3 STEPS TO NETFLIX AND CHILL WITH EASE

BOSIC Specials

 

By Physiotherapist, Nate Chan

The What

According to recent studies on average we spend 71 minutes if not more on Netflix per day. However, when we find an addictive show we all spend 2 hours, maybe 3 hours sitting down. Long and behold there’s a greater chance of low back pain. 

The How

How did we end up with this pain?

Let’s take a step back and think about it. We have been sitting at our desk for 8-10hours. We have dinner sitting down with your friends and family. Finally to unwind from the day we sit down and cuddle with our partners watching Netflix. Therefore, the grand total of sitting down went from 8 hours to 12+ hours. 

 

Top Recommendations

To help your back and avoid this ache/niggle here are my top 3 recommendations:

1.Move more. 

This is no better time to multitask.  Use this time wisely to fit in your rehab exercises, stretch or increase your mobility. Here is my favourite stretch to Netflix and chill with:

 

    • Hip flexor to hamstring stretch
    • Fig 4 stretch

 

2. Slouching doesn’t look cool or feel cool.

Slouching generally adds to much strain on your neck and lower back. 

In a slouching position we will be with rounded shoulders forcing us to bend our necks to look up. This will eventually cause neck pain.

 Likewise for the lower back we posterior pelvic tilting and compressing the back making it hard for us to get out the couch. 

TIP: Slide your butt back against the back edge of the couch so you can rest your entire torso against the backrest to sit upright. 

 

3.Ad breaks

Yes ad breaks, but not as you know. Yes, you’re probably thinking, “but I subscribe to Netflix to NOT get ad breaks!” But break time is essential when spending time sitting or lounging.  

Think about scheduling your own breaks during the show or movie (ie every 20minutes) to stretch, go to the bathroom, replenish your snacks, or hell even grab yourself a well deserved drink. Breaking up the TV binge watching cycle will help alleviate the stress on your neck and back so you can watch at the safety and comfort of your own home. 

 

Those are my top 3 Netflix and Chill recommendations. Give those a try and let me know your thoughts. If you are still struggling with pain, don’t forget to book in here or call us at 8599 9811. 

 

Your Physio,

Nate Chan

Top 3 Thoracic Mobility Stretches

BOSIC Specials

By Physiotherapist, Vanessa Boon

Our thoracic spine, which is the midsection of our back, is responsible for most of our movement in our midsections. Having good thoracic mobility is key for good posture, overhead movements, and many other sports. Long hours of work and poor posture can lead to increased stiffness =  poor movement  = injury, discomfort, and possibly poorer sporting performance. Here are my top 4 mobility exercises to keep your thoracic mobility in check! 

1. Segmental thoracic extension 

How to: 

  • Roll up a towel and place it on the floor across the area you will lie on. 
  • Lie on your back with the towel positioned underneath and across your upper back. 
  • Relax in this position, allowing your arms to drop out to the side and your chest to open up, stretching your upper back over the towel. 
  • Remain here for 30 seconds
  • Move the towel down to the next segment of your upper back, and repeat.
  • Note: when this stretch becomes easy with a rolled up towel, you can progress to using a foam roller. 

2. Book Openers

How to: 

  • Lay on your side with the bottom leg straight and the top leg bent.
  • Reach your arms out in front of you, with your hands together. 
  • Rotate the upper arm upwards and outwards from your trunk. 
  • Try to rotate as far as you can, without forcing the shoulder. 
  • Hold this position for 2×30 seconds on each side.

3. Thread the Needle

How to: 

  • Start in 4 point kneeling
  • Your hands should be under your shoulders and your hips over your knees. 
  • Take one hand off the floor and reach in and through between your other hand and leg on that side. 
  • Allow your shoulder and head to follow, moving down towards the floor as your hand reaches through. 
  • Allow your back to twist, you should feel a stretch down your side, your shoulder blade and neck. 
  • Hold this position for 2×30 seconds and repeat on the other side. 

These are my top 3 thoracic mobility stretches. If you would like a mobility program tailored to you, give us a call at 8599 9811 or book in here.

