“Exercise My Way” Routine - By Cherie C. Binns, RN BS MSCN
Posted Aug 29 2010 12:00am
“Exercise My Way” Routine
By Cherie C. Binns, RN BS MSCN
50-100 pull-ups using the Versarails TM
Still supported by Versarail, I twist from side to side bringing top leg straight in front of me with toe flexed to stretch the muscles down the entire back of the leg.At the same time the bottom leg is kicked back behind me to stretch the muscles down the top of the thigh.I’m not into a full split yet but suspect with more work that can be achieved.
Sitting on a bench under water, cross legs with outside of ankle resting on opposite knee. Push down on top knee so inside of thigh is stretched.While holding this stretch, lift foot on the floor as high as you can to stretch the muscles of the buttock of the top leg.Hold for 20 seconds then switch legs.You may need rails for support while doing this.
Sitting on bench sideways with legs straight in front of you, place foot of outside leg in handle (stirrup) of Pilates band and shorten band through rail to the length desired to give appropriate tension to the next move.Keeping pelvis straight and tummy in (no arch in back), move the outer leg as far out to the side as you are able, hold a few seconds and bring it back to center. This works the muscles of the inner thigh and back of the leg.I now alternate this move with a downward move to the floor of the pool and an upward move where foot is out of the pool so I work the hip in three different directions while in that position.Currently I am doing 40-50 reps of this on each leg but started out with 5.
While in this same position, shorten Pilates tubing to about 12 inches and place the inside foot in the stirrup.Outside leg now has the foot resting on the floor of the pool while the leg closest to pool wall is brought across center line of body stretching the muscles on the outer thigh.You may vary this move by moving leg out with toe up, heel out or toe out.You will feel which muscles are being worked with each position change.
Move body 90 degrees on bench so that outside leg is now against another wall of the pool and repeat the above two sets of exercises from the new angle.
With Pilates tubing over Versarail TM in front of you, grab handles in both hands and pull forward and down as far as you can reach while keeping back completely straight.Next, move forward and out to the sides as far as you can stretch.Try moving hand position so your palms face down, up sideways to work the muscles on all sides of the arm.Be careful not to extend arms behind your back while doing this as some discomfort between shoulder blades can result.
Stand using a higher seat or the edge of the pool for support and place one foot behind you, foot flat on the floor, and lean forward keeping your back straight.This stretches the muscles down the back of the leg (calves and hamstrings).Switch legs and repeat.
Grab an ankle behind you and pull upward on the leg to stretch the muscles on the front of your upper leg (quads).The higher you pull your ankle, the greater the stretch of muscle.Please be careful not to arch your back but keep it straight while doing this.Switch and repeat with the other leg.
Kneel or stand in center of pool (depending on depth of water) and reach a hand fully extended into the air.Slowly bring the straight arm over your head and hold till you feel stretch down your side.Repeat with other arm.Then change angle so you are reaching forward at a 45 degree angle with each arm and backward in a 130-140 degree angle with each arm.This last move should be avoided if you have damage to lower back or experience discomfort with the move.You will easily be able to tell that the muscles of your torso and upper abdomen are getting a workout with these moves.
Finally, I sit on the seat and do several minutes of just kicking with toes pointed up, down and relaxed.This adds an element of aerobics to the strength training and stretching.
Remember to keep your moves fluid.Breathe throughout the exercise.Drink 8 ounces of water for every 10 minutes of exercise in the hour following your workout so you flush your system of toxins released during the muscle work.You will have less soreness and greater ease of movement if you are faithful to rehydrating.And remember…easy does it.You will not get to this point overnight.It has taken me more than two years to be able to do some of these moves.Reread “Rehab My Way” for recommendations on some of the earlier and easier moves.
People frequently ask me about water temperature.This can be a very individual question.Personally, I have problems with spasticity if the water is cooler than about 80 degrees.In the winter when the room temperature is cooler (60 degrees) I keep the temperature of the water between 88 and 90 degrees.In the summer when the air temp might be 85 or 90, I keep the water set at the lowest temp (80-85).If you have control of the temperatures, find what feels best and tires you least.Remember, I can exercise on the floor for just a few minutes without Uthoff’s developing but I can work in the water for 45-60 minutes with no resumption of MS symptoms.