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Therapeutic Exercise

woman exercising


Therapeutic exercises refers to a wide range of physical activities that focuses on restoring and maintaining strength, endurance, flexibility, stability and balance. The goal of therapeutic exercises is to return an injured patient to a fully functioning, pain-free state.

Therapeutic activities involves the use of functional, dynamic tasks from everyday living to improve range of motion and strength.

Rehabilitation services are often necessary after injury or illness to build strength and improve function. Rehab therapists use many different interventions to address functional limitations. Therapeutic exercise and therapeutic activities are two common interventions that are used to address dysfunction caused by disease and injury. Although both interventions aim to improve function, they are distinctly different.

Types of Exercises:

  • Range of Motion Exercises. Range of motion (ROM) exercises helps you move your joints to prevent stiffness
  • Muscle Strengthening Exercises
  • Balance Exercises
  • Endurance Exercises
  • Flexibility Exercises

Types of Activities:

  • Fine Motor Skills
  • Recovering Movements
  • Strengthening
  • Controlled Repetitive Movements

No matter what type of exercise is prescribed to remedy a patient’s specific condition, the final goal of rehabilitation is to acquire a maximum level of physical fitness, without the use of more invasive methods. Therapeutic exercise can be performed at home, and gives you the power to improve your quality of life.


Abdominal Workouts


Abdominal Oblique Strengthening

Lie on your back. An exercise mat should be used for comfort and to prevent injury. Elevate your legs using a medium or large physioball. This will help protect your lower back and see that it is properly positioned on the mat. Gently cross your arms across your chest. Curl up off the mat using your abdominal muscles while twisting to the right. You should feel a muscular contraction on the right side. Be sure that you are using your abdominals and not your neck muscles--your neck should remain relaxed. Slowly lower your torso back to the mat and relax. Repeat with the same twisting motion to the left side--again, making sure not to use your neck to assist. Lower your torso to the mat and relax.

Abdominal Strengthening - Main Group

Strong abdominal muscles can be a key to alleviating and preventing lower back problems. Lie on your back upon an exercise mat, resting your calves on a medium or large exercise ball. Having your legs elevated this way prevents injury to your lower back by keeping it properly positioned flat against the mat. Gently cross your arms across your chest. Curl up off the mat using your abdominal muscles. Be sure that you are using your abdominals and not your neck muscles--your neck should remain relaxed. Slowly lower your torso back to the mat, and relax for a beat or two, then repeat. Once you complete this movement, return to the initial position.


Arm Workouts


Wrist Extension With A Therapy Band

To start this exercise, you should be seated comfortably with your right foot slipped into a therapy band. Sit upright at the edge of the chair with your right hand grasping the handle of the band, as you would the handle bar on a bicycle. Lean forward just a little bit and support your weight with your left hand on your left thigh. With your right forearm held firmly against your right thigh, and your wrist resting on your right knee, lift your wrist upward. You have just extended your wrist. You should feel the muscles along your right forearm contract with the movement. Relax, and return your arm and wrist to their original position.

Wrist Range Of Motion - Extension And Flexion

Sit upright in a comfortable position, both arms resting on your thighs. Bring your hands together in front of your chest as in prayer. Keeping your palms and fingers together, gently thrust your wrists downward while you bring your elbows upward. This is extension. You should feel your muscles stretch along your hands and wrists. Return to your starting position. Next, place your fingers and hands back in front of you, once again at chest level. Keeping the backs of your hands and fingers together, bend upward at the wrist, while bending your elbows downward. This is flexion. You should feel the muscles stretch along the backs of your hands and wrists. Once you complete this movement, relax and return to the initial position.

Wrist Strengthening With A Therapy Band - Radial Deviation

To start this exercise, you should be seated comfortably with your right foot slipped into a therapy band. Sit upright at the edge of the chair with your right hand grasping the handle of the band as you would the steering wheel of your car with your thumb on the top of the handle pointing at the ceiling. Lean forward just a little bit and support your weight with your left hand on your left thigh. Starting with your thumb upright and your wrists in the neutral position, slowly bend your wrists upward towards the ceiling. This is called radial deviation. You should feel the muscles contract along the outside of your right forearm closest to the wrist. Relax and return your arm and wrist to their original position. 

Wrist Strengthening With A Therapy Band - Ulnar Deviation

While seated comfortably, grasp a therapy band between your right and left hands. Your thumbs should be holding the band securely against your index fingers with your palms facing down. Your elbows should be at your waist and bent at 90 degree angles. Now, while keeping your right wrist parallel to the floor, bend your right hand at the wrist to the right, sliding your thumb across the band. You should feel the muscles contract along the outside of your right forearm closest to the wrist. Relax, and return your arm and wrist to their original position.

Elbow Ranges Of Motion - Pronation and Supination

Sit upright in a comfortable position, your right arm resting on your thigh. Begin by lifting your arms straight out in front of your body in a fluid movement parallel to the floor with your palm up. Now, while your arm is held straight but comfortably out in front of you, rotate your palm down so it is facing the floor. You will feel the muscles across the back of your forearm slowly contract. Next, while still holding your arms straight and parallel to the floor, turn your palm back up again. You will feel the muscles across the back of your forearm slowly contract once again. Once you complete this movement, relax and return to the initial position.

Elbow Ranges Of Motion - Flexion And Extension

Sit upright in a comfortable position, your right arm resting on your thigh. Begin by lifting your arms straight out in front of your body in a fluid movement parallel to the floor with your palm up. Lock your arm in this position and concentrate on lengthening your arm and sending energy out through the fingertips. You should feel a subtle stretching sensation across the top and bottom of your elbow. Now, keep your arm parallel to the floor and flex your elbow all the way back towards your body. Again, envision sending energy out of your fingers. You will again feel a mild stretching sensation across the top and bottom of your elbow. Relax, lower your arm, and repeat the stretch on the left-hand side. Once you complete this movement, return to the initial position.

