Benefits of Strength Program for Middle aged men and women

The Benefits of a Strength Program for Middle Aged Men and Women – Including 8 Exercises!

Avoiding pain isn’t enough anymore, but what can be done? From playing with your kids to improving your golf swing, incorporating a strength program into your routine will have tremendous benefits on your life. You’ll feel better than ever and be able to go about your daily activities with ease. Be sure to try out some of the exercises, listed at the end, at home or at your local gym. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of participating in a strength program!

What are the benefits of a strength program?

Stronger bones

  • Adding stress to the bones can increase the density, which reduces the risk of osteoporosis.

Weight management

  • While you can lose, gain, or maintain weight by exercising, you can also improve your metabolism. Increasing the metabolism will help burn more calories throughout the day.

Enhanced Quality of Life

  • Strength training allows you to improve your ability to do everyday activities. It’s also a great way to prevent injuries from happening that could limit you at work, sport, or everyday life.

Chronic Condition Management

  • Conditions such as back pain, obesity, heart disease, and depression can all be managed through strength training.

Sharpen Thinking Skills

  • Regularly participating in strength training may help improve skills in older adults such as thinking and learning.

How do I get started with strength training?

  • Body weight – Try exercises without any weight or resistance, such as push ups, planks, squats, shoulder taps, or lateral lunges!

  • Resistance tubing – To add a little resistance without using weights, try a resistance band!

  • Free weights – Free weights such as dumbbells and kettlebells are great for those that can handle some weight before moving onto the weight machines.

  • Weight machines – Since there are different kinds of weight machines, please look into how to properly perform exercises on the machine to prevent injury from happening. Be sure to always have someone spotting you while using weight machines.


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How To Prevent Knee Pain When Running

How To Prevent Knee Pain When Running

How to prevent knee pain? What is the best painkiller for knee pain? How to get rid of knee pain fast? Frustrated with niggling knee pain when running, and not able to perform at your best in your chosen sport because of stiffness, tightness or discomfort in and around your knee?

It doesn’t have to be that way.

You can prevent knee pain when running – hundreds of our patients are proof of that, so this New Year, stop knee pain when running, get back to playing your best, and enjoy your workouts again!

Why Do I Have Knee Pain When Running?

Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome or Runner’s Knee is a dull pain around the front of the knee.

It may be caused by a structural defect where you have imbalances in the supporting muscles of your knee. It can also be caused by a certain way of walking or running which means your knee is out of alignment, and the force from walking or running puts too much stress on the knee joint.

Often people try to address the knee pain directly but fail to fix the root cause which could be your walking or running pattern.

One of the services you can choose at our clinics is a Free Running Evaluation, which allows you to get an expert analysis of your running pattern so you can discover how to get rid of knee pain when running and improve your performance.

Should I Run With Knee Pain?

If you have knee pain, the safest advice is to avoid running – at least until you speak to a medical professional.

We know that keeping active is more than just a way to keep fit, it’s something that you love…

But if you run or play sports with knee pain, you might be turning a minor problem that’s currently an annoying niggle into a major injury that requires surgery.

If you choose to push through the pain, it may result in a long time stuck on the treatment table, and on the sidelines – and we know that’s the last thing you want to do.


How To Prevent Knee Pain When Running_Prep Performance Center

How To Prevent Knee Pain When Running

Knee pain can be a complex issue, however here are 5 ways that help runners prevent knee pain. To find out exactly how to prevent your knee pain, our team is ready and waiting to speak to you!

Wear The Right Shoes and Insoles

Make sure your running shoes and insoles fit correctly, are supportive, and provide adequate cushioning and shock absorption. Look for shoes with extra cushioning and stability features to reduce the impact on your knees while running.

Custom orthotic insoles can be a really powerful way to reduce knee pain, as well as other issues such as foot, ankle and hip pain.

Strengthen Muscles That Support Your Knee

Strengthening the muscles around your knees can help prevent knee pain when running. Focus on strengthening your quadriceps and hip muscles, as well as your core, to prevent knee pain.

Warm Up Before Running

Make sure you warm up properly before running to prevent knee pain. Make sure to stretch your quads, hamstrings, calves, and hips before running to prevent injuries.

