How Much Weight Should I Be Lifting?

COVID-19 has made working out from home a new reality, and with that, it’s also made hand weights a hot commodity as they have been sold out for months. If you’re lucky enough to have a set, you might be wondering what weight is best for your body. To ensure safe weightlifting, follow these easy … Continue reading “How Much Weight Should I Be Lifting?”

COVID-19 has made working out from home a new reality, and with that, it’s also made hand weights a hot commodity as they have been sold out for months. If you’re lucky enough to have a set, you might be wondering what weight is best for your body.

To ensure safe weightlifting, follow these easy tips that apply the RPE Scale (rate of perceived extension).

We are open for in-office and virtual services! Call (619) 260-0750 today to book your next visit!

A Beginner’s Guide to Resistance Training

The health benefits of strength training are numerous: strength training can reduce the risk of many conditions (i.e. cardiovascular disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, depression), promote fat loss, and, of course, improve strength and fitness levels. While there are clear benefits to beginning a strength training program, getting started can be a daunting task.  To build strength, … Continue reading “A Beginner’s Guide to Resistance Training”

The health benefits of strength training are numerous: strength training can reduce the risk of many conditions (i.e. cardiovascular disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, depression), promote fat loss, and, of course, improve strength and fitness levels. While there are clear benefits to beginning a strength training program, getting started can be a daunting task. 

To build strength, according to the American College of Sports Medicine, we should lift 60-80% of our 1 rep maximum (the most amount of weight that can be lifted once) for 8-12 repetitions per set. But what is our 1 rep max? Many individuals don’t know. An alternate way to appropriately lift the correct weight is to rely on rating of perceived exertion (RPE), which has been shown to correlate well to 1 rep max. An easy way to rate RPE is through a 0-10 scale, with an RPE of 0 equivalent to rest (no effort) and an RPE of 10 equivalent to maximal effort.

 

With an understanding of RPE, beginners should strive for a set of 8-12 repetitions with good technique and aim for an RPE of 5-7 out of 10. Repeat for 1-3 sets. Remember, it is better to underestimate how much weight can be lifted than to overestimate, which can lead to injuries. If you find that the set was not as difficult as you thought it would be, you can always adjust next time with additional resistance.

How often should I be resistance training?

According to the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA), a general guideline is to allow for 1-3 days of rest in between exercise of the same muscle groups. The NSCA recommends 2-3 weightlifting sessions per week for those at the novice or beginner level and 3 lifting sessions per week for those at the intermediate level. An intermediate level lifter can strength train up to 4 times per week if muscle groups are split into separate days (i.e. lower body on M/Th, upper body Tu/F).

I’m getting stronger. How do I progress my exercise?

Here are a few simple ways to make your routine a little harder: increase reps/sets, increase resistance, and/or decrease rest time. You can also start mixing some new exercises into your routine.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask! Give us a call 619.260.0750.

References:

  1. Westcott W. ACSM strength training guidelines: role in body composition and health enhancement. ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal. 2009; 13 (4): 14-22.
  2. Westcott W, Winett R. Applying the ACSM guidelines. 2005. https://www.athleticbusiness.com/health-fitness/applying-the-acsm-guidelines.html.
  3. Morishita S, Tsubaki A, Takabayashi T, Fu J. Relationship between the rating of perceived exertion scale and the load intensity of resistance training. Strength Cond J. 2018; 40 (2): 94-109.

Mask Myths & Facts

MASKS & TMJ The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a recommendation that everyone wear a cloth face-covering mask in public to slow the spread of coronavirus.  COVID-19 can be spread by tiny droplets that get into the air when we cough, sneeze or even laugh or talk. Wearing a mask also can help … Continue reading “Mask Myths & Facts”

MASKS & TMJ

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a recommendation that everyone wear a cloth face-covering mask in public to slow the spread of coronavirus.  COVID-19 can be spread by tiny droplets that get into the air when we cough, sneeze or even laugh or talk. Wearing a mask also can help contain the droplets you produce.

Many of us hold our faces with more tension or with our chin forward to hold our masks in place which can increase or even create symptoms of TMJ. Temporomandibular joint dysfunction is pain and compromised movement of the jaw joint and the surrounding muscles.