Finger Walking - Shoulder Ranges Of Motion

Stand perpendicular to a wall about 12 inches away. Stretch your arm out at your side with your elbow bent at 90 degrees, with your fingertips gently resting on the wall. Now, slowly walk your fingertips up the wall, stretching your shoulder as high as it will go. Slowly walk your fingers back down the wall to the starting position. Now, turn and face the wall--this time, with your arm out in front of you. Walk your fingers up the wall once again, as high as you comfortably can, and then slowly walk them back down again to the starting position. 

Forearm Strengthening In Pronation With A Therapy Band

Use a chair to sit upright in a comfortable position. You should be seated at the edge of the seat. With your right foot flat on the floor, place a therapy band around your right foot. Grasp the other end of the therapy band tightly in your right hand by the elastic band, not by the handle, with your palm up. Your body should be positioned leaning somewhat forward at the waist. Support your weight with your left hand on your left thigh. With your right forearm resting on your right thigh, rotate the band being firmly held in your right hand to the left. This is called pronation. You will feel the muscles contract along your right forearm. Once you complete this movement, relax, and return to the initial position. 

Forearm Strengthening In Supination With A Therapy Band

Use a chair to sit upright in a comfortable position. You should be seated at the edge of the seat. With your right foot flat on the floor, place a therapy band around your right foot. Grasp the other end of the therapy band tightly in your right hand by the elastic band, not by the handle, with your palm down. Your body should be positioned leaning somewhat forward at the waist. Support your weight with your left hand on your left thigh. With your right forearm resting on your right thigh, tightly grasping the band with your palm down, rotate your right hand to the right. This is called supination. You will feel the muscles contract along your right forearm. Once you complete this movement, relax, and return to the initial position.

Front Arm Strengthening With A Therapy Band

Use a chair to sit upright in a comfortable position. You should be seated at the edge of the seat. With your right foot flat on the floor, place a therapy band around your right foot, grasping the band handle in your right hand. As you begin, make sure your right elbow is held at 90 degrees and firmly against your right side. Now, lift the therapy band handle bringing your right hand up to your right shoulder. You should feel the muscles of your right upper arm tighten. Once you complete this movement, relax, and return to the initial position.

Grip Strengthening With A Tennis Ball

Sit comfortably in an upright position. Grasp a tennis ball in your right hand with the palm up. Your arms should be bent at the elbow at 90 degrees and elevated slightly above your right thigh. Now, slowly squeeze the tennis ball in your right hand. You should feel the muscles of your forearm contract. Relax, and release the pressure on the ball.

Hand And Fingers Stretch

Sit in a comfortable position. Put your hands out in front of you, elbows bent at 90 degree angles and your fingers touching in a tipi position. Keeping your fingertips touching, stretch your fingers and hands out as far as they can go. You will feel a stretching sensation in your fingers and hands. Close your fingers, relax, and repeat the stretch again--once more, keeping your fingertips together and stretching as far as you can go. Relax, and return to the original position.

Triceps Stretch

Sit in a comfortable, upright position. Now, bring your right arm out to the side and behind your head, dropping your right hand below your neck. Then, use your left arm to grab your right elbow, gently yet firmly dragging your right arm to the left by the elbow. You should feel the muscles on the right side of your upper back and the outside of your right upper arm stretch. Relax, and repeat to the left side. Once you complete this movement, return to the initial position.


Back Workouts


Back Strengthening Exercise - Arm Lifts

Start down on your hands and knees on an exercise mat. Balance your weight as evenly as you can. Your stomach muscles should be taut and your back straight. Now, raise your right arm forward so that it aligns straight with your body. Focus on sending energy up through your spine and then out down your arm through your fingertips. Relax, and return to the first position, then repeat this movement with the left arm and hand. This completes the exercise. Relax, and return to the starting position.

Back Strengthening Exercise - Leg Extensions

Start down on your hands and knees on an exercise mat. Balance your weight as evenly as you can. Your stomach muscles should be taut and your back straight. Now, raise your right leg backwards so that it aligns straight with your body. Focus on sending energy down your spine, through your leg, exiting your toes. Relax, and return to the first position, then repeat this movement with your other leg and foot. This completes the exercise. Relax, and return to the starting position.

Back Strengthening Exercise - Opposite Arm And Leg Extension

Start down on your hands and knees on an exercise mat. Balance your weight as evenly as you can. Your stomach muscles should be taut and your back straight. Now, simultaneously, raise your right arm out forward and your left leg out behind you--at the same time, reaching energy forward down to your hand and backward to your toes. Relax, and return to the first position, then repeat this movement with your other arm and leg. This completes the exercise. Relax, and return to the starting position.

Lower Back Extensions On An Exercise Mat

To being this exercise, you are lying on your stomach on an exercise mat. Your elbows should be at your sides and your hands flat on the mat fairly close to your shoulders. Now, straighten your elbows while raising your chest and shoulders, feel the energy flowing up and through your spinal column until it exits through your head. The muscles of your lower and mid-back will tighten. Once you complete this movement, return to the initial position.

Lower Back Extensions On An Exercise Ball

Lie on your chest on a large exercise ball. Your legs should be stretched out behind you with your feet flat on the ground. Your arms are supporting your weight placed firmly on the ball on either side of your chest. Tightening your stomach muscles for additional support, raise your torso up off the ball. You should feel the muscles of your lower and mid-back contract. While doing the movement, envision your energy flowing through your spine and out of the top of your head. Once you complete this movement, return to the initial position.

