The importance of Resistance Training: By Osteopath Dr Shehan
Running and walking are popular forms of exercise that we all use to help us improve our overall health and well-being! A form of exercise that is just as important, is resistance training. It comes in many forms such as lifting weights, body-weighted exercises or even using bands and medicine balls. It is any exercise that that forces the muscles to contract against an external resistance. Training is also done with the purpose of improving muscular strength, mass and endurance.
There are many benefits of resistance training for all age groups. It has also been shown to be good for children and some benefits include improving:
Body, arm and leg control
Bone structure and also decrease risk of fractures in growing children
Mood & self esteem
Muscular adaption to prevent future injuries
Resistance training may help lay the foundations for strength, power and also sporting performance in the future.
When to begin?
Resistance training is not be confused with bodybuilding. Children are encouraged to participate in supervised resistance training at least 3 times per week . Training can be safe, as long as the program is well designed, based on age, size, and existing strength levels and is supervised.
Children are also recommended to begin training with bodyweight exercises. Once they have control of over their body weight, they can progress to bands, sand tubes or medicine balls. After this children can then progress to heavier training.
In adults and the elderly the benefits are similar. The focus is on:
Increasing muscle mass, strength and also endurance.
Improving heart health & preventing chronic disease (e.g. diabetes, arthritis)
Decreasing stress levels
Increasing bone density and strength and also reduce risk of osteoporosis
Improving mobility and balance.
Two sessions a week is the recommendation for maintaining general health and wellbeing. Programs should involve all major muscle groups.
Dr Shehan Kariyakaranage (Osteopath)
Shehan is a registered osteopath and a level 1 accredited strength and conditioning coach. He is able to provide specific exercise prescription and develop programs to rehabilitate and prevent injuries.
Keeping that New Year commitment to looking after yourself
The most beneficial thing you can do for yourself is engage in a daily movement routine. I say movement, because sometimes ‘exercise routine’ can conjure up thoughts of needing to ‘smash’ oneself by engaging in some sort of gruelling, physical activity where no pain, no gain is the mantra. This does have a place, but most people don’t need to do that to become mobile, happy and healthy.
Typically, if you are on ‘the comeback,’ or even starting from a pretty good base and looking to maintain, I always advised a regular mechanical check over to make sure all the moving parts are moving to their optimal. We look out for restricted areas that need to be released to allow you to return to activity and assess the functional capacity of the tissue to screen for injury risk and ultimately to prevent from injury in the first place.
If you have not regularly exercised in a while and you are starting back, remember slow and steady – build up! You have as much time as you need. There is no point going hard in January only to have to rest up in February and March….then struggle to get the motivation to start up again in April, which gets put off until May!
Along with appropriately warming up, cooling down, stretching and rolling, you can reduce your risk of injury, improve your recovery and performance by regularly attending a yoga class that is right for you and getting some regular massage treatment, especially in the early days…just like the professionals do.
Exercise that focuses on awareness and control of your movement, such as Clinical Pilates, is a necessary part of your regime along with adequate recovery and preparation. Clinical Pilates is one of the best movement regimes to help you understand and become aware of how you move, to re-learn movement that may be ‘out of sync’ and need improving and to strengthen your muscles and joints at angles just not achievable with ‘regular’ training.
It is important to move beyond ‘re-training’ and to work with someone like an Exercise Physiologist, to take what you have learnt about your movement through pilates and apply it to movement tasks of everyday living. It is important to start to replicate usual movement and challenge with load so that you become stronger to perform your ‘tasks of daily living’ – It’s like training for a sport. You break the game or activity into ‘drills’ and practice until your capacity to perform them improves and feels natural…….most people, with recurring or chronic pain, simply need to do something like this, but really, to do this properly, you need help and coaching from a group of experts. Preferably experts who work closely with each other and know who is the best person to be working with at any given time.
Finally through out, it is important to maintain nutrition. A great place to start is with hydration and electrolytes, where Water and Magnesium are the main ‘go to’s’. These will help to keep your energy up, reduce training soreness and maintain your muscle health and suppleness. A great deal of injury prevention and recovery can be achieved with diet and strategic supplementation.
Dr Giulian Di Venuto is principal Osteopath and Director of MOVE Osteopathy and is available for Osteopathic consultations at both Brisbane City and New Farm Clinic. Move Osteopathy also offers, Remedial Massage, Myotherapy and consultations with our Exercise Physiologists, personalised exercise programs in our own rehabilitations gyms and clinical pilates.