Show your sides some love! All about obliques

By Physiotherapist, Nate Chan

The Importance of Obliques

Many of you know but our muscles are designed to be challenged. Our obliques (side core muscles) are built to resist spinal and pelvic rotation. Due to this reason, it is pivotal for athletes to challenge our obliques either under load, tension or velocity (speed). For field athletes, we use the ground to push off and generate power and speed. This transfers energy up the kinetic chain (our body) from the lower extremities to our torso and upper body. However, if we lose stability in our torso/trunk there will be an energy leakage in the kinetic chain, our body. 

Our core muscles, including the oblique muscles stabilise the midsection of the body, allowing our upper and lower extremity muscles to move (lengthen), in turn generate force/power. For field athletes we can increase our cadence (amount of steps per minute). However, we change many other factors to improve your speed, running time or agility. By working on our core strength, we will be better able to keep upright, reduce knee valgus (knees caving inwards) and ultimately increase speed whilst mitigating the risk of injury. 

No matter if we are attempting to change direction, sprint towards the ball, or prepare for a jump, improving core stability and running/jumping techniques is mandatory to optimising our performance. Incorporating various core exercises will help achieve personal bests and a deciding factor in games. 

All these exercises have several benefits other than just working out the core. These are great for unilateral (one sided) abdominal work. Working on one side of the body can help address any muscular imbalances in your muscles, joints and tendons. It’s the same as any other exercises, with lunges primarily working on one side as opposed to a standard squat. All three can be used as a movement preparation/warm up drills, anti-rotation core stability work, and sports specific movement sequencing.

 

1. Side planks (progression: hip dip, rotation)

2. Woodchoppers (progression: tall kneeling,½ kneeling)

3. Pallof Press (progression: tall kneeling,½ kneeling)

4. KB walks unilateral (progression lunges)

5. Bird dog +/- band (progression: standing

6. Med ball rotation toss (progression: plyos)

7. Oblique side crunch (progression: standing w/ wt)

 

Need more exercise ideas? Follow along with Barangaroo Physio on Instagram and Facebook (@barangarooclinic)! We post TONS of workout tips and we host live workouts 5 days a week. 

 

Why is Single leg sit to stand an important exercise for runners?

By Physiotherapist, Paulina Backiel

 

Single Leg Sit-to-Stand for Runners

 

You may have heard from one of your physios of the exercise called the “sit to stand.”

 

It’s a very standard exercise where you are told to stand up from a regular height chair properly then asked to sit back down – slow and controlled – without flopping back into the chair. Then the physio starts progressing the exercise until they tell you to do the same but on a single leg.

 

So why are they telling you to get up off a chair with one leg and sit back down? How is this practical? When are you ever going to have to get up then sit back down using one leg? They keep talking about this magic 22 number (read on to find out what this is!) but what does it mean?

 

Here is why:

 

  • Running Biomechanics – 

When we run we are always on one leg, never two. So, if you cannot withstand holding your own weight doing a single leg sit to stand how are you supposed to handle 1km of it? Sure, it requires a bit more muscle strength to get out of a chair since you have to get into a lower squat than while running, but this will just make you a more resilient runner.

 

  • Injury Prevention –  

If you are running with your knee caving in or your hip out or dipping this can lead to injury in the future. By doing a simple single leg sit to stand test until fatigue, we can see where muscles start to fatigue and misalignment starts to happen.

 

  • Healthy Knees – 

An article by Culvenor et. al (2016) shows that those after a common knee surgery called “Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction” showed better knee health 3 years after the surgery. These subjects were able to do 22+ single leg sit to stands, while subjects who could not perform at least 22 reps scored significantly less for overall knee health. (1)  

 

So who wants to try some single leg sit to stands? Here are some progressions from beginner to expert:

 

 1. STS (double legs) no hands from chair (48cm height)

2. Staggered leg STS. In this exercise, your back leg is the one with all the weight while your front is only used for balance (10-20% weight)

3. Staggered leg STS with leg on block. The leg that is on the block is the one in front, and now you have to challenge yourself by only putting 0-5% weight through that leg and using your back one.

4. Single leg STS. With one leg up, get up off the chair and back down slowly on a single leg. Watch your knees so they don’t cave in or go past your toes!!

 

Check out this video to watch Paulina perform the progressions in real time:

 

 

Now you have a try!! Click here for a printable guide of the exercises. If you are experiencing pain, or need assistance from a physio, be sure to call us at 8599 9811 or book in for an appointment HERE.

