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One simple exercise! Plym Physio’s New Year Body MOT

In our busy, hectic, world, often our niggles or stiffness goes unnoticed until they start to interfere with our day to day lives. But what if there was one simple exercise you could do each day that would help relieve or even help prevent this from happening? An exercise that would take only a few minutes of your day, that you can do almost anywhere, and benefit from!

At Plym Physio in Plympton, our physio Nicola has put together a series of ‘one simple exercises’ for 6 major areas of the body we tend to ignore. Try them out, and if you are struggling with any, keep doing it daily. If you find you are still having problems, come and see us for an appointment so we can ‘help you help yourself’!

From head to toes, here are the exercises for you to try, one a day!

1) Neck
A great exercise for neck stiffness is rotation. Something you may find yourself doing subconsciously when your neck is sore. Rotation is a movement we lose – sometimes without even noticing. However it is crucial for driving and keeping our joints in our neck healthy. Start slowly, keep eyes focussed and as you get used to the movement, try to go further. Nicola demonstrates this movement in the video below (click the image to open the video in a separate window).




2) Shoulder
This exercise is great for strength but can also help with mobility of the shoulder. It fires us the rotator cuff and asks the joint to move through quite a large range of movement. It should generally be pain free. You can start with no weight or a low weight and build it up to 1-2kgs. Again, start slowly and concentrate on your fist grip of the weights if you are using them. Nicola demonstrates this movement in the video below (click the image to open the video in a separate window).




3) Upper Back/thoracic spine
Another great exercise for stiffness, and again we are using rotation for this movement. This time we are looking at total body rotation, add in your arms for momentum. Start off slowly, particularly if you have a need to be cautious, but as it gets easier and remains painfree, build up your momentum. Nicola demonstrates this movement in the video below (click the image to open the video in a separate window).




4) Lower Back – Stiffness
We have two exercises for the lower back. An area where many people experience pain. The first is for stiffness and is very easy to do pretty much anywhere; the car, sitting in a chair, at work etc. Do it whilst you are sitting down, and just before you get up and move. It loosens the joint at the base of the spine and asks all your muscles to create this movement, as demonstrated by Nicola in the video below (click the image to open the video in a separate window).




5) Lower Back – Weakness
This exercise you can do whether sitting or standing. Make yourself ‘tall’, soften your knees, relax your shoulders and keep your feet firmly on the floor. Gently press your hands either together, on a desk, on your lap, your knees, or even your steering wheel. Try to remember to breathe at the same time. You should feel your abdominals switching on. Its a great exercise for starting to get ‘automatic’ support of your spine.




6) Knees
As knees get a bit dodgy we tend to start avoiding using them, which is almost the worst thing you could do! They are designed to bend and move our bodies up and down. So in this exercise, we are going to use our knees for this primary function, but start slowly and gently, keep ‘tall’ and softly bend. As you get better increase the depth of the squat. Nicola demonstrates this movement in the video below (click the image to open the video in a separate window).




7) Ankle
A good all-rounder exercise, whether you have had old sprains, planter fasciitis (known as fasciopathy now) or general stiffness or weakness in your ankle. This raises your arch, moves the ankle joint and really gets the muscles that move and support our foot and ankle working. Start on 2 feet and progress to 1 for a real balance challenge. Nicola demonstrates this movement in the video below (click the image to open the video in a separate window).




So that’s it! 7 simple exercises, one for each day of the week, so you can give yourself a Body MOT and start 2018 off in the best way!

If you would like to speak to us about any of these exercises, or if you would like to book in for an appointment with a physiotherapist, call us on 01752 656340, email us on, or pop into the clinic during our opening hours, at 1 Seymour Road, Plympton.

Hppy New Year!


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