Summer Activity Series: Hiking

We are very lucky to live in a place surrounded by the natural beauty of British Columbia. As the weather starts to transition into cool fall temperatures and the sun stays shining, it becomes the perfect weather for hikes in our area.  Here are some known benefits of hiking from a physiological perspective as well as tricks to improve your hiking experience whether you’re starting as a beginner or heading into more advanced hikes.

Benefits

  • Improved cardiovascular health including lowering blood pressure, cholesterol, and risk of health disease
  • Associated with enhanced mental wellbeing and lowered cortisol levels (stress)
  • Increases bone strength and density, lowering the risk of osteoporosis
  • Improved balance, flexibility, and coordination

Know Before You Go

  • Common mistakes: sunburns, dehydration, exhaustion → be sure to start small when hiking for the first time and let someone know where you’re hiking and how long you are expected to be there.
  • Be sure to apply sunscreen, bring plenty of water, and snacks even on shorter hikes incase you begin to feel light headed.
  • Always check with your doctor or physiotherapist if you are recovering from an injury or other health issue and you’d like to take on a big hike.
  • Injury prevention: the most common injuries acquired from hiking is knee and ankle sprains. Be mindful of strengthening your ankle in your day to day training to prevent this. Check out our YouTube for video tutorials on some exercises to do to strengthen your ankle and knee.

Ankle Sprains and Strains: Roller Bridges

Ankle Sprain: Lunge Squats

Ankle Sprain Injuries: Split Squats Ankle Strengthening

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

Anterior Cruciate Ligament Knee Injury: One Leg Hops

This is a great exercise to help protect the ACL and to begin to rehab the strength, balance and agility of the knee after it’s been injured.

When you start playing sports that require a lot of running especially cutting, you may hear about the ‘ACL’ of the knee being commonly injured. This is a great preventative exercise to help protect the ACL and even a greater way to begin to rehab the strength, balance and agility of the knee after it’s been injured.

Create 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.

Ankle Sprains and Strains: Roller Bridges

This exercise is a great way to strengthen and give more stability to your ankle which may be weak or unstable from a previous or current injury of your joints, muscles or ligaments, and is great way for building your strength and balance in any sports involving jumping, running or cutting.

Lie down on your back and place a roller underneath your lower legs between your calf and ankles to start.

Activate the inner core muscles of the low back and keep them engaged throughout. To start, curl the roller towards you butt while you bend your knees. When your heels come over the roller, bridge your butt up nice and high and hold it at the end for a good long second.

Then slowly bring the butt back down moving the roller towards the feet, reversing the direction of movement with control back to the start. Repeat this for 10 repetitions doing 3 sets daily.

This exercise is a great way to strengthen and give more stability to your ankle which may be weak or unstable from a previous or current injury of your joints, muscles or ligaments, and is great way for building your strength and balance in any sports involving jumping, running or cutting.

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

Anterior Cruciate Ligament Knee Injury: Roller Bridges

This exercise is a great way to strengthen and give more stability to your knee which may be weak or unstable from a previous or current injury of your Anterior Cruciate Ligament (your ACL) and is great for building your strength and balance in any sports involving jumping, running or cutting.

Lie down on your back and place a roller underneath your lower legs between your calf and ankles to start. Activate the inner core muscles of the low back and keep them engaged throughout.

To start, curl the roller towards you butt while you bend your knees. When your heels come over the roller, bridge your butt up nice and high and hold it at the end for a good long second. Then slowly bring the butt back down moving the roller towards the feet, reversing the direction of movement with control back to the start. Repeat this for 10 repetitions doing 3 sets daily.

This exercise is a great way to strengthen and give more stability to your knee which may be weak or unstable from a previous or current injury of your Anterior Cruciate Ligament (your ACL) and is great for building your strength and balance in any sports involving jumping, running or cutting.

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

Low Back Strain: Running Rehab Knee Highs

Resisted knee highs strengthens the hip flexors in conjunction with your core and can help you rehab your functional running strength after a low back strain.

Loop a resistance band around your ankle. 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 is to control the motion of the foot so the resistance band doesn’t uncontrollably 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 flexing or extending backwards too much by keeping it in neutral.

Repeat this for one minute on each side doing 3 sets 2x/day.

Resisted knee highs strengthens the hip flexors in conjunction with your core and can help you rehab your functional running strength after a low back strain. 

Cycling Events: A Collaboration with HelpForMe Cycling

 Helpforme Cycling and INSYNC Physiotherapy have collaborated to create this helpful guide to injury prevention. The following stretches and exercises are geared specifically for cyclists. 

