Why Can’t I Squat Deeper

How Can I Squat Deeper?

Squat is one of the most commonly asked questions from our clients

  • Why can’t you squat?
  • Is my squat technique correct? 
  • Why do I feel it in my back instead of my legs?
  • I Don’t feel my glutes muscles working at all when i squat 

Here’s the thing that no one ever talks about the fact that squat loads up on different muscle groups/ structures depending on the person’s body type.

Hence, it’s normal for different people doing the same squat but feeling at a completely different muscle group just because their body build is different!

All these factors influence the quality of squat for different individuals. Watch our youtube video so you can understand how different body structure will interrelate to the ability to squat.

  • Centre of mass has to be over your feet to stay balance
  • Dist Knee to line of gravity
  • Distant of Hip to line of gravity
  • Amount of Trunk leaning over the line of gravity

Load on knee depends on how far your knee is when you squat to the line of gravity

So if your knee is far away from the line of gravity the higher the load

It is the same concept for Load of the hip depends on distance from your hip to the line of gravity

The load of your back depends on how far the trunk leans over the line of gravity. 

As the hip muscles are generally stronger than knee  muscles; the lever arm from hip to centre is generally larger than the lever arm from knee to the centre.

Normally the ratio should be 2:1 for an ideal squat BUT

With different people being build differently it changes this ratio and your ability to squat

The amount that your trunk have to lean forward depend on the lever arm of the hip to the line of gravity

The lesser the length on hip to centre the less your trunk has to lean, the longer the length of hip to centre, the more the trunk has to lean to stay balanced.

1. People with limited dorsiflexion ability (tightness or joint mobility is limited)- affect your ability to move your tibia forward, that in turn change the lever arm for your knee to the line of gravity

2.Proportion of Femur to Tibia

Short Tibia in proportion to femur, ability to squat lower; the back need to bend way forward to keep centre of mass over the feet (in order to stay balance) because the length of knee to line of gravity is really short

Long Tibia in proportion to femur, the line of gravity to the knee is longer hence the person doesn’t have to lean as far forward to keep their balance.

 

Because of these differences in lever arm it makes how each individual feels different when they are doing squat exercises.

LONG FEMUR compared to tibia?

 

If you have a long femur in proportion to tibia, your lower back will need to lean significantly forward  to keep the equilibrium, in order to get any lower you might feel like you are falling backwards. You might just physically can’t do it because of the proportion of your build.

If your trunk is short and you have a long femur it makes it even worse as you can compensate by leaning too far forward so you will be even higher in their squat and you will feel the load a lot on your hip and lower back.

All these factors are interdependent and it will affect how each individual feels about squat and the ability of each individual to squat.

So if you are really struggling with your squat technique even though you’ve been working on your hip flexibility, your ankle flexibility, your back, glute and leg strength and you are wondering why you are still struggling with squat, this might be the reason and for that i say, DON’T SWEAT IT!

Squat is a good exercise to work on all different muscles groups but so is leg press, back extension, lunges, deadlift, hip trust etc. there are plenty of other exercises you can do that will work the same muscles group as squatting does. If  you really struggle in a squat and it is frustrating you, don’t sweat it, it’s not the end of the world, it’s just not the right exercise for you!

Here at Capital Physiotherapy, our physiotherapists are the experts in helping you to fix your posture/alignment issues as well as all the discomfort that comes with it!

We can help you break this habit and lead a healthier and pain free lifestyle. 

Our physiotherapist will be able to give you individualised advice/ treatment plan that is tailored for your particular needs.

At Capital Physiotherapy, your initial appointment is 40-60minutes long. This allows our physios to be thorough in their assessment, as well as giving them enough time to give you treatment on the same consultation! 

For physiotherapy related queries and concern, visit us at any of our clinics near you or do an online booking with us. We also provide Telehealth Consultation for your safety and convenience during this pandemic.

Active at home – Cardio Exercises (Part 1)

With the Corona virus (COVID-19) outbreak, many have been sent home for work or, for those who have just returned from overseas, had to self-quarantine for two week.  If you are thinking this is bad news to your active routine, fear not! Bodyweight exercise has extensive benefits and you may find more exercise equipment aka furniture, canned food and wine bottles than you think you possess.

In the coming three blogs, we will go through some ideas for three different types of work out recommended by our physios for your home-bound time: Cardiovascular, resistance/ strength training and last but certainly not the least, mobility and flexibility.

According to the Australia’s Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines, adults are recommended to accumulate 150-300 hours of moderate intensity physical activity or 75-150 minutes of vigorous intensity physical activity.  Physical activity includes any incidental/ recreational sports and ‘bodily movement produced by one or more large muscles groups. The intensity depends on the effort where you can remain conversational in ‘moderate’ intensity activities but much more puffing and panting when you are engaging in ‘vigorous’ activities.

