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Thread: 10 minute muscle strengthening routines? help me make an effective program

  1. #1

    10 minute muscle strengthening routines? help me make an effective program

    Life is so busy, you work all day and it's hard to feel like working out. And on days off things always distract us. Even when we have the time, focusing on every exercise and knowing you need to put in at least an hour can be overwhelming. But with spinal cord injury we need to and can be better than most anyone thinks. Some of my goals are to build strength and function. I'm realizing that instead of focusing on the big picture all in the same day and feeling defeated that if I focus on individual areas / muscles one day at a time that it can be very beneficial. If we only had ten minutes to workout we might think it's not even worth trying. But what if we took that ten minutes and strength trained a key limb or muscle effectively that was important to us and would make our lives a bit or possibly even a lot more functional? Ten minutes is just a guess bu maybe it would take less or a little bit more time but the point is brick by brick and that will build success. It's sad that I'm so uneducated about the body and strength training but I'm trying to learn. I started reading the book of muscle by Ian King, not to look great but to build strength and gain knowledge about how the body and muscles work and how to strengthen them. But in there he mentions a study in a group of men in their 60's and 70's did exercises for their knee flexors and extensors, their knee flexor strength increased by 227 percent and their knee extensor strength jumped by 107 %. Of course with sci we can't move all of our muscles, but whatever we can move can be strengthened. This one example encourages and motivates me.

    What muscles / exercises would be key blocks to focus on to make big differences over time? I also read that two months of strength training erased years of non training, in able bodied people. I know everything doesn't always apply to us but I believe we can be better. And really how often do we ever focus effectively on a particular area steadily for a 2 month period? I know I might think about my goals regularly, but being able to put in the consistant work is a tougher task.

    If you only had time to focus on three exercises / strengthening movements but with regular effort you would see progress what three would it be?

    Thank you for listening and thank you for the help.

  2. #2
    This is tough to answer. I assume you are referring to some type of rehab? Even so, you really need to isolate goals. I have experience with rehab toward the goal of walking so I will answer to that.

    1. hip flexors/extensors- this is the most important muscle group for walking. If you can't swing your leg, you can't walk.

    2. Abs and core/lower back. Walking after SCI is tough on the core and lower back. Stretching/ yoga, etc. are super important and often over looked.

    3. Standing, air squats, and isometric standing poses. These are great lower impact resistance training for those with SCI and they also double as balance exercises which can help us reconnect with our bodies. Advancing to a balance ball would be the goal.

  3. #3
    thank you MFL for the response. I have several questions but only have time for one today. This video shows the simple movements I do with my legs: Just light 2 1/5 lb weights, just trying to be consistant before I move up. These movements are better than none but there has to be a more effective way to get better movements and results I've seen videos of people lying on the mat with a round therapy wedge under their thighs doing this exercise, would that be more effective? And if I did it like the video in my chair but just with a rolled up towel under my thighs. If I find better effective ways to do this exercise what would be the benefits of strengthening these muscles and movements? And what additional exercises should I add to improve my legs and function? Thank you

    I greatly appreciate the help and will post more soon.

  4. #4
    The leg extensions you are doing are great. They work your quadriceps which are responsible for extension of the knee joint. You can also lay on your stomach and do the exercise in the video in reverse (leg curl) which will work the lower portion of your hamstring muscles. Also work on exercises where you move the leg at the hip joint keeping your legs straight. This works your hip flexors/extensors and the upper portion of your hamstrings all of which are important for walking.

  5. #5
    here's an image of the round cushion under the legs i was talking about do you think using something like that would work my legs more effectively? Is there a way to do the reverse exercise without laying on my stomach?

  6. #6
    Here's what I started practicing this week and have seen progress every day so far Even with me using my arms for balance can this work my core? Any suggestions greatly appreciated.

  7. #7
    This is great stuff. My advice is to gradually try to take the squat deeper and deeper into the sitting position. For your core a very simple start would be trying to reach for your toes and to each side while sitting.

  8. #8
    Thank you MFl, I appreciate the feedback. Yes I will try to get lower with the squats but just trying to not go too fast and get there steadily. Reaching for my toes sitting in my wheelchair I wonder if it's good since it nags at my right leg. Maybe my feet on the floor would be better, or sitting on the edge of bed? This is an older short video clip of me in a regular chair, Would getting in this chair and practacing touching my toes and reaching side to side be very beneficial? And please describe reaching to each side. And the leg presses in the video, if I start doing them again would it build functional strength? Thank you again.

  9. #9
    MFL I tried reaching for my toes and side to side scooted forward in my chair with my feet on the ground and it went really good. Thank you for sharing your knowledge. I hope to keep learning and adding simple yet effective exercise /movements like these and to keep improving and build an effective routine. I thank you and hope for more of your feedback.

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