How Is Your Balance?

Balance is part of everything we do on a daily basis but it is so often over-looked. We become focused on becoming “bigger, stronger, faster” that we do not realize how much poor balance control can greatly affect our ability to perform better. In order to walk, run, or jump, we much be able to control loading, take off, and landing at different speeds or surfaces. This is how training balance can adapt to your level of control and should always round out exercise programs.

Balance demands change with activity but it can also change with seasons (watch out for that ice!), increased age, and recovering from injury. How confident do you feel walking across the parking lot after work with patches of ice? Does you feel less stable now than you did 5 years ago? Do you feel less “controlled or stable” on the ankle after spraining it during that game?

Want to get “stable, controlled,…and faster”? Here are a few ways to challenge your balance to prepare you for those difficult tasks.

  • Balance with feet together: add head turns, eyes closed, stand on compliant surface, ball toss

  • Balance with heel-to-toe stance: add head turns, eyes closed, stand on compliant surface, ball toss

  • Balance on one leg: add head turns, eyes closed, stand on compliant surface, ball toss

  • Stair step up with opposite knee lift

  • Double leg hops – forward/backward and lateral

 

Balance can be adapted to any environment and changed to resemble any task or sport so BE CREATIVE! Take your balance to the next level and see how things change. If you are having trouble progressing balance or reaching the level of control you desire with your activity, schedule an appointment with us at mobilizept.com or call us at 206-402-5483. We would love to help you reach your goals!

Return to Sport and Concussion Awareness

School is in and sports are in full swing! Whether you are in-season or pre-season training, concussions can happen anytime and it is important to be aware of the signs and symptoms to keep yourself and others safe.

Concussions are considered a Mild Traumatic Brain Injury and should be treated with care when returning to sports and high level activities. A concussion can be sustained by either an impact to the head or to the body resulting in a forceful motion of the head. The brain moves within the skull causing damage to tissues and chemical changes affecting the signals from the brain to other parts of the body.

According to the Zackery Lystedt Youth Sports Concussion Law, if you sustain a concussion you are required to sit out of the activity for the remainder of the day and be cleared of concussion by a medial provided prior to returning. This is for your safety to ensure you can continue playing for the season and future seasons without risking your health.

If you or your teammate falls or is involved in a collision, reports, or demonstrates any of these symptoms, be responsible and get yourself or your teammate off the field. After concussion, the brain needs time to recover like any injury. If a second concussion is sustained, but the brain has not have fully recovered, further insult to the tissues may lead to very serious consequences like permanent brain damage.

No two concussions are the same but there are common symptom you may experience and can help you know whether to sit out of practice or the rest of the game.

●  Headaches

●  Blurred or Double Vision

●  Nausea

●  Difficulty tracking objects or people with your eyes

●  Sensitivity to busy environments or light

●  Difficulty concentrating or retaining information

Seeking consult from a medical provider after a concussion is important. Physical Therapy may be the next step for you to return to sports. Physical therapy can work on balance control, eye coordination, and movement re-training to get you back in action without provoking symptoms.

If you need more information regarding concussion protocol, general information, referral sources, or need to start Physical Therapy, please visit our website at​ ​www.mobilizept.com​ to set up an appointment or call us at (206)402-5483. Our concussion specialist, Shawnee Perkins, will be happy to see you and get you on the path to recovery.

Dynamic Warm Up Before Cross Training

To optimize cross training for Neglected muscles requires the “release” of the Overused muscles. Therefore, stretching should be the first plan of attack. Typically, a dynamic warm up is best to do before exercising to loosen up muscle tension before strengthening. Try performing a sequence such as: walking high kicks, walking hamstring stretch, high knees, butt kicks, hip openers and closers, followed by a light jog. Perform each exercise for 10 repetitions.

Walking High Kicks: Keep one or both arms forward at chest level. Kick one leg forward towards your fingertips keeping the knee as straight as you can without bending your back. You should feel a quick stretch in the back of your leg.

Walking Hamstring Stretch: Step forward with one leg. Keeping the front knee straight, rock your weight onto the back leg on a slightly bent knee. Push your hips back and feel a stretch along the back of your front leg.

High Knees: Lightly jog forward while driving your knees high towards your chest.

