How to safely return to the gym post COVID

Now restrictions are easing and the gyms are back open, it’s really important that we transition our home workouts back into our gym routines safely, without overloading and injuring ourselves. It’s important that we restrain our excitement, for the moment, take an honest account of our loading in the past few months and plan before we return to lifting with heavier and regular weight again. Our strength will be reduced, so reduce your weight!

Warm up and cool down

Make sure you reintroduce a good 5-10 minute warm up before you commence your sessions. Try to target the area you will be training, if you are training an upper body resistance session for example, you should include some light weight or body weighted exercises targeting that area before loading up! It’s a good idea to have a dynamic stretch or use a foam roller if you have been static and sitting at work all day!

Cool downs are often neglected, however also very important now you are training again. Be sure to stretch after your sessions and grab the foam roller for a few minutes for your legs or upper back to reduce the extra tone that will build up in your muscles, just remember to wipe down after! #COVIDsafe.

Loading

If you haven’t been lifting during the past two months, your body loses strength far faster than you want to believe! Start conservative, reduce your weight to start and aim for higher reps.

Prioritise good movement patterns again first. It’s important to allow some time over the first few weeks for your stabilising muscles to remember how to lift again. If you load up too quickly these muscles can become tight leading to breakdown in movement patterns which can result in injury.

Contain your excitement; you can’t get back two months of minimal training in two weeks, so be patient! Aim for around 10-15% increase in load each week.

If you are unsure of your technique, book in a few sessions with one of our physiotherapists, or an exercise physiologist at the gym, for guidance around movement patterns. This can be much more cost effective than future dealings with an orthopaedic surgeon.

Rest

Rest is very important for any training, particularly if you are changing the loading (weight, frequency or type of training). Your body needs time to adapt and change. You most likely will experience some serious DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) during the first few weeks returning to gym. Listen to your body, it’s ok to experience these DOMS however, if you are feeling pain greater than 2 days post exercise, you should reign it in!

Space out your sessions, make sure you give the worked muscle group a solid 1-2 days recovery before loading up again. If you are training whole body workouts, have rest days between sessions, take time on these days to focus on cardio, stretching, trigger pointing and foam rolling.

It’s important to allow this rest for your muscles to recover and continue to build strength without being overloaded. It might be worthwhile booking in a few regular remedial massages in the next few months.

The biggest risk to injury is this period of load change and building up again. Listen to your body and make sure you follow up with your physio early if you are experiencing altered movement patterns and developing niggles greater than just DOMS. If you can extinguish these niggles early, it’s likely you can continue training and avoid any further time out of the gym.

 

If you’d like one of our physiotherapists to help your injury-free return to the gym, please call or book online.

 

This post was written by Mitch Esdale, Physiotherapist at Stafford Physiotherapy and Pilates. 

Baby and Me Exercises

No matter how much you’d like to exercise, it can be very difficult to squeeze into the day when you’re looking after a wee bub! Rather than using precious nap time (if there is such a thing!), or trying to keep bub occupied playing on their own, Lucy has put together some simple modified exercises that you can do at home with your baby!

Lunges (see pic above)

Baby can lie on the floor on tummy or back. You can dangle a toy over them to keep them entertained while you lunge up and down.

For extra resistance you can hold baby against your chest facing in or out, depending on age and head control. You could even use a baby sling or carrier. For an added arm challenge hold baby away from your chest.

 

Squats

Baby can lie on the floor on tummy or back. Tickle baby’s toes when you get to the bottom of the squat before you stand back up again.

For extra resistance hold baby against your chest facing in or out, depending on age and head control. You could even use a baby sling or carrier.

 

Chest press

Lie on your back with knees bent and feet on ground. Hold baby around chest and use their body weight as resistance as you press your arms straight up towards the ceiling.

 

Tabletop Legs

Rest baby on their tummy on your shins. Hold this position and practice breathing or pelvic floor exercises.