Avoid Running On Hard Surfaces

Running on hard surfaces such as concrete can put extra pressure and stress on your knees when running. Try to run on grass, dirt, or other softer surfaces instead.

Do Overdo It

Listen to your body and don’t push yourself too hard. Increase your running mileage slowly and give your body enough time to rest and recover.

Following these simple tips can help prevent knee pain when running and keep you running safely and comfortably.

Get Expert Help For Your Knee Pain When Running

If you’re struggling with knee pain when running, and it’s lasted more than a week, it’s becoming more frequent or painful, then our advice would be to get help from knee pain specialists who work with athletes and active people through specialist sports performance programs like ours.

At PREP Performance Center in Chicago, we are able to provide natural knee pain relief, whilst helping you get faster, fitter, and stronger when running, and playing sports.

To speak to a member of our team and find out how we can treat knee pain when you run, arrange a Free Running Evaluation.

But hurry, demand at our clinic is extremely high, so contact us today to arrange your Free Running Evaluation or call us on (773) 609-1847.

Other Free Resources To Prevent and Treat Sports Injuries

Read Our Blog – How To Prevent Sports Injuries – 5 Proven Strategies

Read Our Blog – 6 Best Exercises To Eliminate Your Knee Pain

Follow Us On Social Media – Prep Performance Center Facebook, Prep Performance Center Twitter and Prep Performance Center YouTube

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Exercises to Improve Ankle Mobility and Stability

10 Exercises to Improve Ankle Mobility and Stability

How long does it take to improve ankle mobility? What are these ankle mobility exercises physical therapy?

How common is ankle pain?

Ankle pain is very common. It’s especially for individuals that fall under one or more of the following categories:

  • Are over the age of 65.
  • Are overweight/obese.
  • Participate in sports or activities that involve jumping, lateral movements, or agility.

How can I prevent ankle pain?

  • Warm up properly to ensure muscles and soft tissues are warm and flexible to prevent injury and restore range of motion.
  • Maintain a healthy weight to reduce excess pressure on joints
  • Strengthen other muscles to support ankle mobility and reduce your risk of injury.
  • Stop if you feel pain and see a healthcare provider if pain continues as an injury can occur or worsen.

Ankle Mobility Exercises

1. CKC Dorsiflexion with Strap

2. Single Leg Balance

3. Heel Raises (Straight Leg)

4. Heel Raises (Bent Leg)

5. Toe/Heel Walks

6. Ankle Inversion Banded

7. Ankle Eversion Banded

8. Plantar flexion Banded

9. Dorsiflexion Banded

10. Ankle Pumps


Don’t let ankle pain hold you back any longer! Schedule a phone consultation with a Doctor of Physical Therapy today, and take the first step towards healing. Don’t wait, seek help and support now to manage your injury.

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5 Balance Exercises to Avoid Falling on Ice - Prep Performance Center

5 Balance Exercises to Avoid Falling on Ice

Balance Exercises | One fall can change your life, so let’s get ahead of the issue to prevent it from happening! There are many exercises to help keep you upright, but these are our selected favorites. Be sure to practice these at least once a day every day to keep you strong and balanced.

While falling at any age can cause significant damage to your body, if you are over 65 years old it’s especially important to incorporate these balance exercises into your daily routine. The intended purpose of these exercises is to improve balance, but you also will gain strength and endurance in your lower extremities. Take breaks in between sets and exercises as needed to improve your performance as well.

1. Single Leg Balance (3x30s hold/)

2. Heel/Toe Walk (x2L)

3. Sit to Stand (2×10)

4. Leg Raises (2×10/)

5. Standing Marches (2×10/)

BONUS: Challenge yourself!

6. Dynamic Forward Lunge with Twist (2×10/)

Call today or schedule your individual phone consultation with a Doctor of Physical Therapy. You may also book for an appointment today.
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Belly Breathing Improve Muscle Performance

Improve Performance with Belly Breathing

What is Belly Breathing? 