Butt Kicks: Lightly jog forward while driving your heels towards your bottom.

Hip Openers/Closers: Take a step forward with one leg while circling the opposite leg inward and towards your chest and then opening the knee towards the outside before bring the leg back to the ground. Alternate between legs. Change direction by bringing the knee outward and towards your chest before bringing the leg back to the ground.

Strengthening For Cross Training

To optimize the strength of Neglected muscles, isolated exercises with progression into larger dynamic movements can be helpful. Here are some common strengthening exercises to build well-rounded strength and control to keep you running and cycling longer.

Gluteals:

Clamshells: Lying on your side, place your feet and knees together with your hips stacked. The hips and feet stay anchored together as the top knee lifts off the bottom. You should feel a “hinging” at the hip and work in the side of the glutes.

Bridging: Lying on your back, place your feet flat on the ground with knees comfortably bent. Try tightening your core and squeeze your glutes to lift your bottom off the ground. Try holding for 5 seconds before lowering and releasing.

Side Stepping: Place your hands on your hips with your knees and feet pointing forward. “Hinge” and step with the leading leg outward but keep your knees and feet pointed forward. Do not let your upper body above your hands move. Repeat for 10 steps and change the leading leg.

Clamshells

Bridging

Side Stepping

 

Core Stabilizers:

Dead bug: Lying on your back, activate your core so that your back is RESTED FLAT on the ground. Lift the Right knee and reach the Left arm overhead together and return them back down together. Repeat on other side, alternate back and forth.

Bird Dog: Beginning on hands and knees, activate your core so that your back is FLAT like a table top. Reach the Right leg back and the Left arm forward together before returning them back down. Only reach as far as you can keep your back flat and don’t let the hips rotate.

Planks: Beginning on your elbows and knees, activate your core so that your back is FLAT like a table top. Lift the knees off the floor and try activating your glutes and quads to help keep you level. Start with 10-20 second hold progressing 10 seconds each time while maintaining technique.

Dead Bug

Bird Dog

Planks

Now you know more about keeping your body healthy while continuing to do the things you love. If you need more information, need to schedule a consult with our bike fit expert, or schedule an appointment regarding treatment for pain or discomfort, please visit our website at www.mobilizept.com

Yearly Physical Therapy Visits are Just as Important as Annual Cholesterol Tests

You know the drill:

During your annual visit, your primary care physician will order a cholesterol test. Combined with an assessment of health measures such as diet and exercise, the results of the cholesterol test will provide your physician with the information she needs to make a recommendation. If the results are positive, you might hear: “You’re doing great, keep doing what you’ve been doing!” If the results are unfavorable, then you’re more likely to be told: “I’d like you to walk for 20 additional minutes each day and eat cholesterol-lowering foods like oatmeal.” Over time, high cholesterol can cause fatty deposits to form in your arteries, putting you in a high-risk category for heart disease and stroke. Similarly, the cumulative effects of poor posture or a muscular imbalance, for example, can take a toll on your body and inhibit your ability to move properly.

That’s where a physical therapist comes in: Annual PT “checkups” can catch the musculoskeletal problems that put you at risk for injury or limit your ability to function down the line. One of the best tools in a PT’s prevention arsenal is the movement screen. By analyzing your fundamental movements with a movement screen developed for their own practice, PTs can get a clear picture of what the future will bring for you. Based on the information gathered, a physical therapist can help you safely reach your fitness goals and teach preventive strategies that can be incorporated into your daily life. Of course, it’s best to schedule your checkup before you’re experiencing a problem. That way, your physical therapist can establish a baseline based on your functional level at that time and use it to identify changes during subsequent annual visits. The effects of poor posture or a muscular imbalance may not be immediately apparent to you, but they will be to your PT.

An annual “checkup” gives your PT an inside look at your musculoskeletal system, which is comprised of your muscles, bones, cartilage, tendons, ligaments, joints and other connective tissues. It’s important that these essential internal structures are working together to support, stabilize and move your body. Just as taking an annual trek to the primary care physician helps to monitor your cholesterol levels—and prevent heart disease—yearly physical therapy appointments allow your PT to identify and address any changes in the way you move before they become something more.