Lower Back Range Of Motion

To begin this exercise, sit comfortably on a chair. You should be sitting sideways on the chair so that your back is not facing the back of the chair. Your arms are folded across your chest. Now, bend your neck and shoulders forward using your middle back. You should feel your spine stretch from the bottom to top. Relax, and return to the starting position. Next, bend your neck, shoulders, and upper back backwards. Feel the movement continue as far as you can through your mid-back. You should now feel your mid and lower back muscles tighten. Relax, and once again, return to the starting position. In the next movement, slowly tilt your neck and shoulders to the left. This time, you will feel the muscles stretching along the right side of your neck. Now, repeat this motion to the right side. You will feel the muscles on the left side of your back stretch. Next, you will rotate your spine to the left. After returning to position one, follow this movement with the rotation to the right.

Middle Back Strengthening With A Therapy Band

To do this exercise, you will need a therapy band and a door handle, pole, or bedpost. Wrap the band tightly around the pole. Stand opposite the pole grasping one of the band handles in each of your hands. Keep your hands at chest height, palms facing down, elbows slightly bent upward, arms tucked in against your sides. Now, pull on the bands, bringing your shoulders together, while bending your elbows behind your back. You will feel the muscles of your mid-back contract. Relax, and return to the starting position.

Upper Back And Triceps Stretch

To start this exercise, you should be seated comfortably  at the edge of a chair. Now, reach your right arm up and behind your neck as if you are going to scratch your back. The fingers of your right hand should be just below your neck. Take your left arm up and over, and grasp your right elbow in your left hand. Now, pull your right arm to the left with a gentle tug. The muscles of the outside of your arm and your upper back will stretch. Relax, return to the first position, and then repeat to the other side. This completes this exercise. Relax, and return to your original position.

Upper Back Strengthening With A Therapy Band

To start this exercise, you will be standing with your feet securely on top of a therapy band, a handle of the band grasped in each of your hands as you would a jump rope. Your arms should be at your sides and your feet should have about 12 inches between them. Now, pulling up in the bands, shrug both shoulders upward and then roll them backward. You should feel the muscles of your upper back contract. Once you complete this movement, return to the initial position.

Upper Back And Trapezius Stretch

To start this exercise, you should be seated comfortably at the edge of a chair. Now, reach your arms and hands together out in front of you, forming the shape of a triangle with your fingertips at the apex and your thumbs at the base of the triangle. Keep your arms outstretched straight in front of you while maintaining your fingers and thumbs in the shape of the triangle at chest level. Now, move your head, neck, and upper back as one down through your arms. You will feel the muscles of your upper back stretch. This completes this exercise. Relax, and return to your original position.


Chest Workouts


Chest Flyes With A Therapy Band

To start this exercise, you will need a chair, a therapy band, and a pole or bedpost. You will start out seated in the chair with the therapy band tied to the pole behind your right shoulder, and slightly to the side. Grasp the handle of the band in your right hand. Your arm needs to be parallel to the floor, and your elbow should be bent at 90 degrees. Now, curve your right arm, pulling the band across your body and chest to the left. You should feel the muscles of your right shoulder and right side of your chest contract. Once you complete this movement, relax, and return to your initial position.

Chest Press With A Therapy Band

At the start of this exercise, you are seated comfortably upright with a therapy band stretched between your arms behind your neck. Grasp one handle of the band in each hand as you would the handlebars on a bicycle. The band should drape across your shoulder blades, and your arms are at chest level with elbows bent at 90 degree angles. Now, press your arms forward, feeling their resistance from the band, bending your elbow so your arms come out straight in front of you. You should feel your chest contract. Once you complete this movement, relax, and return to the initial position.

Deep Chest Stretch

You will begin this exercise standing. Now, stretch your arm out from your body and rest your palm upon a pole or bedpost. Now, slightly turn away from the bedpost while taking a small step forward. You should feel the muscles stretch across your chest and upper arm. Once you complete this movement, relax, and return to the initial position.

Upper Chest Stretch

To start this exercise, you should be seated comfortably at the edge of a chair. Lift your arms out to your sides at 90 degree angles to your body. Your elbows should also be bent at 90 degrees, pointing upward. Now, while keeping your arms in this position, slowly and gently pull your shoulder blades together. You should feel the muscles of your mid-back contract, while at the same time, feel the right and left side of your chest stretch. Once you complete this movement, relax, and return to the initial position.


Hip Workouts


Butterfly Hip Stretch

For this exercise, you will begin seated upright on an exercise mat with your legs out in front of you. Now, bring the flat of your feet together, heel to heel, toe to toe; grasp both ankles with both hands; your elbows should be resting on your thighs. Now, bend at the elbows while leaning forward and downward. Your elbows should be putting gentle pressure on the inside of your thighs. Once you complete this movement, relax, and return to the initial position.

Hip Abduction - Range Of Motion

This exercise begins with you lying on your back on an exercise mat. Cross your right leg up and over your left knee, bent at about a 90 degree angle so that your right foot is just outside of your left knee. Now, use your left hand to drag your right knee downward towards your side and up and in towards your chest. Try to keep your lower back flat against the mat throughout this movement. You should feel a stretching in your right glutes and right hip. Relax, and repeat the same sequence on the opposite side. Once you complete this movement, return to the initial position.

Hip Abduction Strengthening With A Therapy Band

First Exercise

You will begin lying on your right side on an exercise mat with a therapy band tied about your feet, just above your toes. Your legs are straight and your feet together, support your head with your right arm. You may want to use a pillow for additional support. Your left arm is bent at the elbow with your left hand resting on the mat to hold you in position. Now, separate your legs by lifting your left leg upward about 45 degrees, feeling the resistance of the band. You should feel the muscles in your left upper thigh and hip contract. Once you complete this movement, return to the initial position.