Here are some tips to avoid mask pains and aches:

Trust the elastic on your mask and let it do the work of holding your mask in place, not your jaw! Relax your face, let your tongue rest of the roof of your mouth, teeth slightly apart. If your mask slips while you are in this position, take it as a sign that you need to find one with a better fit.

An ill-fitting mask can also cause headaches by tugging on your ears. This can be caused by the auriculotemporal nerve which runs just in front and above the ear into the scalp. Try finding a mask with longer elastics or try extenders for glasses or goggles. Those will eliminate ear loops all together.

Having your nose covered may prompt you to breathe through your mouth rather than your nose. Breathing through your mouth causes you to hold it slightly open which leads to tension and pain. Breathing through your nose is not only preformed in a more relaxed position, but also helps your body get more oxygen with each breath which expands your blood vessels and soothes muscle tissue.

MASK MYTHS

 

  1. Myth: The mask only protects others, not the wearer.

Truth: Masks actually protect both the wearer and others around them. The No. 1 goal of masks is to contain people’s germs and prevent them from reaching others.

  1. Myth: Masks with exhalation valves are more comfortable and offer the same amount of protection.

Truth: Masks with exhalation valves are not nearly as safe and do not limit the spread of COVID-19. Exhalation valves allow germs/droplets to be expelled into the air around you, putting others at risk.

  1. Myth: Wearing a mask causes a dangerous build-up of carbon dioxide if worn for long periods of time.

Truth: There is no science supporting this. Wearing a mask is a safe practice.

Health care workers have been wearing masks for prolonged periods of time – many, many hours for longer surgeries and things like that without incident. That’s because CO2 particles are extremely small, unlike viral loads, and can pass through masks. That’s even the case for a higher protection mask like an N95.

  1. Myth: I’m wearing a mask, so I don’t need to social distance.

Truth: Social distancing AND mask wearing is the most effective combination in limiting the spread of COVID-19.

Wearing a mask limits droplet spread to about one foot. But that doesn’t eliminate it altogether. Additionally, all of the scientific data and recommendations assume masks are being worn properly by everyone, which is certainly not the case.

MASK FAQ’s:

WHO YOU PROTECT BY WEARING A MASK

By wearing a mask, you are protecting yourself and further protecting those who are at a higher risk of developing severe illness, including people who are or have:

  • Asthma
  • Lung disease
  • Diabetes
  • Serious Heart conditions
  • Kidney disease
  • Liver disease
  • Obesity
  • Elderly adults over 65
  • Immunocompromised
  • Pregnant or breastfeeding

WHAT KIND OF MASK SHOULD YOU WEAR

The gold standard N-95 mask is 95% effective at keeping the wearer free of inhaling viral particles.  These masks are still best reserved for front-line workers in high risk settings where aerosols of viral particles occur. Surgical masks are less effective and cloth face coverings even less so in protecting the wearer. However even a 50% reduction in viral transmission is statistically important.

For the general public, the reason for wearing a facial covering is to help protect others from you when you cough, sneeze or even talk and spray viral droplets into the air.  Many people who become infected can unknowingly spread the COVID-19 virus because they have few or no symptoms. So wearing a mask is showing respect for others and is your way of helping lessen the spread of the disease. It is important that the mask not be so thick as to make breathing through them completely uncomfortable. Filter inserts are probably not necessary and may make the masks more uncomfortable.

HOW TO WEAR A MASK PROPERLY

Cloth face coverings should-

  • fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
  • be secured with ties or ear loops
  • include multiple layers of fabric
  • allow for breathing without restriction
  • be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape

    Do NOT touch your eyes, nose or mouth when removing the mask and wash your hands immediately after mask removal.

WHO SHOULDN’T WEAR A MASK

Cloth face coverings should NOT be placed on:

  • Young children under age 2
  • Anyone who has trouble breathing
  • Anyone who unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance·

Best 4 Exercises to Prevent Decline with Age

“Aging is not lost youth but a new stage of opportunity and strength.” We all age a little bit every day. Getting older is just a fact of life, but the rate of decline in our physical and mental health depends on our daily choices. Are you active, or do you spend most of your … Continue reading “Best 4 Exercises to Prevent Decline with Age”

“Aging is not lost youth but a new stage of opportunity and strength.”
We all age a little bit every day. Getting older is just a fact of life, but the rate of decline in our physical and mental health depends on our daily choices. Are you active, or do you spend most of your free time on the couch? Do you lift weights, or do you have a hard time lifting your groceries? Are you setting yourself up for a happy future or a struggle?