Belly Breathing is a method of breathing that trains the mind and body through stress, performance, and other ailments. Belly breathing is also referred to as diaphragmatic breathing because you use a long muscle called the diaphragm to inhale and exhale. To practice proper belly breathing look out for the rise and fall of the belly as well as deep breaths. We do this exercise to increase the maximum volume of air taken into the body. This will increase circulation as well allowing for more effective breathing.

How Do I Get Started? 

The FITT Model is a simple and organized guide to approach your exercises. FIT stands for frequency, intensity, and time. The frequency is how often you will be practicing, intensity is the level of difficulty, and time is how long you will do the exercise. Below I have made a guide for you to get started with belly breathing! 


  • 3-4 times a day


  • Beginners – Perform laying on back
  • Intermediate – Perform standing up
  • Advanced –  Perform while incorporating breathing into other physical activities, such as running or lifting weights. 


  • 5-10 min a day

How to Practice Belly Breathing:

  1. Lay on your back or sit up straight with one hand on your stomach. Make sure your shoulders and neck are relaxed
  2. Inhale through the nose, while the belly rises and fills with air (Not the chest)
  3. Exhale through the mouth for 2-3x longer than the inhale (Ex: Inhale for 2 seconds, exhale for 4 seconds)
  4. Repeat cycle for 5-10 minutes, 3-4x/day 

Youtube Video: 


What Benefits do I get from Belly Breathing?

Practicing this breathing technique will help a multitude of symptoms, such as blood pressure, heart rate, and overall respiratory function. Diaphragmatic breathing will also improve muscle performance and quality relaxation by decreasing the demand for oxygen. 

Muscle function Heart Rate Sleep
Quality Relaxation Blood Pressure Asthma, COPD
Release of Gas Waste Oxygen Demand Stress and Anxiety
Diaphragm Strength/Endurance Energy Needed to Breath Musculoskeletal Performance




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Ways to Improve Knee Extension_Prep Performance Center

Top 10 Ways to Improve Knee Extension

After ACL-R Surgery

Knee Extension – After ACL surgery, rehab can be a slow, painful process – but it doesn’t have to be!

A big part of ACL surgery rehab is improving your knee flexion (bending your knee) and knee extension (straightening your knee).

However, if you properly warm your knee up, these 10 simple steps for improving your knee extension or helping you strengthen your knee better should be easy to complete. See related article by Mayo Clinic.

Please note that all of these exercises should be approved by your orthopedic surgeon and Doctor of Physical Therapy. In order to protect your knee and the soft tissue that was repaired, you want to be approved to add these exercises.

Below you will find the secret to improving knee extension, and being able to strengthen your knee with little to no pain.

If you can follow these steps, I am confident you will meet your range of motion goals in no time and with limited to no pain along the way.

Pain Management (Knee Extension)

  • Elevate your legs for 20 mins and take your pain meds at least 20 min before


  • Ice an hour and then Wrap your knee with an Ace Wrap to minimize swelling after icing


  • Walk for 10min prior to beginning your program (bend your knee when walking)

Effleurage (Knee Extension)

  • Complete Effleurage for 3-5 min to reduce swelling
  • Gently massage your leg and pull up towards your heart

Hamstring Stretch

  • Complete Hamstring Stretch on bed 3 x 45s
  • Lie on back and use a strap to pull leg toward ceiling

Thomas Test Stretch

  • Complete Modified Thomas Test Stretch 3 x 45s
  • Lie on back and gently let surgical leg hang off edge of bed

Quad Set (Knee Extension)

  • Complete Quad Set 2 x 10 5s hold (Use Towel Roll for Cues)
  • Lie on your back, towel behind knee, squeeze quad and straighten leg

Straight leg Raise

  • Complete Straight Leg Raise 3 x 10
  • Lie on your back, Quad Set into towel, then raise leg (toes to nose)

Prone Quad Set

  • Complete Prone Quad Set  2 x 10 (5s hold)
  • Lie on your belly, toes pointing down, squeeze quad and straighten knee to ceiling

Prone Knee Hang (Knee Extension)

  • Complete Prone Knee Hang 3 x 1min Adding a minute as tolerated
  • Lie on your belly with your knee and calf hanging off the bed

Read More Article: 11 Steps To Improve Knee Flexion After ACL Surgery

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