Progressing exercises is a systematic and organized approach that should be individualized to each person depending on their health, fitness level, and specific goals. The great part about exercise is that everyone is able to start somewhere! No matter what that starting point is for you, the only direction from there is UP. In this article, we will discuss a linear progression of how to progress lower extremity injuries in the clinic. It is imperative to master the fundamentals before working on highly skilled movements. This progression is inspired by the 'Powers Program', which is an evidenced-based lower body exercise progression developed by Dr. Chris Powers, DPT, Ph.D. from the University of Southern California (USC). This program will begin with non-weight bearing isometric holds, don't let these exercises fool you - they are extremely challenging! We then progress to static double leg weight-bearing exercises, followed by single-leg exercises, and finish the exercise progression with dynamic strengthening movements. Follow along in this article to learn how to progress lower body exercises!

Do you experience tired, heavy legs at the end of the day? Have you experienced a surgery or trauma and have swelling that won’t go away ever since that time period? Do you experience swelling that can’t otherwise be explained? If the answer is yes to any of these questions, you may have a condition called lymphedema. In this article, we will define what lymphedema is, how lymphedema is treated, available resources to learn more about this condition, and how to live well with lymphedema!

Soccer is the world’s most popular sport and demonstrates continued growth in the United States each year. Over 13 million Americans play soccer, and according to US Youth Soccer, there are over 3 million youth soccer players registered in the United States today. Although there are benefits to playing soccer such as improved cardiovascular health, strength, and self-esteem, there are also some inherent risks involved. One study found that there were over 2.4 million soccer-related injuries leading to an Emergency Room visit between the years 2000 and 2012. Another study showed that soccer is the high school sport with the highest risk of injury for female athletes (1-3). In this article, we will highlight the most common injuries seen in soccer and teach you research-based soccer prehab exercises to help prevent these injuries!

If you spend an afternoon at your local gym long enough, you will inevitably see someone deadlifting in a way that could make your own back hurt! Chances are, you may have even strained your low back trying to master this complex exercise. Yet, you’ve also heard the deadlift being praised as the best exercise for maintaining a strong and healthy back. So, which is it? Is the deadlift the problem or the solution to your back pain? In this article, you’ll learn how the deadlift exercise can help you to overcome back pain, how to perform proper deadlifting with back pain, as well as some key measures supported by research that you can use to evaluate when you are ready to deadlift after a back injury!

Limited ankle dorsiflexion has been associated with a whole host of lower extremity injuries including plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinopathy, calf strains, shin splints, patellofemoral pain, IT band syndrome, and even ACL injuries. Additionally, limited ankle mobility manifests itself as a functional limitation in every day tasks such as walking, negotiating stairs, and even in athletic endeavors such as achieving proper squat depth or cutting. While the problems associated with limited ankle mobility are well known, the solutions on how to increase ankle dorsiflexion are not. Who else has spent hours and hours stretching without any increase in ankle dorsiflexion range of motion? In this article, we're going to cover everything you need to know about ankle mobility. From defining what ankle mobility is, why you need it, how to assess it, and most importantly, how to improve it! Hang on tight for the best ankle mobility exercises to improve ankle dorsiflexion that you can do from the comforts of your home to decrease your risk of lower extremity injury, improve your functional abilities, and enhance your athletic performance!

The Achilles tendon is the largest tendon of the body for a good reason, it takes much of the load when we are running,  jumping, or even walking! This tendon connects the calf muscles to the heel assisting with force transmission and acts like a spring when you push your foot off the floor. Achilles Tendinopathy is when the Achilles tendon is irritated or painful.  The majority of individuals that suffer from Achilles Tendinopathy are active individuals, from the weekend warrior to the high-level athlete. Achilles Tendinopathy seems to be as high as 7-30% in runners, 2.1-5.1% in soccer players, and 12.5% in rock climbers¹. This article will show you an evidence-based approach to how to rehab Achilles tendinopathy.

The time has come! You’re ready to get back into the gym and fine-tune your program. Whether it was an access issue, an injury, or you simply slacked off, you need to re-establish your baseline strength to make SMART goals. Before you decide to crush your entire body with One-Rep-Max (1RM) strength testing that keeps you out of the gym for a few days and struggling to get out of bed, let’s consider the alternative options you have! In this article, you’ll learn how to perform rep max strength testing guidelines, and which type of strength testing assessment is best suited to help you meet your fitness goals.

After surgery, understanding how to improve knee flexion is absolutely critical. While we’ve discussed the importance of regaining knee extension extensively, restoring knee flexion is a close runner up for your rehab goals after surgery. Restoring knee flexion is often not comfortable (as can be for any motion after surgery!), but with dedication and consistent time spent working on your mobility, we are confident you can get there! In this article, we’re going to cover some of our favorite exercises to improve knee flexion after surgery!

Do your hips feel tight? Do you want to learn how to improve the mobility of your hips? The hip is one of the most active and mobile joints in the human body. Whether you perform activities such as walking, ambulating stairs, deadlifts, or playing sports, having adequate hip mobility is important to all! Hip mobility limitations have been associated with issues both upstream (at the low back) and downstream (at the knee). This article will educate you on exercises for tight hips and how to perform them correctly! We’ve also included a FREE program so you can begin performing prehab exercises today!

Playing in numerous sports throughout my life it seemed the response to injury was pretty much the same, put some ice on it, and RICE (Rest, ICE, Compression, Elevation). However, it felt like there was no real rhyme or reason to this decision, that's just what coaches said to do! For the past three years, I've had the opportunity to provide sideline coverage as a sports physical therapist ranging from youth up to professional sports. Part of this job description is carrying an ice chest from the parking lot to the fields/stadium that typically seem to be uphill and miles away. During this walk, including multiple breaks (the ice chest gets heavy!), I've asked the following: why do we rest, ice, compress, and elevate after injury? Where did this originate? Is this still best practice? In this article, you'll learn the truth about icing injuries and why we need to step away from RICE and move towards PEACE & LOVE.