Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Save your joints

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After the bones and muscle, the joints are the most important part of your movement. They define the quality of your life and - actually - your freedom. An old saying goes something like "you are as old as your joints" and it is quite right.

Unfortunately, the joints can be easily damaged; they get developed slower than muscle; and they recuperate even slower. So they need a great deal of attention. Proper form in every exercise is the first thing you should do to save your joints.

The second is supplementation. Here we have the following Holy Trinity: glucosamine, chondroitin, and collagen. Other substances help too (vitamin C, omega-3, MSM), but the first three are fundamental.

Finally, for joints more than anything else, the adage "use it or lose it" is completely true. So, put in your daily routine mobility exercises for the eight basic joints:


Just move every joint in its full range of motion and do 10 reps. Move front-to-back, left-to-right, and rotations too (where applicable).

One more thing: don't confuse mobility exercises with stretching. For example, if you lift your bent knee to your chest, you perform full range of forward motion for the hip. If the knee was straight, then you would also stretch your hamstring (and the movement would be much more difficult), but the hip would see no difference.

Get to work!