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Videos

Your Hamstrings Aren’t Tight… They’re Weak.

Sport-Physiotherapy-Perth-for-Hamstring-Injury-815x360Your Hamstrings Aren’t Tight… They’re Weak.

So stop wasting your time just stretching them and let’s solve the root cause of the problem! The hamstrings are a group of three muscles on the back of your thigh that work in conjunction with your glutes to extend the hip and help you do day-to-day things like stand up. The problem comes when we live at our desks and sit on our glutes all day. This causes them to “turn off” and leaves their weaker cousins, the hamstrings, to take up the slack.

The hamstrings are not as powerful of a muscle as the glutes. In fact, some would argue that the glutes are your body’s most powerful muscle. So when our glutes aren’t firing, that’s asking a lot of the hamstrings. When a muscle isn’t strong enough to do what the body is asking it will become weak and tight… and invite injuries, regardless of the physical activity you’re pursuing.

The human body is an amazing machine that allows us to perform some pretty astounding physical feats. But when abused, or not working under optimal conditions, it will use the only thing it has to protect us: our muscles. Neurologically, the brain shortens the hamstrings to give our hips and low back some stability that should be coming from the glutes.

Want to fix that pesky hamstring tightness? Start by getting rid of glute amnesia and fully activate the powerhouse muscle that it should be. With just a few simple moves and consistent training, the glutes will be back in action in no time. One of the best exercises to start with is the bridge – check out the video below!

Stay healthy my friends!

Virginia

Virginia Dula, DPT, OCS

By |December 9th, 2014|Blog, Videos|Comments Off on Your Hamstrings Aren’t Tight… They’re Weak.

Give Pain the Cold Shoulder

Give Pain the Cold Shoulder

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Shoulder pain is a common complaint among athletes and racquet-sport aficionados (squash, racquetball, tennis) are no exception. Shoulder injuries in racquet sports are often caused by the high-velocity and repetitive arm movements that characterize the sport; and those motions often lead to overuse injuries. For our indoor racquet sport fans, let us also not forget that concrete walls are typically very unforgiving when you collide with them.

The shoulder is an amazing joint that is able to move in every direction. With that great mobility, or range of motion, comes an inherent lack of stability. The shoulder is not designed to be stable like a knee joint, rather it relies on muscle strength and coordination (not just on bone structure) to stay in a “good” position.

When the muscles that control the shoulder joint become weak, overused, or pinched they stop working well. This changes the way the arm bone, the humerus, sits on the scapula, or shoulder blade. Imagine for a moment that the air is low in your car tires and you don’t notice it for the first hundred miles (hey, it happens!)….but when you do notice, that slight decrease in air has caused bigger problems (tire alignment, shock and strut problems, etc.)….the shoulder is the same way; small changes in muscle strength and coordination may not bother you at first, but given enough time pain is almost certain to occur.

So instead of having to fix shoulder pain, let’s prevent it from occurring in the first place…preventative maintenance! A few minutes, just a couple times a week, will keep your shoulders in tip-top playing shape. I recommend you start with Y’s and T’s.

           

If you already have shoulder pain, seeing a physical therapist sooner rather than later will help solve the problem and prevent it from re-occurring.

Welcome back to the gym, after a (hopefully) great Thanksgiving….Stay healthy my friends!
Virginia

Virginia Dula, DPT, OCS
Release Physical Therapy
Washington, DC

By |December 4th, 2014|Blog, Shoulder, Videos|Comments Off on Give Pain the Cold Shoulder

To Stretch or Not to Stretch?

stretchTo Stretch or Not to Stretch?

A fantastic question with no simple answer.

We have been told since we were young to stretch before we work out, practice, or play in a game. But is that true? And if so, why? And if we should, for how long and when? These are questions athletes, coaches, trainers and therapists have been asking for years. Only recently has research caught up (sort of) with this issue.

The research that’s published is far from perfect. But it does give us some insight into how flexibility affects performance and injury prevention… both of which are goals most of us have, whether we are gym-rats training for “life” or elite athletes whose career depends on performance.

What we do know is that static stretching, those long-hold, “count to 30” sort of stretches, have a negative effect on immediate performance.  Plainly put, if you perform static stretches before a workout or a run, you won’t be able to lift as heavy, or run as fast.  However, those same stretches when performed after a workout (or at the end of the day) can have long-term benefits, including increased flexibility.

If “traditional” long/static stretches hurt, rather than help, before you work out, then what should be done? You want to prepare your body the way you’re going to perform. The body needs to be put into positions that reach the end range for a joint, but those positions should only be held for a few seconds. This way, blood flow will increase and get your body used to moving through all the available range it has.This technique is called a dynamic warm up, and it prepares your body for the work it’s about to do.  Stretching in this way has been shown to improve immediate power and agility as long as you do it within an hour of working out.

A great place to start is with the “World’s Greatest Stretch.”  Equinox has done a fantastic job breaking down this movement pattern with simple instructions and pictures…check it out here.

Don’t forget to also check out Release Physical Therapy’s very own exercise videos!

Stay healthy my friends!

Virginia

Virginia Dula, DPT, OCS

By |November 12th, 2014|Blog, Videos|Comments Off on To Stretch or Not to Stretch?

New! Clam Shells (2-step) Exercise Video

Clam Shell (2-step) for Hips

From the NEW! Release PT Video Series

The Clam Shell (2-step) exercise is an effective exercise to target the outer hip and glute muscles. Here’s how it’s done:

1. Lay on your side with your hips and knees bent, so that your heels are in-line with your head, torso and hips.

(It may be helpful to position yourself with your back against a wall to insure correct form.)

