Archive for the ‘Fitness’ Category

Functional Strength for the Body: Shoulders

Today’s blog is the final part of our Functional Strength Series. You learned how to prevent knee pain, properly move on and off the floor, and now we’re strengthening those shoulders! All 4 moves are demonstrated in the video and descriptions of each movement are below.

Lacrosse Ball Chest Roll (or Tennis Ball)

Wedge the ball between your chest and the wall with your right arm straight against the wall behind you. Spend 30-60 seconds on each side.

Lacrosse Ball Trap Roll (or Tennis Ball)

Wedge the ball between your upper trap (upper shoulder) and the wall. And roll the ball along your shoulder, trying to find knots and sinking into those knots. Spend 2 to 3 minutes total on both sides.

Towel and Resistance Band Hold

Hold a towel directly underneath your right elbow. Hold onto one end of the resistance band while someone holds the other end. Bring your elbow out as far as you can, your arm should stay at a 90 degree angle while keeping hold of the towel.

Shoulder Flexion Roll

Start in an upright seated position. Keeping your arms straight, reach out as you bend forward until your ears are in between your arms. Complete about 3 sets of 15-25 repetitions.

Take about 5-10 minutes on these exercises each day and you should feel a major improvement in your shoulder/rotator cuff mobility.


Functional Strength for the Body: Up & Down Progressions

How many people out there have trouble getting on or off the floor? We get tons of Guests here at Hilton Head Health that have the same issue. But by showing them different up and down progressions, they are able to leave our facility and get onto or off the floor easily. Today, we’re sharing 3 progressions to get you onto the floor and off the floor quickly and easily. Grab a sturdy chair and see the movements below:

Progression 1:

Stand nice and tall and take a large step backwards with your left leg. Using a stable surface like a chair or a bench for assistance, lower your left knee down towards the ground in a controlled manner. Bring your other knee down and bring yourself onto your hands and knees. From there you can safely get onto your back. In order to get back up, come back up onto your hands and knees. Lift up your chest. Bring your right leg forward. Using the chair for assistance, stand up staying as upright as possible. Once you can easily do this on both legs, move up to progression 2.

Progression 2:

Start by standing nice and tall and taking a large step backwards with your left leg. Using your left thigh for assistance, lower your left knee down towards the ground in a controlled manner. Bring your other knee down and bring yourself onto your hands and knees. From there you can safely get onto your back. In order to get back up, come back up onto your hands and knees. Lift up your chest. Bring your right leg forward. Using your right thigh for assistance, stand up staying as upright as possible. Once you can easily do this on both legs, move up to progression 3.

Progression 3:

Start by standing nice and tall and taking a large step backwards with your left leg. Without using your hands for assistance, lower your left knee down towards the ground in a controlled manner. Bring your other knee down and bring yourself onto your hands and knees. From there you can safely get onto your back. In order to get back up, come back up onto your hands and knees. Lift up your chest. Bring your right leg forward. Without using your hand for assistance, stand up staying as upright as possible.

With these 3 progressions, you’ll be moving on and off the floor  to play with your children or grandkids or to exercise in no time! Next week, we’re sharing tips to strengthen and mobilize your shoulders.

If you have functional movement questions or have a request for our next fitness series or fitness blog, email us at


Functional Strength for the Body: Knees

Functional movement is a key component to lead a healthy, happy lifestyle. Without functional strength in parts of your body like your knees, shoulders and back, you can find it difficult to complete simple daily activities. Playing with your children or grandchildren or even picking up a fallen object can become a painful task.

We have put together a 3-part series filled with basic movements to help you gain back functional strength. Today, we’ll start by strengthening the knees. See the moves demonstrated in the video below.


Hamstring Curls: Hold on to the back of a chair or a wall for balance.  Bend your affected knee and raise your heel towards the ceiling as far as possible without pain.  Hold for 3-5 seconds, and then return to the start position.


Calf Raises: Stand with your weight evenly distributed over both feet.  Hold on to the back of a chair or a wall for balance.  Lift your unaffected foot off the floor so that all of your weight is placed on the affected foot.  Raise the heel of your foot as high as you can, then lower.


Straight Leg Raise: Lay on your back with one leg bent and one leg extended out straight.  Tighten your muscles on top of the thigh of the extended leg.  While keeping the knee straight, lift your leg up about 12 inches. Hold for 3-5 seconds, and then return to the start position.


Side Lying Clamshell: Lay on your side with your legs stacked and bent to a 90-degree angle in front of you.  Your head is rested in your hand.  Keeping your feet together, slowly rotate the upper leg towards the ceiling using your gluteals.  Keep your upper body still.

A large majority of our Guests perform all these exercises10-15 times each. Your range of motion may be small at first, but will improve as the muscles strengthen.

Stay tuned for part 2 of our ‘Functional Strength for the Body’ Fitness Series next Friday!