 

Opposites/Horsekick

Position yourself on your hands and knees and then lift one arm and/or leg. Baby can lie on their back under you, or an older baby could sit facing you and be entertained by your moving arms.

Push Ups

Position yourself on your hands and knees and lay baby between your hands. When you lower your chest down kiss baby or blow a raspberry on them. If you’d like an extra challenge, lift your knees and hold your weight with your toes.

Everyday Exercise – Part One: Socks

With people spending much more time at home, social sports cancelled and gyms closed, we thought we would help you still get your exercise in, with a bunch of exercises you can do at home using simple items you’re almost guaranteed to have around the house! Introducing our Everyday Exercise series!

Part one: Socks

Gym closed? Can’t get hold of weights for a workout because everyone sold out weeks ago? Never fear, you can get a pretty solid workout with just a pair of socks on your polished wood floor or tiles. Check out these 12 exercises to get your body working! You can follow the video, and there are written descriptions below to assist.

1. Mountain Climbers

In a long plank position, slide your knees towards your chest, alternating legs.

2. Knee Tuck

In a long plank position, slide both knees together towards your chest and back out.

3. Cross Mountain Climber

From a long plank position, slide one knee in towards your opposite shoulder, alternating legs.

4. Plank Jack

In a long plank position slide your legs out and in again with straight legs.

5. Pike

From a long plank position, keep your legs straight and slide them in towards your hands, lifting your hips up towards the ceiling.

6. Arm Slides

On your hands and knees or plank position, alternately slide one arm forwards as far as you can. Let your chest drop but keep your support elbow straight. Lift your chest again pushing your support arm into the floor as you return.

7. Arm Circles

On your hands and knees or plank position, alternately slide one arm forwards as far as you can, letting your chest drop but keep your support elbow straight. Then circle the hand out to the side before returning to the middle as you lift your chest again pushing your support arm into the floor.

8. Thread the Needle

On your hands and knees or plank position, slide one arm underneath the other reaching through to the other side letting your upper body twist.

9.Hamstring Slideouts

On your back, knees bent up and feet on the floor. Lift your hips up into a bridge then slide both feet out as straight as you can get while keeping your hips lifted off the ground. Lower your hips to bring your meet back to start again.

10. Scooter

Standing with your weight on one leg in a mini squat, slide the other foot back keeping the stance knee pointing straight forward and your hips square.

11. Curtesy Lunge

Slide one leg across behind the other while lunging with the front leg. Alternate sides.

12. Side Lunge

Stand with your weight on one leg in a mini squat. Repetitively slide the other out to the side and back in again. Keep the stance knee pointing straight ahead.

 

If you’d like a personalised home exercise program, please call or book online to see one of our physiotherapists.

 

This post was written by Allyson Flanagan, Physiotherapist and Clinical Pilates Instructor at Stafford Physiotherapy and Pilates. 

Home exercise equipment + programs

Do you want to exercise at home and need some equipment? We have full (long) rollers, short rollers, exercise balls, chi balls, sliders, exercise resistance bands (plus handles if needed), hand stress balls and exercise DVDs. We sell these!

We also have home exercise packs available:

  1. Chi ball + exercise band + sliding disc – $30
  2. Short roller + Chi ball + exercise band + sliding disc – $50
  3. Long roller + Chi ball + exercise band + sliding disc – $75

The sliding disc is used to slide your foot along a carpeted or hard surface.

The chi ball adds an extra challenge or assistance to your exercise.

If you would like us to drop them off (and live near our practice at Stafford), we can do that for free.

We already have some information on great exercises on our facebook page (and our VIP facebook page for patients), the blog on our website and our instagram. There will be much more to come soon to help you keep exercising.

If you would like an exercise program to suit your personal requirements (particularly if you have a previous or current injury, chronic pain or a particular need), we will be starting online consultations (Telehealth) in the next few weeks. We can incorporate equipment you may already have at home, or help you choose which equipment to buy.

