Strengthening the hip muscles
After one week of exercise, there is a significant improvement in my lower back. The first thing I felt being noticeably different was my spine mobility. On the third day after my physio session, I found my lateral glides on each side balanced, and the movement became easier. Stabilization side plank and bird dog exercise together strengthened my muscle and cued the brain connection to these areas. I could barely perform bird dog exercise last week, it was especially hard to keep the massage ball on my back. It became easier after I replaced it with a foam roller, and I made the first few days of exercise happen. On the fifth day, bird dog became effortless for me to perform. So again, doing the daily tasks is essential to make the most out of a physio session.
Today we focused on strengthening my hip muscles. My outer hips are relatively weak, as the result balance has been an Achilles heel for me as a fencer. It’s hard for me to maintain torso stability after my attack lunge, which makes me vulnerable to an opponent's counterattack with my body wavering and weapon hand searching for balance. Jayde also suggested that I tend to use my lower back to compensate for the outer hips, and it could increase my chance of getting injured.
Before we started therapeutic exercises of the day, Jayde reassessed my low back movement to measure any change and performed manual therapy, which made my low back movement feel easier afterwards. My upper back felt a bit tight over the week, so she also introduced me to thoracic rotation with deep breathing, an exercise to help me relax the muscles and increase my upper back movement.
Physiotherapy sessions at Westcoast SCI are highly individualized for each client. Jayde put me up for a challenge of my core and hip stability. It was way harder than I thought to stay balanced, and my hip instantly felt tired after this set of exercises.
After that Jayde taught me other stability exercises to work on my hips and core muscles, as well as my posture since I need to keep a neutral spine while doing these. The alternatives with a band, weight, and on a mat will allow me to exercise at home or at a gym, alone or with support.