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One of the most underutilized exercises in rehabilitation

isometrics rehabilitation

Isometrics are one of the most powerful tools in rehabilitation, yet they are underutilized. In this video, I discuss the benefits of using isometrics at all phases of rehabilitation.

I want to talk about one of the most underutilized exercises or exercise techniques in rehabilitation, and it's isometrics. We tend to think of isometrics as this, you know, early stage only with early people who can't do anything else. We're going to do some isometrics with them. And I think that's taught in PT school. And it's this idea that the greatest thing you can get to is a resistance, and that's the top level of exercise.  Which is somewhat true, but isometrics are so powerful. I don't think there is a person with a shoulder dysfunction, impingement, rotator cuff problem or even a knee problem that I don't start with isometrics. You can grade the amount of resistance exquisitely, and most people start off with way too much resistance. You want to be able to have a light pressure. So if I'm doing shoulder internal-external rotation isometrics for impingement, what I'm doing there is just a really light start, particularly with a painful shoulder or someone who's hypermobile.   Just really light pressure, like I even say, like the weight of a nickel that you're trying to hold between you and the doorframe. And that allows me to put stress into the system without flaring it up. And they're doing it at a completely pain free level. Then they can progress it until they are doing a maximal contraction, and that maximal contraction being held for 10 seconds, doing that ten times, that is intense. I even have decreased it down to five times because it's so intense. When you're doing maximal contraction -- go try it now.  Do a maximal external rotation isometric for 10 seconds. Try five of those. Tell me how you feel. You will feel a great deal of muscle activity there, a lot of fatigue and it's incredible. So make sure you're using isometrics almost as your first line until it really becomes an excellent, excellent, strong, pain free contraction. Then you know you're ready to move to the next level.

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