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A Home Program Needs To Be More Than Sets And Reps

picture of different dumbbell weights

Most of us think about exercise in this way. The same goes for home exercise programs given to patients in physical therapy.

This approach assumes that the body will make positive adjustments via continuous performance of an activity. While this may occur to a certain extent, the body will make these adjustments much faster and more effectively when sensory awareness is appreciated.

Motor output, in this case movement, is a reflection of the sensory input given to the body. For example, if one were to touch a hot stove, pain is detected (sensation) and the individual withdraws his or her hand (motor output-movement).

Similar interactions in response to less extreme stimuli occur with everyday movement. When walking the pressure of our body weight is sensed through the arch of our foot during the stance phase which triggers a cascade of events to advance the body onto the opposite leg. The arch of our foot is just one “reference point” that the body detects to trigger an appropriate reaction.

Being aware of these “reference points” during home exercise programs allows the brain to detect what is happening with greater ease. When the brain is in tune with what an individual is trying to accomplish, learning occurs and the objectives of the activity become more en-grained.

Next time you perform your home program, ask yourself, what is working? If you are standing, where on your feet is the majority of your bodyweight? If you are sitting, where is your bodyweight?

If you have been to physical therapy you should know the correct answers to these questions in great detail. Now you simply have to remind yourself to ensure that the body is continuing to get proper feedback so that optimal movement can take place.

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