#WednesdayWorkout – Wall Angels

Wall Angels

Wall Angels are great to improve shoulder mobility!

Keep your bum and upper back against the wall with your arms out like you are going to do a snow angel.

Slowly lift the arms up as high as you can that is comfortable and slowly back down.

Only go as far as you can keeping your bum and back against the wall 🙂

#FitnessFriday – The Lateral Hip Shift

Lateral Hip Shift

Our hips are the basis for almost our entire body’s movement! The hips are also our power source for so many things. Try this lateral hip shift exercise to promote more fluid hip movement!

 

  1. Stand with your feet just wider than shoulder width apart – hip hinge back to the wall – legs straight, both bum cheeks touch the wall at the same time.

2. Shift over to the right side, and slowly shift over to the left side – don’t go past your knee.

3. Come back to the middle – squeeze your glutes and stand up tall.

#WednesdayWorkout – The Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch

Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch

1. Kneeling – one knee up and one knee down – try to keep the hips straight

2. Kneeling – one knee up and one knee down – try to keep the hips straight. Gently push the hip forward to feel a stretch in the front of your thigh.

**Hint: Keep your front heel down for a better stretch. If you’re finding it difficult to balance, use a wooden dowel to stabilize yourself.**

#FitnessFriday – Lower Body Rolls

Lower Body Rolls 

  1. Lay on your back – arms out to the side and legs straight
  2. One knee is going to lift to 90 degrees – and rotate over to the other side of the body
  3. When your shoulder starts to come up off the ground bring the leg back and down and switch sides

*Tip* If you find that this is too difficult or you cannot get a stretch without your should coming off the floor or , place a couple pillows under your leg once you have rolled. Then allow your leg to rest on the pillows.

 

#WednesdayWorkout – The Cat Camel

1. Start out on your hands and knees

2. Cat: Push your belly button up towards the sky as your back starts to round up

3. Camel: pull your belly button down towards the floor and tailbone up as your back rounds down

4. Hold for 10 seconds each direction

#Fitness Friday – The Dead Bug

The Dead Bug

Visualize a beetle or other type of bug trapped on its back with all it’s legs moving.  This is where this exercise got its name: the “Dying or Dead Bug” exercise.

The dead bug exercise is used by our professionals for 3 main reasons:

  • Teach patients how to properly use their “core” to stabilize the trunk and pelvis.
  • Dissociate the hips from the pelvis. (Allowing the hips to move in isolation from other trunk and glute movements)
  • Introduce a cross crawl pattern.

This basic exercise is valuable both as a teaching tool and a starting point.  By having the patient first begin shifting their weight from one foot to the other with their hands on their hips they will get tactile feedback to aid them in learning to stabilize the pelvis with the core muscles.  It is helpful to queue individuals with poor body awareness to keep their upper body relaxed, and not let the hips shift or rotate as they shift their weight from one foot to the other.  In order to move the hips without the pelvis shifting, or rotating one must stabilize the pelvis and trunk using the “Core” muscles.

Hip Dissociation: This teaches the body that it can in fact use the hips individually without the help of other muscles or movements.

Cross Crawl Patterning:  This is an extremely complex scientific topic that I will attempt to explain in a simplified way.  One of the first things your body learns how to do instinctively is crawling.  Its nature, it’s our brain’s way of figuring out this body we are in and it all comes down to input.  Put very simply, the body is thirsty for input and using the opposite sides of your body helps stimulate your brain to learn and recognize where it is in space (proprioception).  Our bodies learn to do things the easy way rather than the right way when it performs an incorrect movement over and over (slouching at the computer, typing, sitting) or when it is injured and trying to compensate for a body part that is causing pain or can’t perform its job properly.    We use exercises like this to help reboot the brain and encourage it to learn dissociation.

This exercise is also a great opportunity to teach breath awareness.  As an important part of core activation the diaphragm is often underused.  The diaphragm is a muscle located under the lungs.  Its job is to pull the lungs down into the bottom ribs (which in turn, pulls air in).  Teaching controlled Belly Breathing and having patients pattern the two exercises together will help take muscle tension out of the neck, use the diaphragm muscle and increase focus on the task.

#WednesdayWorkout: The Bird Dog

The Bird Dog

1. Start on your hands and knees

2. Opposite arm and leg are going to reach toward the walls – trying to get as long as you can

3. Bring them back down and switch to the other side

Hint: don’t lift the arm or leg too high – want to be long and not up to the sky!

 

 

 

Our monsters are not scary! Monster walks keep your glutes strong & healthy!

Monster walks aren’t scary! Ok maybe your glutes might see them as scary tomorrow ;).

One of our favourite exercises at DHP is Monster Walks! They are an easy glute exercise to do without any gym equipment and minimal space! All you need is a stretchy band to place around your knees (we prefer Therabands which can be purchased at DHP).

Step 1: Place a theraband around your knees leaving a few inches of space between your knees. With your feet should width apart, pretend like you are about to sit in a chair.

Step 2: Step one leg out on a 45 degree angle, stepping with heel first. Then step the other leg out on a 45 degree angle, stepping with heel first. Make sure that your knees don’t collapse inside, pushing outwards on the band.

Step 3: Stay low, keeping your bum pushed back and your core engaged while gliding through the steps. Complete 3 sets of 10.

You’ll be surprised how little it takes to feel a burn in your glutes!