How to Help Superman Be More Unstoppable

Danh NgoUncategorizedLeave a Comment

superman-helpThis is the biggest weekend holiday coming up.  It is father’s day!….Of course I am biased and like to think I am superman.  I know my children think I am made of steel and can do anything and everything.  The reality is that everybody needs maintenance especially since modern society asks everyone to take huge responsibilities and forces us to be expert in multi-tasking to survive.   I will like to highlight common stiff patterns that I see in males that should not be as we age.  I hope to provide gentle suggestions or “nudges” to the fathers so tmhey can help themselves.  Remember no one likes to be reminded that they are getting old and told what to do.  Make it playful and hopefully change will happen.

1. Sign #1: Inability to sit cross legged on the floor.  The second requirement is to be able to reach forward in all directions.  Males tend to be stiff in their hips and pelvis so sitting maybe hard already.  (I raise my hand…guilty)  On the pediatric rehab perspectives, sitting cross leg is a movement pattern I test routinely.  It is sad to see that many children cannot sit in this position for an extended period of time due to the modern shoe wear and comfy seating options nowadays.  That is another tangent.

A fun solution this is to play board games or do more outdoor family activities that requires sitting on mother earth.  Picnics are a fun and great way to facilitate more opportunities of this cross legged seated position.  If there is difficulties, allow the use of seated blocks to gradually start this healthy habit.  If you do decide to play dominos or board games, this requires reaching forward.  If you need more incentive, try placing his favorite drink further away.

If this does not change over 4-6 weeks of mindful effort to change this, please consult with a medical professional like a physical therapist.  Four weeks is a good standard to see change and if there is lack of big changes, there may be a hidden reason.  You should never force a stretch.  We at ReVITALize Rehab Club are happy to chat with this concern or anything related to stiffness if you are worried.  Please click on the blue button below if you would like to express your concern.


2. Sign #2: Decrease single leg balance.  This is a common and overlook risk factor that impacts all type of ailments, from heel pain to being a fall risk.  Normal healthy balance is being able to stand on one leg for 30 seconds without swaying.  Be honest.

A fun solution is to make it competitive throughout the day.  Males love to be competitive.  Get the children involve.  This is a great suggestion to get the whole family involved.  You can suggest picking things up standing on one leg.

3. Sign #3: Being able to stand and touch the floor (without bending your knees).  This is a big sign that your spine is not healthy and aging well.  The lack of flexibility indicates a stiffness in the posterior fascial back line and nervous system tension.  The last sentence means that there is a structure that connects the back of our skull to the bottom of our feet.  This tends to stiffen for all sorts of reason that I will not go into details.  If you say that you have been tight since elementary school, I 100% believe your ailments is deep rooted all the way back to your elementary school days.

If you have back issues, consult with a physical therapist as bending forward may not be the wisest choice currently, but should be addressed soon.  Your joints cannot age well if you lack this movement pattern.

A fun solution is to encourage him to the playground and act like a big kid again.  Seriously, the variety of movement patterns and complexity will wake up the nervous system.  If he refuse, then you can taunt him in joining you to yoga.  I love yoga and highly believe everyone should be doing yoga.  Another easy suggestion is to have him massage the bottom of his feet to reduce the tension in the fascial back line.  I mention this line from the bottom of our feet runs up to our skull.  This is a common reason for many who faithfully perform the ball massage technique that I talk about in my last article, 3 Ways Teachers Can Help ReVITALize Their Body….and Have Fun Doing It Too, will find relief in all sorts of ailments like headache, neck tension or digestion related disorder.

Remember, this stretch should improve your flexibility in 4 weeks, otherwise, it is wise to contact us for a second opinion of other hidden reasons.  Click the blue button for this friendly chat.  Happy Father’s Day Everyone!  I hope this recharges the Superman in your life!



Dr Danh Ngo

Spine and Sports Medicine Expert



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