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STRENGTH AND CONDITIONING

Strength Exercises
 
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). 
 
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 prioritize 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 optimizing 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 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 are the benefits of Strengthening Exercises?
 
There are many different benefits of strengthening exercises. Some of the benefits of receiving a strengthening exercise programme are:
 
• Muscle strength is improved
• Decrease energy expenditure as muscles are more efficient
• Reduced risk of injury
• Improve function
• Improve quality of movement
• Delay onset of arthritic conditions
 
The physiotherapists at GoPhysio will offer a comprehensive assessment and strengthening exercise programme. Strengthening exercise programmes can benefit you in many ways. They will increase your confidence in the muscle as you will be able to rely upon it. 
 
What do Strengthening Exercise Programmes Include? 
 
Strengthening exercise programmes will include a variety of exercises designed to target specific groups or individual muscles. These exercises will begin easier and progress as strength is developed. Some of the exercises may involve the following:
• Exercising against gravity
• Exercising against the resistance of water
• Exercising against a resistance band
• Exercising with weight
• Exercising using your own body weight as the load
 
Strengthening exercising will only be effective if the muscle is overloaded. These exercises will be functional to the goal you want to achieve e.g. if the goal is to be able to bend down and pick an item up off the floor, the functional exercise would be a squat. This is because non-functional exercises reduce compliance. 
 
Who would benefit from Strengthening Exercises? 
 
There are many people with a variety of conditions and injuries who would benefit from a strengthening exercise programme. 
Some of the conditions / injuries which would benefit from strengthening exercises are:
 
• Arthritic conditions
• Post injury – strength is lost post injury
• Pre surgery – increasing strength pre surgery will increase the recovery rate post surgery
• Post surgery – as surgery will result in decreased function which will decrease muscle strength
• After a period of immobility – muscles start to atrophy if immobile.
• Movement dysfunction – strengthening specific muscles can help to correct this
• People with poor posture – some muscles become weak and longer whereas others may be overused and become tight due to poor postures. 

 

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