We are happy to have a short chat to you on the phone if you have any questions. Allyson Flanagan is also doing home visits for those well people who have to stay home.

INTERESTING FACT: In 1918 a terrible epidemic (Spanish Influenza) broke out worldwide, killing millions of people. Joseph Pilates (the founder of Pilates), who was German, was confined to an internment camp in England during the second world war. There were tens of thousands of deaths in England and the camps were particularly hard hit. Joseph Pilates had begun devising strengthening exercises with controlled breathing and mindful movement with equipment using springs to rehabilitate the incarcerated and bedridden with wartime diseases. None of the followers of Joseph Pilates’ exercises got the Spanish Flu!

Staying healthy and active despite the cold and coronavirus!

In the past couple of weeks, amidst the continued development of COVID-19 as well as a cooler change in weather as winter approaches, a lot of us have had our usual work, exercise and social routines disrupted. First and foremost, we must adhere to current health guidelines and take all personal hygiene measures possible. BUT, you can still stay healthy and active, whether from home or within your local community.

Check your workspace set up

If working from home (or still in the office) – make sure you maintain good postural habits. Assess your computer set up, if using a laptop make sure it is at an appropriate height for your eye level, use a lower keyboard or mouse if you are able to. Change your posture often, stand every 30-60 minutes, do some big shoulder rolls, chest and neck stretches and sit to stands. Take a look at this blog post for more tips on workspace ergonomics.

Look at ways to incorporating exercise at home

Even though it’s no longer possible to go to the gym, there are plenty of exercises you can do with minimal equipment at home. Try 3 sets of 10 – body weight mini squats, lunges, sit to stands and calf raises for your lower body. Try a 3 x 10-30 second plank or side planks (you can do these on your knees and forearms). If you have some TheraBand do some low rowing, shoulder rotation, and glute bridges with this around your thighs. Check out this blog post for some TheraBand-specific exercises. Some gentle stretching and/or foam rolling is a great addition as well. We sell a variety of exercise equipment, so feel free to contact us for advice on which equipment and exercises would be suitable for you.

Keep moving

If you are able to walk or jog and are feeling well, enjoy the vitamin D benefits of some sunshine, get some fresh air, raise your heart rate a little and keep your joints and muscles moving. If you’re confined to home, walking laps around the yard or hallway, gardening and stationary bike are other ideas.

Fuel your body

It can be tempting to raid the pantry a little too frequently when you’re home, but it’s best to keep your nutritional intake as healthy as you can – do the simple things – drink water often and eat a variety of fruit and vegetables.

Keep up your usual exercise levels and habits

If you are feeling well, come in and participate in your clinical exercise classes with us. At this stage we are running all of our usual class times so, if you’re working from home, it may be the perfect opportunity to squeeze in an extra class, or try one of our 30-minute reformer classes for something new. You can read here about the measures we’re taking to keep the practice safe for both our patients and our team.

Address any injuries or niggles

Although some upcoming fun runs, social sport and competitions have sadly been postponed, why not utilise this time to your advantage and come and see our physiotherapists to address any areas of concern. It may be the perfect time to get started with some treatment and a personal exercise program for home.

 

Please call or book online to see one of our physiotherapists.

 

This post was written by Megan Esdale, Physiotherapist and Clinical Pilates Instructor at Stafford Physiotherapy and Pilates. 

Surf’s up! How to prep your body for a surf

Summer is definitely here and there is something magical about being in the ocean first thing in the morning, especially on our beautiful Queensland beaches. Surfing is an excellent form of exercise. It requires both upper body and lower body strength as well as core stability and balance.

So before you strap on your leggie, don’t forget to limber up. Try this quick routine to get your whole body moving well and ready to tackle the next epic set. Check out the video, with detailed instructions below.

1. Cat/cow

On your hands and knees. Take a slow deep breath while you arch your back up as far as you can, tucking your head. Then slowly breath out looking up to the sky, dropping your chest down towards the sand. Continue for 30seconds.

