin Man.  And the best way to do that is to get moving!

I hope this helps.

P.S.  If you need help setting up workout that can be done anytime, anywhere, one that keeps you agile and supple, let’s set up a discovery call to chat.  Let’s see if working together would be a good fit.

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