FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
On this page, you will find dozens of FAQ's. We have organized them based on three categories. There is a lot to scroll through for each category, so please use the SEARCH BAR at the top-right corner of each category to narrow down your question.
If you have a question regarding a SPECIFIC EXERCISE, you can find the FAQ's for each exercise within the All Exercises page on the membership website. Simply go to the All Exercises page, navigate to the exercise you're looking for, and the FAQ will be in the description box under the video.
FAQ - General
Should I ask my doctor before performing these exercises?
Yes. We recommend that you consult with your practitioner before starting any new exercise program.
Will my MS symptoms improve after these workouts?
Certain MS symptoms like fatigue, immobility, poor balance & coordination, and muscular atrophy can be improved by effective exercise. Although most of your symptoms will never be totally gone, effective exercise can impact the debilitating effects they have on you because your body will have greater strength, stamina and cardiovascular fitness. There are certain symptoms related to MS that cannot be affected by exercise, and that’s why it’s important to consult your medical practitioner so that you can have a comprehensive strategy to fight MS.
Are the exercises safe for me?
Yes. Our unique Steady-Pace® technique is a slow-motion low-impact technique that is designed to keep your body and joints safe. During our exercises, we give constant guidance about form and safety. If you ever feel overwhelming body fatigue, or overheating during an exercise then you should stop and rest until it dissipates. We recommend that you have your thermostat down to 68 degrees F, a fan(s) blowing on you, and a cold water bottle nearby at all times during your exercise. If you feel unsafe while exercising then please schedule your workout sessions with a family member or friend that can be with you while you exercise -- in case of an emergency. Make sure to consult with your physician before starting any new exercise program.
Is it safe for me to exercise at my house without supervision?
This question is really a question that you need to ask your physician, because it will be different on a case-by-case basis. We have designed each of the exercises with safety as our main concern. However, it is important that you take responsibility for your own safety and well-being. If you feel unsafe performing an exercise alone, then don't perform it unless you are in the company of another person in case of an emergency. If you have any questions you can always reach out to our team for at email@example.com.
How often should I exercise?
We recommend to perform our strength-training sessions 2-3 times a week, depending on how your body is feeling. Make sure to have at least 1 day of rest between workout sessions. Your body needs time to recover. The best results come from having healthy rest days comprised of a whole food meal plan (0.8g of protein per pound of body weight), 8 hours of sleep, drinkings lots of water, low-intensity exercise/movement, and stretching to deliver nutrients to the muscles.
I just signed up! Where do I start?
We recommend you first click on the "Getting Started" tab from the homepage.
Do you have any tips to help me practice exercise consistently?
Effort & consistency are the most important factors for gaining strength and managing your symptoms. Since it's easy to have bad days with MS we've designed this program to require only a minimum amount of your time. One important tip: remember why you're exercising and why it's going to help improve your life and those around you. Let your goals be the strength that drives your effort.
I prefer to exercise daily. Is it too much to do these exercises everyday?
Do not perform these high-intensity workouts every day. It is very important that you give your muscles a chance to heal and grow strength.
Can I do exercises every day if working on a different body part?
You can and should move every day (frequently) and exercise intensly infrequently.
When my muscles start to shake, does that mean I exhausted my muscles?
It could be, but it doesn't necessarily mean that you FULLY-exhausted the muscles yet, you are certainly exhausting them though and are definitely on track to fully-exhausting them soon. Shaking is usually a good sign that means you are delivering the necessary stimulus to the body that it is not accustomed to dealing with (which is a good thing when exercise is concerned).
We strength train to communicate to the body, and we communicate by making the muscles consistently go past their comfort zones. You fully-exhaust the muscles when you are no longer able to perform the exercise with proper form (when you cannot lift or push any further). It is generally accompanied by a shaking and/or burning & fatigue of the targeted muscle.
If something starts to hurt during exercise, should I keep going?
NO. You should never feel pain during exercise. It is okay to feel the natural discomfort affiliated with the targeted muscle being fatigued - but never stinging or aching pain.
I have noticed that my right leg has been aching more and has a burning feeling outside exercise. I'm assuming that has to do with the MS?
Aching and burning is not a normal side effect of strength training. It is common during a workout to feel a burning sensation of the targeted muscle, as well as soreness of the muscle a day or two after. But if there is an ache and burn that persists, whether affiliated with the targeted muscle or not, please consult with your medical practitioner or physical therapist.
I only have a problem with my left side - do I have to exercise the right side too?
Yes, you should exercise both sides, even if one side is fine. The body responds best with increases in muscular strength when you are engaging both sides of the body.
I keep havng to disengage from the exercise at different times, sometimes higher, sometimes lower than my previous records. Is that okay?
Yes, that is perfectly normal and expected. It is virtually impossible to always be performing at your best. There are a thousand factors that go into your performance (diet, what you ate that morning, hormones (male & female), allergies, weather, time of day, variable energy level depending on order of exercises, stress level, excitement level, etc). For this reason, you will never ALWAYS be beating records each time you workout. It doesn't work that way. You will tend to "hover" around a certain area, and overtime, slowly move up from it on average.
The clock stops at 1:30. What do you do if you need longer time to exhaust the muscles?
It is physiologically important (when building strength) to fully-exhaust the muscles before reaching roughly 90 seconds of high-intensity tension. So if you get to 1:30 without fully-exhausting the muscles then it is time to increase the resistance band level in order to make the exercise more challenging, so that you will then be able to fully-exhaust the muscles at some point before 1:30.
