Ankle Instability: One-Legged Deadlifts

One-legged deadlifts are a great way to strengthen your entire leg and give more stability to your ankle which may be weak or unstable from a previous or current injury.

Start off with nice tall posture and engage your core muscles below the belly button. Plant your entire right foot on the ground with both knees straight. When you bend forward at your hips press your opposite leg and knee straight back and reach your arms down to the floor.

Remember to keep both hips level and do not lock out or hyper extend the right knee. Repeat this for 10 repetitions for 3 sets to start on each side.

One-legged deadlifts are a great way to strengthen your entire leg and give more stability to your ankle which may be weak or unstable from a previous or current injury and is great for building your strength and balance in any sports involving jumping, running, cutting, or hiking and even just pain old walking.

If you experience any pain or have any problems doing this exercise consult your local Physiotherapist before continuing.

Patella Femoral Pain Syndrome: Gluteus Medius Muscle Pistol Squats

With both sides of the pelvis level squat down on one leg sitting your butt back (like in a chair). Keep the knee over the ankle and aligned with your hip and second toe while preventing it from moving past the toes as you squat.

You also want to reach both arms out in front of you to keep balanced and bend your hips so your chest comes forward. Your weight is on your entire foot as you come back up to straight, but put the emphasis on pushing through the heel and contract your butt all the way back up.

Repeat this for 10-15 repetitions doing 3 sets on each side.

Patella Femoral Pain Syndrome is usually caused by an imbalance of the muscles in the knee and pelvis and non-optimal movement patterns throughout this system. When done properly, you can target your gluteus medius muscles with the pistol squats more effectively to help with this imbalance.

If you experience any pain or have any problems doing this exercise consult your local Physiotherapist before continuing.

Sand Training

As summer approaches, one of the best places to exercise is the beach. Not only do you get a beautiful view, but working out on the sand also allows for a challenge due to sand plyometrics. Sand plyometrics has been proven to increase performance in regards to strength.

A study by Arazi, Mohammadi and Asadi (2014) was conducted on 14 men comparing the effects of plyometric training on sand versus land surfaces. Both groups showed significant improvements in the vertical jump and standing long jump test.

Another study by Binnie et al., (2014) comparing the effects of sand versus grass training on ten elite athletes demonstrated that there were significantly higher heart rates present and rating of perceived exertion in the sand training sessions. There were also no differences in their post exercise performance, no indication of further muscle damage, and rates of inflammation were similar between each surface. The results suggest that performing conditioning sessions on sand rather than grass can result in a greater physiological response without adding any additional damage to the performance during the next day.

To conclude, both studies demonstrate that sand training can offer a higher energy cost and lower impact-training stimulus when compared to a firmer training venue such as grass. If you’re hoping to get more out of your workouts or training sessions, try it out at your next session!

If you have any pain during exercises, or are unsure about what you are doing, please consult your local physiotherapist before continuing.

Hip Flexor Strain Running Rehab – Knee Highs

Loop a resistance band around your ankle on the same side as the hip you are targeting. Step the opposite foot forward while having the opposite arm also forward and position yourself in a running stance with your core muscles engaged below the belly button.

Bring the knee up towards the chest matching the motion with the opposite arm and then bring the foot back down with control.

A few things to look out for when you’re doing this exercise to is control the motion of the foot so the resistance band doesn’t just pull your foot back and also keep the arms and knees from crossing the mid line of the body and prevent the low back from arching by keeping it in neutral. Repeat this for one minute on each side doing 3 sets 2x/day.

This exercise strengthens the hip flexor throughout the full range of motion and can help you rehab your functional running strength after a hip flexor injury.

Resistance Band Exercises for the Upper Body

Resistance bands are cheap, portable, and versatile. With a simple resistance band, you can easily do a full body workout. Here are some exercises for the lower body. 

Overhead Extensions
Anchor the band in a doorjamb or tie it to a sturdy object at chest level. Kneel down with one knee and the other bent in front of you. Face away from the door or object and extend your arms over your head. Keep your elbows up towards the ceiling and bend your arms and lower your hands down behind your head. Repeat.

Lateral Raise
Stand with feet positioned over the center of a band, shoulder-width apart. Grip each end of the band with arms down at your side and palms facing in. Bending your elbows, raise your arms straight out to the side to shoulder-level, pause, and bring them back down. 

Chest Presses
Anchor the middle of the band in a doorjamb or tie it to a sturdy object at chest level. Face away from the door and hold one end of the band in each hand. Bend your arms at 90 degree angles at the elbow. Position your legs into a small lunge and press your hands forward in a straight line until they are fully extended. Slowly release and repeat. 

Kneeling Crunch
Attach the band to a high anchor and kneel down, grabbing each side of the band. Extend the elbows out at shoulder-level, engage your core, and crunch down toward your hips, moving your forehead towards the ground.

If you have any pain during exercises, or are unsure about what you are doing, please consult your local physiotherapist before continuing.

Sacro-Iliac Joint Injuries: One-Leg Looped Band Bridges

This is a progression of the Looped Band Bridges.

Begin by wrapping a looped resistance band around your thighs just above your knees. Engage the core muscles below the belly button by pulling the waistline inwards to make yourself skinnier. Make sure you are still breathing, so don’t hold your breath.

