At the Gym: Exercising Do’s and Dont’s

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In this monthly series we examine the proper ways to exercise at the gym from start to finish. If you have any sudden significant increase in pain, swelling, or discoloration while performing or following exercise, discontinue immediately and contact your therapist at your next therapy session.

Plus Push Up 1

PLUS PUSH-UP

START POSITION
• Get on elbows and knees.
• Knees bent
• Straight or neutral back done by drawing the stomach in and the buttocks down.

ENDING POSITION
Push elbows into mat while trying to increase the space between the shoulder blades (round out your back between the shoulders).DON’T

DON’T
• Drop the head.
• Raise the buttocks or let the low back excessively curve inward.

Plus Push Up 2

PLUS PUSH-UP: STAGE 2

START POSITION
Push-up position

ENDING POSITION
• Push hands into mat while trying to increase the space between shoulder blades.
• Rounded upper back appearance.

DON’T
• Drop the head.
• Raise the buttocks or let the low back excessively curve inward.

Scapular Depression

SCAPULAR DEPRESSION

START POSITION
• Seated with shoulder blades drawn downward (don’t shrug shoulders).
• Hands hold just outside of the curvature of the bar to comfort.
• Knees bent underneath knee pad and feet on the floor.
• Keep your back straight with a slight posterior lean from the hips.

ENDING POSITION
Bring bar to chest with elbows bent.

DON’T
• Lift feet off the ground.
• Rock at the waist.
• Elevate or let shoulders pull forward.
• Hyperextend the low back as you pull in.

Empty Can 1

EMPTY CAN

START POSITION
Standing with hands at your side and thumbs pointing downward with feet shoulder width apart.

ENDING POSITION
Arms raised to about 60⁰ with thumbs facing down and slightly to your side.

DON’T
• Swing body back and forth.
• Shrug shoulders.
• Lift above 60⁰.

Full Can
FULL CAN

START POSITION
Standing with hands in front of you with thumbs pointing upward and feet shoulder width apart.

ENDING POSITION
Arms raised to 90 – 120⁰ with thumbs facing up.

DON’T
• Swing body back and forth.
• Shrug shoulders.
• Lift above 120⁰.

This information was written by STAR Therapy Services, an outpatient physical therapy group with six locations in Houston, Texas. At Star Houston Therapy Services, their number one priority is the patient. They strive to provide individualized treatment with hands-on, compassionate care. They perform comprehensive evaluations and encourage patient input for treatment planning and goal setting. For more information click here.

To see past At the Gym: Exercising Do’s and Dont’s articles click here.