Here is a general cardiovascular workout that is apartment/small-space friendly.  Our physiotherapists understand that some of you may have injuries and therefore have included lower impact options for you. You will be starting with two exercises to warm up your range of motion. Following that there will be five exercises that you can repeat for three to four rounds.  The full workout should be 

Warm up 1 – Squat One Arm Touchdown

  • To start the warm up, do a squat and touchdown with one arm.  Alternating the arm touching down to encourage rotation in the chest and mid back while the squats warm up joints in both of your legs.
  • 1 minute, start slowly and pick up the pace as you warm up

Warm up 2 – Lunge Punch

  • This warms up the arms and engages more hip range of motion 
  • 1 minute

By this time your heart rate should pick up and we can get into the exercises.

Exercise 1 – Chair step up and down

  • Find a sturdy chair and put it against the wall
  • Step up then lift the other leg up into a knee thrust
  • 30seconds one side, 30seconds another side

Exercise 2 – Jump squats or squats wide leg lift

  • If you are not ready yet to take flight and jump, simply come up from a squat and lift one leg up.  Alternating the leg lift every time you ascend from a squat position
  • Do this for 45 seconds

Exercise 3 – Lunge twist 

  • From a lunge position lift one leg up and twist towards the knee.  If you would like more intensity, jump with the other leg as you drive your knee up
  • 30 seconds each side

Exercise 4 – Plank side step

  • Engaging your core throughout, tap one leg to the side alternatively.
  • 45 seconds

Exercise 5 – Star jumps/ star steps

  • Bend down to sit in the invisible chair then extend your arms and legs as far as you can
  • If you are after a higher intensity version, jump up from the squat position and extend out like a star in the air
  • 45secs

This is just a general workout that may need modifications if you have any current or previous injuries.  Capital physiotherapy is working to ensure our clients remain active during this difficult time. Our physiotherapists are now available to provide telehealth service if you need any physiotherapy advice on maintaining your fitness level at home or managing your injuries at home.  Give us a call on 0401 865 333 or drop an email at info@capitalphysiotherapy.com.au to enquire for more.

Vertical Jump

How to dunk:

Are you a basketball player wanting to improve your vertical jump ability? An increased vertical jump can allow you to block more shots, get more steals, score better around the rim and even dunk. Players are generally either two foot jumpers (such as Donovan Mitchell) or one foot jumpers ( Russell Westbrook). While you can take off of either one or two feet in a game, identifying your preference and ability taking off of 1 or 2 feet can affect how you train your jumping ability.

Firstly it is necessary to identify the different factors which may affect your jumping ability. Factors affecting your vertical leap include the following:
– Balance
– Calf power
– Quadriceps power
– Gluteal power
– Core strength
– Low back extensor power
– Coordination

Once the above factors have been assessed along with any injury history and your individual play style an exercise program can be made to increase your vertical leap.

Simply jumping as high as you can over and over again isn’t going to be the most effective way of helping you jump higher.
The following exercises, in conjunction with exercises designed to correct any deficiencies in the above factors can help you jump higher and perform better:

Different methods for improving your vertical jump include:

  • Resistance training
  • Resisted jumping (Argus, Gill, Keogh, Blazevich and Hopkins, 2011) – Using elastic bands weigh you down whilst jumping
  • Box jumps (Argus, Gill, Keogh, Blazevich and Hopkins, 2011)
  • Warming up using exercises such as split squats before a game (Bishop, Tarant, Jarvis and Turner, 2017)

If you want to improve your play and start jumping higher book in with our friendly staff today! We are conveniently located at South Yarra, Footscray, and Balwyn. You may call 0401 865 333 or drop an email at info@capitalphysiotherapy.com.au.

Get Back to Exercise

Are you looking to get back to being active? Increasing your physical activity can be a great way to lose weight, build fitness and improve your overall health. However, returning to sport or physical activity after a long period of rest or trying out a new sport can come with its own risks. Both returning to sport after rest and performing a new can place you at an increased risk of injury (St Pierre and Sannes, 2001).  Typically sports involving eccentric, or lengthening, movements such as running or soccer (Falvo and Bloomer, 2005) are activities which may place you most at risk of injury.

In order to avoid injury or recover properly following an injury it is important to undertake an individualised and gradual strengthening program which will allow you to get fitter, get stronger and avoid injuries.

The type and intensity of the exercise you do is important and depends on what facilities you have access too. Running, walking, boxing, team sport, rock climbing, dancing or a combination of any of these are great ways to start getting back to getting active and each come with their own strength and fitness demands. 