 

One of the most noticeable side effects of aging is loss of muscle mass, which can ultimately lead to a decline in functional activities. Signs of shrinking muscles include avoiding stairs, having to use walls and furniture for balance, and being unable to comfortably get on and off the floor. In this blog post are four easy but essential exercises to keep your lower body, trunk, and upper body strong enough to tackle anything you need to do as you get older!

 

Exercises:

 

A general guideline used in strength training is to train major muscle groups 3-5x per week. This means to do these four exercises at least 3x throughout the week.  4 sets of 8-15 reps of each exercise have shown to be the most versatile in gaining muscle strength and endurance.

 

Depending on your fitness levels, you may notice changes after a few weeks, or you may need more resistance and an increase in exercise volume to see noticeable changes.  You can always add resistance by using weights or resistance bands with some of these exercises. However, body weight exercise is better than no exercise at all! The great thing about these 4 simple exercises is they require almost no equipment except for a chair and a wall!

 

If you need more help maintaining mobility, inquire about our virtual classes or virtual 1 on 1 physical therapy and wellness services (exercise training also available!) Call (619) 260-0750 today!

MAKE DO WITH WHAT YOU HAVE AT HOME – TIPS FOR HOME WORKSTATION

Many of you are now working from home due to the novel coronavirus, but don’t necessarily have the ergonomic workstation that you were accustomed to using at your office.   You are also probably using a laptop, likely for hours on end, at your kitchen table,  dining room table, coffee table, on your couch or … Continue reading “MAKE DO WITH WHAT YOU HAVE AT HOME – TIPS FOR HOME WORKSTATION”

Many of you are now working from home due to the novel coronavirus, but don’t necessarily have the ergonomic workstation that you were accustomed to using at your office.   You are also probably using a laptop, likely for hours on end, at your kitchen table,  dining room table, coffee table, on your couch or on your bed. Doing this for weeks or months on end you are likely experiencing maybe for the first time neck, shoulder and back muscle aches and pains that you didn’t have before you were relegated to working out of your home. One solution is to go online and buy an expensive chair, desk and other specialized equipment.  Or you can properly use what you have at home by making just a few simple adjustments to your present work situation.

Mirriam-Webster’ definition of ergonomics is “an applied science concerned with designing and arranging things people use so that people and what they use interact most efficiently and safely”. If you can accomplish this by making a few simple changes you will not only be more productive and better focused, but will avoid the strains and pains that go along with prolonged improper sitting postures. 

 

Here are a few easy suggestions using what you have at home to prevent undue muscle strain to your neck, shoulders and back whether you use a desktop or laptop:

  • Use a straight back chair at your dining or kitchen table.  Sit as far back in your chair as you can so your back touches the back rest.  If you can’t sit all the way back you can fill in the gap using a rolled towel or pillow. This will enable you to sit up straight rather than having to lean too forward to too far back which will put stress on your neck, shoulders and back.  
  • Plant your feet flat on the floor.  Don’t cross or sit on your legs.   If your feet can’t touch the floor, rest your feet on a platform that you can create with a stack of books, a wood box or a cushion.  
  • Ideally your forearms should be parallel to the floor with your hands resting on your keyboard.  If the table is too low then place your laptop on some type of raised surface.   If the table is too high then sit on a cushion to raise yourself up to meet the ideal forearm position.  
  • For prolonged laptop use, a laptop stand is recommended (which you can create yourself) but this would also require an investment in an external keyboard and mouse.   If that is not practical,  make sure your screen is tilted back slightly and move your chair away from your table so that the laptop screen is about an arm’s length away and near the edge of the table.   This posture will prevent you from leaning forward.

Now that you have designed a more ideal ergonomic workstation, staying in one place for too long will take its toll on you no matter how good your posture is, unless you take breaks!   So set your smart watches!  Ideally, you need to stretch, stand up, move about approximately every 20-30 minutes for at least a minute, but 5-10 min would be even better.      

Whether you have pain or stiffness that has just started or troubling you for months from too much sitting, typing, or other close work, your physical therapist can give you more suggestions on setting up your workstation or instructing you with a stretching routine.  

We’re here if you need us at Innovative Physical Therapy for in person appointments (yes, we are open!) or via virtual (telehealth) appointments!  