With a big race coming up, the last thing a cyclist needs is an overuse or strain injury during training. We encourage you to begin incorporating injury prevention exercises into your training regimen.

Core Strengthening 
Plank (and variations)
● A classic exercise that helps strengthen the core muscles that base the power for all our major movements. Place forearms on the ground and lift core, start by holding for 30 seconds and increase as your training goes on. This exercise, along with the climbers below, can be made more difficult by placing arms on a yoga ball, adding a side plank, or passing a medicine ball between your hands during the plank. 

Mountain Climbers
● This exercise is ideal to perform between training sets at the gym, or to finish off a workout. Starting in a push up position, alternate legs bringing them to a mid-thigh height and then back to start. Once again, start with 30-second intervals and increase as training continues. 

Inner Core Focused Knee Drops
● This exercise focuses on the inner abdominal muscles. Start by laying on your back on a mat. Lift your legs with bent knees, alternate slowly dropping your feet until they touch the ground, bring back to start. Repeat this movement for 10 repetitions, doing 3 sets on both sides.

Lower Body
Clamshells
● Begin by laying on your side on a mat. Keep your knees bent at a 45 degree angle and legs on top of each other. Make sure your hips are aligned and your core is engaged. Raise the top knee up resembling a clamshell opening until you feel a stretch. Do 30 reps on each side repeating 3-4 times. 

Lower Leg Heel Drop
● This exercise and the one below aid in strengthening the supporting muscles of the lower leg while helping with flexibility in the joints. Place the balls of your feet on a raised surface such as an aerobic step or even stairs, drop the heels down as far as you can without feeling unstable, raise and repeat.

Calf Raises
 ● This is a classic way to strengthen the calf muscles that does not require any extra equipment. Start with your feet flat on the floor and aligned with your shoulders. Raise heels up off the ground and slowly lower, raise again before they touch the ground. Repeat 10-20 times before lowering heels back to starting position.

Hamstring Stretch
 ● This stretch focuses on flexibility in the hamstring muscle and maintaining mobility in the supporting muscles. Starting by laying on your back next to a door frame or a cornered wall. Place the heel of one leg on the edge, with your other leg straight on the ground. Keep your back flat and your core engaged. Now with the toes off, you’re going to slide the heel up on the corner of the wall or door frame, keeping the other knee straight as well, with the core engaged hold for 30 seconds. Repeat with the other leg. Do three sets. 

Created with Collaboration with Help 4 Me Cycling

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

Tammy Brimner, Clint Trahan & Jen Letham. Image 8. Let’s Get Visceral: Video and Photography. RBC Gran Fondo Whistler 2019
https://www.rbcgranfondo.com/whistler/media/

Tourism Whistler. Gorgeous weather for riders on the ride from Vancouver to Whistler.
Whistler Tourism Events 2018
https://www.whistler.com/events/granfondo/

Knee Ligament Injuries – One Leg Looped Band Bridges

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.

Ensure your 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 daily.

This exercise progression helps to further strengthen and rehab the knee when you have a sprained ligament that is causing weakness and a decrease in use and function.

Knee Ligament Injuries: Looped Band Bridges

This exercise helps to strengthen and rehab the knee when you have a sprained ligament that is causing weakness and a decrease in use and function.

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. Ensure your 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 daily.

This exercise helps to strengthen and rehab the knee when you have a sprained ligament that is causing weakness and a decrease in use and function.

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

Summer Activities: Kayaking

Kayaking can be an excellent form of exercise that’s also fun to do during the summer. As a seemingly low impact activity, it can actually improve your aerobic fitness, strength, flexibility, as well as balance. Along with this, studies have shown that kayaking also leads to stress reduction, as well as an improvement in mental health.

But like any other activity, there are precautions and it is always smart to warm up before exercising.

Take a look at a few of our paddling warm up stretching videos below!

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

ACL Knee Ligament Injury: 1-Leg Deadlifts

One-leg deadlifts are a great way to strengthen your entire leg and give more stability to your affected knee.

Maintain neutral posture and engage your core muscles below the belly button. Plant your entire left foot on the ground.

When you bend forward at your hips press your foot and knee straight back and reach your arms down to the floor. Remember to keep both hips level and don’t lock out or hyper extend the left knee. Repeat this for 10 repetitions for 3 sets to start on the affected side.

One-leg deadlifts are a great way to strengthen your entire leg and give more stability to your affected knee which may be weak or unstable from a previous or current ACL ligament injury and is great for building your strength and balance in any sports involving jumping, running or cutting. It can also help prevent ACL ligament injuries as well.

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