Freshman 15 Fitness: Core

by Casey Walker

Our Freshman 15 Fitness Series started with the upper body, moved down to lower body and now it’s time to target that core. Grab some water and get ready.

List of moves:

  1. Squats with Leg Lifts
  2. V-ups
  3. Dead Bugs
  4. Penguins
  5. Scissor Kicks

Complete 20 reps of each exercise and repeat this round of moves 3 times for best results. See each move below:

Create your own healthy college lifestyle by:

If you have specific fitness or exercise-related questions, email us at We’d love to answer your questions and we may even use your questions to create new workouts!


Freshman 15 Fitness: Lower Body

By Maria Hartung

Today, we’re bringing you part 2 of our 3-part Freshman 15 Fitness Series. Today, we’re working out the largest muscle group; oh yes, it’s leg day! There’s no equipment necessary so you can do this workout in your dorm, apartment, outside, or even at your favorite gym. Grab plenty of water and get moving!

List of moves and tips:

1. Standard Squats

2. Jump Squats

  • For squats: Keep chest upright and try to bend knees at a 90º angle. Inhale while going down into the squat position and exhale while coming up.

3. Reverse Lunges

4. Standard Lunges

  • For lunges: Try to touch your knee to the floor with both lunges but if you can’t quite make it, get as close to the floor as possible without injury. Continue to work your way down to the floor with each workout.

5. Wall Sits

  • For Wall Sits: Keep your knees at a 90º angle and your shoulders against the wall.

Complete 15-20 reps of each exercise to get the best results for your H3 Leg Day! See each move below:


Freshman 15 Fitness: Upper Body

By Jesse Salazar

After starting college, many students are plagued with the dreaded ‘Freshman 15‘. Between consuming unhealthy food, drinking high caloric beverages, irregular sleeping patterns and a decrease in physical activity; many students, not just Freshman, can gain excess weight.

Hence, the name of  our new 3-part workout series, Freshman 15 Fitness. For the next 3 weeks, Hilton Head Health will share simple exercises and tips that can be done without any fancy equipment and limited space. Let’s get started with 5 upper body moves. Complete 15 repetitions of each move for the best results.

Bicep Curls

Shoulder Press

Push Ups

Alternating Rows

Extension Rows

Thanks for watching! Stay tuned for our lower body Freshman 15 workout next week.




3 Tips to Improve Your Kettlebell Swing

The kettlebell is one of many peices of ftness equipment our staff and Guests use here at Hilton Head Health. The kettlebell has many great health benefits but proper technique is pivotal to reap these benefits. So, today we’re sharing 3 tips tips and showing you some techniques to help you improve your kettlebell swing!

1. Keep your chest up and maintain a strong back.

2. Keep your weight back on your heels.

3. Maintain a tight core and quick, explosive hips.

Thanks for stopping by our blog. Try to incorporate the kettlebell in your next workout. Be sure to remember our tips to ensure you have a safe, effective workout!


4 Suprising Benefits of Yoga


Yoga is a powerful fitness tool comprised of meditation and exercise. So it’s no surpise there are so many health and physical benefits that come with regular yoga practice like: more flexibility, increased strength, better posture, and  lower blood pressure. Since we’ll enjoy some Sunrise Beach Yoga with Dr. Romila “Dr. Romie” Fushtaq tomorrow, today we want to spotlight some suprising yoga benefits that can have a huge impact on your day-to-day behaviors.

Beach YOGA 1 300x232 4 Suprising Benefits of Yoga

Yoga can even help you move towards the healthy lifestyle you always wanted to achieve:

  1. More Mental Clarity: When we focus completely on holding our balance in a yoga pose or the movements in a yoga sequence, like sun salutation for example, our minds are sharpened. All other thoughts are cleared and we can be totally present in that moment. Even better news, this trait can slowly trickle into other facets of your life with continued yoga practice.
  2. You Sleep like a Baby: No need for warm milk. Meditation, or shavasana as they say in the yoga world, increases Alpha wave production in the brain. These neural impulses help the brain and the body relax which helps you sleep better.
  3. Improve your Golf Game: Okay. We know this might sound like a stretch but we’re serious. With increased core strength, better balance, more mental clarity and focus from taking regular yoga classes, you’ll be impoving your golf swing in no time!
  4. Stress Relief: The seemingly endless breathing exercises in yoga actually reduces stress. It’s not just hot air, the deep, rhythmic breathing in yoga promotes relaxation by increasing the flow of blood and oxygen to each part of the body. With continued practice, this sense of relaxation can appear throughout your life; not just in your yoga class.

If you practice yoga, what is the biggest benefit you’ve seen since you started? If you don’t practice yoga, what benefit would you like to see from it?



