Category Archives for "strengthening"

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.

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.

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.

Gluteal Muscle Strengthening

This exercise is to strength your gluteal medius muscles. You want to stand inside a theraband with both legs with the theraband tied to something solid so it doesn’t move. With the knees straight but not locked, you’re going to gently raise the right foot off the ground and you want to try and do a peer motion called hip induction where you’re bringing the right leg just out to the side, without leaning to the right or left and you’re also going to keep the core engaged and the transversus abdominis. And you’re going to repeat that ten times doing three sets on each side.

Core Strengthen Wall Squats

This exercise is a wall squat with a big ball. You are going to place the big ball up against the wall and have the low of your back up against the ball and you’re going to roll up a towel and place that between your knees and shimmy your feet out in front of you a little bit more while you lean up against the ball. You’re going to make sure your knee is in a line with your second toe, that you are squeezing the towel and you are keeping your core engaged. With your core engaged, while squeezing the towel, you are going to squat down so the knees are no more than 90 degrees and that they are over top of the ankles and you want to hold that for 10 seconds. You will feel the burn in your quads. Now you wan to do 3 sets of 10 of these. You will feel the burn in the quads more while you keep your core engaged and then you’re going to come back up and rest for 5 seconds between each rep.

Planks

Planks are a very good isometric strengthening exercise for the scapular muscles, especially after a rotator cuff injury or other shoulder injuries. It can also help compliment the upper extremity and the lower extremity core. Start off in four point position by straightening out the legs one at a time with your core engaged by making yourself skinnier at the waistline. You’re going to hold that for ten seconds and you’re going to do three sets of ten to start.