3 Simple Exercises For Swimming – Eileen Daily Pool, Burnaby

This week we’re at the Eileen Daily Leisure Pool and Fitness Centre up in North Burnaby which is just off of Willingdon Ave. We’re here today for a little work out swim in their pool. Although it’s a relatively smaller pool, the actual pool and pool area are pretty nice and quite clean. The best part is that it’s not super busy in the water lanes, so it’s a good time to do some laps. Since they are 25 metre lengths, I do 8 lengths or 200 metres for at least 5 sets.

After my swim work-out, whether it’s a light, moderate or a heavy one, these are 3 really simple stretches and exercises that I do to stay flexible, strong and injury free!

Rectus Femoris Stretch
Prepare a nice cushion for your left knee to be on and a step stool to place the top of the foot on to have greater knee flexion. This will isolate the muscle stretch. Keep your posture nice and tall and imagine there’s a string pulling your whole spine upwards from your pelvis, right up your entire back and neck and up to the top of your head. Then engage your inner core muscles tight below your belly button and keep your low back flat and contract your left butt muscles. Next, bend the right knee forward and keep your posture nice and tall without leaning backwards. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds and repeat 3 times for each side.

Lat Stretch
This stretch will help open up the latissimus dorsi muscles. Start by holding onto a bar or pole that is anchored down or a door frame at shoulder height with your right hand. Then, step your opposite foot slightly forward and your right foot back. As you bend your right knee down, lean your body weight backwards and feel the stretch into your lat muscle. Hold it for 30 seconds, doing 3 sets on each side. This is a muscle that becomes overly developed and tight in swimming! It can cause non optimal movement patterns in the shoulder which can then lead to varying degrees of shoulder dysfunctions.

Core Strengthening Ball Walk-Outs
Start by pulling in your inner core by making your waistline skinnier below the belly button. Then roll out into a plank position on the ball in full control with a flat spine. Lift one leg off of the ball with full control while keeping your hips level with each other. Try to keep you toes pointed to the floor as much as possible and lead with your heal. Do 3 sets of 5 repetitions holding for 5 seconds on each side to start. Then progress to 3 sets of 5-10 repetitions holding for 10 seconds when stronger. Plank walk-outs on a ball is great for strengthening your core in coordination with strengthening your posterior hip and gluteal muscles. 

3 Simple Rock Climbing Stretches!

Our Physiotherapist, Simon Kelly said that he was passionate about treating shoulder injuries. So I took him to the Cliffhanger Indoor Rock Climbing gym in Vancouver this week and showed him what a good shoulder work out looked like for me. This is what he had to say after the work out.

Hi Everyone, It’s Simon Kelly. This is my first time here at the gym with Wil. I just want to give you 3 stretches that you want to do for rock climbing. Stretching your forearms are very important, stretching the shoulder and especially stretching out the lats - That’s the most important thing. There will also be videos to follow. Cheers Everybody.

This is stretch will help ease the tight forearms! Start with the elbow in a bent position. With the opposite hand, fully extend the wrist and fingers. Then straighten out the elbow and hold this for 30 seconds and repeat 3 sets. The overuse tendinopathies that occur in the medial elbow can be caused by overly tight forearm flexors. This is very common in rock climbers or golfers.

To stretch out the right rotator cuff muscle, place a non-stretchy strap with your left hand over your head and behind your back. Reach the right hand behind your back to grab the strap. Reach as far up as you can towards your limit but avoid tilting your shoulder forward. Stabilize the front of your right shoulder by placing it against a corner or a door frame and step the left foot forward. Hold tightly with your right hand and pull the strap upwards with your left. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds and repeat for 3 sets. Doing this stretch daily can help increase the mobility of your stiff shoulder if you’re experiencing shoulder impingement pain due to a tight overuse Supraspinatus Rotator Cuff muscle. It’s also great to do as a warm down stretch when it’s abnormally tight and stiff.

This stretch will help open up the latissimus dorsi muscles. Start by holding onto a bar or pole that is anchored down or a door frame at shoulder height with your right hand. Then, step your opposite foot slightly forward and your right foot back. As you bend your right knee down, lean your body weight backwards and feel the stretch into your lat muscle. Hold it for 30 seconds, doing 3 sets on each side. This is a muscle that becomes overly developed and tight in rock climbers! It can cause non optimal movement patterns in the shoulder which can then lead to varying degrees of shoulder dysfunctions.

Knee Ligament Sprain Injuries – Reverse Lunge Woodchops

Hold onto a ten pound dumbbell with your hands on both ends and engage your inner core stability muscles below your belly button.

Then lunge backwards with your right leg performing a wood chopping motion with the upper body and arms turning only your torso. Push back up with the right foot to the start position. Repeat this for 10 repetitions doing 3 sets for each side.

This exercise is excellent for strengthening your knee and developing better balance and proprioception and more optimal neuromuscular activation patterns after a knee ligament sprain injury.​

If you have any problems doing this exercise, please contact one of our Physiotherapists at either of our locations in North Burnaby on Hastings Street or in Vancouver on Cambie Street.

Benefits of Resistance Training

Often referred to as strength training, resistance training refers to placing some form of resistance on your muscles to create work and as a result develop strength. The most common form of resistance training is using weights such as dumbbells or barbells in a gym setting. This training can also be accomplished at home and done with resistance tubes, therabands, or even our own body weight. While some athletes train almost entirely with resistance training, others must find ways to incorporate this type of training into their day to day lives and physical activity. Especially for those training in specific sports, it is essential to include some form of resistance training to prevent injury and ensure full body strength and power.

