I like using the following ‘exercise template’ when educating patients on what a long-term exercise program includes:
1) Perform self-myofascial release using foam rolls, sticks, and “knot-outs” as the beginning of an exercise session. These are tools to break up hypertonicity and tension in muscles.
2) Perform stretching (static and dynamic) on the overactive muscles. I teach my clients techniques using the ‘Stretch straps’, yoga straps, and bands.
3) Perform movements or isometric exercises that re-awaken and/or strengthen the core and underactive muscles. These are usually bodyweight or thera-band exercises targeted at isolated weak stabilizers muscles.
4) Perform whole body integrated exercises that will add lean muscle and decrease fat.
5) Next, if the client has more time and wants to perform cardio work, this is where I place it.
After talking with patients and hearing what they do or don’t do physically, my suggestions begin first with ‘remove the negatives’. I discuss proper posture, breathing, hydration, diet, supplements, attitude, and sleep. I want to make sure patients are doing the right thing and not the wrong (negative) thing in each of these categories. In addition some patients need to “add in” cardio, strength, or flexibility training depending on there goals. The ‘fatty-bomba-lattes’ who do absolutely no physical activity need to start a walking program; the long distance runner, swimmer or cyclist might need a flexibility program; the Country Western dancer’s and the ‘dance-with-the stars’ people might need some strength training; the yoga dominant person might need some free weight training; the weight lifter might need some cardio and flexibility added on. Depending on the patient’s goals (fat loss, finish a marathon, flexibility, etc), I often find the program they designed isn’t “enough” on its own.
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