What is it?
Get Moving PLUS is not an exercise library for “fitness” purposes per say, instead, It’s an exercise library dedicated to promoting and improving the mobility and strength of joints and muscles that are affected by arthritis and other musculoskeletal conditions. Many of the mobility exercises included are low risk of injury and are easy to perform, though some are a little complex. For example, some require a resistance band, towel or other equipment, other exercises are self-assisted (using your hands to create force or a block, or to promote a specific direction of movement), while some require a certain range of motion (ROM), balance and/or coordination ability.
Unlike the Get Moving! Series, there are no “fitness” profiling levels, which means that anyone at age can perform the exercises give their circumstance and ability to. These exercises are not to get you “fit” but to get your joint “fit” in a specific context (i.e., pre and/or post rehabilitation settings, severe arthritis and/or pain). Exercises are grouped by joint and mobility attribute with a range of regressed and progressed exercises that can be used for a variety of purposes.
Please note: we highly recommend that the use of this resource is a collaborative one, that is, you work with your allied healthcare professional for exercise recommendation and assistance.
Why was it created?
Get Moving PLUS was created out of both demand from consumers wanting exercises for specific joints and the need for freely available, high quality joint specific mobility exercises. Get Moving PLUS may be used to compliment treatment you are receiving from a Physiotherapist, Exercise Physiologist or Myotherapist for either prehabilitation or rehabilitation from a joint replacement (or other) surgery, chronic pain and/or restricted movement in the context of arthritis.
Scroll down for links to the specific joint exercises!
Get Moving! PLUS in Focus
Key Focus 1: Mobility
Broadly speaking, the term mobility is an umbrella term used to describe the act of stretching, moving and strengthening a variety of tissues that surround the joint and the joint itself. Mobility is an indication of how well and efficiently we move. Flexibility, strength, coordination, and body awareness are all attributes of mobility. Thus, mobility of a joint can be promoted a number of different ways e.g., by “traditional” stretches (active static and dynamic stretches or movements), passive stretches or mobilisations (where a musculoskeletal therapist does the movement for you), balance and strengthening exercises. For the purpose of categorising the below exercises, “mobility” has been used to indicate the exercises targeted at mobilising the joint.
Benefits of Mobility
Regularly performing and practicing mobility attributes is key to maintaining and promoting the health of joints, regardless of their condition. In particular, mobility exercises are significantly important for those with arthritic conditions (especially if they have loss of motion), those who may be waiting for a joint replacement (or anything similar), and for those who have undergone a joint replacement or some other kind orthopaedic surgery to treat arthritis or other musculoskeletal condition. Movement at this point is critical; exercise engagement post-surgery can predict the outcome of quality and quantity of joint ROM.
- Facilitate range of motion and technique
- Help improve and maintain joint health and function
- Can be used as a warm-up routine or an active recovery exercise
- May help reduce pain and feelings of stiffness or discomfort
- Potentially reduce future injury
Key Focus 2: Rehabilitation
When you have knee or hip replacement surgery, your doctor will suggest you do physical ‘rehab’ afterward. Once discharged from hospital, you will likely see a physiotherapist on a regular basis to receive rehab treatment as well as do exercises on your own at home. Your home exercise program will include activities to help reduce swelling and increase the ROM and strength in the muscles around your new joint. This will help you move easier and get back to your normal activities quicker. The Get Moving PLUS series includes some exercises that can be used in this capacity. We highly recommend you consult with your physiotherapist to help choose those exercises that are appropriate your individual circumstance and stage of post-surgery rehab.
Benefits of Rehab
- Restore normal movement in your joint
- Build up strength in the joint and surrounding muscles
- Help to ease pain and swelling
- Let you get back to your normal activities
- Help with circulation, particularly right after surgery, so you don’t have problems with blood clots
Rehabilitation Once You Get Home
You should aim to exercise 20-30 minutes, two or three times every day – or as much as your doctor/healthcare professional suggests. Walking several times a day may also help. Start with only 5 minutes, and work your way up to 20-30 minutes, several times a day. Whether you work with a therapist or on your own, stay as active as possible for your overall health.
Pre-operative rehabilitation is exercise-based intervention prescribed before undergoing surgery. It is also known as ‘prehabilitation’ or ‘prehab’. Prehab may help you to recover more quickly from the surgery, have a positive effect on pain pre and post-surgery, and improve postoperative function thus potentially resulting in faster return to work time. It is often used before hip and knee joint replacements and can be performed independently or under physiotherapy supervision. A pre-operative exercise program should consist of both strength/resistance training and cardiovascular (cardio) components. The Get Moving PLUS series includes exercises that can be used in a prehab context, although, if you require more challenging exercises then check out the Get Moving Exercise library.
Tips on How to Perform Mobility Exercises
- Try avoiding moving too quickly in and out movements.
- Gently and with control, move in and out of any movement or stretch until it feels good for you.
- If an angle, oscillation or arc of movement causes extreme pain or discomfort, reduce it or change the angle slightly.
- If holding a stretch or stationary (isometric) strength position, hold for 15-30sec and perform 3-5 times or otherwise as prescribed. When you first start out, you may find you can only hold a position for 1 or 5 seconds before you need to release it. That’s ok. Slowly and progressively build the time you can stay in one position. Some exercises can be held for much longer, however the guidelines provided here are extremely conservative so they can be generalised to all exercises. Please clarify with your Physiotherapist or Exercise Physiologist about time, sets and repetition (rep) parameters.
- When performing a mobility exercise, try performing 2-3 sets of 10-15 reps or as otherwise prescribed. Initially, you may find you can only perform one set or only 5 repetitions and that’s ok. Slowly and progressively build the number of sets and reps.
- For exercises where the position is held still (e.g., a stretch or strength), try performing 2-3 sets of 5sec holds, then 10sec, 20sec, 30sec and so on has you progressively increase time held and/or increase the set range, or as prescribed.
- When moving “in” and “out” of a joint range (e.g., self-assisted knee flexion or ankle dorsiflexion) do this with control and, slowly and equal speed. Build up to perform 2-3 sets of 10-15 reps or as otherwise prescribed.
- Keep a normal steady breath throughout the exercises. Try not to hold your breath excessively throughout the exercises.
- When rehabilitating from a recent surgery (e.g. total hip or knee replacement, anterior cruciate ligament replacement, shoulder reconstruction, other joint/tissue replacement, or arthroscopy), pain and discomfort in or around a joint is not uncommon during movement and exercise. You can still exercise, however, when moving through an exercise, slow or stop at the point of initial pain or discomfort (unless told otherwise). The pain will likely reduce with the number of repetitions performed and/or when you move out of a certain position adopted to perform an exercise. Pain will also reduce over time as you heal.
Important- your doctor/surgeon or physiotherapist may not want you rotating or moving a recently reconstruction joint in a certain direction or degree and with force/resistance. If you are unsure about what mobility exercises to do and how to perform them safely, please do not attempt the included exercises and ask for professional guidance first.
First up is the HIP joint! Click the image below to go to the dedicated page.
Watch this space for other joint video series coming soon including knee & ankle, spine, shoulder and hand.