Call us at 619-260-0750 or email info@innovativept.net for more information or to book your appointment today.

researched and written by: Marilyn Johnson, PT. 
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ergonomics?utm_campaign=sd&utm_medium=serp&utm_source=jsonld

 

 

 

 

 

So you think you can squat!

Why does form matter? Proper form helps you work out more efficiently so you can use your energy for the extra push rather than wasted movements. Improper form may mean you are targeting unintended muscles or muscle groups. The better your form the better your results – run faster, lift more, and jump higher when you do it right. More importantly, when you … Continue reading “So you think you can squat!”

Why does form matter?

Proper form helps you work out more efficiently so you can use your energy for the extra push rather than wasted movements. Improper form may mean you are targeting unintended muscles or muscle groups. The better your form the better your results – run faster, lift more, and jump higher when you do it right. More importantly, when you use improper form you risk serious injury.

Today we’re going to talk about three functional exercises. A functional exercise strengthens the muscles that you use on a daily basis doing everyday activities.

Squats

Squats are an essential exercise since we constantly bend down to either pick or lift something up. It is a great exercise that strengthens the quads, rectus abdominis, and posterior chain of muscles: erector spinae, hamstrings, gluteus maximus. If performed correctly, squats can improve our activities of daily living, and help reduce the risk of potential injuries. Here are some squatting cues to help you perform the perfect squat!

Squatting Cues:

    • Start off standing with good posture: neutral spine and feet shoulder width apart.
    • The initial movement is to hinge at the hips
    • As you hinge your hips, bend your knees to get lower. Go as low till your thighs are parallel to the ground. If you’re not able to go as low, bend your knees to where you’ll feel the tension on your quads before any pain.
    • When you are at the end point of the squat, make sure your torso and shins are parallel to each other, your heels are planted on the ground, and your weight should be more on the midfoot.
    • As you go back up, make sure your knees and hips are extending at the same time.
    • Also, when you go up, make sure your knees don’t cave in. Do your best to maintain your base position and drive the knees out. Caving of the knees (valgus) can potentially lead to hip or knee injuries.
    • It is important to always maintain that neutral position. Common myth of performing the squat, especially the back squat with a barbell, is to look up. Looking up will actually put more pressure on the thoracic spine and lead to injury.

Deadlifts

Everyday when we constantly bend over and pick something up, we’re performing a type of weight lifting exercise, the deadlift. A deadlift is a functional full body exercise that involves lifting up weights/objects from the ground to hip level. Although we perform this movement on a consistent basis, is it done correctly?

Cues/Tips for performing the deadlift:

  • Hinge at the hips
    The deadlift uses the posterior chain muscles (glutes, hamstrings, erector spinae muscles). Hinging at the hips will help activate these groups of muscles.
  • Knees bent and heels flat on the ground
    Establish a solid base and an even distribution of weight on the feet so you won’t fall too forward or back.
  • Maintain a neutral spine
    DO NOT ROUND THE BACK!!! This is very important while performing the deadlift. You want to retract the scapulas, keep the back straight and engage that lower back and core. Just imagine a rod is on your back, you want that rod to maintain the 3 points of contact: Your head, thoracic spine, and sacrum (butt).
  • Hips and Knees should fully extend at the same time
    Evenly distribute the load on the lower back, hips, and legs. Extending the legs first will require more muscle activation on the lower back, and can potentially lead to an injury.

Following these cues will help improve your activities of daily living (ADL), and help reduce back pain while lifting. So next time you grab those grocery bags, or pick up and place down that heavy box/object, be very conscious and aware of your body positioning. Also, don’t forget to always engage that core!

Planks

The plank is a great full body exercise to strengthen the core. It also targets the back, shoulders, and quads. Virtually any age group can perform the plank exercise. There are always modifications if you cannot safely get on the floor, such as holding the plank position at a slanted angle on a sturdy table or chair.

  • Benefits of the plank exercise
  • Strengthens your core
  • Gives you better posture and helps with back pain
  • Improves flexibility
  • Enhances bone and joint health
  • Mental fortitude

How to do a plank

  • Go into push-up position on the floor.
  • Now bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms.
  • Keep your torso straight and rigid and your body in a straight line from ears to toes with no sagging or bending.
  • Your head is relaxed and you should be looking at the floor.
  • Hold the position for as long as you can.
    • For beginners, hold for 30 seconds to build up tolerance and core strength
  • Remember to breathe. Inhale and exhale slowly and steadily.

