News - 29th June 2020
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Stretching for strength and mobility

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Physiotherapist Laura Penhaul talks us through some more advanced strength and mobility exercises, all of which can be done without the need for expensive equipment.

 

Calf raises

 

Start off by doing your calf raises with both feet on the floor and do them slowly – each calf raise should take 6 seconds.

Once you’ve mastered that, you can increase the difficulty by standing on one leg, and then by doing them off a step. You should aim to do:
  • 20 calf raises
  • Rest for 60 seconds
  • 20 calf raises
  • Rest for 60 seconds
  • 20 calf raises

 

Calf raise

 

 

Sit to stand

  • Aim for a total of 30 repetitions before progressing.
  • Start off sitting, and move to a standing position without using your hands.
  • Progress to standing using only one leg (aim for 25 on each leg before progressing).
  • You could then move to sit to stand from a higher bench on single leg, aiming for a 90 degree bend in the thigh, and progressing the repetitions.

 

sit to stand

 

Here are some trunk exercises, which help to keep the stomach switched on.

 

Alternate leg lifts

  • Aim for one minute repetition, four times, with a 60 second break.
  • Lying on the back, with the opposite leg bent, lift each leg in turn.
  • Awareness should be felt in the stomach muscles and without back pain before moving on to the single leg lowers.

 

Single leg lowers

  • Hold for six seconds, ten times on each side, then 60 seconds recovery.
  • Lying on the back, lift each leg in turn and then slowly lower, repeat three sets before progressing.
  • Next lower the opposite arm and opposite leg together, with a block across the knee to hand, if you have one.

 

Mountain Climbers

  • On your front, bring your knee to your opposite elbow, alternating sides, continue for one minute.
  • Repeat this three times.
  • You should feel this in your stomach and not your lower back.

 

Side planks

  • Aim to hold for 30 seconds, twice on each side.
  • Start on your knees first and then progress to straight legs.
  • Next try to get the top leg lifted, aim to hold for thirty seconds, twice on each side.

 

Trunk excersises

 

 

Hamstring bridges

  • Do four sets of twelve bridges before progressing.
  • Lie on your back and using both legs, close to your bum for support, bring your back up to bridge from the floor.
  • Progress to using a single leg for support (do four sets of 12 bridges on each leg with one minute recovery).
  • You can also try progressing to using both legs with your feet on a bench, and then to using a single leg with a bench.

 

Hamstring bridging

 

Single leg balance

  • Stand on one leg and hold for one minute without loss of posture control before progressing.
  • Reach an arm overhead, or add in movement to the free leg, again hold for  one minute without loss of posture on the standing leg.
  • You can then progress to a ‘running man’ pose on a single leg, moving in to a single leg stance with ‘superman’ reach.
  • Try moving in and out from ‘superman’ to ‘running man’ posture on single leg stance for one minute, repeat this three times.

 

 

standing leg

 

I hope this has given you a flavour of some of the simple exercises you might think about doing at home to help you maintain or develop strength and flexibility, and integrate a bit of movement and mobility into your daily or weekly routine.

 

Please don’t think that you have to block out a long period of time to do these exercises either, a minute or two each day is really beneficial to your health and wellbeing.

 

Laura Penhaul

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