Why Exercise in All 5 Positions?
Information for People with Parkinson's
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Why Exercise on Your Stomach?
On your stomach on the floor is an excellent place to exercise. In this position, you can use the firm, flat surface of the floor to help you stretch and work on your posture. Gravity helps us stretch more easily in this position than in others, and, practicing exercises in this position is very safe while also very challenging. When working on your stomach, or in the prone position, you will feel the increased strength in your shoulders and a great stretch in your abdominals and the muscles in the front of your hips. You’ll also be strengthening back muscles—being able to lift your limbs off the floor while on your stomach is helpful for moving around in bed and for participating in specialty classes such as Yoga or Pilates.
Why Exercise on Your Back?
If you can’t lie flat on your back, or in a supine position, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to stand up straight. If you can lie flat on your back, that’s a skill we want to make sure you retain. On your back is another excellent position for working on posture, stretching the muscles in the front of your body, and strengthening your back extensors, all of which are critical for maintaining upright posture. Like prone, where you’re on your stomach, supine is another position where gravity helps, rather than hinders. You can practice everyday functional activities here, including rolling, scooting, lifting, and shifting for bed mobility.
Why Exercise on Your Hands and Knees?
Some of the most challenging exercises for posture, strengthening, stretching, and balance are done here! Again, this is a very safe position to exercise in; it also allows you to use a towel under your knees for comfort, improving your ability to participate in specialty classes such as Yoga. This is also a great position to practice working on transitions, like getting up and down from the floor. The more comfortable you are here, the less likely you are to end up here by accident!
Why Exercise on a Seat?
Most of us spend some time sitting each day. (Or is it all day?) These exercises are done in that position to work on posture, range of motion, and functional mobility to be able to reach for things while sitting, easily stand up from a chair, get into and out of your car, and get into a booth at a restaurant! These exercises are simple, yet very effective, and can be built into your hourly routine if you sit for long periods of time at work or home.
Why Exercise on Your Feet?
It is probably obvious why you might want to do exercises while standing, right? It’s fundamental to posture, balance, stepping, reaching, dressing, walking, and chasing your dog, child, or grandchild. The list is endless! You’ll surely be able to add to this list yourself, especially once you get going with your PWRMoves!
Need help getting comfortable in each position?
If you want to learn more about ways to be more comfortable and to exercise better in each position, we recommend watching our adaptations videos. Adaptations are ways to modify your exercises to help you be better supported, address specific issues like joint pain, and to get the most out of your exercise.