Tag Archives: core stability

Sports Wellness Center

by Natalie Wong, PT, OCS

 

CPMC Physical Therapy and Sports Wellness Center

 

In 2007, California Pacific Medical Center (CPMC) Physical Therapy Department started the Sports Wellness Program to bridge the gap between medically necessary therapy services and community based wellness and fitness programs.   With the growing number of active individuals in the Bay Area, life spans expanding, and the desire to make a more lasting change with our patients, the PT department began offering a range of wellness programs taught by therapists that are available to employees and the public.  With the medical and fitness expertise of the physical therapy team, we keep you fit in the safest way possible.

 

Below are brief descriptions of what we have to offer.

  • Total Body Fitness – An effective 60-minute cardio and strength workout for those trying to prevent injuries and stay healthy.  We provide a Level I and II class.

 

  • Fit for Life – A class designed for people 60 years or older to help them increase strength and flexibility, improving their balance and reducing their risk of falls. This overwhelmingly successful class helps keep participants healthy and independent.

 

  • Pilates – Our Pilates Mat Class and Private Pilates Reformer sessions are taught by Physical Therapists with Pilates certifications.

 

  • Bike Fit –Are you fit to ride?  Our Fit to Ride Program offers two bike-fit options.
  1. Option 1: A musculoskeletal assessment with a bike-fit evaluation with you seated on your bike that is secured to the bike-fit trainer.
  2. Option 2: In addition to the bike-fit evaluation and musculoskeletal assessment, this option includes an interactive cycling video analysis to optimize your comfort, efficiency, speed and overall cycling performance.

 

  • Running – CPMC’s Running Clinic will help you improve running mechanics to optimize biomechanical efficiency and endurance; improve posture, flexibility, strength, and balance; minimize repetitive joint stress and prevent injury; identify common running training errors; and provide skilled exercise program instruction and feedback.

 

  • Alter G Treadmill – Do you want to return to running or start a running or walking program but afraid you are too overweight or injury prone? The anti-gravity treadmill is a technology that unloads you so you can walk/run with an adjusted body weight.

 

  • Golf Conditioning – Are you ready to get back on the golf course or improve your game? Private sessions are with physical therapists who are (Titleist) TPI certified.

 

  • Fitness Training – What are your fitness goals? To prevent injury? Stay healthy? Lost weight? Exercise during pregnancy? Our private sessions with a Physical Therapist will tailor an exercise program to meet your needs. CPMC employee discount available.

 

For more information about the Wellness staff or see a list of our programs, please check out our website at www.cpmc.org/sportswellness.

 

We are located at:

Outpatient Physical Therapy – Pacific Campus

2360 Clay Street

San Francisco, CA 94115

Ski/Board Strong, All Day Long: Week 3

Welcome back to the third week of the Ski and Snowboard Series.  This is a progressive strength and conditioning program specific to snow sports injury prevention and performance enhancement.

Missed the earlier posts?  See them here: Week 1 and Week 2

Gluteal Progresssion – Week 3

Although it is essential to perform challenging and fatiguing large muscle strengthening exercises, it is also essential to continue working on small muscle stabilizers.  Keeping stabilizing muscles active during skiing and snowboarding will protect the joints and ligaments during movements involving large torques or change of direction.  As explained last week, holding that crouched posture down the slopes takes endurance mixed with bursts of power.  If you don’t have enough endurance to last the entire run it will be difficult for joint stabilizers to do their job during technical moves requiring quick changes of direction or bursts of energy.  Here is a video of how to keep those hip rotators strong.

Start: Sidelying clam.  Perform 2 sets of 10-20 repetitions or to fatigue.  Make sure your hips stay stacked and that you engage your lower abdominals to prevent low back twisting.

Progress:  Add resistance tubing when you can perform 20 repetitions before tiring.

Core Progression – Week 3

This closed chained progression is the best core stabilization exercise for the lower abdominals.    Having a strong core that coordinate with the hips well will dramatically improve your balance and power during technical moves.  The progression to dynamic rotations is even more specific for improving stability during change of direction on the slopes.

Start: Side plank.  Modify to bent knees if the full plank is too difficult or if you are just beginning.  Perform 3 sets of 30 seconds or to fatigue on each side.

Progress: Dynamic rotations with the upper torso.  Perform 3 sets of 10-20 reps or to fatigue on each side. 

Still not motivated or don’t have enough time to practice every day?  Come to Total Body Fitness every Tuesday and Saturday where we will feature specific exercises geared towards snow sports fitness.

Check back for next week’s installment of the ski and snowboard series!

Ski/Board Strong, All Day Long: Week 2

Welcome back to the second week of the Ski and Snowboard Series.  This is a progressive strength and conditioning program specific to snow sports injury prevention and performance enhancement.

Last week’s blog emphasizing gluteal and balance progressions can be performed in addition to this week’s series emphasizing more advanced gluteal and abdominal stability work.

