Article by John Miller
Strengthening exercises are best known for bulking up your muscles and lift heavy weights. However, strengthening exercises have different requirements depending upon your treatment goals, sport or function.
Basic muscle strength is required for joint control during your simple everyday tasks. These tasks can include static activities (such as sitting or standing posture) or dynamic activities (such as walking, running, reaching, lifting or throwing). The tasks that you require strengthening for pre-determines the specific strengthening exercises that will help you to achieve your goals. Your physiotherapist is an expert who can guide you.
In addition to muscle strength, which can involve power, endurance and speed of contraction, the timing and balance of muscle contractions is very important.
Specific Muscle Strengthening
Your muscles have different roles to play. Muscles are predominately fast twitch, slow twitch or endurance-based stabilisation muscles. Their roles all differ so they should be exercised the depending upon their specific characteristics. For example,
Stability muscle exercises with generally be low intensity - long duration type exercises.
Dynamic strengthening exercises are more likely to be higher intensity (weight, speed, power) and shorter duration but this can vary.
Eccentric strengthening exercises are important for both speed and weight-bearing control.
Each strengthening exercise and the speed that it is performed will strengthen your muscles in different ways. The best way to prioritise the exact strength exercises that are most appropriate to your needs is to discuss your case with your physiotherapist or sports coach.
What are Core Strength Exercises?
Core stability retraining is a vital component of optimising your core strength program while reducing your chance of injury and improved performance. In basic terms, your core muscle provide a solid platform that your dynamic muscles enact upon. In most cases, your abdomen or back core muscles are the best known core muscles, but they also exist in other regions.
The important thing to remember is that if you are not performing core stability exercises, you should be! It's one reason why elite athletes are elite performers.
More information about: Core Exercises.
More Strengthening Exercise Advice
Your physiotherapist is an expert in the assessment and correction of muscle strength deficits, timing and individually prescribed strengthening exercises appropriate for your injury, sport or lifestyle. It is important to remember that individual injuries, your stage of rehabilitation, age, gender and your sport or level of activity will dictate the best exercises suitable for you.
Seek the professional advice of your physiotherapist if you require more specific strengthening advice.
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