When someone mentions strength training, bodybuilders, athletes and wrestlers probably come to mind. However, strength and conditioning can be a useful addition to improve everyday life and recovery from injury. Recent Evidence has shown the benefits of Strength and Conditioning within a rehabilitation programme and this is something we strive to include at Thorpes Physiotherapy to help you achieve your goals.
What is Strength and Conditioning?
Muscles produce force by using energy to contract. Using resistance to increase the ability of your muscles to maximally contract helps to refine and improve your movement.
Although we often think of people lifting cars or big Olympic weights, strength training doesn’t have to be limited to this. Strength training varies from isometrics (a static contraction where a force is created without movement) to dynamic compound movements (multiple muscle groups generate a force whilst lengthening/shortening muscle length), e.g. squats.
Resistance can be added in many ways. Resistance bands are a good and easy way to begin, which can be very effective at achieving results. As you muscle strength improves and you become more confident with the movements, using weight machines and free weights, such as dumbbells, will challenge you further.
Improvements through strength training will filter into your daily life, but also show in your clinical assessments with your physiotherapist. We often assess isolated muscle strength to see its impact on your injury, for example rotator cuff muscle injuries in the shoulder. Clinical functional tests may also improve, for example a single leg heel raise test in foot/ankle injuries.
Strength Training is suitable and adaptable to everyone! Large scales studies have shown strength training to benefit those living with conditions such as osteoarthritis (START trial) and osteoporosis (LIFTMOR trials). National guidance also recommend strength training for other conditions such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and cardiac failure.
Benefits of Strength Training
- Daily tasks become easier! As your muscles increase in strength, they will have more capacity to carry out day to day tasks. Similar to filling up the fuel in a car, your muscles will have more energy, making tasks such as walking, climbing the stairs, and even standing up easier!
- Increased joint stability
Improved balance and ability to respond to sudden movement changes improves
- Decreased Pain
- Decreased risk of injury.
Strength training increases movement co-ordination and control, which reduce chance of injury during sports. It may also reduce chance of falls in the elderly population.
- Improved rate of recovery. Unfortunately, we can’t stop injuries from happening. However, your movement pattern will already be improved and the impact of the injury may be reduced. Your physiotherapist will work with you to adapt your programme to accommodate for the short-term changes during rehabilitation.
Strength training is a key aspect of rehabilitation and here at Thorpes Physiotherapy, we work with you to implement these principles so you can return to the activities you love!
If you would like more information about our services, please call the clinic on 01276 37670. If you would like to book a session then this can also be done online by clicking the image below
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Thanks for reading
Physiotherapist at Thorpes Physiotherapy