It’s that beautiful crazy time of year. The time to feel joy, love, connection, warmth and sadness, loss, loneliness, and freezing temps. Both ends of the spectrum exist, and finding the balance is key to contentment.
This pull of various emotions is much like the numerous physical forces within our body at any given time. Depending on how we spend our day, our body develops areas of stiffness & relative weakness or freedom of movement & strength. Understanding optimal movement patterns and knowing the state of our current physical body is key to finding our body’s balance that leads to increased energy and overall contentment.
What exactly are optimal movement patterns?
Each and every joint in our body has “optimal” ranges of motion that, when optimized, function at their best. To achieve this freedom of movement, we need both mobility and strength. Mobility drills are used to gain motion, and corrective strength exercises are what hold you there. When we achieve this beautiful balance of movement + adequate strength, our joints feel great and experience less pain.
Where do you start?
This all depends on how you feel. Becoming in tune with the current state of your body and learning more about how it functions are the perfect start. Then, you just start exploring. Intuitively, you probably know more about what your body needs than you realize. All you have to do is pick an area to work on, pick the appropriate tool and/or movement and begin. Of course, guidance in precisely what to do is helpful, but just know that you will likely make gains without causing injury if you genuinely listen to your body.
My Favorite Tools to Help You Gain Movement
The movement industry is flooded with various mobility tools, from lacrosse balls to foam rollers to vibration guns. I’ve played with a wide variety of them and have settled on a few favorites. Each of these companies has done a fantastic job of educating the consumer on using their products. I encourage you to explore their websites and social channels to see which speaks to you. I promise you can’t go wrong with any of these tools. After all, ‘tis the season to spoil you and your loved ones!
RAD Roller - An innovative Denver-based company that believes movement lives in both the mind and the body. They offer a large variety of tools that suit your body’s every part and shape. Their devices feel great, and they do an excellent job bundling them together, enabling you to create a collection that suits your needs. One of my favorite things is their free app, with over 250 videos and playlists you can follow to get to know your body and your tools.
Intelliroll - This California-based company offers a unique product designed by chiropractors to work with your body’s curves. Their Intelliroller product is a sophisticated foam roller that comes in 3 different densities to suit your individual body’s sensitivity to pressure. This all-in-one tool has specific edges that can get “into” various areas of your body without the need for several different devices. Their website and youtube channel have an expansive collection of how-to videos for multiple body parts and problem areas. I also love their Instagram account as it includes posts from a variety of experts in the chiropractic and physical therapy worlds.
Therabody - This innovative company was started by a chiropractor. I love their mission statement, which is “to provide you with the effective natural solutions you need to take charge of your daily wellness.” They are the leaders in this percussive industry as they provide quality tools, education, and tech innovation. Their website includes how-to videos for each body part AND routines & protocols for various activities like running, golf, cycling & tennis. It is a bit pricier than other brands, but you will not be disappointed with it.
All of these products make lovely gifts for yourself and for your loved ones. Go ahead, get your hands on some of these, and you will be well on your way to discovering your body’s optimal balance.