2. Down dog to cobra

Standing, reach over and touch your toes, then walk your hands out to down dog position. Push your chest down to the sand and your heels down to extend this stretch for one breath. Then lower your hips to plank position, hold for 3 seconds before lowering your whole body down to lie on your tummy. Push your shoulders up off the sand arching your back keeping your hips on the sand for a nice deep breath. Lastly push your hips back up again to press into down dog. Continue through this flow for about a minute

3. Lunges with side bend

Standing, elevate both arms up above your head. Deep lunge forward on one leg, then while you are in a lunge side bend to the side of your front foot. Return to standing again then repeat on the other side. Continue changing legs for about a minute.

4. Lumbar pendulum

Lie on your back with your knees elevated up in table top position, arms out to the side. Slowly roll both knees to one side controlling with your abdominals, then bring them up and over to the other side. Continue slowly for 30sec.

5. Single leg glute bridge

Lie on your back, one leg bent up, the other elevated off the ground. Squeezing your glutes lift your hips up off the ground as far as you can, then lower. Repeating slowly about 10 times each side. Remember you can do this with 2 feet if you’re unable to do them on 1 leg.

This post was written by Allyson Flanagan, Physiotherapist and Clinical Pilates Instructor at Stafford Physiotherapy and Pilates. 

New Year, New You: Pilates + Dietitian Packages

Health, fitness and body shape are amongst the most common topics for new years resolutions. Most people have a goal to make positive change in one or more of these areas! To help you achieve these goals we’ve put together some packages covering off both diet and exercise.

Our New Year, New You packages offer a strong foundation to kick off 2020 with a bang while learning sustainable exercise and diet habits with the help of our qualified team.

 

REFORMER PILATES PACKAGE

This package is a great way to get a taste of our studio, physiotherapists/dietitian and reformer Pilates. This package includes:

  • 3 x reformer Pilates classes
  • Private initial consultation with accredited practicing dietitian
  • Private review consultation with accredited practicing dietitian

$230 (valued at $265)

Any existing physiotherapy patients will receive an additional 15% off

 

NEW PHYSIO EXERCISE SESSION PATIENTS PACKAGE

Lucy Beumer | Physiotherapist at Stafford Physiotherapy treating pilates clientThis package is designed for new physiotherapy exercise session patients. It doesn’t matter whether you have never done Pilates before, or if you’ve done loads of Pilates at other studios; we create an individualised program for you, incorporating an appropriate level of challenge and the best exercises to help you meet your goals. This package includes:

  • Initial consultation + musculoskeletal assessment
  • One-on-one follow up session
  • Private consultation with accredited practicing dietitian
  • 4 physiotherapy exercise sessions within a 4 week period (check our timetable here)

$450 (valued at $557)

Any existing physiotherapy patients will receive an additional 15% off

 

EXISTING PILATES/PHYSIO EXERCISE SESSION PATIENTS PACKAGE

Clinical pilates | Brisbane Physio | Stafford Physiotherapy Centre | Sandra DayThis package is designed for patients who have done Pilates or physiotherapy exercise sessions with us previously and would like to return. Perhaps you got busy, were on a budget or decided to try another type of exercise; there’s no judgement here and we’d love to see you back in the studio! This package includes:

  • One-on-one reassessment
  • One-on-one consultation with accredited practicing dietitian
  • 10 physiotherapy exercise classes within a 12 week period (check our timetable here)

$500 (valued at $605)

 

DETAILS

Initial consultation + musculoskeletal assessment

In this one-on-one appointment we assess your body, including any existing or previous injuries. Before your next appointment we use this information to develop your personalised physiotherapy exercise session program, ensuring that it is safe and that it addresses your needs for maximum benefit.

One-on-one follow up session / reassessment

In this private session you learn your tailored physiotherapy exercise program and how to use the Pilates and other studio equipment included in your program.

