Thoughtful Thursday…An exercise to build strength, stability and to restore balance...
Welcome to Thoughtful Thursday. This GreenNote Fitness newsletter mindfully gathers and distills useful information that is supportive to our journey. It is my mission to educate, inspire, and propel you into action that moves you towards your goals and life of purpose. Take control of your journey today.
Recently I wrote about my healing experience with a manual therapist which you can read here. I explain how my body has opened up, has more range of motion that was previously limited due to tissue “congestion”. I’m continuing to go to sessions to improve my mobility and to lessen the tightness in muscle tissue.
This has been especially helpful for my SI joint. I’ve notice a pulling or tightness in my right lower back/glute/SI region. When do I notice it? After golfing. I hit golf balls right-handed which means my hips rotate laterally from right to left, I’m loading up force on my left knee and rotating my spine. When you are hitting a lot of balls, this repetitive motion starts to add up. Meaning, one side of the body is being impacted more than the other; an imbalance if you will.
Repetitive motion can wreck havoc on the human body. To be able to perform optimally and reduce the risk of injury, it is essential to work towards balance.
As my manual therapist recognized, my right leg was slightly shorter than my left. That tightness on my right side was causing the muscle to shorten. We worked on it and I literally felt my right leg was longer than when I started the session!
To counteract the repetitive nature of hitting a golf ball and loading up one side of the body, he showed me an exercise I’m now incorporating into my routine to help the effects of golfing. Enter the Kettlebell Windmill. You will notice in the image, I’m not using a kettlebell. At least not yet. I want to perform this move correctly before adding any weight. There are still great benefits to this exercise. Let’s take a look a some of them.
Four Benefits of the Kettlebell Windmill Exercise:
#1.) Increase range of motion in hamstrings- it stretches the hamstrings and hips and with the exercise focusing on one leg at a time, it prevents compensation between the two which helps to increase hamstring mobility in each leg.
#2.) Activates glutes- reaching the floor with your hand and getting back up into standing position with the kettlebell overhead (eventually), requires the activation of the hamstrings and glutes. Activation of the glutes can help reduce back pain as it is often caused by the glutes not being turned on or improper function as well as a tightness or shortness in the hamstrings.
#3.) Strengthens shoulder/scapular- holding a weight overhead your shoulder works to stabilize, even without a weight, one can focus on packing the shoulder into proper position and hold this position throughout the movement. With increased strength in the shoulder and scapular stability, there is a decreased risk of shoulder injuries.
#4.) Builds core strength and stability- this is a dynamic stabilization exercise; the core is working even harder to stabilize while the body is in motion.
The benefits of the kettlebell windmill will help to counteract the effects of a repetitive motion. In my case, swinging a golf club. For demonstration on how to perform the Kettlebell Windmill Exercise, check this out.
Good health is all about finding balance. Whether it be balancing work and family or nourishing our body with the right foods, or working on muscle and stability imbalances, look to what you can be doing to get back to center.
Enjoy your journey,
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Did you miss last week’s newsletter on 3 exercises for healthier shoulders…?