Core – Week 2

After performing the floor gluteal strengthening and balance exercises a couple of times we are ready to progress to what we call closed chained strengthening (feet on the ground), which is very specific to skiing and snowboarding.  Holding that crouched posture down the slopes takes endurance mixed with bursts of power.  If you don’t have enough endurance to last the entire run, you will be too gassed to perform any technical moves requiring quick changes of direction or bursts of energy.  The best way to develop both types of strength in the core is by performing a variety of plank exercises described in the video below.

Start: Stationary plank on elbows/toes.  This can be modified to elbows and knees.  Perform 3 sets of 30 seconds – 1 minute or to fatigue.  If you are able to hold the stationary plank for > 30 seconds with good form, attempt the more challenging versions.

Progress:  Dynamic plank on BOSU hands and toes or leg extension.  Perform 2 sets 10-20 of each or until fatigue.

Circuit these sets with the squats (below) or balance drills from last week to save time and keep your heart rate up.

Gluteal Progression – Week 2

This closed chained progression is the most specific to both skiing and snowboarding technique.  Having stong hip extensors and the ability for your core / hips to coordinate well together will minimize the possibility of improperly edging or wiping out on the board because you couldn’t get your hips centered in time.  The progression in the video below (to one leg squats) emphasizes glut and core coordination for improving quick change of direction.

Start: Double leg squats.  Perform 2 sets of 10-20 reps or to fatigue.  Add hand weights and lower body slowly to increase load.

Progress: Single leg Squats.  Perform 2 sets of 10-20 reps or to fatigue.

Still not motivated or don’t have enough time to practice every day?  Come to Total Body Fitness every Tuesday and Saturday where we will feature specific exercises geared to snow sports fitness.

Check back for next week’s installment of the ski and snowboard series!

Ski/Board Strong, All Day Long: Week 1

Ski and Snowboard Series

Thanksgiving is fast approaching and you are probably feeling the pressure of the holiday season.  Having a goal in mind and program in place will alleviate some of the pressure and keep you focused.   Knowing that there is a 10 foot base of snow will keep you motivated to start prepping for ski and snowboard season.   To help you progress your training safely, we will be uploading weekly videos.   We will also be posting about common snow sport injuries and training pitfalls.

If you routinely hit the slopes every winter, you are already aware of the potential risk of injuries without prepping your trunk and legs properly.  You are not only at risk for injury, but at risk for poor performance.  Everyone dreads the soreness after their first day back on the mountain.  Doing just a little bit of training will dramatically reduce the aftermath of that first day.  Each week we will post two sets of exercises that are focused on a specific muscle group or coordination of multiple muscle groups specific for skiing or snowboarding.  Get going today with these exercises for week 1.

Week 1 – Gluteal Progression

Week one of snow sport training involves waking up dormant hip muscles (specifically the gluteus medius).  This muscle is essential for stability and power during change of direction while carving or shredding down the mountain.

Start: sidelying hip abduction  – Perform 2 sets of 10-20 reps on each leg or until fatigue in the side of your hip.

Progress:  band walks – perform 1 minute walking even distances to the right and the left or until fatigue.

Week 1 – Balance Progression

Without superior balance we would not be able to stand up let alone descend the mountain on our skis or snowboards.  Standing on one leg coordinates glut and core activation, also essential for safe and efficient mechanics on the slopes.  Balance can be improved in extremely short amounts of time IF you practice it.

Start: Single leg stance.  Hold for 30 seconds.  Repeat on both sides.  Progress to performing with eyes closed.

Progress:  Single leg stance on an unstable surface and/or ball toss.  Hold for 30 seconds.  Progress by closing eyes.  Also, progress by tossing a ball for 30-60 seconds.

Still not motivated or don’t have enough time to practice every day?  Come to Total Body Fitness every Tuesday and Saturday where we will feature special exercises geared for snow sport fitness!

Check back for next week’s installment of the ski and snowboard series!

Attention SuperMoms (and Dads)! Playground Bootcamp…

Feeling like your super status is depriving you of time for exercise?  Well, do we have good news for you!  Next time you’re at the park with the kids, let them help inspire you to be more active.  Instead of sitting on the bench watching from afar, jump right in there with them!  Playing in the playground can burn calories, but there are also ways you can use the playground to gain that extra muscle tone.

With the kids:

Swing:

Challenge your kids to see who can go higher on the swing.  The harder you pump your legs, the more calories you’ll burn, and you may even feel those abs tightening up too!

Monkey Bars:

Challenge yourself to get all the way across the monkey bars without letting your feet touch the ground.  You’ll be amazed at how strong your child’s arms are after giving this a try!

Climb up the ladder:

Follow your child up/down the ladder and in and around the playground.  You’ll be surprised at how much upper and lower body strength this requires.  Don’t be afraid to get down and dirty when crawling through tunnels or over barrels.

On your own while the kids are busy having fun:

Bench squats (works the quads, glutes):

Stand in front of the park bench, as you would if you were about to sit down.  Begin to sit, but as soon as your bottom touches the bench, stand right back up.  Repeat for 1 minute and time yourself to see how many squats you can complete.  Next time, see if you can squeeze one more in. 