6 Senior Fitness Tips

HiltonHeadHealth exercise  25 300x200 6 Senior Fitness Tips

Regardless of your age, exercise history, health or physical conditions, there are many ways to overcome mobility issues and reap the physical, mental, and emotional benefits of exercise. Applying special training techniques, or modified training can help relieve different physical or underlying health restaints like: muscle tightness or soreness, strains, tears, arthritis, osteoporosis, body part replacements, diabetes, asthma, or high blood pressure. Modified techniques provide cautious, less intense training sessions for individuals within an older population, too; keeping their bodies mobile while minimizing the risk of injury.

Here are 6 tips to help you modify your workouts. They are applicable to ALL populations, but are particularly beneficial to anyone with orthopedic issues.

1. Opt for Low-Impact Cardio: Low-impact exercises are characterized by one foot always being in contact with the ground. Low-impact moves include:

  • grapevines,
  • hamstring curls,
  • modified jumping jacks (heel kicks),
  • marching in place,
  • and basic step work.

These moves minimize joint impact while promoting bone density and aerobic endurance and are most beneficial for older adults and individuals with back or lower body orthopedic issues.

2. Keep it Functional: It’s important to incorporate movements that mimic everyday activities. Some examples include:

  • overhead presses and front raises which mimic movements we do when we reach up overhead, or lift something overhead.
  • Step-up’s, or even weighted step-up’s help to prepare us for real-life stair climbing where it is easy to lose balance and take a bad fall.
  • Core-centric exercises like torso rotations or any twisting motion prepares us for similar movements we do in daily activity where we could torque our knees, back, or hips if done improperly.

3. Add Balance Exercises: It is important to incorporate various progressions of stability exercises to develop core strength. This is vital for

  • improving posture,
  • equilibrium,
  • mobility,
  • and coordination.

This type of movement allows us to feel safe in everyday activities, particularly older adults who have an already diminished sense of equilibrium. Some examples of exercises include:

  • standing exercise in staggered stance (providing less base of support and therefore less stability),
  • standing single-leg exercise (holding one leg up and catching a ball),
  • or a standing two-legged exercise on an unstable surface (balance disk, Bosu ball, Swiss ball, etc.)

4. Non-Traditional Strength Training – Isometric: This type of strength training method differs from the basic repetitions done with an eccentric (lengthening) and concentric (shortening) movement. Isometric strength training involves holding a muscle contraction with no change in muscle length/ joint movement for a designated period of time. It is an excellent tool for building bone density, which is very valuable to patients with arthritis or osteoporosis. Specific exercise examples include:

  • static bicep curls (held in the concentric position),
  • static lunges (holding the deepest portion of the lunge),
  • and a squat-hold (holding the deepest part of the squat – parallel to the floor).

DSC91421 300x210 6 Senior Fitness Tips

5. Cardio or strength training (without use of the lower body): This type of workout would include any seated machine that focuses on upper body movement, such as

  • a hand bike
  • or rowing machine.

This type of exercise increases aerobic capacity and muscular strength while eliminating low body impact, which is especially valuable to patients of

  • recent low body surgeries and/or joint replacements,
  • severe arthritis/osteoporosis,
  • or individuals confined to a wheelchair.

6. Get in the Water: Water aerobics is a great cardio format that offers benefits for people with orthopedic or health issues.

  • Buoyancy allows for less, if any, impact on the joints, making workouts safer for people with joint issues.
  • The deeper the water, the less impact there is on the body. And deep-water cardio exercises like suspended cycling, treading or lap swimming have no weight-bearing effects at all.
  • The low-impact nature of water exercise promotes bone density and combats osteoporosis.
  • Hydrostatic pressure keeps heart rate and blood pressure down, which is valuable for patients of hypertension or forms of heart disease.
  • The natural resistance of water allows the body to achieve strength-training benefits during ALL exercises performed, as water has 15x more resistance than air.
  • Resistance training can be performed in the water with far less stress on the joints using noodles, water weights, paddles and aqua gloves to name a few.

Most land-based exercises are transferrable to water exercise including –

  • jogging,
  • jumping jacks,
  • forwards/backwards movement (running, zig-zags, grapevines, and high knees).

Remember, any type of exercise that you can do given your conditions will offer you benefit. After all, the key is movement.


Beach Body Blast Fitness Series: Back, Biceps & Abs

A perk of being located here on Hilton Head Island is that the beach is only a short walk away. But for all our friends out there who don’t live by the beach, you can still get your beach body. Take your “beach workout” to your backyard, your favorite gym or even a local park, like Fitness Specialist John Lippett does in today’s fitness video! John has 4 moves along with some low-impact variations to tone your back, biceps and abs.

Recap of the moves:

1. Pull Ups

2. Body Weight Rows

3. Single Arm Reverse Grip Rows

4. Hanging Leg Raises

For optimal results, complete 10 reps of each exercise for 4-5 sets.


That was the final video in our Beach Body Blast Fitness Series! What target areas or workouts do you want to see in our next fitness series?


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