Repetitious Repetitions

Hi, I'm Doctor Jo, a Physical Therapist and Doctor of Physical Therapy. I hope you enjoy my video demos of stretches & exercises for common injuries and syndromes. Be safe. Have fun. And I hope you feel better soon.

Very often I will get asked, “How many repetitions should I do of each exercise?” This is a great question. Many times you will hear 3 sets of 10 reps (repetitions) or 2 sets of 15 reps. The truth is it really depends on what you are trying to accomplish with the exercise. If you want to tone your muscles, you want to do low weights with high reps (15-20), and if you want to build muscle, you do heavy weights with low reps (8-10). However, in the world of therapy and rehab, I usually tell my patients go until you feel a good burn, and then do 2 more reps. If you can do more than 20 reps without a burning feeling, aka your muscles fatiguing, then add weight or resistance.

The main goal over anything else is to use correct form and a controlled motion. If you are not able to do both of these, then you are using too much weight or resistance. Depending on the type of injury you have, just doing the controlled motion without any weights will work your muscles.

Remember, it’s about the quality of your exercises, not the quantity of your exercises. For example, five repetitions of a straight leg raise done with correct form and controlled motion will be more beneficial than fifteen done incorrectly. It is very important to tell your therapist if you feel like the exercise is too hard and you are sacrificing form to complete it. A skilled therapist should always be able to modify an exercise so you can perform it correctly without losing correct technique.

Have Knee Pain? This video may be able to help.


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