What Exactly Is Prehab? A Physical Therapist Explains

Whether you’re a seasoned P.volver or a newcomer to the method, you’re bound to have caught on to the fact that our workouts are very different from traditional fitness. First, there’s our equipment—like the p.ball and p.band that are revolutionary in toning the glutes, arms, and more. Then there’s our exercise method, which focuses on a prehab approach to fitness. But what exactly are the benefits of prehab, and what can it do for our bodies long term?

“Prehab is preventative (in sport or activity) or preparative (for surgery or childbirth) exercise,” Amy Hoover, PT, DPT , P.volve’s resident physical therapist, explains. “In physical therapy, we use prehab as a way to prepare patients for surgery or sport. This means restoring and/or balancing strength, length, and mobility to the musculoskeletal system to allow the patient to use their body in the most efficient and effective way, which creates proper biomechanics or movement patterns.”

As Amy explains, prehab is beneficial for anyone partaking in physical activity, unlike rehab which is solely for people recovering from an injury. With certain movements and strength exercises, you help build your body toward better overall balance, which helps reduce the risk of injury, strain, or exhaustion in everyday life. “The P.volve method focuses on balanced, deliberate and meticulously performed movements that check all the boxes: length, strength and mobility,” she adds. “It helps the client really focus on form and mind-body connection to engage and focus on the targeted muscle groups.”

Think of a P.volve staple move, for instance, like the Step Back & Reach. This movement forces you to elongate your muscles, stretch both back and up, and use the hips for better mobility. Unlike others, it takes a prehab approach by working on your stability and targeting multiple areas at once. Plus, it allows you to focus on your breath and proper foot placement—two major components of the prehab method.

The moves don’t only help temporarily, either. The idea is that repetitive prehab movements will result in long lasting effects. “Our bodies will move when we tell them to, but when we learn to be mindful of how we move we can correct and restore balance to our body’s musculoskeletal system,” Amy explains. That means we can take the proper foot placement we learn in the studio out into the world to ensure we’re constantly moving in the best way for our bodies to reduce inflammation, pain, and stress.

Amy Hoover, PT, DPT, is the owner and operator of APHysio, LLC, a mobile physical therapy provider. She provides in home specialty services, focusing on hands on manual therapy and individualized exercise prescription. She has a strong background in orthopedic and sports-related injuries, working with athletes of all levels in various team and individual sports.

We are proud to announce Amy as P.volve’s Doctor of Physical Therapy, consulting the entire community about their work with our method. She’ll be continually providing feedback and answering important questions for the P.volve community, so keep an eye out for her advice on the blog. Feel free to email community@pvolve.com for topics you’d like Amy to cover! 

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