Here are some more benefits of resistance training to inspire the incorporation of this training in your daily activities and training sessions:

  • Improvements in balance and flexibility
  • Injury prevention/recovery
  • Management of chronic conditions (example: lower back pain, arthritis)
  • Improved mental health
  • Weight management 
  • Increased bone strength - prevents osteoporosis
  • Lowered risk of cardiovascular disease

If you are interested in incorporating resistance training into your daily life, remember to start slow, you may begin using your own body weight (squats, pull ups etc.), using a theraband or resistance band, or choosing a weight that you can still maintain proper form with in completing all of your reps (usually 12-15 per set). Begin raising the weight/resistance once you notice the set feels too easy.

Feel free to check out our Youtube for more recommendations and sample exercises!

Ankle Sprain: Lunge Squats

Strengthening Hips, Pelvis and Low Back For Ultimate Frisbee: "Psoas March"

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

Dynasty Gym. (2018). Should you compete as a novice? [Photo]. Retrieved from​ https://dynastygym.com/2018/04/26/should-you-compete-as-a-novice/

Ankle Sprain Injuries: Hip Hikers

This exercise helps to build strength in your core stability muscles and ankle after you have injured it.

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 (or your butt 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 injured ankle and build the neuromuscular strength patterns to keep it injury free. If you experience any pain or have any problems doing this exercise consult your local Physiotherapist before continuing.

Knee Ligament Sprain – Bosu Ball Knee Highs

Place the opposite foot forward onto the Bosu Ball while having the opposite arm also forward. 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 Bosu Ball Knee Highs is to control the motion of the foot coming back down and to 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 2 times per day.

This exercise strengthens the entire knee, leg, thigh and core stability muscles to help with your functional running strength after a knee ligament injury. If you have any problems doing this exercise or are unsure about what you are doing, consult your local Physiotherapist before continuing.

Knee Ligament Injuries

Background: The knee and the injuries that are involved in this joint are proved to be common and difficult to rehabilitate. In this blog, we will focus on injuries specifically to one of the four ligaments of the knee as shown above. Ligament sprains/strains/tears are most commonly acquired through sport related activities. The most common by far is the ACL tear which usually requires surgery to fix and can force an athlete to miss entire seasons before training again. 

The best way to prevent a ligament sprain and especially a tear, is to maintain stability and strength in the muscles of the legs, glutes and core, ensuring you are warmed up before a workout/practice, and consulting a physiotherapist if you experience any sudden pain. Also, for prevention of any injury, be sure to stretch, ease into new exercises, and ensure you have a proper form with a stable base of support before and during an exercise (even in sports, think about how kicking a soccer ball for example affects your joints).

If you have injured your knee in the past, are currently rehabilitating, or would like to work at strengthening the ligaments of the knee for your personal athletic ventures, check out our latest series on the INSYNC youtube channel such as the ones here below!

Anterior Cruciate Ligament Knee Injury: Roller Bridges

Knee Ligament Injuries: Looped Band Bridges

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

pTHealth Canada. (2018). Ligaments of the Knee [Photo]. Retrieved from https://www.pthealth.ca/app/uploads/2018/10/knee-ligaments.jpg

Ankle Sprain: Bosu Ball Knee Highs

Place the opposite foot forward onto the Bosu Ball while having the opposite arm also forward. 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 Bosu Ball Knee Highs is to control the motion of the foot coming back down and too 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 2 times per day.

This exercise strengthens the ankle and entire lower quadrant and leg and can help you rehabilitate your functional running strength after an ankle joint, muscle or ligament injury.

If you have any problems doing this exercise or are unsure about what you are doing, consult your local Physiotherapist before continuing.

Ankle Ligament Sprain: Bosu Ball Lateral Shuffle

Engage your core stability muscles and place your right foot onto the Bosu. Begin by shuffling your weight onto the right foot to allow the left foot to land on the Bosu while you land the right foot on the floor beside the Bosu.

Shuffle your weight back onto the left foot to allow the right foot to land on the Bosu while you land the left back down on the ground. When your foot is on the Bosu ball, keep your knee in line with your 2nd toe and bring your hip over the ankle so you can push off through the entire upper thigh. You want to avoid pushing off with just your foot.

Repeat this for 1 minute for 3 sets in total.

This is a great rehabilitation & strengthening exercise after you have sustained an injury to your ankle joint, muscles or ligaments. If you have any problems doing this exercise or are unsure about what you are doing, consult your local Physiotherapist before continuing. 

Ankle Sprain Injury: One Leg Hop

This is a great exercise to strengthen weak ankles or ankle sprain.

If you have weak ankles or have sprained them then this is a great exercise to strengthen them.

Start by making a cross on the floor with two 4 feet strips of tape. Begin by standing on the bottom left corner and engage the core stability muscles in your low back and keep them on the whole duration of the exercise.

Then, bend one knee so you are standing just on the other foot and hop clockwise all the way around. Then reverse the direction and go counter clock wise, and then finally in a diagonal pattern from bottom left to top right and back and then from bottom right to top left and back.

Repeat each of the four hopping sequences clock wise, counter clock wise, and both diagonal patterns for 30 seconds for a total of 2 minutes. Do 3 sets on each side 2 times daily.