Home Exercise Tips Part 3


Implement a proper warm up and cool-down routine into your workout. A warm up will gradually prep your cardiovascular system and increase blood flow to your muscle for the coming high intensity work of your exercise. An example of a warm up could be an easy jog on the spot for 5-10 minutes, including variations of high knees and butt-kicks or even a light cycle on a stationary bike if you have one. A cooldown is a continuation of exercise but done at a reduced intensity and/or pace, the cooldown is usually 5 minutes in duration and includes aerobic movements that help reduce heart rate at an appropriate rate. A cooldown helps regulate your blood flow after an intense workout gradually reducing blood pressure and heart rate back to baseline levels.


Don’t workout a room/garage with poor lighting and low energy. Keep yourself motivated to get to work and get your exercise in by investing in better lighting using bright white light bulbs, decorations, painting the walls and making the space yours. It can sometimes be difficult to stay motivated without the gym to go to so make your space special. Lighting is especially important to allow yourself to see your movement clearly in a mirror especially if your workout space doesn’t have mirrors.  

Home Exercise Tips Part 2

DO:  Clear the space around you to avoid injuries!

  Ensure that any clutter or non-workout related items are moved away to storage bins or out of sight during an exercise class. Some workout spaces may be small in some situations therefore every square inch is valuable. It is very easy to be focused on the exercise at hand and forget your environment during a HIIT workout or plyometric movement. These high intensity workouts involve quick changes in direction that may lead to stepping on an object that can lead to ankle sprains, muscle strains, etc., be sure to clear the space around you! Make sure any wires or expensive technology (like your laptop) are clear of the exercise space to avoid anything getting damaged.

DON’T: Don’t forget to check you are wearing proper footwear and signs of wear and tear! 

The amount of shock absorption and arch support (if needed) a shoe provides will greatly impact the workout. 

By: Tyler Ottolino, Resident Physiotherapist

Home Exercise Tips-Part 1

We have seen an increase of home work out related injuries in the clinic all related to home exercise work out stations, over the next few weeks- we will include our top do’s and don’t when exercising at home!


Workout in front of a mirror: A mirror can provide visual feedback that is important to allow yourself to self-monitor your form during home workouts. Without the usual presence of a mirror inside the gym it is easy to perform exercises with improper form. Your body quickly finds a way to compensate when your muscles start to fatigue, not correcting these compensatory movements can often be the source of overuse or chronic injuries.


Don’t workout on hard surfaces such as cement. Hard cement floors don’t absorb the impact of your body very well when participating in plyometric exercises involving jumping, pushing off, and landing. Concrete floors are hard, and not shock-absorbent thus the force from during quick cutting and jumping movements during plyometric workouts can travel back from the hard surface up your feet and legs leading to injuries like shin pain, knee, foot, and even low back pain. Interlocking foam pads used for exercise are often a great option to buy if cement floors are your only space to exercise.


By: Tyler Ottonino, Resident Physiotherapist

How to Incorporate Stretching into Your Everyday Life

You’ve probably heard about how important stretching is – but why? Daily stretching contributes to decreasing pain and muscle soreness, helps to improve posture and reduces risk of injury. It increases your blood flow which will improve your alertness and energy levels. It is also a great addition to any self-care routine as it aids in reducing stress and associated muscle tension while allowing you to feel more connected to your body.
One of the main reasons people neglect to stretch is because they feel they simply do not have the time in their day. Our day-to-day routines can become so overwhelmed with various tasks and responsibilities that adding something extra seems impossible. But…what if there was a way you could gain all the benefits of stretching without sacrificing more of your time? The answer is to combine simple, easy stretches into your everyday tasks!

Waking Up in the Morning
Rise and shine! First thing in the morning is a perfect time to ease your body into your day with a few upper body stretches. You can try to link your fingers and reach up overhead towards the ceiling, and then reach side to side. This can be done lying down or sitting up. Not only does this warm up the joints in your arms, but you will feel a nice release through your upper back in the muscles that may have stiffened up overnight.

On Your Daily Coffee Run
Is that line-up in the drive-thru at your local coffee shop feeling a bit longer than usual? Take this time to stretch out your neck. Place one hand behind your back and side bend your neck towards the opposite shoulder until you feel a nice stretch in the neck muscles. Switch hands and bend your neck towards the other side. Repeat a few times on each side to feel the tightness and stress melt away. You can also try bringing both arms behind your back, squeeze your shoulder blades together and open up chest towards the sky. This will relax your chest muscles and help improve posture.

During Working Hours
Do you ever feel that you’ve been sitting for so long at your desk that everything is tightening up? Try this! Sit at the edge of your chair. Place the outside of one ankle onto the top of your opposite knee. Rest your hands on your legs and gently lean forward at your hips, keeping your back in a neutral position. You should feel a nice release in your hip muscles. Repeat on the other leg and loosen up those glutes! If you do a lot of typing in your day, your hands and forearms are bound to tighten up. Bring one arm out in front of you, and using your other hand, apply a downward pressure to the wrist. This is great to relax your forearm muscles.

Cooking in the Kitchen
Preparing meals throughout your day is an excellent chance to mix in some leg stretches. While using your kitchen counter for support, shift your weight onto one leg and using the hand on the opposite side of the body, lift your other ankle off the floor and pull up towards your buttock. This is great to help with tension in the front of the thighs. You can also try standing with your feet hip-width apart, bending forward and reaching down towards your toes to relax the muscles in the back of the legs.