At Capital Physiotherapy we offer both in room physio consultations to treat any injuries you may have as well as offering Pilates classes. Our Pilates classes are a great way to return to exercising with supervised and individualised exercise programs devised and supervised by our qualified physiotherapists. Pilates has been shown to improve both flexibility and muscular endurance (Kloubec, 2010) and can be targeted at meeting the demands of what you love to do.

If you’re looking to get back to exercise or have recently suffered an injury, be sure to get in contact with our team here at Capital Physiotherapy. We are conveniently located at South Yarra, Footscray, and Balwyn. You may call 0401 865 333 or drop an email at info@capitalphysiotherapy.com.au.

Tips On Continuing With An Exercise Program

As physiotherapists, we highly promote exercise as a form of therapy to keep your body strong and healthy. Really, there should be no restrictions to what type of exercise you do as long as you remain within your skill level. This can range from your gym based exercise to a group fitness class to dancing on your own. As much as it is beneficial to exercise, many would agree it is difficult to start and even more difficult to sustain. The right exercise to engage in is definitely based on individual preferences. So, how do we find which form of exercise is right for you?

Keep it fun

The truth is, not everyone likes to exercise. Exercise requires work, takes time and just isn’t fun for everyone. This point is really important for those who don’t like “exercise”. If you are able to view “exercise” as an entertainment, it wouldn’t even be considered “exercise” anymore. It would be just like watching a good show on the tele. Easy enough right? However, if the show is boring, you would stop watching it. This means you have to find the right show to continue to watch it for a long time. Same with exercise; if the exercising like a drag, the likelihood of continuing drops significantly. So go experiment with dancing, team sport, gym activities, you name it. Make sure it’s something you enjoy.

Bring a friend, or even friends

It makes it that much more entertaining if you exercise with a friend. Bringing a motivated individual also increase your own motivation. This is definitely true if you make it into a competition. Within the gym, you can’t expect to jump from 10kg squat to 30kg within a week. This needs to build up. And if you miss a day, you are giving your friend an advantage. This level of competition motivates people to continue your program. Not just the competition aspect, it’s simply more fun to chat to someone about the things you are doing. So bring a friend to fuel that motivation. It’s good fun and healthy for all of you.

Get some advice

For some people, there is that fear of starting exercise for because you’ve never been before. If you fall under this category, it’s helpful to get started with a bit of guidance. You can definitely turn to someone who has more experience in the field of exercise, including personal trainers, specific sport instructors and even friends who have a bit more experience with exercise. For other barriers to exercise like you’ve hurt yourself doing exercise or unsure if your injuries has healed enough to continue, it might be a good idea to consult with a physiotherapist to make sure you are healed and strong enough to continue the specific exercise.

At capital physiotherapy, we strongly promote exercise as a form of treatment for rehabilitation, recovery, strengthening, injury prevention and entertainment. If you are seeking advice on safety of exercise, come down to get a thorough assessment and some recommendations. We are conveniently located in Balwyn, Footscray and South Yarra so send us an email at info@capitalphysiotherapy.com.au and lets get you on track with your goals.

New to Trampoline – Here’s Some Warm-up Tips for Newbie Flyers

Bouncing around on the trampoline is extremely fun for both children and adults. In our previous blog, we’ve discussed the benefits of trampoline as a form of exercise. As much as it is a great way to exercise, it can be a difficult to get started if you have no idea what you are doing. Here some warm up tips keep you safe and help boost your confidence.

1) Joint Warm up

Like all forms of exercise, warming up is essential to prep the body for exercise and prevent injury. Jumping around on the trampoline is a whole body exercise, so make sure do specific rotation warm ups for all the joints of your body including neck rotations, shoulder rotations, hip rotations, knee rotations and ankle rotations. 

2) Overall Warm up

As good as joint rotations are, these examples unlikely to cause you to break a sweat. A good indication that you’ve done a good warm up is if you are sweating by the end of it. Make sure you include overall warm ups activities including running on the spot, high knees, bouncing on the spot, mountain climbers and squats. 

3) Trampoline Warm up

Now that you’re nice and warm, it’s good to lightly bounce on the trampoline before attempting any tricks at all. I would recommend bouncing side to side from one leg to the other to get your body use to the sense of the rebound the trampoline will give you. After that, next step is to get a bit more height. With the height, do simple movements with the feet including opening and closing the hips, tucking in the hips and butt kicks to get use to how your body will move in midair.

