National Women's Health & Fitness Day: Top Exercises for Women’s Health You May Not Have Known About


We are celebrating National Women’s Health & Fitness day with some top exercise tips to help with some lesser-known physical health concerns that women may experience. The top areas covered in this post are Pelvic floor health concerns and beneficial exercises, ACL injuries and injury prevention exercises, and Scapular stabilizer health concerns and useful exercises to stabilize them. These exercises can be used to help improve women’s health but are also beneficial for men to use as well!


Top Exercise Tips to Help Women’s Health


ACL

Did you know that Female Athletes show higher numbers of ACL tears?

Women are at a higher risk than men for ACL tears for a number of documented reasons, including a higher dynamic Q-angle (angle from the hip to the knee) and increased ligamentous laxity during mensuration.

ACL treatment is the same for both male and female athletes, and both can benefit from strengthening the knee. Here are some ACL prevention exercises below!


Supine bridges

1. Begin on your back, knees bent, hip-distance apart, and feet flat.

2. Extend your arms at your sides, palms facing down.

3. Engage your core, squeeze your bottom, and slowly lift your hips up, keeping your upper back pressing into the floor as you hold the position.

Sets: 3 sets of 10

Fire hydrants

1. Start with your hands and knees on the ground with the hands positioned under the shoulders.

2. While keeping your leg in the bent position, move the knee outwards and away from the midline of the body, not going so fast that you feel it in your back or a twist.

3. When at the top of this position, hold before slowly raising the knee back to the starting position.

Sets: 2 sets of 10

Sidelying hip abduction

1. Begin lying on your side, bottom knee bent, with your hips against a wall, hand stabilizing your top hip.

2. Keeping hips in line, bring the leg up towards the ceiling. Return to starting position.

Sets: 3 sets of 10

Single-Leg Balance

1. Begin standing, hands on hips.

2. Bend one knee, lifting your foot off the floor, and balance. Keeping hips in line, bring the leg up towards the ceiling. Return to starting position.

Time: 30 seconds 3 sets


Scapular Stabilizers

Did you know that the Scapula is crucial to the total function of how the shoulder moves and supports the shoulder?

Stabilizing and strengthening the Scapula is important and can reduce possible injuries we might have down the road. Women may experience poor Scapular Stabilization over time due to rounded shoulders from breastfeeding or from the breast in general. Women and Men can also experience this poor form and rounded shoulders from sitting at a desk for many hours at a time. Below are ways to strengthen Scapular Stabilizers and improve some posture problems. Here are some ways to strengthen Scapular Stabilizers.


Scapular Retraction

1. Start in a seated position and place your hands on your hips.

2. Let your shoulders fall forward by rounding the upper back, then squeeze your shoulder blades together, and retract your shoulder blades as the elbows come out and back.

3. Keep your shoulders pressed down and away from the ears at all times.

Sets: 3 sets of 10

Seated Theraband Rows

1. Close a theraband in the door with equal length on each side

2. Position shoulder blades down and in

3. Start with arms straight, then bend elbows to 90 degrees into the side.

4. Muscle Focus: Latissimus Dorsi, rhomboids

Sets: 3 sets of 10

Serratus Punches

1. Lay on your back with your arms perpendicular to the table. Start by pushing the back of your shoulder flat onto the table. (make sure you keep your shoulder blade shrugged down toward your hip)

2. Then punch up toward the ceiling lifting the shoulder off the table.

3. Muscle Focus: Serratus Anterior

Sets: 3 sets of 10


Pelvic Floor

Did you know that strengthening the hip musculature is also beneficial for your pelvic floor?

Pelvic exercises are great for both men and women, but women can benefit from them specifically, such as lowering the risk of vaginal prolapse, better recovery from childbirth, and a possible increase in bladder and bowel control.

Since almost one-quarter of Women in the United States suffer from some type of pelvic floor disorder, and studies show the frequency of these disorders increases as women get older, these exercises can be crucial to improving women’s health! There are specialize Physical Therapists for pelvic floor dysfunction; please reach out to a specialist for any of these disorders. Exercises that can help include Ball Squeezes and Bridges.


Ball Squeezes

1. Lie on the ground or a table on your back

2. Bend your knees to about a 90-degree angle and place the feet together.

3. Place either a small exercise ball or a pillow between your legs.

4. Squeeze in the following pattern:

- 15 slow, 15 quick, hold for 15 seconds

- 12 slow, 12 quick, hold for 12 seconds

- 10 slow, 10 quick, hold for 10 seconds

5. Control the squeezes

6. Make sure to keep your tailbone down, your hips and hip flexors relaxed, and your low abs tight with each squeeze.

7. Muscle focus is on the inner thigh (abductors)

Pilates Bridges

1. Lie on the floor. Arms, Shoulders, neck are relaxed.

2. Inhale, exhale, pull in the belly button and curl the pelvis and spine up.

- Make sure to curl up to one vertebra at a time

- Only lift to the point that the pelvis is in line with the torso, no higher

3. Inhale at the top and exhale while kneeing the bellybutton in and curling the spine and pelvis back down

- Make sure to curl down one vertebra at a time

4. Make sure to keep your glutes, neck, and shoulders relaxed the whole time

5. Muscle focus is on abdominals and hamstrings.

Sets: 3 sets of 10


If you have an ACL injury or Scapular Stabilizer pain, please feel free to reach out to us to schedule a free Injury Assessment with one of our Physical Therapists at either our Rancho Santa Margarita or Irvine locations! https://www.envision-sport.com/free-injury-assessment



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