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.
What is Physiotherapy Treatment?
Physiotherapists help people affected by illness, injury or disability through exercise, manual joint therapy, soft tissue techniques education and advice. Physiotherapists maintain physical health, help patients to manage pain and prevent disease for people of all ages. Physiotherapists help to encourage pain-relief, injury recovery, enabling people to stay playing a sport, working or performing activities of daily living while assisting them to remain functionally independent.
There is a multitude of different physiotherapy treatment approaches.
Acute & Sub-Acute Injury Management
Hands-On Physiotherapy Techniques
Your physiotherapist's training includes hands-on physiotherapy techniques such as:
- Joint Mobilisation (gentle joint gliding techniques)
- Joint Manipulation
- Physiotherapy Instrument Mobilisation (PIM)
- Minimal Energy Techniques (METs)
- Soft Tissue Techniques
Your physiotherapist has skilled training. Physiotherapy techniques have expanded over the past few decades. They have researched, upskilled and educated themselves in a spectrum of allied health skills. These skills include techniques shared with other healthcare practitioners. Professions include exercise physiologists, remedial massage therapists, osteopaths, acupuncturists, kinesiologists, chiropractors and occupational therapists, just to name a few.
Your physiotherapist is a highly skilled professional who utilises strapping and taping techniques to prevent and assist injuries or pain relief and function.
Alternatively, your physiotherapist may recommend a supportive brace.
Acupuncture and Dry Needling
Many physiotherapists have acquired additional training in the field of acupuncture and dry needling to assist pain relief and muscle function.
Physiotherapists have been trained in the use of exercise therapy to strengthen your muscles and improve your function. Physiotherapy exercises use evidence-based protocols where possible as an effective way that you can solve or prevent pain and injury. Your physiotherapist is highly-skilled in the prescription of the "best exercises" for you and the most appropriate "exercise dose" for you depending on your rehabilitation status. Your physiotherapist will incorporate essential components of pilates, yoga and exercise physiology to provide you with the best result. They may even use Real-Time Ultrasound Physiotherapy so that you can watch your muscles contract on a screen as you correctly retrain them.
- Muscle Stretching
- Core Exercises
- Strengthening Exercises
- Balance Exercises
- Proprioception Exercises
- Real-Time Ultrasound Physiotherapy
- Swiss Ball Exercises
Biomechanical assessment, observation and diagnostic skills are paramount to the best treatment. Your physiotherapist is a highly skilled health professional. They possess superb diagnostic skills to detect and ultimately avoid musculoskeletal and sports injuries. Poor technique or posture is one of the most common sources of a repeat injury.
Aquatic water exercises are an effective method to provide low bodyweight exercises.
Sports physio requires an extra level of knowledge and physiotherapy skill to assist injury recovery, prevent injury and improve performance. For the best advice, consult a Sports Physiotherapist.
Women's Health Physiotherapy is a particular interest group of therapies.
Not only can your physiotherapist assist you in sport, but they can also help you at work. Ergonomics looks at the best postures and workstation set up for your body at work or home. Whether it be lifting technique improvement, education programs or workstation setups, your physiotherapist can help you.
Plus Much More
Your physiotherapist is a highly skilled body mechanic. A physiotherapist has particular interests in certain injuries or specific conditions. For advice regarding your individual problem, please contact your PhysioWorks team.
What Are The Ideal Core Exercises?Your deep core stability muscles retraining uses specific low-level activation exercises. While a very skilled physiotherapist who has training in deep core activation can observe and palpate for the correct muscle contraction, the best way is to see them working on a real-time ultrasound scan. Real-Time Ultrasound Physiotherapy guidance allows you to see how your muscles are contracting in real-time. This visual feedback will enable you to correct your specific deep core muscles inside your stomach, lower back, and pelvic floor as you attempt to contract those muscles.
Beware of “Core Stability” Exercises!The fitness industry is full of fitness instructors who profess to know how to activate your core stability muscles. Unfortunately, the wrong core exercises will do you harm. Most progress your core exercises far too quickly and bypass these critical muscles to strengthen your outer abdominal muscles further and leave your deep core muscles weak. Research evidence has found that this renders you vulnerable to lower back pain and injury.
What Causes Back Pain?
Back pain is often the result of having weak stabilising muscles supporting your joints. Without strong support, your joints simply collapse. Your bony skeletons don't stand up by themselves. The bones are held upright by efficient, supportive muscles that work across every joint in your body.
Research has shown us that pain causes these supportive muscles (known as your "stabilisers" or "inner core stability" muscles) to stop working. Research on sufferers of lower back pain has found that these muscles stop working every time you experience back pain.
Even worse, in most cases, these muscles don't automatically start working again when your pain goes. They need to be deliberately re-started by your brain.
How Can You Reactivate Your Core Stability Muscles?
There are several ways to reactivate your core stability muscles. One of the most effective is to use a Swiss Exercise Ball. Usually, some simple Exercise Ball exercises can often automatically 'kick start' these stabilising muscles.
Your physiotherapist is an expert at the reactivation techniques of these stabilising muscles. For more advice, please contact your physiotherapist. Alternatively, you can download or eBook on Back Pain Rehabilitation using a Swiss Exercise Ball.
How Does a Swiss Exercise Ball Eliminate Pain?
Your Exercise Ball is an unstable surface. When you sit or exercise upon one of these balls, your body will automatically recruit your natural balance reactions. One of the critical most components of your balance reaction system is the activation of your stabilising muscles. With repeated use over just a few days, your stabilising muscles will automatically start working again in most cases.
Researchers have discovered that by merely activating the inner core stability muscles, you have two to three times less likelihood of recurring lower back pain.
What Can You Do?
If you want to fix your back pain, you can do something. The Exercise Ball could be just the solution you need to avoid future bouts of lower back pain.