Second Exercise

To do this exercise, you will need a therapy band, a table or a chair, and a pole. Stand with a therapy band wrapped around your right calf and the other end to the lower part of a table leg or pole. If you are not using a table leg, you will need a chair behind you for support. Face away from the chair or table. Place your hands behind you on the table or chair, which should be waist-high. Now, slowly swing your right leg out away from you, towards where the band is secures, then, in one motion, bring it back towards you, crossing in front of your left leg. You will feel the muscles inside of your left thigh contract. Once you complete this movement, return to the initial position.

Hip Extension - Range Of Motion

In this exercise, you will need to lie on your bed or a firm sofa. You may want to support your head with a pillow. Now, bring your left leg bent at the knee up and into your chest. Reach over and grasp your knee with both hands. While holding your left leg firmly, slowly and carefully drape your other leg over the side of the bed or couch. You will feel a stretch across your lower back, your right hip, and running down the front of your right thigh. Relax, and repeat the sequence on the opposite side. Once you complete this movement, return to the initial position.

Hip External Rotation Strengthening With A Therapy Band

To do this exercise, you will need a therapy band, a table or a chair, and a pole, doorknob, or bedpost. Stand with a therapy band wrapped around your left thigh and the other end to a table leg, bedpost, or doorknob at the same height as your thigh. If you are not using a table leg, you will need a chair behind you for support. Face perpendicular to the chair or table, holding it with your right hand for support. Now, slowly raise your left knee up, and then while holding this position, rotate your leg inward, then outward, using your hip. As your hip rotates back outward, you will feel the muscles outside of your left thigh and hip contract. Once you complete this movement, return to the initial position.

Hip Flexion - Range Of Motion

For this exercise, you will being lying on your back on an exercise mat. Now, bring your left leg up, place both hands behind your knee, and pull it firmly up and into your chest. You will feel a stretch of your left gluteal muscle and left hip. Relax, and repeat the movement with your right leg. Once you complete this movement, return to the initial position.

Hip Flexion Strengthening With A Therapy Band

To do this exercise, you will need a therapy band and a table or chair. Stand with your back to a waist-high table or chair. Secure a therapy band to the floor by stepping through the loop of one end with your right foot. The other end of the band is secured about midway up your right thigh. With your hands placed behind you on the table or chair for support, raise your right knee up at a 90 degree angle with your right thigh parallel to the floor. As you do this, you will feel the muscles in the front of your right thigh contract. Once you complete this movement, return to the initial position.

Hip Internal Rotation Strengthening With A Therapy Band

To do this exercise, you will need a therapy band, a table or a chair, and a pole, doorknob, or bedpost. Stand with a therapy band wrapped around your right thigh and the other end to a table leg, bedpost, or doorknob at the same height as your thigh. If you are not using a table leg, you will need a chair behind you for support. Face perpendicular to the chair or table, holding it with your right hand for support. Now, slowly raise your right knee up, and then while holding this position, rotate your leg outward, then inward, using your hip. As your hip rotates back inward, you will feel the muscles outside of your right thigh and hip contract. Once you complete this movement, return to the initial position.

Knees To Chest Stretch

For this exercise, you will being lying on your back on an exercise mat. Now, bring both legs up, placing both hands behind your knees, and pulling your legs firmly up and into your chest. You will feel a stretching in your gluteal muscles and upper hamstrings. Once you complete this movement, relax, and lower your legs back down to their initial position.

Pelvic Tilts

Begin this exercise lying flat on your back on an exercise mat. You may want a pillow under your head for additional support. Bend both legs up at the knee at about 90 degrees. Keep your arms and feet flat on the mat. Now slowly curl your pelvis forward, pressing your lower back into the mat. Once you complete this movement, relax, and return to the initial position.

Pelvis Bridge With Alternating Leg Extensions

Begin this exercise lying flat on your back on an exercise mat. You may want a pillow under your head for additional support. Bend both legs up at the knee at about 90 degrees. Keep your arms and feet flat on the mat. Now slowly curl your pelvis forward, and raise it into the air forming as straight a line as possible from your pelvis to your knees. If you have done this properly, your abs and glutes will contract. Next, while keeping your pelvis in this position, extend your right leg into the air, pointing your right foot towards the ceiling. Return the right leg to the mat and repeat this motion with the left leg and foot. Once you complete this movement, relax, and return to the initial position.

Pelvis Bridge

Begin this exercise lying flat on your back on an exercise mat. Keep your arms and feet flat on the mat. Now slowly curl your pelvis forward, and raise it into the air forming as straight a line as possible from your pelvis to your knees. If you have done this properly, your abs and glutes will contract. Once you complete this movement, relax, and return to the initial position.

Psoas Stretch

In this exercise, you will need to lie on your bed or a firm sofa. You may want to support your head with a pillow. Bring yourself as close to the edge of the bed or sofa as is safely possible. Now, bring your left leg, bent at the knee, up and into your chest. Reach over and grasp your knee with both hands. While holding your left leg firmly, slowly and carefully drape your other leg over the side of the bed or couch. You will feel a stretch across your lower back, your right hip, and running down the front of your right thigh. Relax, and repeat the same sequence on the opposite side. Once you complete this movement, return to the initial position.

Side Lying Bridge

Begin this exercise by lying on your left side on an exercise mat. Your left arm is supporting your weight held flat on the mat, bent at the elbow in a 90 degree angle. Further stabilize your position by placing your right palm on the mat out in front of your body. You should have your head and torso raised, and your knees are bent and drawn in slightly to your body in a fetal-like position. Now, slowly lift your pelvis in the air, using your abdominal muscles, keeping your shoulder, hip, and knee aligned straightly. Try not to push up on your arms--they are only there for support. If you have done this properly, the muscles of your lower back will contract. Once you complete this movement, relax, and return to the initial position.