 
 
References:
  1. Culvenor AG, Collins NJ, Guermazi A, Cook JL, Vicenzino B, Whitehead TS, Morris HG, Crossley KM. Early patellofemoral osteoarthritis features one year after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction: symptoms and quality of life at three years. Arthritis care & research. 2016 Jun;68(6):784-92.

Warmup for runners – 8 dynamic stretches

exercise physiology BOSIC

By Physiotherapist, Paulina Backiel

Why do we warm-up?

Remember when you wake up in the morning, getting out of bed is always so hard because your body feels stiff. So you raise your arms to the sky for a stretch, and you immediately feel like your body can move more.

Running is a very large movement for our bodies and requires many muscles to stimulate and work with each other. Warm-ups are exercises created to wake up the muscles you are trying to target, initiating stimulation by movement. This will increase blood flow and oxygen to the muscle allowing it to “wake up.”

 

What kind of warm-up do we do? What kinds of stretches are good?

You will often hear “dynamic stretches” for warm-ups. This means that you do not hold them for a long time like “static stretches.” In a dynamic stretch, as mentioned above, you just want to stimulate the muscle, not lengthen the muscle like you would for a static stretch. Below are examples of a dynamic vs. static stretch:

Dynamic = For example, when you do a quad stretch pulse, you do not hold it in a stretched position but move your foot towards and away from your bum.

Static = For example, when you do a regular quad stretch you try to bring your foot as close as you can to your bum and hold it there.

Here are 8 dynamic stretches for warm-up:

Lateral leg swings

Front and back leg swings

High knees with calf raise

Quad stretch pulse

Glute stretch pulse

Pulse lunge

Pulse squat

Hamstring and calf stretch – toe swipes

Watch the video below for a demonstration!

 

Happy running!!

Your Running Physio,
Paulina

 

How to deepen your squat – Part 2

BOSIC sports medicine

By Physiotherapist, Nate Chan

How to Deepen Your Squat – Increasing Ankle Mobility 

For those following here is Part 2 of the ankle series to improve your squat depth. If you’re like me and find it hard to perform deep squats or go as low as you would like, whether it be for Olympic lifting, powerlifting, running and cutting, or to jump higher, then I have a few tips for you to implement in your program. My second round of ankle tips revolve around strength and mobility. 

Firstly, let’s address the unknown and neglected muscle, the tibialis anterior. 

Over the years I have found the tibialis anterior muscle important in improving ankle dorsiflexion. The main function of this muscle is to dorsiflex and stabilise the foot and ankle. When this muscle contracts, it pulls the foot upwards to the shin. If you don’t have enough of this movement, generally you either begin to lift the heels off the ground as you deepen the squat or lose stability in the foot and ankle. This changes the tracking of the knees, generally leading to knee valgus (knees caving in) and reduces the hip/glute power to push out and down into the platform. Effectively, losing your squat form or leading to issue up the kinetic chain (mainly knee and hip injuries). 

Here is an exercise to help strengthen this muscle and allow it to do its job. 

  • STANDING HIP FLEXION AND TIB ANTERIOR STRENGTHENING

 

 

  • THERABAND ANKLE INVERSION STRENGTHENING

Another muscle often forgotten is the tibialis posterior. Yes, it sounds very similar to the first muscle I named, tibialis anterior. Except this muscle sits further back in relation to the foot and ankle, hence posterior. This muscle is designed to keep your foot strong and stable during the squatting movement. 

The function of the tibialis posterior during a squat is to maintain an arch on the inside of the foot. The moment you lose the arch, you lose foot and ankle stability and squat technique. Once again this muscle can contribute to injuries up or down the kinetic chain. A loss of stability in the foot may lead to knees caving in the lower half of the squat placing further stress on the hips, glutes and low back.

Here is an example of some exercises to strengthen this muscle:

 

 

Today’s keynote: Strong and stable foundation! 

 

If that has helped you and your squats, then stay tuned for more blogs and exercises to improve your squat performance. If you have questions, give us a call at 8599 9811, or book in for an appointment here.

Top 3 Glute Max Exercises

By Physiotherapist, Vanessa Boon

Top 3 Exercises for the Gluteus Maximus

 

4-point kneeling hip extension

 

This exercise targets your glutes, core (including your lower back), hamstrings and shoulders. 

