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Practical Advice from a Physical Therapist on Exercising the Lower Body

When it comes to exercising the lower body it is extremely important to use the proper exercise methods to prevent back injury and maximize mobility

(August 29, 2011) MALDEN, MA — One of the leading causes of injury and illness is a sedentary lifestyle. Most people give up on an exercise routine, because they don’t have time, or are too busy. However, following an effective fitness routine does not have to take a lot of time, and can greatly increase health. “It is important to have flexibility, core strength and endurance,” says Dr. Kevin McGovern, Founder of McGovern Physical Therapy Associates and the Game 7 Sports Training TM. “If someone has good cardio, flexibility, strength, and a decent weight, they are going to be healthy for a while.”

Dr. McGovern’s practice has been helping people improve their health by training in an innovative and scientific manner which decreases chances of injury or setbacks.  The physical therapy professionals at McGovern Physical Therapy Associates and Game 7 help individuals achieve their goals by guiding them on proper exercise habits.

Dr. McGovern reveals his tips on exercising the lower body.

Never Skip a Warm Up and Stretching Regimen

Warm up and stretching are two different concepts with each serving different functions.  Warm up involves a few minutes of low impact aerobic activity to help stimulate the muscles and get the blood flowing and prepare the body for exercise.  Stretching the appropriate muscle groups prepares the muscles for exercise and prevents injury during the workout session as well as future injury.  Properly warming up and stretching reduces risk and helps you to get the most out of the workout.

Proper Form is Key

Using proper form is important when performing exercises for the lower body since the risk of back injury is greater such as performing squats.  If you are not sure how to use proper form it is worth it to seek the advice of a professional that can help you get the most out of the regimen.

Begin with Light Weights and High Reps

When working the muscles of the lower body it is important to begin with light weights and high reps before increasing the weight and the intensity. This helps to get the blood flowing to the specific muscles you want to work. Most people try to save time by jumping in and doing fewer reps with more weight which places them on the road to injury.

The Three Phases

There are three different phases for doing reps with weights which include the concentric, eccentric, and isometric phases.  The concentric phase is the actual lifting of the weight, the eccentric phase is when the muscle is extended, and the isometric phase is what is known as the “burn” phase where you hold the position for a few seconds before lowering the weight.

Aerobic Training and the Lower Body

Aerobic activity such as running or walking that increases the heart rate is recommended for at least four times a week.  Since this type of activity involves the lower body it is important to warm up and stretch as well as start out slowly before picking up the pace.  It is also important to keep aerobic activity low impact and use high quality exercise shoes that are designed for this type of activity.

See a Professional

Dr. McGovern also recommends for individuals that are having difficulty getting started with a program or are unsure how to exercise properly, it is important to see a professional who can create a personalized plan and provide the necessary guidance.  In most states, including Massachusetts, people can visit a physical therapist directly to seek a personalized health evaluation.  This is called Direct Access.

About Dr. Kevin McGovern

Dr. McGovern is the founder 3 growing companies:

• McGovern Physical Therapy Associates, one of the fastest-growing privately-owned companies in the U.S. recognized by Inc. Magazine;
• Game 7 Sports Training TM, a physical-therapy-designed strength and conditioning company; and
• Velocity Rx, a physical-therapy designed rehabilitation & instruction program for athletes.

Dr. McGovern is also the inventor of the McGovern Movement Score (MMS), which measures the quality of basic human movements and can score how well one moves to help predict possible future injury.

Dr. McGovern has been analyzing the biomechanics of golfers and baseball pitchers for over 15 years in order to improve athletic results.  As a sports enthusiast and athlete himself, his passion is helping people get in the best possible shape for a healthier, happier life.  Visit www.mcgovernpt.com.

About McGovern Physical Therapy Associates:

Combining innovation, experience and excellence, McGovern Physical Therapy Associates has been a leading provider of outpatient physical therapy care for over 10 years, providing customized treatment programs designed to fit each patient’s needs in an optimal healthcare environment where true patient recovery exists.

McGovern Physical Therapy Associates is a 2010 recipient of the Inc. Magazine 5000, a list of the 5000 top growing companies, and was voted Best Physical Therapy Practice by ADVANCE magazine. Visit them at www.mcgovernpt.com.

About Game 7 Sports Training TM:

Founded by McGovern Physical Therapy Associates, Game 7 Sports TrainingTM is a physical-therapy-designed fitness center with programs customized for individual needs. Through an innovative and scientific manner, Game 7 is an effective method for preventative-injury care and maintaining overall optimum health for any fitness or age level.  Visit www.game7sportstraining.com.

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