Leg Workouts


Achilles Tendon Stretch

Begin this exercise standing, facing a wall. Place both of your palms against the wall. Your feet are facing the wall. Your right leg is bent at the knee. Place your left leg out directly behind you, as if you are preparing to thrust or push against the wall. However, do not push against wall--merely, hold this position, supporting your weight on your right leg. Your left foot should be up on the ball of the foot with your heel off of the ground. Now, press your left heel down to the floor while keeping your left knee straight. You will feel the muscles of your left calf stretch. Hold this position for 10 seconds. Relax, and return to your starting position and repeat, reversing your leg positions.

Abductor Stretch

Begin this exercise lying flat on your back on an exercise mat. Bend your left foot, bringing it up to the inside of your right knee. Take your left hand and place it on the inside of your left knee. Place your right hand on your right hip for support. Now, gently press your left knee out to the left, feeling the abductor muscles of your inner thigh stretch. Once you complete this movement, relax, and return to the initial position.

Ankle And Foot Ranges Of Motion

Begin this exercise seated comfortably in an upright position on the edge of a chair. Your right leg is up off the floor, bent at about a 45 degree angle, while your left foot remains flat on the floor. Now, holding your leg in that position, bend your right foot and toes inward and upward towards your body at the ankle. You will feel the muscles along the top of your foot and ankle contract. Relax. Now, point your toes down, stretching at the ankle. Relax. Then, without pointing your foot this time, rotate your right foot into the left. You will feel the muscles contract along the outside of your ankle and foot. Relax. Next, without pointing your foot this time, rotate your right foot out to the right. You will feel the muscles contract along the inside of your ankle and foot. Relax, and return to your starting position.

Calf Strengthening With A Therapy Band

Begin this exercise seated comfortably in an upright position on the edge of a chair. Your right leg is tied to a therapy band at about the ankle. The other end of the band should be tied around the leg of a table or sofa some distance away from you. While keeping your right leg elevated at about a 45 degree angle, flex your right foot and toes towards you, bending at the ankle against the resistance of the therapy band. You will feel the muscles in the front of your right leg contracting. Repeat one time, relax, and return to your starting position.

External Foot Rotation With A Therapy Band

Begin this exercise seated comfortably in an upright position on the edge of a chair. A short therapy band is looped over both of your feet and in between them. Your feet are flat on the floor about 12 inches apart. Now, rotate your right foot outward to the right, pivoting on your ankle against the resistance of the therapy band. You should feel the muscles along your outer calf and right foot contracting. Relax, and pivot your foot back into the starting position.

Foot And Ankle Ranges Of Motion

Begin this exercise seated comfortably in an upright position on the edge of a chair. Your right leg is up off the floor, bent at about a 45 degree angle, while your left foot remains flat on the floor. Now, holding your leg in that position, point your big toe out and use it to trace the letters of the alphabet in the air. Imagine writing the entire alphabet from A to Z. This will cause you to use all of your foot and ankle ranges of motion. Relax, and return to your starting position.

Front Thigh Strengthening With A Therapy Band

To start this exercise, you should be seated comfortably with your right foot slipped into a therapy band at the ankle. The other end of the band should be secured to a rear leg of the chair or a table leg behind you. Sit upright at the edge of the chair. Now, straighten your right leg out in front of you, feeling the resistance of the band. You will feel the muscles along the top of your thigh contract. Relax, and return your leg to its original position.

Front Thigh Stretch

Begin this exercise lying on your right side on an exercise mat. Use your right arm stretched out straight in front of you to prevent your body from rolling front or back. Your knees are not bent and your legs are together fully extended. First, bend your left knee and grab your left foot and ankle with your left hand. Hold this position, keeping your left thigh perfectly parallel with the right thigh--do not let it slide to the front or rear. Pull your heel into your left buttock. You will feel a stretching sensation down the full front of your left thigh. Once you complete this movement, relax, and return to the initial position.

Hamstring Strengthening With A Therapy Band

To start this exercise, you should be standing comfortably behind a chair, arms holding the chair for support. Your left foot is slipped into a therapy band at the ankle. The other end of the band should be secured to a leg of the chair furthest from you. Now, bend your left knee out behind you to 90 degrees, feeling the resistance of the band. You will feel the hamstring or the muscles along the back of your thigh contract. Relax, and return your leg to its original position.

Hamstring Stretch

Begin this exercise lying flat on your back on an exercise mat. Bend your right knee in towards your body so it is up at a 90 degree angle, placing both of your hands behind your right knee. Now, slowly bend your right knee extending your leg to a full 90 degree--straight up, if possible. Use your hands for support. Do not allow your lower back to rise off the mat. You should feel your right hamstrings and calf muscles stretch. Once you complete this movement, relax, and return to the initial position.

Internal Foot Rotation With A Therapy Band

Begin this exercise seated comfortably in an upright position on the edge of a chair. One end of the therapy band is looped over your right foot, and the other end is attached to the leg of a chair or table, somewhat away from you. Your foot is angled outward to your right. Now, rotate your right foot inward to the left, pivoting on your ankle against the resistance of the therapy band. You should feel the muscles along the inside of your right calf and right foot contracting. Relax, and pivot your foot back out to the starting position.

