Strengthening exercises are best known for bulking up your muscles and lift heavyweights. 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 you require strengthening for pre-determines the specific strengthening exercises that will help you achieve your goals. Your physiotherapist is an expert who can guide you.
In addition to muscle strength, which can involve power, endurance, and contraction speed, the timing and balance of muscle contractions are 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 depending upon their specific characteristics. For example,
Stability muscle exercises generally are 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 provides 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 assessing and correcting muscle strength deficits, timing, and individually prescribed strengthening exercises appropriate for your injury, sport, or lifestyle. It is important to remember that individual injuries, stage of rehabilitation, age, gender, sport, or activity level 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, allow patients to manage pain and prevent disease for people of all ages. Physiotherapists help encourage pain relief, injury recovery, enabling people to stay playing a sport, working or performing daily living activities 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, 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 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 prescribing the "best exercises" for you and the most appropriate "exercise dose" for you, depending on your rehabilitation status. Your physiotherapist will incorporate essential pilates, yoga and exercise physiology components 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 to assist injury recovery, prevent injury and improve performance. For the best advice, consult a Sports & Exercise 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 workstations 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 problem, please get in touch with your PhysioWorks team.
Kinesiology tape has a comprehensive array of therapeutic benefits. Because kinesiology taping can usually be left on for several days or up to a week, these therapeutic benefits are available to the injured area 24 hours a day, significantly accelerating the healing process from trauma, injuries and inflammatory conditions.
Benefits of Kinesiology Taping
Pain Relief via Structural Support for Weak or Injured Body Parts
Kinesiology tape is a flexible elastic tape that moves with your body. The supple elasticity provides supports to your body parts without the tape slipping.
By supporting your body part, kinesiology tape can provide you with pain relief and muscular support to help control body parts affected by muscle inhibition.
Kinesiology tape potentially assists your muscle strength via physical assistance. It also provides tactile feedback through the skin, e.g. proprioception boost. This phenomenon may help both the non-disabled athlete to enhance their performance and hypotonic, e.g. children with low muscle tone.
Kinesiology provides a passive lift to your skin via its elastic properties. This vacuum effect allows your lymphatic and venous drainage systems to drain and swollen or bruised tissue quicker than without the kinesiology tape.
It is also thought that this same principle can assist the removal of exercise byproducts like lactic acid that may contribute to post-exercise soreness, e.g. delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS).
More info: Strapping & Supportive Taping
What Causes Post-Exercise Muscular Pain?
What Causes Muscular Pain?
You know the feeling… dreaded “stiff and sore muscles” a day or two after you’ve done a little more exercise than usual.
Shortly after exercise begins, a mix of lactic and carbonic acids builds up in muscle tissue. These acids are waste products of muscle contractions. Don’t worry. These acids are normal. To produce “energy”, muscles burn stored glycogen. Lactic and carbonic acids are by-products of this metabolic process.
The good news is that most of these acids convert back into glycogen and are restored in preparation for your next bout of exercise. Pain and muscle fatigue can exist until the acid levels in your muscles return to normal.
How Does Massage Help?
Massage helps to eliminate the irritation caused by these acidic wastes. Research shows that massage can increase muscle recovery much quicker than rest alone.
Why is Massage So Useful When You Exercise?
Regular exercise causes many body changes. One improvement is the increase in blood vessels to the muscles to meet the demand for more oxygen and nutrients. This circulation increase helps to eliminate the waste products and toxins that build up with exercise. Importantly, it can take several weeks to develop improved muscular circulation.
Until the blood supply increases, you will have trouble with oxygen and nutrients supply. This allows toxic wastes to back up and stagnate. You will experience soreness, pain and stiffness. Many exercise enthusiasts regard aches and pains as the inevitable price to be paid. This is usually not true.
What about Muscle & Joint Stiffness?
Massage eases muscle and joint stiffness. Using massage strokes to reduce muscle tension and passive movement to stretch the connective tissue found around joints massage will improve your performance. Massage also lengthens muscle and tendon units to help prevent injuries from occurring in the first place.
What about Soft Tissue Injuries and Massages?
Massage aids recovery from soft tissue injuries such as sprains and strains. Tissue repair accelerates by increasing circulation in the injured area. Massage therapy can help speed, improve recovery, and reduce discomfort from soft tissue injuries.
Massage is Drug-Free Treatment
Massage is a drugless therapy. Headaches, insomnia, neck and back pain, digestive disorders including constipation and spastic colon, arthritis, asthma, carpal tunnel syndrome and muscular aches and pains are just some of the problems that can respond to massage therapy.
What is HIIT?
High Interval Intensity Training
High Interval Intensity Training (or HIIT) has been shown by researchers to be an effective way to both lose weight fast and get fit.
HIIT sessions are quick, fast-paced sessions that suit busy people who don't have the time to work out the old fashioned way. HIIT workouts can be done from home, at the gym, in a park or with minimal exercise equipment.
Do HIIT Sessions Work?
In a 2008 study, researchers found that 2.5 hours of sprint interval training was as effective as 10.5 hours of traditional endurance training.
How does HIIT work?
High-intensity training immediately boosts your metabolism and maintains that metabolism boost for 24-36 hours after a session. These metabolism boosts occurred while working out for as little as three hours per week.
What is the Structure of a HIIT session?
As a general guide your HIIT session will include the following:
- High-intensity exercise followed by medium intensity exercise (e.g. 40 seconds of sprinting followed by 20 seconds of jogging)
- Repeated bouts of the high-intensity exercise at set intervals.
What are the Benefits of HIIT?
HIIT has many benefits including:
- improved general cardiovascular conditioning,
- promotes power and explosive output
- metabolism boost, and
- burns fat.
You should always consult your doctor or healthcare professional prior to undertaking HIIT. Due to HIIT being very high intensity, it does involve exercising at high heart rate and blood pressure levels, which does stress your cardiovascular system.
As with all new exercise participants, check with your doctor to see if it is safe for you to perform and benefit from HIIT training.