Evening Walks
Are you someone who enjoys a nighttime stroll through your neighbourhood to wind down after a busy day? While you’re walking, bring one arm out in front of you, use your opposite hand to pull your arm across your body and hold to stretch out through your shoulders. If you come across a wall, tree or fence, take this opportunity to stand with one foot slightly in front of the other, place your hands on the supporting surface and keep your heel of your back foot flat to the ground while you begin to lean in towards your hands. You should feel a gentle stretch in your calf. Switch legs and repeat.

Give some of these stretches a try on a daily basis and watch as your body begins to relax and your flexibility improves. You only get one body – do your best to treat it right!

Always consult with your physician or other health care professional before beginning this or a new exercise program to determine if it is the right fit for your needs.

By: Kelly Giroux, Physiotherapy Resident


No weights? No problem!

Home workouts should include a focus on functional movements as a basis for your exercises to give you great results and maintain your mobility and functional strength even if you are not able to go to the gym.  

Some examples of functional movements include:  

  • pushing, pulling, hinging, squatting, lunging, and rotation.  

The addition of these movements will help maintain:  

  • hip mobility, low back range of motion, strengthen your core and hip musculature.  

These gains in joint mobility and muscular strengthening can help improve some of your aches and pain related to prolonged sitting during school, or work hours. Functional training incorporates full body resistance training that will help us continue to walk, run or sit pain-free.  

Body weight exercises can be used effectively to train your core/abdominal muscles as well through the use of high planks, elbow planks, side-planks, mountain climbers, and leg raises; engaging the deep core muscles that provide stability and support for your spine during daily tasks involving bending in multiple directions through the back. 

Plyometric movements including jump squats, skater lunges, alternating split squats all provide quick, high intensity movements that can get a sweat on while improving your athletic explosiveness and functional squat and low body strength. 

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is a great way to make the best of your home workouts, bouts of one minute working at a high intensity separated by 30 second interval of light intensity work for a period of 30-40 minutes is a common approach to (HIIT) and can benefit your cardiovascular system while burning calories in a shorter time period when you may need to squeeze in a quick workout.  

Static hold positions that are commonly used during yoga practice can provide engaging ways to build your muscular endurance and overall mobility when holding active poses in end-range positions. Pigeon pose, Down-ward facing dog, Warriors pose, Low and High boat pose are all great examples of how yoga can provide challenging workout without the use of weights and expensive equipment at home.

Always consult with your physician or other health care professional before beginning this or a new exercise program to determine if it is the right fit for your needs.


By: Tyler Ottolino, Physiotherapy Resident




Top Tips for Plantar Fasciitis

• Morning stretch: most patients experience pain in the morning during the first few steps. Research has shown strong evidence in the importance of stretching as a treatment strategy. A slow and long stretch, around 30-45 seconds is better than the usual 10-second stretch in the gym. Top two stretches for plantar fasciitis are calf stretch and plantar fascia stretch. You can also release your plantar fascia by rolling on a tennis ball or a frozen water bottle.

• Ice: some patients have pain after walking for a prolonged period of time, for example, after wearing heavy work shoes walking all day at work. Ice on the localized painful area for 5-10 minuses should be able to temporarily reduce the pain.



• Shoe wear: it is recommended to wear supportive shoes with a proper arch support/orthotics if appropriate.

• Strengthening: strengthening of the lower extremity is also very important

as it takes off the load on your foot/plantar fascia. Hip, knee and foot intrinsic strengthening exercises have also been shown to be effective. For example, bridging exercises by lying on your back and push your gluteal muscles up. A toe curl exercise with a towel is a good exercise to start training the muscles inside your foot.

By: Janet Yang P.T.


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Wii Fit for Balance & Proprioception training

A demonstration and explanation of how the Wii Fit is used in the clinic to retrain balance and proprioception. A fun and innovative approach to waking up your neuro-paths, ensuring that your brain is successfully receiving feedback from your lower extremities about where your centre of gravity is in relation to the rest of your body, so that it can execute the correct motor response.

Contact us today for a no obligation 15 minute meet and greet! 

The importance of ankle strengthening after injury

An ankle injury often results in pain and discomfort, which is why most patients seek treatment from a registered physiotherapist. However, after the phase of swelling and pain has reduced, patients often stop participating in their rehabilitation program.
It is important that the strengthening phase is continued after pain
reduction to restore ankle balance, strength and coordination to prevent chronic ankle instability. Mattacola and Dwyer (2002) and Ha, Han and Sung (2018) have concluded that ankle joint strengthening exercises has been shown to improve the proprioceptive sense* of the ankle. Hence, affecting the improvement in ankle balance ability. If you have recently sustained an ankle injury or have chronic ankle issues, please do not hesitate to have it examined by a registered physiotherapist so that an individualized rehabilitation program can be implemented.

Mattacola CG & Dwyer MK. Rehabilitation of the Ankle After Acute Sprain
or Chronic Instability, Journal of Athletic Training (2002) Oct-Dec; 37(4):
Ha SY, Han JH & Sung YH. Effect of Ankle Strengthening Exercise
Program on an Unstable Supporting Surface on Proprioception and
Balance in Adults with Functional Ankle Instability, journal of Exercise
Rehabilitation (2018) Apr; 14(2): 301–305.


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