Knee And Calf Stretch

Begin this exercise facing a table that is about waist-height, or behind the back of a chair. Have your feet facing in front of you. Place both hands on top of the back of the chair, or grasping the edge of the table, knuckles up. Now, bend the leg at the knee while stretching your left leg out straight behind you. You should be bent slightly forward, supporting your weight with your right leg. Next, bend forward at the waist. You will feel the Achilles tendon of your left leg stretch, as well as your left calf, and to stretch on up through the back of your left knee. Once you complete this movement, relax, and return to the initial position. Repeat, reversing your legs.

Knee Lunge

Begin this exercise standing near a low table, chair, desk, or other firm surface that is about two feet off of the ground. Bend your left knee and bring your left foot up to rest flat on the edge of the bench or chair, and place both hands on your left thigh about midway to support your weight. Now, thrust yourself forward in a lunge by leaning forward on your right ankle. You will feel the muscles along the middle of your left thigh. Once you complete this movement, relax, return to the initial position, and repeat the entire exercise with your right leg.

Patellar Tendon Stretch

Begin this exercise standing near a low table, chair, desk, or other firm surface that is about two feet off of the ground. Bend your left knee and bring your left foot up to rest flat on the edge of the bench or chair, and place both hands on your left thigh about midway to support your weight. Now, thrust yourself forward in a lunge by leaning forward on your right ankle. You will feel the muscles along the middle of your left thigh and left knee stretching. Once you complete this movement, relax, return to the initial position, and repeat the entire exercise on the other side.

Piriformis Stretch

Begin this exercise lying flat on your back on an exercise mat. Your knees are up at 90 degrees. Keep your arms flat on the mat. Cross your left leg over your right. Your left foot should be on your right thigh just above the right knee. Your foot should be turned outward. Now, reach your arms through your crossed legs and put your hands behind your right knee. Maintaining the position of your legs, pull your right knee and leg towards your chest. If you have done this properly, you will feel the muscles stretch behind your right thigh and right gluteal muscles. Once you complete this movement, relax, return to the initial position, and repeat the entire exercise on the other side.

Plantar Fascia Stretch Using A Tennis Ball

Begin this exercise seated comfortably in an upright position with the arch of your right foot directly upon a tennis ball. Applying gentle pressure to the tennis ball, roll it back and forth using your foot from heel to toe, and back again from toes to heel. Repeat one more time, relax, and return to your starting position.


Neck Workouts


Chin Retraction

Begin this exercise seated comfortably in an upright position. Retract your chin by sliding your neck rearward. This movement is as if you were sliding your head back on an imaginary rod. It is important that you complete this movement only using your neck muscles. Try not to use the muscles of your shoulders or back. If you have done the movement correctly, you will feel the muscles across the front of your neck stretching. Once you complete this movement, return to the initial position.

Head And Neck Stretch - Upper Trapezius And Levator Scapulae

Begin this exercise seated comfortably upright in a chair. Make sure your head is held straight forward. Raise your left arm up, putting your palm on top of your head, your fingers pointing down towards your right ear. Now, gently bend your head and neck down toward your left shoulder. Using your left arm, you will feel the muscles on the right side of your neck stretching. Relax, and bring your head back up to its starting position. Now, pivot your head slightly about 45 degrees to your left. Once again, use your left arm to slowly pull your head downward to your left side. Without turning your head or neck, you will feel the muscles along the right side of the back of your neck stretching. When you complete this movement, return to the starting position.

Now, we are going to reverse the entire sequence of movements, this time using your right arm. Start by once again gently pulling your head and neck down towards your shoulder. This time, you will feel the sensation of stretching on the left side of your neck. Once again, return to the starting position. Now, pivot your head 45 degrees this time to the right, and gently use your right arm to pull toward the right shoulder, again, without moving your head and neck. You should feel a slight stretch on the back of the left side of your neck. Relax, and return to the original position, completing this exercise.

Head And Neck Stretch - Upper Trapezius

Begin this exercise sitting upright cross-legged upon the floor. Now, grasp your right hand with your left hand behind your back, and slowly pull it to the left while tilting your head to your left-hand side. If done correctly, you will feel a slight stretch across the front of your shoulder on the right side. Once you complete this movement, return to the initial position. Next, repeat, this time bringing your left arm behind the back and dragging it with the right as you tilt your head right. This time, you should feel the stretch across the front of your left shoulder. Relax, and return to the first position.

Neck Backward Tilt Isometric Exercise - Extension

Begin this exercise by sitting comfortably upright in a chair. Your head is upright, eyes forward. Take either your right or left arm and grasp the back of your head, where the base of your skull meets your neck. Keep your head upright, eyes looking straight forward. While applying resistance with the strength of your arm, gently try to move your head and neck backward, as if you were trying to bend your head downwards between your shoulder blades. Be sure to press against the resistance of your hand by only using your neck muscles. Do not move your entire body. You are pitting muscle against muscle in what is known as an isometric exercise. Hold this position for about a count of 6. Then, relax, and return to the starting position.

Now, tilt your head back about half as far as it will go. With your head still in the tilted position, again, place your hand behind your head and apply resistance. Once again, push your head against the resistance using only your neck muscles for 6 seconds. Relax, and then repeat, this time with your head starting tilted backward as far as it will go. Hold in this position for another 6 seconds. Relax, and return to the original position, completing this exercise.

Neck Backward Tilt Isometric Exercise - Flexion

Begin this exercise by sitting comfortably upright in a chair. Your head is upright, eyes forward. Take either your right or left arm and place your palm on your forehead. Keep your head upright, eyes looking straight ahead. While applying resistance with the strength of your arm, gently try to move your head and neck forward, as if you were trying to bend your head downwards to your chest. Be sure to press against the resistance of your hand by only using your neck muscles. Do not move your entire body. You are pitting muscle against muscle in what is known as an isometric exercise. Hold this position for about a count of 6. Then, relax, and return to the starting position.

