We've been on this From Desk Life to Best Life journey together now for a couple of blogs, building a foundation of fascial anatomy by learning about the hazards of sitting and what fascia is. Now it's time to get a little more specific and dive into exercises you can do anywhere, anytime.
WRIST AND ELBOW MAINTENANCE
Wrist and elbow maintenance is a simple yet, often overlooked way at preventing some common injuries like tennis elbow and carpal tunnel. When sitting at a desk typing away, our hands tend to stay in the same position for hours and hours. Think elbows bent to 90 degrees and wrists extended. Fascia of the lower arm starts to shift and conform to make this position easier. The tissue located on the top of the forearms and along the biceps starts to shorten. Day after day of this and now you have T-Rex arms!
Remember that sock analogy from a couple of weeks ago?
Yeah, that's right...I said sock. With our elbows and wrists now in this 90 degree position, our once nice and neat sock (otherwise known as fascia), has now become wrinkled and stiff, preventing normal movement. You start to change the way you use your hands and elbows to compensate and BAM! seemingly out of nowhere, something starts to hurt. Day-to-day activities like picking up groceries, working out and even cooking start to become problematic. So let's start fixing this issue by doing a little myofascial release work with a lacrosse ball and/or our greatest tool...our own hands.
QUICK TIPS: Biceps Release
QUICK TIPS: Triceps Release
QUICK TIPS: Bottom of Forearm Release
QUICK TIPS: Top of Forearm Release
HOW DO YOU LIKE YOUR STEAK?
The big key for these exercises is to start gently and slowly add more pressure. Too much pressure and your body will reject what you are trying to do. A good guideline is, can you still take a deep relaxing breath while manipulating your tissue? When working with my clients, I have them use the steak method for finding compromised tissue.
When you cook a steak and want to check if it's done or not, you gently push into it. Medium rare and there is some good give to it. Well done steak (can't imagine how people eat it this way!), and the meat no longer has that give; its rock hard. That's where you start to apply pressure with the ball and/or your fingers.
Use the techniques shown above and then do some of the wrist rolling stretches from my first blog. Be consistent and you will start to see some change.
Next up in our series: Get tips on how to work on those dreaded forward shoulders and how to start correcting that posture.
ABOUT COACH MATT PIPPIN
Matt is a Strength and Conditioning Coach and Level 3 Fascial Stretch Therapist with over 15 years experience in his field. After years of playing sports as a child, Matt gained an interest in health and wellness and decided to pursue a career in strength and conditioning. He graduated from the University of South Florida with a degree in Exercise Science in 2005. During college Matt played rugby and interned as a Strength and Conditioning Coach with the football team.
Post graduation, he worked with professional athletes as the Head Strength and Conditioning Coach for NFL Europe's Berlin Thunder. For 8 years, Matt worked in Chicago, IL at the East Bank Club as a Master Personal Trainer, Performance Coach and Fascial Stretch Therapist helping athletes and weekend warriors achieve their personal goals. Inspired by the overall quality and active lifestyle that California is known for, Matt and his wife Jennifer moved to San Diego in the summer of 2014 and haven’t looked back!
NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist
Level 3: Fascial Stretch Specialist
Level 1: Institute of Motion Health Coach
Certified FRC Mobility Specialist (FRCms)