 

 

How to: 

  1. Start in 4-point kneeling with your hands under your shoulders and knees under your hips. 
  2. Keep your back neutral and engage your core. 
  3. Lift one leg up behind you, keep your knee at 90 degrees. 
  4. Think about pushing the heel of your elevated foot up towards the ceiling while keeping your hips stable.
  5. Control the movement as you bring your knee back down towards the floor and repeat.

 

Single leg hip hinge 

 

This exercise targets your glutes but also trains your lower limb stability as well as balance. 

 

 

How to: 

  1. Start with your hands across your chest or holding a weight, feet hip width apart.
  2. Bend one leg to 90 degrees and place your foot on the wall behind you. 
  3. Engage your core and glutes as you hinge forward at the waist and push your buttock towards the wall behind you. 
  4. Make sure your front knee is directly above your ankle, and pointing forwards and repeat.

 

Glute bridge pulses 

 

This exercise targets your glutes but also your core (including your lower back), your hamstrings and quadriceps. 

 

 

How to: 

  1. Start laying down on your back, keeping it neutral. 
  2. Feet should be hip width apart, engage your glutes and core. 
  3. Lift your hips up into the bridge position until you have a straight line from your shoulders to your knees. 
  4. Control the movement as you lower your hips back down without your buttocks touching the ground and repeat.

 

 

These are my top 3 picks! But remember that what works best for one person may not for others. If you would like a more specific program or exercises tailored to your sport, give us a call at 8599 9811 or book in here to talk to one of our physiotherapists today! 

 

Strong glutes – do they make a difference?

BOSIC sports medicine

By Physiotherapist, Vanessa Boon

The Benefits of Strong Glutes

 

Your gluteals are the largest and strongest muscles in your body. They are made up of the 3 muscles: gluteus maximus (glute max), gluteus medius (glute med), gluteus minimus (glute min). 

 

 

 

Your glute max, as the name suggests, is the biggest of the 3. Its main role is not only to extend and rotate the hip but also to drive explosive movements like sprinting and jumping (it is also the muscle that gives your bum its shape)

 

Your glute med is one of the muscles you would hear your physiotherapist harp on about. It is the main stabiliser muscle of your hip. This muscle keeps your pelvis and lower limbs stable during “single-leg movements” such as walking and running.

 

Your glute min is the deepest of the 3 glutes. It is the main internal rotator of your hip and also helps with other movements such as abduction. 

 

As a whole, they work to optimise proper hip and lower limb function along with stabilsing your pelvis. Besides that, here are 2 main benefits that come along with strengthening your glutes!

Decreased back pain

Your glutes are partly responsible for both pelvic and trunk movements. They act to stabilise, distribute and absorb load. A stable pelvis = stable/supported lower back. With load, your glutes help to distribute load to your lower limbs and absorb any excess through your lower back.

Decreased knee pain

This is mainly because your glutes keep your pelvis stable. Unstable pelvis = increased load to knees. Besides that, to be more specific, weak hip stabilisers (glute med) can cause non-optimal positioning for your femur which affects the position of your kneecap. This can cause the most common form of knee pain, known as PFPS (patellofemoral pain syndrome).

Conclusion

Whether you are trying to get that Kim K look, get more explosive power in your runs/jumps, or prevent back and knee pain, strengthening your glutes can be as easy as adding squats/bridges/lunges into your exercise routine.  When exercising the lower body, be more specific with which muscle you are trying to target. Whatever your goal, we can help you with that! To find out more about how we can help, give us a call at 8599 9811 or book in here to talk to one of our physiotherapists, and let’s get started towards your goals! 

How to Deepen Your Squat – Part 1

BOSIC sports medicine

By Physiotherapist, Nate Chan

How to deepen your squat  –  Ankle Series, Part 1 

 

If you’re like me and find it hard to perform deep squats or go as low as you would like, whether it be for Olympic lifting, powerlifting, running and cutting, or to jump higher, then I have a few tips for you to implement in your program. My ankle mobility tips vary from a few quick and simple wins to long-lasting effects. 

The first key area I would explore is the ankle region and its mobility. This is a common problem encountered by many athletes including myself. 