Now, tilt your head down about half as far as it will go. With your head still in the tilted position, again, place your hand on your forehead and apply resistance. Once again, push your head against the resistance using only your neck muscles for 6 seconds. Relax, and then repeat, this time with your head starting tilted down as far as it will go. Hold in this position for another 6 seconds. Relax, and return to the original position, completing this exercise.

Neck Ranges Of Motion

Begin this exercise by sitting comfortably upright in a chair. Now bend your neck downward towards your chest. The muscles along the back of your neck should stretch. Relax, and pick your head back up into your initial position.This time, gently tilt your head and neck backward. You should feel the muscles at the front of your neck stretch. Relax, and pick your head back up into your initial position. Next, turn your head to the right, trying to stretch far enough to look over your right shoulder. You will feel the stretch on the left side of your neck. Relax, and pick your head back up into your initial position. Then, repeat to the left. This time, you will feel the muscles at the right side of your neck stretching. Relax, and pick your head back up into your initial position. Now, tilt your head down to the right without turning your neck. The muscles on the left side of your neck will stretch. Relax, and pick your head back up into your initial position. Next, repeat, tilting your head down to your left shoulder. You will feel the muscles in the right side of your neck stretch. Relax, and return to the original position, completing this exercise.

Neck Rotation Isometric Exercise

Begin this exercise by sitting comfortably upright in a chair. Your head is upright, eyes forward. Take your right hand and place it on the right side of your face. While applying resistance with the strength of your hand, gently try to move your head to the right, as if you were trying to turn your head to look over your right shoulder. Be sure to press against the resistance of your hand by only using your neck muscles. Do not move your entire body. You are pitting muscle against muscle in what is known as an isometric exercise. Hold this position for about a count of 6. Then, relax, and return to the starting position.

Now, pivot your head to the right side about half as far as it can be turned. With your head still on this angle, once again, place your hand on your right cheek and apply resistance. Once again, try to push your head against the resistance using only your neck muscles for 6 seconds. Relax, and then repeat--this time, with your head starting rotated as far to the right as it will go. Hold in this position for another 6 seconds. Relax, and return to the original position, completing this exercise. Or, if you wish, you may repeat all three phases to the left side.

Neck Side Bending Isometric Exercise

Begin this exercise by sitting comfortably upright in a chair. Your head is upright, eyes forward. Take your right hand and place it on the right side of your face. Keep your head upright, eyes looking straight ahead. While applying resistance with the strength of your hand, gently try to tilt your head down to the right, as if you are trying to rest your ear to your right shoulder. Be sure to press against the resistance of your hand by only using your neck muscles. Do not move your entire body. You are pitting muscle against muscle in what is known as an isometric exercise. Hold this position for about a count of 6. Then, relax, and return to the starting position.

Now, tilt your head down to your right shoulder, about half as far as it can go. With your head still on this angle, once again, place your hand on your right cheek and apply resistance. Once again, try to push your head against the resistance using only your neck muscles for 6 seconds. Relax, and then repeat--this time with your head starting tilted down as far to the right as it will go. Hold in this position for another 6 seconds. Relax, and return to the original position, completing this exercise. Or, if you wish, you may repeat all three phases to the left side.


Shoulder Workouts


Active Assisted Shoulder Range Of Motion - Using A Dowel

Begin this exercise by sitting comfortably upright in a chair. You will need a dowel stick or light exercise bar for this exercise. Grasp the dowel with your left hand and place the other end against your right palm. Now, slide your arms up and out to the right so that your right arm elevates about 90 degrees. This movement causes muscle abduction. Return to your first position. Now, rotate the dowel behind you, lowering your left hand. Your right arm will come up and forward as if stroking the oar of a canoe. This movement causes muscle flexion. Return to the first position.

Now, keep your hands in the same positions. Rotate your left arm forward and up. This will bring your right arm backward and up. This movement causes muscle extension. Return to position #1. Now, with your right elbow in close to your body, slide the dowel to the right. This causes external rotation. Now, remove your right palm from the end of the dowel, and with the dowel firmly grasped in both hands out in front of you, slide it to the left. This causes internal rotation. Relax, and return to the original position, completing this exercise.

Front Shoulder Stretch

Begin this exercise sitting upright cross-legged upon the floor. Now, grasp your right hand with your left hand behind your back, and slowly pull it to the left while tilting your head to your left-hand side. If done correctly, you will feel a slight stretch across the front of your shoulder on the right side. Once you complete this movement, return to the initial position. Next, repeat, this time bringing your left arm behind the back and dragging it with the right as you tilt your head right. This time, you should feel the stretch across the front of your left shoulder. Relax, and return to the original position, completing this exercise.

Outside Shoulder Stretch

Begin this exercise by sitting comfortably upright on a chair. Place your right arm out in front of your body, elbow bent at 90 degrees. Your arm is parallel to the floor. Now, grasp your right elbow with your left hand, and gently pull your right arm to the left. You should feel the muscles along the outside of your right shoulder stretching. Relax, return to the original position, then repeat on the other side, completing this exercise.

Passive Shoulder Range Of Motion With A Hand Weight

Begin this exercise standing on your left leg with right knee and calf up on a low table or firm sofa. Support your weight with your right arm, which should be just in front of your right knee. Your body and your left knee should be bent somewhat forward, your left arm dangling down from your left shoulder, grasping a small hand weight in your hand. Now, move your body front to back using a gentle rocking motion of your torso only, so that your left arm rotates in a counterclockwise circle. You are not using your shoulders or any arm movements to rotate your arm. The circular motion should be caused by the rotating of your torso only. Relax, then reverse your rocking motion from back to front, so that now your weighted arm moves in a clockwise circle. Relax, return to the original position.

