How We Blend Physical Therapy And Strength Training

When considering traditional Physical Therapy, many active adults in Charlotte often perceive it as too basic for their needs or think they don’t need it. Consequently, they opt to go run on their own, take the latest fitness class, or work through a strength routine they sourced from the internet. While these choices are definately viable, pain and injuries tend to arise quite often! The last thing you want is to give up your active lifestyle and the activities you love.

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This is where the blend of Physical Therapy and Strength training comes into play.

At The Charlotte Athlete, we’ve developed a groundbreaking service that combines Physical Therapy and personal training. Imagine having an expert in the intricacies of the human body (a PT undergoes over 7 years of specialized education!) overseeing your overall health, wellness, and fitness routine. They not only assist in alleviating your pain when injured but also ensure that you exercise and load your body correctly during your workouts.

Whether you’re currently nursing an injury or seeking to elevate your existing exercise regimen, having a Physical Therapist supervising your workout routine is one of the finest options available. As Physical Therapists venture into the fitness realm, they emerge as the most qualified professionals for all your injury prevention needs, strength objectives, and overall well-being.

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Why opt for a Physical Therapist for training?

Simply put, no one is better qualified to guide you through a workout than a Performance Physical Therapist. While there are countless exceptional personal trainers out there, a Physical Therapist has acquired years of focused education on the human body, its movement, rehabilitation of injured joints and muscles, and the strategies for building strength. This goes far beyond the knowledge of an inspiring, yet less experienced, fitness professional with only an online course under their belt.

The capability of a Physical Therapist to conduct the most comprehensive evaluation possible to determine the most suitable exercises for your body is invaluable. While generic fitness evaluation tools suffice, they often fail to provide precise insights into your movement, training, and workout requirements. At The Charlotte Athlete, our Physical Therapists utilize a joint-by-joint evaluation system that offers a clear understanding of tight joints, areas needing strength development, and motion segments requiring enhanced flexibility.

This evaluation expertise seamlessly translates into training. Having the specific knowledge and experience to analyze an individual’s form and comprehend how certain movements might be off and potentially lead to injuries is crucial during a workout. Having a trained PT to supervise your squat pattern, deadlift technique, and kettlebell grip is vital to ensure a safe workout without risking injuries.

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What does a Physical Therapy x Strength Session entail?

It all begins with assessing how you’re feeling. Based on this, we determine whether you require Physical Therapy treatment to alleviate any discomfort, or if you’re ready to hit the gym and break a sweat. For those grappling with an injury or discomfort, our approach typically involves a three-step process: addressing the pain, resolving the root cause, and eventually strengthening you beyond your previous capacity. This might involve sessions initially focusing more on-table work, including manual therapy, dry needling, and mobility exercises. Once your pain levels subside, we shift the focus to building your strength in the gym.

On the flip side, if you’re an active adult with occasional joint tightness but are generally pain-free, it’s time to get moving! As always, we begin with a thorough evaluation to determine which exercises to prioritize, where to enhance mobility, and which areas need to strengthen. We’ll also conduct a comprehensive goals interview. Armed with this information, we craft a workout program that is both safe and effective, tailored to help you achieve your wellness objectives.

All our sessions are conducted one-on-one, lasting 60 minutes with your dedicated Physical Therapist. The bond you develop is priceless and is one of the primary reasons for the success of our approach. Instead of juggling between different PTs, trainers, or class instructors, you have someone by your side who understands you as an individual, available to troubleshoot any muscle tightness or issues that arise from pushing yourself too hard.

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How does this differ from Personal Training?

The key contrast between a Personal Trainer and a Physical Therapist lies in their scope of practice. In North Carolina, Personal Trainers aren’t permitted to evaluate or physically manipulate their clients. This ability is precisely what sets a Physical Therapist apart. Our strength clients might occasionally need a quick warm-up or have some muscle tightness, and this is where our hands-on therapy comes into play. A little manual therapy focused on a tight hip or an achy shoulder can make all the difference between a productive workout and one that leaves you feeling worse than when you arrived.

Furthermore, a Physical Therapist’s capacity to seamlessly blend injury prevention with strength training is a pivotal factor differentiating our service. Leveraging insights from the evaluation, we incorporate specific mobility drills and exercises into the strength program, maximizing its effectiveness. For instance, if an evaluation reveals tightness in the right hip’s internal rotation, a set might include the following:

Exercise #1 Corrective – Hip Internal rotation activation with a band

Exercise #2 Upper Body – 2 Arm DB Press in split jerk position

Exercise #3 Lower Body – Glute focused heavy sled push

Exercise #4 Core – Anti Rotation Press

Incorporating the first exercise can make the difference between experiencing discomfort in the hip or leaving the workout feeling like pro athlete! It also sets the stage for a successful lower body exercise by ensuring the relevant muscles are activated and ready before you dive into the workout.

Physical Therapy and strength training serve as the perfect complement to an active lifestyle. For individuals passionate about running, having a Physical Therapist oversee a workout once or twice a week is crucial in ensuring you can continue running without setbacks. Ultimately, our aim is to enable you to engage in the activities you love without limitations.

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Strength training with a Physical Therapist is the optimal approach to enhance your strength, remain free from pain, and pursue your passions indefinitely.

Even in the conventional sense, the role of a Physical Therapist is to bolster and strengthen individuals who are injured or weak. This is precisely what everyone seeks in their strength program and overall fitness regimen. Our clients visit us for “Physical Therapy” sessions two or three times a week. They come to address their injuries, work out, and grow stronger, but they stay for the strong connection they build with their PT.

It all begins with the evaluation. Without it, you’d essentially be guessing your way through your fitness routine, uncertain of which mobility exercises are best suited for you.

If you’re ready to embark on this transformative journey, schedule a FREE 15-minute phone call with us. We can delve deeper into your current fitness routine, your goals, and the strategic steps required to realize your objectives. Or if the information shared above piqued your interest and you crave more insight into the fusion of Personal Training and Physical Therapy, let’s chat about it. We’re eagerly looking forward to hearing from you!

Dr. Andrew

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