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“ Flossing “- Importance of joint mobility

We all have our shares of horror stories due to leg pain after a heavy workout, a long day of sitting or standing or legs just feeling like a bag of cement. Have you ever heard of flossing? It is a yoga based move.


The sciatic nerve runs from the back of your hips and down your legs. When it becomes trapped or inflamed around the lower back and buttocks, it causes acute pain in the lower back that can shoot down one or both legs.The most common causes of sciatica are prolonged periods of sitting or standing, which can place pressure on the lower back; a slipped disc in your spine, which then presses against the nerve; or an injury or strain through exercise.


The idea behind nerve flossing is that when the sciatic nerve becomes trapped, it rubs along the muscles and bones causing scar tissue to build up along the nerve fiber. This creates a lot of discomfort , as the scarred nerve doesn't glide smoothly, and flossing is required to break down the scar tissue to improve mobility (just as flossing your teeth chips away at plaque buildup)




Leg Flossing


Flossing isn’t restricted to two dimensional motion instead it’s more of an unconventional movement of legs and hips to open up the joints and facilitate circulation which in help promotes lymph circulation, better recovery, muscle flexibility and joint protection. Flossing is meant to move your body in ways that it isn’t used to .To floss, one should get on their hands with one leg on the knee and the other stretched out wide in the respective side.


Start by keeping your back straight and sitting down on the leg that’s on your floor whilst the outstretched leg remains as it is; then return to initial position followed by rotating your outstretched leg in clockwise and anti-clockwise direction for 7-9 rotations and end it with by outstretching the arm and touching the ceiling so as to open up the thoracic region.Repeat for the next leg.


To get a deeper understanding of this move, watch this video and follow-



Next comes shoulder flossing-


Shoulder flossing involves standing up straight, clasping your hands and  turning your palms outwards, then circling your arms behind and over your head, coming through on the other side of your body. And over and over again in both directions. Shoulder flossing not only moves through the shoulder, but it starts to decrease compression in the neck, and releases everything in the whole pectoral girdle.

It can also be done with clasping your hands. This is a highly advanced move which requires a lot of practice


Instructions-

Relax the shoulders again then gently bring the arms behind you interlocking the fingers. As you breathe out gently raise the arms behind you feeling the stretch in the shoulders then as you breathe in release the arm.

For beginners, you can also use a stick or a resistance band.

Here’s how-

Stand tall with feet hip-width apart. Keep your abs tight and your spine stable. Hold the band in front of hips with a wide grip, making sure your arms are wide enough to remain straight throughout the move. Keeping the arms straight, sweep them forward and up overhead. Continue moving arms behind you until the strap touches the lower back or bum. Reverse the action to complete one rep. As your shoulders warm up, narrow the grip by small increments along the strap/band. Do 3 sets of 10 reps.



Whereas on the other hand, When doing leg flossing, you’re basically working the legs in ways and movements that they’re not used to feeling. “Spherical movements in the joints let you break out of the box and move organically, exactly how you want to move—and you really can’t mess it up.

In the fitness world, nerve and shoulder flossing should be given a lot of importance. These are all different yet effective moves.


Let’s see what our Fitness expert and Health coach- Deanne Panday has to say about flossing-

“In order to do the same, I begin all my workouts by mobilising my joints. Flossing is one of the best ways to do it. It should surely be incorporated in every workout.” So, this time floss your legs and shoulders, not just your teeth.

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