Physical Therapy Weight Lifting Combination Works

Claude Hillel
Claude Hillel
Physical Therapy Weight Lifting Combination Works

Physical therapy weight lifting is a combination that works, and more and more physical therapists are beginning to see that. Traditionally, physical therapy has been all about treating and preventing injuries with stretching, foam rolling, mobility drills, and other methods. However, many physical therapists are discovering now more than ever the power of incorporating weight lifting into their clients' sessions to both help existing injuries and prevent future ones.

As the premier physical therapy gym in NYC, we think it's important to shine a light on physical therapy weight lifting and its benefits to help both our therapists and their patients.

Why Physical Therapy Weight Lifting Works

We usually place physical therapy and personal training into separate camps. That's because generally, they are. Personal trainers are primarily focused on helping clients reach their fitness goals whether they'll be bulking, cutting, endurance training, CrossFit training, and the like. Whereas, physical therapists primarily focus on the treatment and prevention of injuries while participating in other physical activities or after accidents.

However, they both overlap to a certain extent. For example, personal trainers really push the importance of stretching, warming up, mobility exercises, etc. to prepare for rigorous training to avoid injury. Likewise, physical therapists often tell clients that it's important to strengthen their bodies to help rectify injuries and avoid future injuries. Now, many physical therapists are taking that overlap a step further and incorporating weight lifting into their sessions, and for good reason. It works.

Strength Promotes Stability

One of the major components of physical therapy is stability. If you consider most injuries, they're either the result of instability or promote instability. One of the best ways to promote stability is to increase muscle strength. After all, they basically hold the human body together. One of the best ways to promote muscle strength is weight lifting.

Stability Promotes Safety

A stable body is a body that is more prepared for anything. From lifting weights to golfing or even simply bending over, a stable body has the ability to move with less chance of injury. Resistance training strengthens all of the muscles in the body, which leads to better stability because the muscles can do more when called upon. This increases performance, but it also increases safety, even in the case of something as simple as taking a bad step and slipping. When the muscles are strong, that slip can simply be uncomfortable rather than injurious.

Stability Promotes Healing

Perhaps the most popular reason that physical therapy weight lifting has grown in popularity is that the stability offered by resistance training helps promote healing. Our muscles both move and support our joints. So stronger muscles offer stronger support. Take a knee injury, for example. Resistance training strengthens the leg muscles which in turn offers more support to the knee. The same holds true for injuries to other parts of the body, as well.

How to Incorporate Physical Therapy Weight Lifting

There are two ways to incorporate physical therapy weight lifting into sessions - preventative and corrective. The preventative approach generally focuses on whole-body strength, incorporating the classic compound movements and showing clients how to use them correctly. For example, deadlifts are an excellent whole-body exercise that strengthens the entire posterior chain, which helps improve both posture and stability. A physical therapy session might incorporate moderate deadlifts to improve whole-body stability.

The corrective approach involves resistance training to help prevent further injury to an area. Let's refer back to the knee injury. Perhaps the injury was caused by instability. Once the knee has healed, addressing that instability will be key to preventing further injury. A physical therapist might have the client do something like leg presses to strengthen the leg muscles in a safe manner. Squats would not be the exercise of choice for knee instability. These are just two examples of how incorporating weight lifting helps physical therapists.

Make Physical Therapy Weight Lifting Work for Your Clients

Physical therapy weight lifting is highly beneficial to clients, but only if you have the right equipment. For example, some clients might do well with free weights, while other clients who are working in a rehab capacity would do better with machines that help keep their joints stable. Whatever the approach, you'll need the right equipment to incorporate resistance training into your sessions.

At SKYHEALTH, we have a wide variety of free weights and machines, along with traditional physical therapy gear like foam rollers, bands, and even deep tissue modalities. As a NYC physical therapy gym founded by a physical therapist for physical therapists, we understand the importance of having the right tools at your disposal. Stop by and take a look at our gym. We'd love to give you a tour and help you decide if we're the right place for you to practice your physical therapy.