Bridge (Quads, Glutes, Hamstrings)
- Lie on your back, flat on the ground, with your arms to your sides. Next bend your knees and plant your feet flat on the floor, up close to your bottom.
- Squeeze your glute muscles and push your hips up until your ankles are directly under your knees, your feet should be flat on the floor, your shoulders remain on the floor.
- Progression 1: Wrap your arms across your chest (thus not allowing them to stabilize your body). Hold for 30 seconds.
- Progression 2: Lift one leg up and hold it up for 15 secs before repeating with the other leg.
Check On Stretch of the Week on my Sports Massage Website
This is pain and swelling of the Achilles tendon, which connects your heel to your calf muscles.
The main symptom is pain and stiffness at the back of your ankle. The pain is usually worse first thing in the morning, or after you have been inactive. Initially you might have pain at the start and finish of your exercise, but this pain goes away when exercising. Without treatment you may get constant pain while exercising. You may also have some swelling and tenderness. If you have sudden pain in your heel or calf, and it becomes swollen, bruised and very painful, you may have completely torn your Achilles tendon. If this happens, seek urgent medical attention.
It is an overuse injury which can be caused by rapid mileage increase, improper footwear and/or tight calf muscles.
Gentle stretching (on my Sports Injury website) and progressive eccentric loading of the Achilles’ tendon is necessary.
This exercise constitutes part of the Alfredson Protocol. The only way to beat Achilles Tendinitis. The first calf stretch you need to accompany it is on my Sports injury website
- This exercise strengthens the calf muscles (Gastrocnemius and Soleus).
- Stand with your feet on the floor, shoulder width apart, your hands close to something to hold on to.
- Rise up on to your tip toes as high as possible. Slowly lower your heels back down to the floor. You should be able to progress quite quickly with this one but build up steadily, aim for 3 sets of 10.
- Progression 1: You can then progress to performing on single legs.
- Progression 2: You can also perform these on a step so that the heels drop down below the level of the step (as illustrated).
Hold the weight in your right hand, palm facing to the sky. Hold this hand above, and slightly behind your right shoulder. Use your left hand to stabilise your elbow (hold it firmly in place to isolate the triceps muscle). Raise your hand up so that the weight is vertically above your elbow, without moving your elbow and then lower slowly. I’m alternating between lower and upper body exercises weekly for the moment.
Check out my Massage Therapy page for the associated stretch for this muscle.