The different types of exercises in physiotherapy


An exercise program at home will almost certainly be part of the treatment plan in physiotherapy. Physiotherapy exercises have been proven to be an extremely important modality in the management of many musculoskeletal conditions.

A detailed and personalized program developed by your physiotherapist will help target the appropriate goals and avoid injuries. This program should include different types of exercises aimed at the deficiencies identified in your specific condition. Also, make sure to use proper physiotherapy exercise parameters (number of sets/repetitions, number of times per day/week, duration, rhythm, resistance level).

Types of exercises

Mobility exerciseshave two objectives: to lubricate joint surfaces and to increase or maintain range of motion. They consist of repeated movements of a section of the body up to the maximum amplitude of movement.

Stretching exercises are performed to improve flexibility. The objective is to move the origin and insertion of the muscle to stretch it. For these exercises to be effective, you must maintain proper alignment of the body sections involved by correcting compensations. It is also important to exhale properly to help the muscle relax and minimize its resistance. The stretching positions are maintained for a long time and for a small number of repetitions.

Strengthening exercises are used to improve strength, endurance or muscle power. They can target two different types of muscles: mobilizer and stabilizer muscles. Strengthening can be done with no load (freehand) or with weights, elastic bands, pulley systems, your own body weight, etc.

Proprioception exercises are useful for those who have a decreased ability to know where their body is in space (position) or how their body moves in space (movement). For example, practicing a single leg stance with progression will improve the sense of position of the lower limb. To improve the sense of movement, you could try an exercise where you draw the letters of the alphabet with the body part you are training.

Functional exercises are recommend to practice a movement of your daily life that you are having difficulty with. If indicated, the physiotherapist may ask you to perform a specific movement you do at work, at home or in your sport.

Cardiovascular exercises, such as stationary bike, walking, running, elliptical and swimming, are indicated to regain your previous level of effort. Yoga is another activity that trains cardiovascular health, as well as flexibility, strength, mobility and proprioception.

Your physiotherapist will teach you how to perform the different types of exercises in physiotherapyand will ensure that progression is done properly.

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