1. Back pain from spinal joint sprains and strains
There are hundreds of joints extending from your neck to tailbone and rib cage. Movements during training that overstretch or overload joints can cause joint sprains and strains. These are common and can range from the mild irritation to debilitating pain. Most patients can make a complete recovery from most these when treated. Untreated they can remain problematic for long periods. Without treatment they can become areas of reoccurring injury and pain 2. Pelvic (Sacroiliac) joint sprain and strain
Like spinal joints, the two large joints either side of your tail bone in your pelvis can be sprained. The job of the sacroiliac joints can be very complex. They must bear weight and control movement. In my experience, they often become an area of repeated problems when left untreated. 3. Overuse injuries and tendonitis
As the name implies overuse and repetitive movements can cause injury almost any tendon. Repetitive use causes rubbing and irritation that can cause inflammation. In some cases this leads to bursitis which can easily become chronic. Tendonitis with bursitis almost always requires rest and specific rehabilitation. 4. Shoulder sprains and strains
The shoulder has a large range of motion but it generally not a very stable joint. This large range of motion makes it susceptible to chronic muscle strains, tendonitis’s, bursitis. These conditions in this area can often become chronic and can be difficult to manage. 5. Ankle sprains
These are a common traumatic sports injury. Rolling an ankle can be just bad luck but ankles need specific rehabilitation. Bad sprains can leave ankles week and susceptible to re-injury with simple activities. Many ankle strains over a period of time need specialized rehab.
6. Groin and hamstring strains
Are common sports complains and can often be the result of problems with form and technique. Tight and inflexible muscles, improper warm up can also be the cause. Overloaded weights training are another way these strains can occur. Simple examination and rehabilitation often gives excellent results. 7. Knee injuries
Poor techniques, physical trauma and overstrain of muscles around the knee can lead to many different knee injuries. Some such as patella (knee cap) tracking disorders can respond well to rehabilitation. More severe knee injuries need surgery and extensive rehabilitation to return to exercise. Knee injuries need thorough examination and investigation to be property diagnosed and treated.
So to avoid many of these common injuries we have put together a list of Our top tips for avoiding injury 1. Get professional advice
This is all about GOOD TECHNIQUE and knowing your body! As an Osteopath I have an excellent understanding of peoples individual body biomechanics. It is easy for us to see what is and what isn’t good for people to do. This combined with a trainer can put you in the best possible position train in the safest way possible way. This is when you can gain maximal results.
Knowing any limitations from previous injuries and concentrating on posture, technique and form. Getting advice from trainers no matter what your level is so important. Not only will it decrease your risk of injury but it also improves results. As you increase distance or weight you should be striving for improvement in technique. Not only does it present intrinsic challenges but it prevents injury.’ 2. Don’t do too much too fast.
Most of the time training is challenging yourself and pushing yourself harder. No matter what the challenge you need to allow your body time to get used to new movements or increased demand. Building things up steadily will always give you the best chance of avoiding injury. People become disheartened when they don’t see results from training sessions quickly
You would think this is most common to beginners but that is not always true. Sometimes more experienced exercisers misjudge where they are with strength and fitness. I often see very fit people underestimating the core strength required to get them to the next level in their training. Too much weight or distance too quickly can set you back severely. Overtraining and not allowing the body adequate rest periods can exhaust the body. Draining the body’s energy and not allowing time to recover and repair after can set you up for injury. 3. Warm up
Most people are guilty of not doing this one at some point. Warm up exercises are usually done with the aim of increasing the blood flow to the muscles. The increased blood flow makes them more “pliable” and adaptable to exercise without injury. Warm up exercises are generally high-rep, low-intensity – a light jog, cycle etc. Lifting weights without a warm up is putting you at a much higher risk of injury no matter how fit you are. 4. Don’t ignore pain
If it hurts, STOP! Pushing through pain (especially sharp or pain you have not had before) is not good. Pushing through fatigue for resistance training is how you progress. After an intense weights session a stretch or a foam roller can ease minor soft tissue strains. A good trainer can help you identify the difference between pushing yourself to the next level and pain due to tissues being injured. I often see patients who have been pushing through the pain not realising the damage they are doing. Continuing training with tendon injuries can cause tendonitis that can be difficult to rehabilitate. It is a similar story for stress fractures. Often the body has been trying to tell them for quite sometime that it cannot deal with the loads being applied. These injuries are far more common than people realise. If identified early they have much better outcomes. 5. Stretch
Ok so there’s lots of different schools of thought on this one. One minute it’s essential before and after all exercise. Next minute a researcher will claim there are no beneficial outcomes. What I do know from years of treating injuries is that not stretching at all will not help your performance. Not Stretching at all will probably put you at a much greater risk of hurting yourself.
Properly performed, a stretch helps to elongate, increase circulation and warm up a muscle. Warmed up muscles are more pliable and ‘alert’. in my experience this makes it far more injury-resistant. Post exercise muscle soreness is reported less when muscles are stretched after a workout.
Yep I’ve come across body builders that don’t stretch ….. like ever!! I often find not only do they have injuries but they can be very unbalanced with their strength and flexibility. They may be able to lift very heavy weights but some simple activities can easily cause strain in them. In my experience, the best performing bodies have a perfect combination of strength and flexibility. These bodies tend to recover well from injuries.