2. Open your hips by rotating your top knee up toward the sky, while maintaining contact between your heels.

3. Then with control, lower your leg to the starting position.

Complete a full set on one side then repeat on the opposite side.

Tip: Make sure that the top hip stays parallel to the ceiling, and does not roll forward or backward. Do not allow any movement through your torso.

You should feel this exercise working the outer hip of the top leg.

Check out the RPT Blog for health & wellness resources, videos and more.

Subscribe to our YouTube channel for weekly exercise videos!

By |October 9th, 2014|Blog, Hips, Videos|Comments Off on New! Clam Shells (2-step) Exercise Video

New! Clam Shell Video

Clam Shell (single step) for Hips

From the NEW! Release PT Video Series

Clam Shell is an effective exercise to target the outer hip and glute muscles. Here’s how it’s done:

1. Lay on your side with your hips and knees bent, so that your heels are in-line with your head, torso and hips.

(It may be helpful to position yourself with your back against a wall to insure correct form.)

2. Open your hips by rotating your top knee up toward the sky, while maintaining contact between your heels.

3. Then with control, lower your leg to the starting position.

Complete a full set on one side then repeat on the opposite side.

Tip: Make sure that the top hip stays parallel to the ceiling, and does not roll forward or backward. Do not allow any movement through your torso.

You should feel this exercise working the outer hip of the top leg.

Check out the RPT Blog for health & wellness resources, videos and more.

Subscribe to our YouTube channel for weekly exercise videos!

By |October 9th, 2014|Blog, Hips, Videos|Comments Off on New! Clam Shell Video

New! Bird Dog Video

Bird Dogs for Core, Back, Butt & Thighs

From the NEW! Release PT Video Series

The Bird Dog is a bodyweight floor exercise for strengthening the “posterior core” – the muscular region that includes the abdominals, lower back, butt and thighs. It’s not that difficult to do after a little practice to get the balance right. Here’s how it’s done:

1) Kneel on the floor with hands firmly placed about shoulder width apart.

2) Brace the abdominals, and at first, practice lifting one hand and the opposite knee just clear of the floor while balancing on the other hand and knee. Half an inch will do until you get the idea of it.

3) When you’re ready to do the complete exercise, point the arm out straight in front and extend the opposite leg to the rear. Hold and return to hands and knees on ground position. Repeat the exercise for the prescribed number of repetitions.

TIP: Keep your abdominal muscles engaged by pulling inward to keep hips stabilized. Place an object like a water bottle at the base of your spine to ensure your hips are even.

Check out the RPT Blog for health & wellness resources, videos and more.

Subscribe to our YouTube channel for weekly exercise videos!

By |October 7th, 2014|Blog, Videos|Comments Off on New! Bird Dog Video

NEW! Slump Stretch Video

Slump Stretch for Lower Back Pain

From the NEW! Release PT Video Series

Slump Stretch is a neural mobilization techniques that may be beneficial for patients with lower back pain and lower extremity tightness.

1). Sit up straight with your feet flexed against the wall. Place your fingertips behind your ears with your elbows wide.

2) Take a deep breath in and exhaling, bring your head down toward your chest, rounding your back and shoulders.

3) Return to the upright position and repeat for prescribed number of repetitions. Tip: During this exercise you want to feel a stretch but not pain.

When your head is down you should feel an increase in symptoms and when you return to upright position symptoms should decrease.

Check out the RPT Blog for health & wellness resources, videos and more.

Subscribe to our YouTube channel for weekly exercise videos!

By |October 7th, 2014|Blog, Videos|Comments Off on NEW! Slump Stretch Video

Introducing Release PT’s Exercise Video Series

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What is the #1 factor in your treatment outcomes, program success and recovery time? You.

 Staying motivated and maximizing the effectiveness your home program is challenging… You’re a few weeks into your therapy, working hard with your PT and suddenly it all starts to “click”. You are ready to add a home program and pay close attention while your PT guides you through your prescribed regimen. At home the next day, your confidence starts to melt away. I can’t remember how to start this one. I don’t think I’m in proper alignment. Am I supposed to feel the stretch here? Sound familiar?

Release Physical Therapy’s new video series is designed to help you stay committed and from anywhere. These brief video tutorials break down each step of to your prescribed exercises – you’ll even get modifications and helpful tips along the way. That means no more second guessing yourself and no more excuses! You can find these videos right here on our website.

We’ll be adding videos to our collection weekly, so be sure to subscribe to the Release Physical Therapy YouTube channel for the latest cuts. Check out our latest videos Slump Stretch and Bird Dogs – here’s a list of what’s to come:

Hip Abduction in Sidelaying
Hip Flexor Stretch
Clam Shell
Glute Bridges
Hamstring Stretch
Prone Press-up
Prone Heel Squeezes
Front Plank
Side Plank
T’s
Y’s
No Money
Sidelying Shoulder ER
Shoulder ER with Theraband
Shoulder IR with Theraband
Sleeper’s Stretch
Cervical Spine Retraction & Extension
Blood Pressure Cuff Deep Neck Strengthening
Bird Dogs
Thoracic Rotation
Repeated Knee Extension in Standing & Sitting
Mckenzie Side Glides
Deep Core Activation with Tband Variation
Fall Outs
Core Heel Slides
Marching
Piriformis Stretch
Hamstring Stretch
Chin Tucks
Shoulder Retraction with Extension

 

 

By |October 7th, 2014|Blog, Videos|Comments Off on Introducing Release PT’s Exercise Video Series