This warm up is a nice progression from a static position to get onto the trampoline. Warming up is likely the easiest thing to do before any activity to prevent injury. With that said, it doesn’t complete protect you from injury. It’s normal to get a bit of muscle soreness the first few days after bouncing. However, if it lingers from longer than that it might be worthwhile to get a second opinion from a physiotherapist.

Physiotherapist are movement specialist who are experienced with various types of injuries. At Capital Physiotherapy, our friendly physios complete a thorough analysis of your pain and will recommend various rehabilitation protocol to strengthen muscles and joints that are involved to relieve your pain and also reduce the likelihood of the injury reoccurring.

If you’ve got any issues preventing you from flying on the trampoline, drop by or contact us by phone or email. We are convenient located in Footscray, South Yarra or Balwyn, make an appointment today at info@capitalphysiotherapy.com.au to set up a program best suited for you.

Preparing for Snowboarding

With the snow season just around the corner, you might be thinking now is the time to start a snow sport. Snowboarding seems really cool; why not jump into that? How hard can it be to jump on a board and slide down the slopes? Like in most sports, there is a minimum level of fitness safely start a new activity. Sliding down a snowy slope seems easy enough, but there’s a lot more components of fitness it requires. So before you start, here’s a few exercises you might want to practice before strapping up the snowboard boots.

Balance + Coordination

The most obvious component of fitness for this sport is balance. Your balance has to be pretty good to be able to stay upright on a board that slips and slides along with going down a slope at top speeds. To test your balance, try balancing on bosu ball. If you find you’re wobbling a lot, time to start training your balance by trying to be a still as possible on the bosu ball.

Once standing still on bosu becomes quite easy, time to do some dynamic movement on the bosu. Snowboarding is definitely a dynamic balance sport, therefore you’ll need to add in some movements to challenge your balance on the bosu. This causes the balance component on a bosu ball to transfer better into snowboarding. The next step on the bosu ball is doing squat on it. This will really challenge your balance. You’ll find you can pick up snowboarding a lot quicker if you can do these well.

Core + Glutes

For specific strengthening, you want to be targeting your core and glutes. The balance and coordination exercises mentioned above will definitely work your core and glutes. But if they are simply not strong enough or doesn’t know when to work, you’ll benefit from exercises to isolate the muscle group. Bridges and planks are good examples of simple exercise to start of strengthening your core.

When you find the bridge and planks getting a bit easy, time to build it into a standing position. Progressing these exercises into crab walks and squats is a great way to go. Many people feel everything in the legs when completing these exercises. Ideal, the core and glutes should be working as well thus make sure you feel in the core and glutes when completing these exercises.

If you’re having trouble getting started, it would be a good idea to get a human movement expert to take a look and give some advice. Physiotherapists are experts in this field and can get you started on what your should be working on, estimate when is a good time to start and answer any inquiries you have regarding starting snowboarding.

At capital physiotherapy, we have friendly physiotherapists who are familiar with balance, coordination, core and gluteal strengthening protocols. You are unique and likely require a specific exercise to target the proper muscle group; each program will be adjusted to target what you need to perform well at your hobby. If you need any guidance towards getting started, book an appointment at one of our clinics conveniently located at South Yarra, Balwyn and Footscray by sending an email at info@capitalphysiotherapy.com.au.

Freestyle Trampoline – A Fun Way To Exercise

Jumping around on a trampoline is probably as close to flying as we can get without extremely sophisticated equipment. With just a few springs and a durable platform, you can easily soar over 3 meters high. As long as you stay within your skill level and mind others safety, this activity is a relatively safe past time and great way to workout. Along with all the fun, it can target many fitness components at the same time.

Power:

The most obvious development would be development of power, specifically in the lower limbs. It might seem as if the trampoline may be doing most of the work, but if you want to rise higher than anyone else, better put some force with the jump. The more force you use to propel yourself up, the greater development of power you with acquire especially in the calves.

Coordination and body awareness:

You‘ve probably seen gymnasts do some crazy flips mid-air and gracefully land exactly where they began. Some can refer to this as technique and skills, I prefer to call it body awareness and coordination. To be able to perform such tumbles in the air requires much training to develop body awareness in the air. Once you get the sense of where you are in the air, it takes even more practice to be able to coordinate your limbs and trunk to complete a basic 360 spin and land on the same spot.  

Cardiovascular:

Having lots of fun bouncing around also means you lose track of time. You can easily reach a good 30 minutes of bouncing and not even realize it. By the time you do notice, your likely sweating bullets, your lower limbs are pretty sore and your 

breathing is heavy. All these are signs that you’ve tapped into your cardiovascular system. What better way to get the cardio going than having fun bouncing around?