Pushups (works arms, core):

Pushups can be intimidating, but the good news is this: you can do a pushup anywhere, and anyone can do it.  If you’re new to pushups, start by placing your hands on the back of the bench, or on a picnic table.  Be sure to keep your body in a straight line (from head to heels) and keep your abs tight.  Work at this level until it starts to feel easy.  Over time, work your way down to the bench level, and ultimately to the ground.  Repeat for 1 minute. 

Heel raises (works calf muscles):

Standing in place, raise heels up, then lower back down.  Repeat for 1 minute.  You can add a little challenge by standing on the edge of a curb or step just with the ball of the foot, but allowing the heels to hang off the edge. 

Plank (works core, arms):

Get into pushup position, and hold.  As with the pushup, you can make this easier by placing your hands on an elevated surface, or harder by having hands and feet on the ground. For a little variety and extra challenge, alternate between 2 surface heights (ex: start with hands on the table, then walk hands down to bench and back up).   Try to hold this position for up to 1 minute.  If you can only hold the position for 10 seconds, try to repeat 6 times so you have a cumulative minute.  If you hold for 30 seconds, you only need to repeat twice! 

If you repeat the 5 exercises above for 1 minute each, and repeat that two times, in just 10 minutes you’ll have completed a total body workout!  Now if only we could help you decide what to make for dinner…

Get Ready for the Upcoming Golf Season

It’s the beginning of the year and the start of some resolutions.  Wanna be a better golfer?  Start simple, by focusing on your endurance, core strength and balance to make it happen.  Start by improving your stamina by walking for at least 30 minutes a day.  A round of golf is no walk in the park.  It requires a lot of endurance, particularly if you’re walking the course.  And let’s be honest, some of the courses around San Francisco are not exactly flat!  Progress to 45 minutes to an hour walks once or twice a week in addition to your 30 min daily walks.   Try to mix up the terrain to challenge your cardiovascular system and balance.  This might include walking on grass, sand or up/down hills.

For additional balance training, integrate single leg balance with trunk/hip rotations to simulate a golf swing.  If that’s easy, then try standing on an uneven surface or on a BOSU ball.  You can even hold on to a resistance band and swing with increased speed to challenge your core strength and improve power.  The golf swing requires balance and coordination as well as kinesthetic awareness of how your body is moving in space.  Using a mirror while training balance is helpful to see exactly where you are.

Core strength has been a catch phase in the exercise industry for some time now.  Just as a house requires a stable foundation to withstand environmental stresses, your body requires a strong core in order for your extremities to function properly.  If your foundation is weak, chances are you will have a break down in your movement/swing pattern.  Integrate core strengthening exercises daily such as the ones featured below.  If you need the motivation, enroll in a Pilates class once or twice a week.

A one on one golf fitness session to get specific exercises will help you address all your fitness needs to get you ready for spring golf.  Link here to find your closest  Titleist Performance Institute Golf Fitness Instructor  through TPI.   Just like any offseason, work hard now to get your best performance when your golf season starts.

Ski and Snowboard Series – Week 3

Welcome back to the third week of the Ski and Snowboard Series.  This is a progressive strength and conditioning program specific to snow sports injury prevention and performance enhancement.  Week 1 and Week 2 Series emphasized beginning hip, core, and balance exercises.

Gluteal Progresssion – Week 3

Although it is essential to perform challenging and fatiguing large muscle strengthening exercises, it is also essential to continue working on small muscle stabilizers.  Keeping stabilizing muscles active during skiing and snowboarding will protect the joints and ligaments during movements involving large torques or change of direction.  As explained last week, holding that crouched posture down the slopes takes endurance mixed with bursts of power.  If you don’t have enough endurance to last the entire run it will be difficult for joint stabilizers to do their job during technical moves requiring quick changes of direction or bursts of energy.  Here is a video of how to keep those hip rotators strong.

Start: Sidelying clam.  Perform 2 sets of 10-20 repetitions or to fatigue.  Make sure your hips stay stacked and that you engage your lower abdominals to prevent low back twisting.

Progress:  Add resistance tubing when you can perform 20 repetitions before tiring.

Core Progression – Week 3

This closed chained progression is the best core stabilization exercise for the lower abdominals.    Having a strong core that coordinate with the hips well will dramatically improve your balance and power during technical moves.  The progression to dynamic rotations is even more specific for improving stability during change of direction on the slopes.

Start: Side plank.  Modify to bent knees if the full plank is too difficult or if you are just beginning.  Perform 3 sets of 30 seconds or to fatigue on each side.

Progress: Dynamic rotations with the upper torso.  Perform 3 sets of 10-20 reps or to fatigue on each side. 

Still not motivated or don’t have enough time to practice every day?  Come to Total Body Fitness every Tuesday and Saturday where we will feature specific exercises geared towards snow sports fitness.  Later this week we will be posting a blog specific to common skiing injuries.