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More often than not, you’ll leave your osteopath or massage appointment with a couple of exercises or stretches to do at home – to build on the work that’s been done and maintain the results achieved during your session.

Here we share our most frequently prescribed exercises, and why they are so good for you.

These may be brand new ideas to try, or they might just remind you of something we’ve talked about before. Let us know how you get on!

Orit’s Top Exercises:

The Plank

Deceptively challenging, The Plank can help build all-round strength without the need to move or strain any joints – useful for anyone who may be in pain during certain motions.

It can easily be made tougher by staying in the position for longer, or modified by choosing to go on feet of knees, and on hands or forearms.

Click this link for a video demonstration
 

Windmills

This is a beautiful, dynamic all-rounder, using your arms to encourage movement through the shoulders, ribs and spine. It is in essence back-stroke or front-crawl swimming, just upright and on dry land…

So just raise each arm up in front of you at a time, and circle it up and over and behind you, then repeat with the other side.  Follow your arm movement with your head and neck, looking to the same side of the moving arm, so that your neck is rotating and moving too.

Heel raises

Our feet and ankles are our base, and keeping them strong and balanced is extremely important. 

In the clinic, we often work to optimise the mechanics of the feet, and the effects of this work can be felt throughout the body, all along the spine and even up to the neck and head.

Heel Raisers are very easy to do (quite simply come up on to your tip toes when standing), and will help build strength, balance and stability in your feet and ankles. Very useful post-injury, or when the foot mechanics are a-typical, for example if your arches are too low or too high.

heel raisesClick this link for a video demonstration.

Charlotte’s Favourite Stretches:

Triceps with side stretch

This stretch combines a back of arm stretch with side body stretch and bend – super multifunctional and time-saving! 

Lifting one arm above your head and bending at the elbow, hold that elbow in the other hand and gently push the elbow into the hand – but make sure the elbow doesn’t move anywhere. Add in a side bend away from raised elbow and you’ll be opening up the whole side body in a fantastic way. Make sure you’re able to continue breathing with this one!

Click this link for a video demonstration

Chest stretch 

We spend a lot of time nowadays reaching and leaning forward – whether it’s for phones, driving, desk and computers, reading or crafting, and our chest muscles are involved in bringing our arms and shoulders forward.

So to counter this you just need to find a corner! Once you’re there, raise your arms to 90 degrees and place your hands and forearms on either wall. Then push your body towards the corner and you’ll feel a stretch across your chest, shoulders and arms.

To add a bit of variation, you can also lower your arms down the wall and repeat. 

Click this link for a video demonstration

Hannah’s Best Poses:

Child’s Pose

This curled up position is a wonderful stretch for your back and hips. There are two variations, so find out which one suits you best.

Kneeling on the floor (or even in bed!), bend at the hips and bring your head towards the floor. If it doesn’t quite reach or feels a bit hard work, prop your forehead with a pillow, cushion or blanket. Equally, if your bottom feels a million miles away from your heels, a couple of cushions provide a bit of support to help you relax. Go carefully with your knees – a bit of cushioning behind them can help.

Click this link for a video demonstration

Relaxation Pose

This lovely, restorative pose is a great way to get your body to reset. When you’ve got time, it’s great to be able to spend a few minutes (or more!) just simply lying on the floor, carpet or mat.

In this position, with arms & legs relaxed, hands palm up, and feet wherever is comfortable, take some time to breathe a few deep belly breaths and just allow your body to let go, sink down and be supported by the floor.

Your muscles don’t need to do anything and as a result, your brain can get a bit antsy, but focusing on your breath or scanning your body for different sensations is a great way of being in the present moment.

There’s a variety of different apps, websites and podcasts that can guide your breathing or body scan if you would like a little guidance.

relaxation pose

Look after yourselves and as always, call if you need us, we’re here to help.

*Video links courtesy of our exercise prescription software ‘Rehab My Patient’:

www.rehabmypatient.com