Private consultation with accredited practicing dietitian

Your one-on-one consultation with our consulting dietitian Regina Tilyard will involve:

  • Discussing your current dietary patterns, and other factors that relate to nutrition and health (e.g. other health conditions or health goals, budget, work, lifestyle factors, stressors or barriers).
  • Setting realistic nutrition goals related to what you want to achieve and how you want to achieve it. These can be focused on the scales, or may simply involve feeling healthier and less lethargic, increased confidence, or incorporating new foods/recipes for yourself and your family.

You’ll go home with:

  • Specific dietary strategies, such as introducing new foods or recipes, swapping foods or finding alternatives, and/or developing techniques to address any emotional eating or food cravings.
  • Tailored and personal dietary education to increase your knowledge of food and nutrition, including written resources and tools.
Physiotherapy exercise classes

After learning your customised physiotherapy exercise program in your private sessions, you’re ready to join our small group physiotherapy exercise classes. Our classes are fully-supervised by a Pilates-trained physiotherapist, with a maximum of three other people who are all doing their own program.

 

If you’re ready to book, or have any questions, please call us on 3857 5815.

 

Terms and Conditions

Full payment is required at the time of your first appointment, which must be before 28 February 2020. Pilates classes must be completed within 4 weeks (New Patients Package) or 10 weeks (Existing Pilates Patients Package). If a refund is requested, any used portion of the package will be charged at full price, with the balance being returned. Appointments subject to availability; early bookings recommended to secure your preferred date and time. 

 

girl in sunflower field

6 ways to get exercise without actually exercising!

Our lives are getting busier and busier and setting time aside to go get to the gym or go for a run or walk is getting harder and harder. Incidental exercise is a great way to exercise in your day-to-day life without even realising. Incidental exercise is a term for activities that you can undertake in small bursts throughout your day that ultimately increase your overall daily exercise. Oftentimes you won’t even realise that you are in fact exercising!

Here are 6 ways that you can add incidental exercise into your day:

Take the stairs

Of course it is often easier to take the lift or use the elevator but, more often than not, it can actually end up taking more time to wait for the lift than to use the stairs. Taking the stairs, rather than waiting for this lift, can increase your exercise and efficiency. It’s a win win!

Complete 2 x sit to stand every time you get up from your seat

One easy way to add a little more exercise to your day is when you stand up from your chair, to sit back down and then stand up again. You may look a little crazy, but sit to stand is a great exercise to strengthen all of your lower limb muscles. Doubling your reps is a great way to add more exercise throughout your day and build leg strength.

Park further away from the shops or work

Rather than seeking the closest possible carpark, parking a block or two away from your destination will give you an opportunity for a brisk walk to and from work or the shops without even noticing. Public transport users can give this one a go by getting off one stop earlier, or walking to a further away stop to start your journey.

Drink from a cup rather than a water bottle

If you drink from a cup rather than a large water bottle you will be required to stand up and walk to the tap more frequently to fill up the cup. Think about how much incidental exercise you could build up if you drink the recommended 2L of water during your day. Even better if you do a double sit to stand every time you get up for a refill!

Leave your phone in another room

Leaving your phone in another room will mean that if you want to keep updated with your social media or text messages then you will need to walk to your phone to keep up to date. Added bonus – it can help you stay focussed and maximise your productivity!

Get your coffee/tea takeaway

Instead of sitting down with your friends to drink your hot beverage and socialise, get it takeaway and go for a walk with your friends. Walk, talk and drink all at the same time whilst burning calories.

 

Incidental exercise is a perfect way to exercise every day without having to worry about time which is often the biggest barrier to exercising.

 

This post was written by Laura Wade, 4th year physiotherapist student from Australian Catholic University. 

5 TheraBand exercises you can do when travelling

Being away from home and doing strength exercises can be challenging. Packing a small TheraBand can be a quick, easy and space saving way to complete a wide variety of exercises for the whole body.

What is TheraBand?

TheraBand is a natural rubber latex strip that can be used for a wide variety of resistance exercises. 