Make sure you get advice and guidance from a trained professional on what stretches are best for you and how to do them properly before you start. 6. Optimal nutrition
Ive seen countless people wanting to lose weight who consume too little or the wrong type of food. They continue to try to train hard and frequently. This is a great way to get injured. If you want to perform better or gain muscle bulk diet is important. Getting advice from a sports nutritionalist on what to eat is worthwhile. You need to provide your body with the best fuel possible if you want it to perform well. If you are doing resistance training you need to ‘feed’ your muscles. Optimal nutrition can feed your muscles and help them recover from a work-out.
Get the right advice from the beginning. Have a team around you to know exactly what your body can (and probably should not) do and how to do it correctly. At the first sign of injury get it assessed and treated. Follow the proper management from the beginning to avoid injuries setting you back.
We all know movement and exercise helps to keeps us fit and healthy and keep pain and injury at bay. When done correctly simple squats are a great exercise for most people, but if done incorrectly they can have the potential to cause or provoke injury which we have seen many times! For most fit and healthy people squats are a great all-round exercise that can work many major muscle groups including your core muscles and generally benefit a lot of people. You don’t have to be young, super fit or already have strength to do them. They can pretty much be done anywhere without too much fancy equipment. So what are the benefits of doing squats?
Squats can strengthen and tone your legs
Squats use your quadriceps, hamstrings, calf muscles, which helps to tone and strengthen the legs. Moving slowly through the squat can make it a much more intense and effective exercise.
Squats can give you a better butt (and who doesn’t want that!)
Doing squats gives the glutes a good workout, helping to strengthen and tighten your glute muscles.
Squats can give you a total body workout
Doing squats with slowly increasing weights in your hands or above your head can engage the muscles of the upper body giving you a full body workout in one exercise.
Squats can strengthen your Core
When done correctly squats can engage your core muscles. Abdominal and back muscles are needed to keep balance during the movement.
Squats can improve your balance and co-ordination
By strengthening muscles and core muscle activation, you may wobble at first …. but the more you practice the better you’ll get
Squats can increase and maintain bone density
weight bearing exercises are excellent and increasing and maintaing bone density
When done properly squats increases joint flexibility in the ankles, knees, hips and lower back are all being used. Upper
SO what are the tips for doing a perfect squat so i don’t hurt myself?
It’s especially important to maintain good technique doing squats especially when using weights. Always follow the steps below. Ask your Osteopath if squats are something that you may benefit from and ask them to go through the movement with you to make sure you are doing them correctly. Seek their advice on if, when and how much weight to add to doing squats to get the best outcomes for you. Doing squats in-front of a mirror can be especially useful to keep and eye on your technique. Here are the basic tips for good squats.
Stand with your feet hip width apart.
Tighten and engage your abdominal muscles.
Lower your body dropping your bottom and bending your knees as if you were going to sit in a chair. Keep the motion slow and steady.
Stop when your legs are parallel with the ground.
Stay in this position for a few seconds.
Now slowly press back up keeping your feet flat on the floor.
Repeat the exercise for a total of 2 to 3 sets of 8 to 12 reps.
Be sure to rest for 60 to 90 seconds between sets.
Once you’re good at doing squats (with no shaky wobble), you can increase the difficulty and effectiveness of the exercise by doing it with weights. Try holding hand weights in each hand at shoulder level or use a bar across your shoulders, (at the gym you’ll usually see people doing it like this in the ‘smith machine’). You can also just hold one weight (with both hands) or a medicine ball in front of you while you do the squat.
It is interesting for and osteopath to be involved, as we generally do not see this level of acute trauma in our clinics however; the diagnostic process is the same. There are 12 orthopaedic surgeons on rotation who primarily operate from hospitals in Milan and Turin, 1 GP, 1 nurse, 1 physiotherapist, usually 4 or so paramedics who drive the ambulances…and 1 osteopath. it’s a hugely educational collaboration and I have learnt so much about simple orthopaedic operations, their indications and when they are likely to be effective or not. This knowledge will greatly assist my regular work in Australia and help to improve our management particularly of tendon and ligament injuries.
As well as trauma patients, I am working with my usual group of skiers helping them improve their mechanics and skiing performance. Word has spread (passa parola in Italian) to other elite athletes who are in the region and I have been treating some world class cyclists and a professional golfer who came primarily because their skiing friends had noticed the difference in their performance and they wondered if I could do something for them.
I love it when people start to understand how osteopathy can help them feel and function better as opposed to just using us when they are in pain. It is very satisfying as an osteopath to work with elite athletes who are so in tune with their body’s and their usual ‘output’ because when we find things that we feel are important to address, even if it is a subtle experience for them to have it addressed, they can feel a significant difference in their output…it’s a confirmation that we are on the right track.
By working with elite athletes and processing their response to osteopathic biomechanical optimisation, it has made me more aware and convinced of how to better help our ‘weekend warriors’ and us regular folk, who just want to feel and function better. See you all soon back in Brisbane. Giulian For move information about MOVE Osteopathy – Please visit us at our website moveosteopathy.com.au