Ensure the knees are aligned with your ankles and your hips while you take up the slack in the looped band. Push through your heels with the feet flat on the ground and bridge the butt up keeping both sides of the pelvis level with each other.

Then straighten out one - leg, hold it here for 10 seconds, and then bend your knee and lower your butt back down. Repeat this for 10 repetitions doing 3 sets.

This exercise activates the posterior core muscles and progressively strengthens the functional core to help with your dysfunctional Sacro-Iliac joint. If you experience any pain or have any problems doing this exercise consult your local Physiotherapist before continuing.

Sleeping Tips for Back Pain

Back pain can make it tough to sit and/or lie down for extended periods of time. Here are some tips that can help improve your sleep quality over time, while suffering with back pain.  

Stretching Before Going To Bed
Research has shown that intensive stretching or yoga and help reduce low back pain. Stretching before bed can also reduce stress and help improve sleep quality. Check out https://insyncphysio.com/health-benefits-of-yoga/ for additional benefits yoga can provide for you.  
Exercise Your Core
Getting regular physical activity can improve the quality of your sleep. Building flexibility and strength in your core muscles can reduce the chances of back strains and muscle spasms throughout the night. Check out https://insyncphysio.com/core-stability-why-does-it-matter/ to learn more about core stability and ways to improve it. 

Get A Good Pillow And Mattress
Studies show a medium-firm mattress is the most beneficial to most people. A mattress too soft can cause you to sink too deep into the mattress, thus causing joint pain. Test out different types of pillows and mattresses and find the correct one for you.  

Find The Right Sleeping Position
Try not to sleep on your stomach, as this can cause you to arch your back. For most people, the best position is to lie on your side in a fetal position. Another popular position is to lie on your back, but place a pillow under your knees to help maintain the natural curve of your spine. If you are unable to find a good sleeping position, you may want to refer to a specialist or physiotherapist for further help. 

Good Sleep Hygiene
Back pain can disrupt sleep, but many other factors can add to the poor sleep routine, such as bad habits. Try avoiding stimulants in the evening, and avoid heavy exercise right before going to bed. Take time to wind down by relaxing, taking a warm bath, or reading before going to sleep. Removing distractions such as computers and TV’s can also aid in good sleep hygiene. 

If you have any pain during exercises, or are unsure about what you are doing, please consult your local physiotherapist before continuing.

Sacro-Iliac Joint Injuries: Looped Band Bridges

This exercise helps to activate the posterior core muscles to help you with the functional core strength for a dysfunctional Sacro-Iliac joint.

Wrap a looped resistance band around your thighs just above your knees. Engage the core muscles below the belly button by pulling them inwards while you keep breathing… so don’t hold your breath.

Ensure the knees are aligned with your ankles and your hips while you take up the slack in the looped band. Push through your heels with the feet flat on the ground and bridge the butt up keeping both sides of the pelvis level with each other.

Hold this for 10 seconds, and then lower your butt back down. Repeat this for 10 repetitions doing 3 sets.

This exercise helps to activate the posterior core muscles to help you with the functional core strength for a dysfunctional Sacro-Iliac joint.

Resistance Band Exercises for the Lower Body

Resistance bands are cheap, portable, and versatile. With a simple resistance band, you can easily do a full body workout. Here are some exercises for the lower body. 

Supinated Clamshell
Loop a band around your legs just above your knees. Lie on your back with hips and knees flexed to 90 degrees. Pull the knees apart while contracting your glutes and hold the position for a few seconds. Slowly return to starting position and repeat.

Knee Raises
Loop a band between the middle of your foot, and hold the band with one foot while lifting the other. Keeping your foot flexed, raise your knee up to hip level, making sure the band is still looped across the top of the raised foot. Pause at the top, and lower your leg back down to starting position. Repeat on the other side. 

Lateral Band Walk
Place feet shoulder-width apart to create tension on the band. From a half-squat position, take small steps from side to side, while keeping the band taught. 

Glute Bridge
Tie a band around your legs right above your knees. Lie on your back with your feet on the floor, bending your knees to 90 degrees. Lift your hips until your shoulders, hips and knees align, contracting your glutes through the entire movement. Increase the difficulty of this movement by repeating the movement on one leg, while sticking the other one straight out.

If you have any pain during exercises, or are unsure about what you are doing, please consult your local physiotherapist before continuing.

Gluteus Medius Strengthening for Sacro Iliac Joint Injuries: Drop Steps Progression Leg Weight

This is a progression to the basic drop step exercise for your gluteus medius muscle.

With a 5 pound ankle weight strapped around your ankle side step onto the stepper with your left foot, with your hands on your hips. The opposite foot is dropped below the step to start.

Hike that right foot up and level with your left foot that’s on the stepper by pushing through the left heel and squeezing the left gluteus medius muscle.

This contraction will cause your right hip to come up level with the left side and allow you to feel that good muscle burn in your left butt. Let the right foot drop back down and the right hip to follow to return to the start position.

Perform 10 repetitions, doing 3 sets daily. This is a great way to activate and further strengthen your pelvic and sacro iliac joint stabilizing muscles after you have injured it.

If you experience any pain or have any problems doing this exercise consult your local Physiotherapist before continuing.