Training to Hike 101

 

 

 

 

 

Tis’ the season for hiking! Are you looking to take on higher peaks or increase your pace with current favorites? Working on a training routine to optimize endurance, power, and stability can set you up for success with your challenges for the summer

Endurance is important for those of you looking to hike longer than 30-45 minutes. The muscles will need to utilize other fuel sources and be trained to sustain activity for prolonged periods.

  • Take this opportunity to add variety to your aerobic regimen with walking, swimming, biking, and elliptical.
  • The key is duration of exercise and gradually progressing your tolerance. Start with your current tolerance, whether that is 10, 20, or 30 minutes. Progress each type of aerobic exercise by 5-10 minutes until you reach your duration goal. You may also want to start with 1-2 days per week adding another day every 1-2 weeks since you will be training in other ways as well.

Power is your ability to use your strength with a speed component to help you tackle specific situations like scrambling up a steep incline or powering up high steps. Performing an exercise for 8-10 repetitions for 2-3 sets will help build a base for strength and allow you to focus on the power and quality of the movement. As you fatigue you may only be able to perform up to 6 repetitions increasing your strength for next time. You can train strength and power depending on your access to equipment or lifestyle without need to make drastic changes.

  • Body weight exercises to consider: Step ups, Lateral step ups, split squats, lunges, squats, pistol squats, box jumps, long jumps, and burpees.
  • Weighted/machine exercises to consider: Leg press, Quad/knee extension, Hamstring curls, deadlifts, Hip abduction, Hip external/internal rotations, and calf raises – seated and standing.

Stabilization allows you to control and utilize the training you gain in the first two categories. If you body is struggling to control your movements, you become less energy efficient and your muscles do not respond optimally when called upon. Core control and joint stabilization are the two areas you will want to train and incorporate into the exercises you perform for endurance and power/strength training.

  • Core control exercises to consider: planks, side planks, bird dog, dead bug – add arm and leg movements in these positions for dynamic control and add increased weight as movements become easy to control.
  • Joint stabilization exercises to consider: all variations of balance – double leg, tandem, single leg with changes in surfaces, limb or head movements, and tossing or catching objects for reaction stability.
  • Jumping activities and reaching movements are great to integrate core and joint training i.e. double leg jump to single leg land and star drill with single leg balance control while reaching with the opposite foot or hand for cones.

If you need more information, have pain or discomfort with training, or need assistance in where to start to target your specific needs, please visit our website at www.mobilizept.com to set up an appointment or call us at (206)402-5483.

Injury Prevention Pt II

Rock Climbing Series Continued

Specific Strength Training to Prevent Injury

Continuing to hit the wall hard, but concerned you might get injured?  You have to balance out time on the wall with general strengthening to prevent injuries.  Here are 3 simple exercises you can add (ideally) 3x/week to your work out routine!

Pull ups:  Use bands or a bench/chair or bands under legs to work your way up to a full pull up.  Feel your shoulder blades pull down and back, but remember to continuously breath while you move!

Single leg box jumps with soft squat landing:

Remember, hips back, head forward, keep those knees behind the toes!

Push up rows: Belly button pulling up towards spine, don’t let the hips sag, squeeze those shoulder blades together and BREATHE! 🙂

If you have any questions about ways to strength train for rock climbing, contact us at Mobilize Physical Therapy www.mobilizept.com!  -Jaclyn Stoerzbach, PT, DPT

Rock Climbing Injury Prevention

Rock Climbing – Prevent Injury Before You Get “Pulled in All Directions”

If you’re a climber, you know that climbing has amazing rewards, but it doesn’t come without it’s risks and potential injuries. Before you gear up in the gym or outside in this beautiful weather, do yourself a favor and do a quick warm up and cool down before and after you climb.

WARM UP:

  1. 5-10 minutes of aerobic (jump rope, elliptical, anything that gets your heart rate up and you wanting to take your outer sweater layer off
  2. Butt kicks  30 seconds x 4 rounds
  3. Hamstring Kicks – 30 seconds x 4 rounds

 

4. Angry cat stretch – 30 seconds x 3 (BREATH IN AND OUT IN THIS ROUNDED POSITION)

5. Lat stretch – 30 seconds x 3

Take these few extra minutes to yourself and you’ll be happy you did!

Happy Climbing 🙂