One of my clients has a myriad of back problems including herniated discs, spondylolisthesis, low back pain, sciatica, etc. I have been gradually been helping the client to increase hip mobility and back strength to the point where performing certain activities is less painful, but the ultimate goal is to alleviate the pain all together if possible. The client is able to plank for 1 min 30 sec without issue, so I’ve been adding knee tucks to the plank recently, which the client claims is uncomfortable, but doable. I’ve also been working on increasing overall body strength with the use of the weight machine in the client’s home (BodyCraft GL Home Gym). My question is, how can I keep the program from getting stale, while also progressing the client? I like to use the equipment clients have purchased, but there’s only so many things you can do over and over and over again, without the client getting bored (especially when they admit that they only exercise out of necessity, not for enjoymeu)! Any ideas are welcome and appreciated! Side note: the client is also a recreational golfer and would like to incorporate exercises to improve back/hip mobility for that as well.
Again and again, I find that no one thinks to incorporate aquatic exercise into clients’ workout program design. Aquatic exercise is adaptable for all levels of fitness. The possible exercises are virtually limitless. The amount of resistance is easily increased/decreased at will. It is used by professional athletes to physical therapists.
I have made the intensity difficult enough to challenge football and hockey players. And have used aquatic exercise to help clients regain ROM and stability. The benefits go beyond all other forms of exercise as it is one of the most therapuetic activities available due to the action of the water moving over the tissues.
For back issues and sciatica, aquatic exercise allows clients to engage muscles under load while not loading the spine and joints along the line of gravity (muscle contratctions without nerve compression). The aquatic environment will allow greater ROM as well.