Strengthening Exercises

Athletes regularly perform exercises to maintain or improve strength. However, they are not the only ones who can benefit from strengthening exercises. If you are recovering from some illness, muscle strain or sprain, if you have just had a baby or if you suffer from osteoporosis you may need to do some strengthening exercises. These are usually introduced after the acute stage of injury is past and the soft tissue has been made flexible through stretching and active range of motion exercises.

The benefits of strengthening exercise are:

  • Reduction of fat and increase in muscle mass
  • Improved blood supply to the muscles and joints
  • Increase in bone density and strength
  • Strengthening of tendons and ligaments

In order to increase strength, the muscle must contract against its maximum resistance. The number of repetitions, rest intervals, rate of movement and frequency of treatment must be geared toward the patient’s capacity to adapt to the exercise. In order to gain  optimum results,  exercise should be graded with small loads initially, working up to the maximal power that the muscle can accommodate. This is known as progressive resistive exercise and is best done under the direction of your physiotherapist.