Home exercise is important for anyone, but it’s especially helpful for individuals who are recovering from surgery or an illness that has limited their movements. Physical therapy is often recommended for many of these recovery periods, and a physical therapist can also give patients a list of easy exercises that they can do in the convenience of their own homes.
Home Exercises for the Knees
Because so much of the body’s weight is placed on the knees, they are often susceptible to strains and sprains. Once a physical therapist approves, there are several good exercises to try at home.
- Straight leg raises can be done while lying on the back. These strengthen the quadriceps, thus giving more strength to the knee.
- Hamstring curls are done while lying on the stomach or while standing by lifting a bent leg with flexed foot as close to the buttocks as possible.
- Calf raises can be done while standing on the toes on a raised surface with the heels hanging over the edge.
Home Exercises for the Back
Millions of Americans struggle with chronic back pain either in the upper or lower back. Twisting exercises can be particularly good for increasing mobility and decreasing pain.
- A standing side stretch is easily done with the hands clasped straight overhead. A stretch should be done along each side of the body.
- A seated back twist is done by sitting up straight with one leg straight in front of the body and the other leg bent with the foot on the opposite side of the body. While pressing into the bent knee, twist the upper body and neck to the other side.
Home Exercises for the Neck
The neck is attached to the top of the spine and often experiences pain due to poor posture, frequent forward head tilting, and even stress. Neck stretches can be easily done while sitting or standing.
- A side-to-side neck stretch can be easily done by pressing the fingers gently into one side of the head, while lowering the other ear to the shoulder.
- A deep forward bend with hanging head not only relieves lower back tension, but also allows the cervical spine in the neck to elongate and relax.
Professional At-Home Exercise Guidance
The best place to learn proper mechanics for these and other at-home exercises is in the physical therapist’s office. A therapist will be able to help individuals make simple adjustments, to make the exercises more effective and safer on the body. Plus, a therapist can recommend specific exercises and props to control discomfort and improve body functionality. If you think you could benefit from at-home exercises, call New Heights Therapy today! Our staff of therapists would be more than happy to work with you and discover the best exercises for your body.