Rear Shoulder Stretch

Begin this exercise by sitting upright comfortably on a chair. Place your right arm out in front of your body, elbow bent at 90 degrees. Your arm is parallel to the floor. Now, grasp your right elbow with your left hand, and gently pull your right arm back and to the left. You should feel the muscles along the outside of your right shoulder stretching. Relax, return to the original position, and then repeat on the other side, completing this exercise.

Shoulder Abduction Strengthening With A Therapy Band

Begin this exercise by standing upright. The loop of a therapy band is around your right foot. The handle of the band is grasped in your right hand. Now, lift your right arm out to your side at a 90 degree angle, feeling the resistance of the band. The muscles across the top of your right shoulder will contract. Relax, return to the original position, completing this exercise.

Shoulder Extension Strengthening With A Therapy Band - Triceps

Begin this exercise standing on your right leg with left knee and calf up on a low table or firm sofa. Support your weight with your left arm and hand. The loop of a therapy band is around your right foot, held firmly against the floor. The other end of the band is in your right hand. Keep your back straight and body parallel to the floor by flexing your abdominal muscles. Keep your neck straight in line with your back and press your right elbow in slightly against your right side. The muscles across your upper right arm and your right shoulder will contract. Relax, return to the original position, completing this exercise.

Shoulder Extension Strengthening With A Therapy Band

Begin this exercise by standing upright. The loop of a therapy band is around your right foot. The handle of the band is grasped in your right hand. Now, stretch your right arm back behind you, feeling the resistance of the band. The muscles across your upper right arm and your right shoulder will contract. Relax, return to the original position, completing this exercise.

Shoulder Flexion Strengthening With A Therapy Band

Begin this exercise by standing with a therapy band looped about your right foot. The other end of the band is in your right hand, held just below your waist. Hold the handle with your thumb on top. Now, raise your right arm up and forward at a 90 degree angle, filling the resistance of the band. This movement causes muscles to flex. You will feel the muscles along your right upper arm and shoulder contract. Relax, return to the original position, completing this exercise.

Shoulder Internal Rotation Strengthening With A Therapy Band - Subscapularis

To begin this exercise, you need to be seated, holding onto a therapy band in your right hand; the other end of the band is wrapped around a bedpost or doorknob, off to the right side of you. Your elbow is bent at 90 degrees, and you should be holding the handle of the band with your thumb on the top. Place a small towel under your arm, held against your right side by your right arm. Now, pull your right arm in and towards your chest against the resistance of the band. This causes internal rotation. You will feel the muscles across the top of your right shoulder contracting. Relax, return to the original position, completing this exercise.

Shoulder Strengthening In External Rotation With A Therapy Band - Infraspinatus

To begin this exercise, you need to be seated, holding onto a therapy band in your right hand; the other end of the band is wrapped around a bedpost or doorknob, off to the left-hand side of you. Your elbow is bent at 90 degrees, and you should be holding the handle of the band with your thumb on the top. Place a small towel under your arm, held against your right side by your right arm. Now, pull your right arm out away from your body to the right against the resistance of the band. This causes external rotation. You will feel the muscles across the top of your right shoulder contracting. Relax, return to the original position, completing this exercise.

Shoulder Strengthening In External Rotation With A Therapy Band - Teres Minor

To begin this exercise, you need to be seated, holding onto a therapy band in your right hand; the other end of the band is wrapped around a bedpost or doorknob, off to the left-hand side of you. Your elbow is bent at 90 degrees, and you should be holding the handle of the band with your thumb on the top. Place a small towel under your arm, held against your right side by your right arm. Now, pull your right arm out away from your body to the right against the resistance of the band. This type of movement results in external rotation. You will feel the muscles across the top of your right shoulder contracting. Relax, return to the original position, completing this exercise.

Shoulder Strengthening With A Therapy Band - Supraspinatus

Begin this exercise by standing with a therapy band looped about your right foot. The other end of the band is in your right hand, held at your side. Hold the handle with your thumb pointing down. Now, without bending your elbow, raise your arm up and out to about a two o'clock position. The muscles behind your shoulder and on the side of your shoulder will contract. You will feel the muscles along your right upper arm and shoulder contract. Relax, return to the original position, completing this exercise.

Trapezius Strengthening With A Therapy Band

Begin this exercise standing with both feet upon a therapy band. Grasp the handles of the band, one in each hand with your arms at your sides. Your feet should be apart about 12 inches wide. Now, against the resistance of the therapy band, shrug both of your shoulders upward followed by rolling them backward. You should feel the muscles of your upper back contract. Relax, return to the original position, completing this exercise.

Upper And Mid Back Range Of Motion

Begin this exercise on your hands and knees on an exercise mat. Balance your weight as evenly as you can. Your stomach muscles should be taut and your back straight. Now, raise your head, arching your neck and shoulders up while tightening your stomach muscles. Continue to stretch your neck and shoulders as far as you can. Envision bringing your shoulder blades together. You will feel the muscles of your upper and mid back contract. Relax, and return to the starting position. Then, bend your head downwards, flexing your neck and shoulder muscles while keeping your stomach taut and arching your mid and upper back skyward. Once again, you will feel the muscles of your upper and mid back contract. This completes the exercise. Relax, and return to the initial position.

Office Hours

Our General Schedule

Monday:

8:30 am-5:00 pm

Tuesday:

9:00 am-5:00 pm

Wednesday:

8:30 am-6:00 pm

Thursday:

9:00 am-5:00 pm

Friday:

8:00 am-1:00 pm

Saturday:

9:00 am-1:00 pm

By Appointment

Sunday:

Closed

Our Location

5107 Monroe Road, Suite A | Charlotte, NC 28205