Freestyle trampoline is a great way to have fun and exercise. If you are having trouble getting motivated to start exercising, give bouncing a shot and see if you enjoy it. On the flip side, sometimes it’s a bit overwhelming when the person on the next trampoline is doing crazy twirls while you haven’t the slightest idea of how to coordinate each bounce. If bouncing you would really like to be able to do in the future, a physiotherapist will be able to start you off with some advice and exercises.

At Capital physiotherapy, we have movement specialist that can help reduce the risk of injury during your bouncing session. We perform thorough assessment to identify the missing component in your fitness and then develop the best individualized plan to target which ever component you are need improvement: ie. balance, body awareness, coordination and cardiovascular fitness.

We are located in Footscray, Balwyn and South Yarra. If you’ve got any enquiries with beginning new exercises or just want to improve your performance, contact us at info@capitalphysiotherapy.com.au or 0401 865 333 to get one of our friendly physios to give you a few suggestions.

 

Click! Snap! Pop! Dancers Hip

So you’ve been dancing for a while, everything is going great. Gradually, you’ve noticed there is a clicking sensation during some of the bigger movements. It doesn’t hurt or anything, so it’s probably nothing to worry about. A few months down the track, the clicking is getting more apparent and now there is pain associated with it. What’s going on?

What might be happening is a tendon flicking over a bone. No pain happens immediately because minimal irritation is occurring between the bone and tendon. However, when the tendon becomes stronger and the dance movement becomes bigger, the tendon can rub on each other stronger and that’s when the pain begins.

Dancers hip, also known as snapping hip syndrome, is characterized by a flicking or snapping sensation when the hip is in motion, especially during end range movements. A couple of muscles could be the possible culprit for this condition. If you’re getting the flicking sensation on the inside of your hip, its likely the iliopsoas tendon that’s flicking over one of the bony parts of your pelvis. If the snapping is felt on the outside of the hip, its likely the iliotibial band (IT band) flicking over the big bone on your upper leg.

Generally speaking, this condition occurs with repetitive movement of the hip. Lots and lots of big movement of the hip would cause some muscles to tighten up which may contribute to the clicking sensation. If you feel like the muscles on the inside and outside of the hip feels really stiff, try some of these stretches out and see if it helps with your hip.

Stretches are important to settle down the pain to be able to continue what you love. However, you would likely require a strengthen protocol to build a stable core/gluteal to prevent the symptoms from reoccurring. More information regarding the gluteal and core strengthening can be found in our previous post at:

https://www.capitalphysiotherapy.com.au/kim-k-workout-get-dream-bottom/

https://www.capitalphysiotherapy.com.au/importance-of-core-strengthstability/

If that hip is still giving you some annoyance, it would be worthwhile to get it checked up by a physiotherapist. Physiotherapist are movement experts who have plenty of experience with hip issues and we love seeing people return to what they love doing the most.

Whether it is dancers hip or any hip conditions, Capital Physiotherapy has experienced physiotherapist who are familiar with hip assessments. If your hips don’t seem to be performing to your standards, call us at 0401 865 333 or drop by one our clinics at Balwyn, Footscray or South Yarra and one of our friendly Physiotherapist will gladly take a look. We’ll provide you with an individualised plan to get you back to dancing safely and effectively!

Physiotherapy and Sciatica

The term sciatica is becoming commonly used. Some use it to describe lower back pain that radiates down the leg, other believe it starts that the bottom muscle and tingles to the back of the heel. What exactly is this sciatica thing?

What is Sciatica?

A quick anatomy lesson, there is a long nerve that runs from your back all the way down to the heel called the sciatic nerve. Nerves carry sensations such as pain and touch from the muscles and skin. Sciatica is a broad term used to describe any pressure placed onto this nerve which may causes numbness, tingling, pain and/or paresthesia along the lines of where the nerve innervates. Various parts of the body can cause these symptoms not limited to tight muscles, inflammation and disc bulge.

Am I at risk of getting Sciatica?

Sciatic is seen more often between the age of 30 and 50. Some occupations may be more prone to this condition as well, especially ones that involve heavy lifting and twisting and also prolonged hours of sitting.

How do I fix Sciatica?

Unfortunately, this is not a simple answer because it depends on where is the sciatic nerve getting pushed. You probably want to see a physiotherapist for a better analysis, but try some of these stretches to see if it relieves your symptoms for now:

Lumbar Rocks
Cat Camel

 

 

Child’s Pose

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Piriformis Stretch

 

Again, do see a physiotherapist for a full diagnosis for a complete treatment plan. If you are near Balwyn, South Yarra or Footscray, drop by Capital physiotherapy to see one of our friendly physiotherapists who are experienced with treating Sciatica.