Staying Healthy Indoors

For our older clients and especially those who normally go to the gym what do you do now they have had to close their doors🤔

Now my gyms shut what can I do for exercise?

Well, on the surface it seems not too difficult. There is a lot of generic advice about how you grab a few cans and do some exercise. Whilst that's better than nothing, we really need to factor in the reality of being stuck indoors, possibly having no garden and limited opportunities to walk, either social or physical. Having said that the exercises in this blog will help anybody who is stuck indoors at the moment.

So the next two blogs are going to cover what we can do and how we can maximise the limited opportunities we have to exercise at home in the absence of specific equipment. In this first blog we look at some resistance exercises that will almost certainly need to be done and in the next blog we take a look at cardiovascular exercise 👍

I am going to be doing so much more sitting than normal, that cant be good for me?

So, it's the nature of being stuck indoors and especially if you have no garden, which create the real issue. At the heart of that statement is the fact that it means there is likely to be more siting down than is normal for a really active person and with that come some very specific issues 🧐

  1. When we sit we shorten the muscles at the front of the hips called the hip flexors.

  2. When we sit down too much our spinal and pelvic stabilisers become weak

  3. When 1 & 2 are combined together we enter an unpleasant situation where our pelvis begins to tilt forward which is followed by adopting what we refer to as a 'swayback posture' where we now compensate by leaning back and re compensate by pushing our head and shoulders Forward 😖

This posture is the culprit of nearly every case of back, neck and shoulder pain that we see in the clinic. We are expecting to see lots of these postures once we are all permitted to return to normal daily life.

What are the essential exercises I should do?

So whatever other home exercises or exercise routines you choose to follow and there many out there at the moment, make sure you include these exercises too:

Slow walk with and without shoes: This one is pretty self explanatory and its works everything from your feet, ankles, knees, hips and core muscles. The idea of slowing down works on the basis of 'overload', making the muscles work significantly harder and thus gaining strength. In this case during a normal speed walk each part of the foot and lower body is only going though each loading position for hundredths of a second. this way they are going though it for several seconds = overload 👍

This exercise has an added bonus: It aids balance through increasing proprioceptive feedback.

Stand for neural reset: If we hold any position for too long our central nervous system starts to reset these muscle lengths and positions as 'normal'. This happens pretty quickly too, just twenty minutes 😲. But that's easy to deal with.......Move! You don't need to get up and walk around, just move out of the position you are in. At a computer thats as quick as standing up and sitting straight back down...whilst still typing, all you need to do is break the neurological reset.

The next few exercises are all to do with preventing the neck and shoulders coming forward. You can do then all or mix the up day by day:

Prone Cobra: This is great for preventing the head and shoulders coming forward.

Starting position: Finishing Position:

Cobra against wall: This is a nice alternative if getting on and off the floor is difficult. For this we spilt the exercise into two separate actions:

  1. Place a pillow or cushion behind your head and press back into it. Do not press by tilting your head back or your chin down, just press straight backwards.

  2. Place a pillow or cushion behind your back, turn your palm outwards than squeeze your shoulder blades together, trying to wrap then around the pillow or cushion

External Rotation with Can: These are also great for preventing the shoulders coming forward

Starting position: Finishing position:

Shoulder retraction with band: This is also great for brining the shoulder back. The beauty of this exercise it it removes the need to attach the band to something. The key is to allow the band to pull over the top of your chest then squeeze your shoulder blades together and twist your hands outwards.

Starting position: Finishing position:

External Rotation with band:

Starting position: Finishing position:

The following exercises are to keep the hip flexors from over tightening:

Hip flexor stretches: Anything that opens out through the front of your body, there are many Yoga poses that create this type of action. In this picture we abandon everything you may have been told about a quad stretch because this is a actually whole front line of the body stretch that just happens to share a position of quad stretch. Let the knees drift apart to get to those deep hip

flexors and arch your body back if you can and want to develop the stretch further.

Hip Flexor Bed / Couch Stretch: If the above stretches are little too much heres an alternative that doesn't even involve getting out of bed 😃

What other options are there without the gym?

More help is available here at The Reinge Clinic. Our doors may be temporarily closed but we are holding video based appointments and are already guiding people through personal exercise programmes. Because we are of course not only therapists but also strength and conditioning specialists, BASES accredited exercise practitioners and Personal Trainers.

If you don't have access to that technology there are still many other options we can talk through with phone conversation to make you a programme that we can e mail or post out to you. In fact you don't need technology at all, we are both old enough to do things the old fashioned ways if we need to. Of course if you are an existing client or past client we can use your notes and a phone conversation to build you a specific exercise programme 😀

During this period if you visit our Reinge Clinic Facebook Page we will be doing a live video every day looking at each of these exercises above, their variation and other exercises to 👍

Stay safe everybody 🤗

Ian Reinge is a Physiotherapist and Sports Scientist based at The Reinge Clinic which has two locations, in Kenilworth, Warwickshire and Portishead, Bristol.

#kenilworth #warwickshire #portishead #bristol #coventry #reingeclinic #strengthening#homestrengthening #homeexercise #strengtheningexercises

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