Here are 5 of the best TheraBand exercises to do whilst travelling:
Bicep Curls Theraband < Bicep curls

Stand on the middle of the TheraBand and hold on with both hands. Bend your elbow to pull the TheraBand towards your shoulder.

 

Rows >

Fold the TheraBand in half and close it in a door to secure it at approximately elbow height. Hold onto both ends of the TheraBand with your elbows bent, squeeze shoulder blades together and bring elbows back.

< Shoulder press

Lay on your back, with the TheraBand underneath you. Hold onto both ends of the TheraBand, straighten your elbows and bring both ends of the TheraBand to touch in the middle of your body at arm’s length.

Clams >

Make the TheraBand into a circle and lay on your side with your knees bent. Place the TheraBand just above your knees. Keep your heels together and bring the top knee up towards the roof and lower back down.

< Squats

Stand with both feet on the TheraBand and hold onto both ends with your hands and elbows straight. Bend knees to 90 degrees and elbows to 90 degrees, then stand back up.

 

This post was written by Laura Wade, 4th year physiotherapist student from Australian Catholic University. 

Foam rolling part 2: 6 exercises you didn’t know you could do using your foam roller!

We’ve previously shown the many benefits in using foam rollers as a form of self massage, or myofascial release, to reduce adhesions and improve muscle flexibility. But there are also many other exercises you can perform using your roller to improve joint mobility and challenge your core strength! We commonly prescribe these exercises within our physiotherapy exercise classes, but here are 6 of our favourites you can try at home. They might even be a bit nicer than your usual foam roller choices!

FOAM ROLLER EXERCISES

Thread the Needle

Start in four-point kneeling position with your roller next to one hand. Reach your other hand up, twisting with your upper back and keeping your shoulders relaxed. Don’t strain your neck, but follow your fingertips with your eyes as far as you are comfortable doing. Gently thread this hand underneath your body, rolling your hand along the roller to increase a gentle stretch in this direction. Repeat 6-10 repetitions each side.

Arms on roller

With your spine supported vertically along the roller, draw in your core lower abdominal muscles (belly button gently to spine), reach two arms up overhead, and back to shoulder height. Repeat 5-10 repetitions. Try also alternating by taking one arm up while the other arm goes down by your hip, or opening your arms out to the side. Repeat 6-10 times. Ensure you keep breathing gently and keep the core engaged – it will help your back stay still and keep you on the roller!

 

Core + leg lifts

Great core strengthening exercise. Keep your spine vertically along the roller with your head supported, gently draw in your core muscles, and try and lift one foot up to table top position (90 degrees at hip and knee). Keep the roller as still as you can while you return your foot to the ground. Repeat alternating legs 5-10 times each.

Bridge feet on roller

To increase gluteal and hamstring muscle strength, as well as pelvic stability. Squeeze your bottom muscles, gently lift up, slowly peel down with your spine. Repeat up to 10 times.

 

 

Wall shoulder flexion/arm raises

Standing about 30cms back from the wall – start with the roller at your wrists, about shoulder height. Keep your chin in and shoulders down, and gently roll the roller up the wall as it moves towards your elbows. Maintain your posture as you roll back down to starting position. Repeat up to 10 times. Try this with theraband around your forearms for added shoulder strengthening.

 

4 point diagonals

(hands or knees – or both! – on roller)

This is a great core and postural strengthening exercise! Start in hands and knees with the roller under both hands. Switch on your core muscles by gently drawing in your belly button towards your spine and make sure your spine is straight (not dipping down with your lower back or curving with your upper back). Tuck your chin in gently to ensure your head is in alignment with your spine also. Maintain this position as you extend one arm. Repeat keeping your upper body still and extend one leg. Progress by doing one arm and opposite leg at the same time! Alternate sides. Perform up to 10 repetitions of each.

Please call or book online to see one of our physiotherapists.

 

This post was written by Megan Esdale, Physiotherapist and Clinical Pilates Instructor at Stafford Physiotherapy and Pilates.