Questions? Give us a call!

Walking : The New Quarantine Workout

Amidst all this chaos with COVID-19 and being quarantined, many people are finding it difficult to fit in activity and workouts. Many are taking up walking as their primary mode of exercise or even to just get out of the house. The problem is that many people did not walk this much prior to the … Continue reading “Walking : The New Quarantine Workout”

Amidst all this chaos with COVID-19 and being quarantined, many people are finding it difficult to fit in activity and workouts. Many are taking up walking as their primary mode of exercise or even to just get out of the house. The problem is that many people did not walk this much prior to the quarantine orders so there is some risk in experiencing overuse injury or repetitive stress.

For example,

If my body is only used to walking 3,000 steps per day, and all of a sudden I change that to 15,000 steps per day, that is a lot more stress on your tissues that your body is not used to.

Therefore, it is important to discuss progressive overload – or the practice of slowly stressing tissues to become stronger to make the adaptations to increase the tolerance of those tissues to activity. For this, you want to start at your baseline –

  • How many steps do you typically take in a day?

OR

  • How many minutes do you normally walk, or how far do you typically walk?

Instead of increasing drastically from your baseline, try to increase in small increments.

For example,

If you take 3,000 steps per day, the next day go out for 5,000, then 7,000, then continually increase. You can take this same principle and apply it to how long you are walking for time or for distance.

This way your tissues can build tolerance to the increasing stress you are putting on your body rather than sustaining overuse injuries such as plantar fasciitis, achilles tendinopathy, and shin splints.

There are plenty of exercises that can also prepare your feet, legs, and body for more activity like walking, running, and doing virtual workout classes. Foot health is one of the most neglected aspects of fitness and wellness – there are numerous activities and specific exercises to help take care of your foundation (FEET!)

Look out for our video coming soon on some simple foot exercises.

If you would like more advice about how to specifically use the principles of progressive overload for walking, running, or any other activities let us know and schedule a virtual session with one of our therapists! We also are still open to see patients in person! Stay healthy, stay active, and stay innovative in these crazy times!

Book/Call us at 619-260-0750 or email us at info@innovativept.net

Telehealth Services Now Being Covered by Most Insurance Companies

We at IPT are excited to announce that Telehealth services are now being covered by most insurance companies! This is extremely important and helpful in continuing to work through your PT recovery. Please call us at the office 619-260-0750 or email us at info@innovativept.net to see if your insurance company will cover our new Telehealth … Continue reading “Telehealth Services Now Being Covered by Most Insurance Companies”

We at IPT are excited to announce that Telehealth services are now being covered by most insurance companies! This is extremely important and helpful in continuing to work through your PT recovery. Please call us at the office 619-260-0750 or email us at info@innovativept.net to see if your insurance company will cover our new Telehealth services so you can continue and or start your recovery today!

Checking In: Staying Healthy & Active

Hi IPT Family! Checking in to stress the importance of staying healthy and active during this quarantine. Whether it’s taking daily vitamins, remembering to eat healthier or adding a home workout to your new normal, all of these things can and will help better your mental and physical health!

Hi IPT Family!

Checking in to stress the importance of staying healthy and active during this quarantine. Whether it’s taking daily vitamins, remembering to eat healthier or adding a home workout to your new normal, all of these things can and will help better your mental and physical health!

IPT Clinic Temporarily Closed due to COVID-19

We at IPT just wanted to let you know we are temporarily closing to comply with the CA state Governor’s “Stay at Home” order. We will be canceling your visit this upcoming week if you had an appointment and will continue to do so on a week to week basis. We are working on setting … Continue reading “IPT Clinic Temporarily Closed due to COVID-19”

We at IPT just wanted to let you know we are temporarily closing to comply with the CA state Governor’s “Stay at Home” order. We will be canceling your visit this upcoming week if you had an appointment and will continue to do so on a week to week basis. We are working on setting up tele-health via insurance but currently offer it on a cash basis. If you are interested we can set you up on the schedule. On another note, we are offering live virtual exercise classes daily. Check out our website and social media for the schedule. www.innovativept.net/book-a-class or on Instagram @innovative_physicaltherapy