By Jennifer Norman RMT, B.Kin, CSCS
With the cold weather coming in we are more likely to stay inside and significantly decrease our activity levels. Unfortunately when we don’t move, our body will become stiff and weak, making it more difficult to complete daily tasks. This is especially relevant as this is the season of shovelling, an energy consuming task that which requires strength and mobility.
Mobility refers to our strength at end range of motion. By moving actively through a joints motion we keep the muscles strong and the structures healthy. Our thoracic spine (mid back region) must have sufficient flexion (forward bend), extension (backward bend) and rotation mobility, especially when it comes to shovelling the snow as we twist our torso quite a bit. If we don’t have enough mobility, we run the risk of hurting our low back or other surrounding areas as they will try to compensate for our thoracic spines deficit.
Here are a few mobility exercises that can be done before any activity. They are meant to be done slowly, with control and most importantly without pain. Try completing 8-10 repetitions of each exercise, breathing deeply, and with every exhale gently go a little deeper into the next movement as long as there is no pain.