The deeper you squat the more knee range of motion is required as your knee travels forward. Mobility in your ankle joint allows your knees to travel forward and over your toes. Thus, ankle mobility is important and could be a limiting factor. 

If you have noticed your heels lifting or wanting to lift off the ground the lower you squat, then an ankle mobility limitation is most likely your problem. 

A quick test to know if your calves are tight and limiting your ankle mobility is a knee to wall test. This test aims to test your calf and ankle flexibility. The general aim is to achieve greater than 10-12cm away from the wall. 

Testing Mobility: 

  • Stand facing a wall
  • Place a ruler or measuring tape on the ground
  • Place one leg forward and one leg back
  • Keeping your feet flat on the ground push your knees forwards and over your toes to touch the wall. Ensuring your hips are facing forwards.
  • If you’re able to do this easily, move your foot away from the wall 1-2cm and repeat trying to touch the knee to the wall
  • Repeat until you’re unable to touch the wall with your knee.
  • Record the maximum distance you are able to achieve without raising your heel, knee caving inwards (ideally only travelling forward) or a pinch/excessive stretch in the calves.
  • Repeat on the other leg

Aim:  > 10-12cm from the wall

 

If you are standing 10-12cm away from the wall and you can’t touch your knees to the wall then you have less than ideal calf and ankle mobility. This would be a target area to optimise and deepen your squat. 

To target the calves, you can stretch them before your squat session. However, it won’t be enough because you need to stretch them under load frequently and consistently to hit your ideal squat depth. You can use a trigger point ball or simply stretch them underload. Personally, I find stretching underload more useful. 

 

If you have been doing that with little or no change, then perhaps trying an ankle mobilisation technique to allow the ankle joint to glide smoothly forwards and backward will have a better effect. 

 

 

Final step:

Practice, practice, practice, and practice consistently. Here is a drill I use to hone in on my ankle mobility which will transfer to my squats.

 

 

Conclusion

Remember: Consistency is key! If that has helped you and your squats. Stay tuned for Part 2 where we will discuss the importance of hip mobility. If you have additional questions, give us a call at 8599 9811 to speak with one of our physios. 

Your Physio,
Nate

Training When Injured

resources BOSIC

By Physiotherapist, Nate Chan

I am injured. What should I do?

If you have or had an injury in the past, you may have been wondering how much training you should be doing without aggravating your injury. 

The general rule of thumb I recommend is a strategic and progressive loading. In simple terms, avoiding sharp increases in frequency, volume or intensity. I have learned this both from my clinical experience and the work of Adam Meakins, a fellow physiotherapist in the UK. Adam has simplified two common behaviours of an injury athlete: avoiders and endurers. 

  • Avoiders: the athletes who avoid and do NOT enough during an injury

  • Endurers: the athletes who endure the pain and do TOO much during an injury

After sustaining an injury it is important to rest and modify. During this ‘rest’ time I would recommend keeping the frequency of training the same or the number of training sessions per week the same. However, reducing the volume (total reps and sets) and intensity (physical and mental effort) of the workouts. What this means is that you can still enjoy training and the benefit of training without imposing more risk on the current injury. 

For the Avoiders: The purpose of keeping your training frequency the same or similar, whilst reducing your total volume and intensity is to safely train whilst obtaining all the exercise benefits. Some of these benefits are muscle hypertrophy, improving your mood, boosting your immune system, and increasing cardiovascular fitness. Once you are able to commence full training at least it won’t be a shock to the system.

For the Endurers: Less is more. Less is sometimes better. What I mean is less in regards to volume and intensity. This is termed modified training. This allows you to rest to allow the injury to recover. No one goes to work 5 days a week without sleep. Sleep is rest. Your body (injury) needs rest too. 

Takeaways

The key takeaway is to continue training whilst supporting your recovery journey. The aim is to reduce sharp increases in training load to return to the field, court, track or gym. However, respecting the body’s need for rest and recovery is of the utmost importance. If you draw yourself closer to the middle of this spectrum during training with an injury you would gain a good outcome and function. 

Please speak to a health professional. This is a guide as an injury varies amongst individuals and depends upon many factors (training history, previous injuries, stress levels, weather and many more). You can book in for a telehealth session with one of our physios online or call to book in at 8599 9811.