Build your core strength
Written by: Taylor Post, CAT
When you think core exercises – you probably think of sit-ups, crunches and leg raises... right!? These abdominal exercises are staples in so many core workouts, and are not without merit or value. They are however, only a small part of developing core strength, because they involve creating movement in one plane of motion (sagittal). Doing these same exercises over and over ignores all of the other directions that our core can move, and that it needs to stabilize as well!
First of all, our core includes much more than just the six-pack muscles. In reality, it is a belt or girdle of muscles that stretches all the way around your lower back, where it connects to your glutes, hips, and obliques.
Our core doesn’t just need to help us flex and move, it plays a role in balance, posture, and protects our spine from outside stress or forces. It is also the connection from our lower and upper body. Every move we make starts from our core or transfers through it!
By design, the core muscles are stabilizers, not movers. So exercises that focus on preventing movement at the hips and spine are incredibly important, yet often forgotten.
Over the next few weeks we are going to look at four different groups of “Anti Core” exercises with specific examples of each. The four groups are Anti Rotation, Anti Lateral/Side Flexion, Anti Extension and Anti Flexion exercises.
In this first instalment we have included some great Anti-Rotation exercises to try out. If you have questions about any of the exercises or need help to modify them to match your skill level, feel free to reach out.
Stay tuned for more to come!
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Balance Exercises to Prevent Falls
Written by: Melanie Talastas-Soriano CAT(C), Certified Athletic Therapist
Hiking is one of many fun activities you can do during the summer. It is much more enjoyable if you can manage the challenge it offers. Some things to consider when planning a hiking adventure are; how long the hike is, the weather, how hilly the hike is and how uneven the ground ground might be.
Here are Five tips to help you prevent knee injuries while hiking.
Tip #1 - Practice Walking
You must prepare yourself to walk for 45-60 minutes 3x/week. You can gradually work up to 60 minutes and increase the frequency of your walk per week. The goal is to condition your body to a long steady walking pace. You will be improving your cardiovascular system at the same time conditioning your muscles to endure long walking distance. By doing this, you will also gain confidence in taking on any hiking trails.
Tip #2: Strengthen your leg muscles
Exercises to strengthen your quads, hamstrings, glutes and calves are important because majority of the work will be done by your legs. Complete the exercises three sets of 12-15 repetitions 3x/week. The repetitions are higher because you are working on your muscle endurance.
Tip #3: Walk on an incline
If you have access to a hill near you, it is best to practice walking up on the hill and going down. There are garbage hills in the city that you can find and would be helpful to practice. If that is not accessible, you can walk on a treadmill on an incline. By doing this, you will be training close to hiking movements.
Tip #4: Practice on different surfaces
At home, you can create an obstacle course to train on different surfaces at the same time working on your balance. You can walk on a balance beam, pillow, bosu ball, rocker board and even balance pods. Whatever you have at home that create the uneven surface will work.
Tip #5: Be confident
The most important tip I can give you is to be confident when going on an adventure! That means when you are confident, you will have fun and not worry or be scared about anything that can go wrong. Enjoy your adventure!!!
Be sure to incorporate these simple tips to help you prevent knee injuries. There are great hiking trails around; some popular ones that are recommended by friends which I am looking forward to trying are Hunt Lake Trail, Spirit Sands Trail and Steep Rock Trail.
Stay tuned for the next article on Recovery Tips after your hike.
For more advice or exercise ideas, book in for a consult with an Insahyu Athletic Therapist today!
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Written by: Jan Earl de Chavez BKin-AT, CAT(C)
During the past few months, the global pandemic caused a lot of changes to everyone’s lives. Students found themselves studying and being tested at home for their courses. Jobs were modified to be able to be done remotely through video conference. Of course, a lot of people found themselves with more free time, which some spent on entertaining themselves with hobbies. Regardless of the reason, a sizeable majority are now engaging in prolonged sitting behind a desk whether for school, work or entertainment. This article is gives tips for practicing the best posture and body positions for you when sitting for a long time.
1) Chair height
Ensure that your chair is high enough that your forearms are parallel with the keyboard and mouse. If raising your chair causes your feet to no longer touch the floor, then I suggest investing in a foot rest or a stool. Otherwise your feet will have the tendency to cross over each other for support.
2) Monitor adjustments
The top of the monitor on your desk should just be a little bit higher than your eye level, and should be at least half a metre away from your eyes. If you are on a laptop, refer to the next tip for posture, but also ensure the screen is the right distance away from you.
The best posture when working behind a desk is sitting upright with the neck straight and chin tucked. Shoulders are relaxed, forearms resting on the arm rests. It is important to correct yourself every time you begin to slouch, otherwise you will slouch more and more. Also note that sitting upright does not mean arching your back all the way. Sitting upright is just adjusting how your hips are sitting on the chair by rotating it.
4) Take breaks
Long periods of sitting can lead to muscular or joint issues. It is important to take a short walk and stretch break for 5 minutes every hour, or 10 minutes every hour and a half of sitting. Don’t forget to also move your upper body around. Breaks can also help with resting your eyes from all the screen time.
5) Keyboard and Mouse
If you utilize your keyboard a lot for work or entertainment, ensure that it is helps not hinders your performance. The keyboard should have a wrist rest so that your wrists remain straight when pressing keys. The same goes if you utilize your mouse a lot. Your mouse pad should have a wrist rest, alternatively you can place a small rolled up towel underneath your wrist to keep straight.
These are just some tips to keep in mind when sitting behind a desk. A lot of today’s equipment such as chairs and desks can be adjusted to provide its user the most comfort and ensure productivity.
If you developed issues from prolonged sitting, I may be able to assist through athletic therapy treatments. Come visit me at Insahyu Training + Therapy, located at 250 Saulteaux Crescent, or you can visit our website and book online.
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Team Insahyu: Certified Athletic Therapists.