My knee turns inward when I walk and is causing problems.
The knee turning inwards is "internal rotation". This can be detrimental for the medial (inside) side of your knee (meniscus and medial collateral ligament).
I have hyperextension on my knee.
Hyperextension can be mitigated at some level by strengthening the muscles around the joint (quadriceps, hamstrings) which give the joint more stability and functional control.
What is the logic and principle behind the idea of doing the exercises very slow?
Moving very slowly allows the targeted muscle to do 100% of the exercise. When we speed things up (incorporate momentum) it takes away from the muscle doing the exercise. Results come from engaging and taxing the muscle, and allowing time for recovery with sleep, nutrition, and blood flow.
I have knee hyperextension, how do I avoid it for certain exercises?
In order to avoid hyperextending the knee, you're going to want to modify all the exercises that suggest "locking the knee out" by making sure to keep a slight bend in the knee at the top-turnaround. So for exercises like the Plantar Flexion, Leg Extension, Leg Press, Ankle Extension, or the Hamstring Stretch - do NOT attempt to lock the knee; try to maintain a slight bend in the knee at the top-turnaround just before locking it. This will help to avoid hyperextension during the workout.
You say to workout 30 minutes a session, but after doing my "finishers" or symptom-specific exercises, it more than 30min. Is that okay?
Your regular exercise class will be around 30min a sesion. We recommend adding no more than 12min of additional exercise (or 2-4 exercises) after your regular 30min class. As long as you stay in that range, it is okay.
How do I know if I'm over-training?
Long term effects of over-training is a reduction in strength and more fatigue. Your immune system can only handle so much high-intensity training - that is the main reason why you don't need to strength train very often or for very long (30min, 2-3x a week).
I am doing the workouts and they are too easy, even with "finisher" exercises after my exercise class.
If you are strength training properly, it should not be easy. If you are finishing your session with ease, then you need to increase the challenge by increasing your resistance band to a higher level that causes you to disengage during the Exhaust Range. The difficulty of the exercise is based on what resistance level you use. If you'd like to learn more, please watch the Theraband Progression System video.
I am overheating during the exercises! Help!
Here are 10 tips for staying cool during your workout:
During some of the stretches, I can't feel my muscle stretching.
You do want to be aware of not over-stretching the muscle. You may not feel a stretch as much due to desensitized nerves. Try your best to observe & match the form in the videos. If you are not able to feel the stretch, then go at it slowly, don't over do it. If you feel unsafe about performing a stretch, we would suggest speaking to your physician or PT in helping you determine the right level of stretch for a particularly desensitized area.
I have been noticing my toes curling under.
We recommend communicating with your PT, OT, or doctor if the curling does not subside. It might be caused by spasticity in the foot, which can be combated by stretching/flattening the foot.
I get too much fatigue to do the full 30 minute workout. Can I split it up during the day?
We suggest doing the full workout in one sitting for the best results. But if your fatigue is truly making that difficult to do, then split up the routine accordingly.
How do I deal with hyperextension of the knee during my regular activies?
If your physican has never spoken to you about knee braces for hyper extension, you may want to speak with them about it. Please get cleared by your physician before using one.
In order to respect my fatigue and not push it, what do you recommend I do for those times I can't complete a session?
Know your body! You need to determine when it's okay to keep pushing or when to stop. We suggest you speak with your physician if you are unsure how far you can push yourself. We recommend to go as far as you can safely go.
I can't find the motivation to get started! PLEASE HELP!
It can be difficult to become motivated to exercise. The key is to just accept that for the first few weeks, it's going to be tough! It'll be like bootcamp! You're going to have just have to bite the bullet, so-to-speak. Your body hasn't been used to doing exercise in a long time so it's going to try to make you feel as uncomfrotable as possible while doing it. It's going to whine and complain to you (the body prefers to be lazy) but don't let it sway you. Overcome it. Overtime, by being consistent with exercise, you will be telling your body "Stop complaining, I'm not stopping this, so you better get used to it." The body will eventually listen & adapt because it has accepted that your consistent exercise is the "new norm". By this point, exercise will become easier to commit to every week becuase it's not such a 'shock' to your body's lazy, daily routine it had gotten used to over the years.
I keep feeling discouraged, because I'm not even getting into the Exhaust Range.
So here's the thing, we WANT you to NOT be able to finish the exercise. The Exhaust Range is just a guide. The true goal is go fully-exhaust the targeted muscles (whatever time that happens at during the exercise). The most effective zone to reach full-exhaustion in is between 60-90 sec of high-intensity tension. If you are using a band beyond yellow, then we'd recommend downgrading to a lower level band so you can be reaching the Exhaust Range. If you are using the yellow band or none at all, then keep going at the rate you are going. If you are fully-fatiguing at 10-15sec, you are still achieving the main goal of delivering a powerful stimulus to the body. Let it be your starting point and know that you are on the right track.
Why does this week's exericise class only have 6 exercises in it?
On occassion we like to throw in a "deload" week, where we reduce volume and give the muscles a little bit of extra time to be away from exercise. That way when you come back to it the next week (full force), your body won't be expecting it as much. The body adapts quickly, and it is always trying to find the easiest route (expend the least amount of energy). It's important to "surprise" the system on occassion so the body doesn't get too comfortable.
I have a lot of fatigue and keeps me from not completing the workouts.
Try to find the best time of day to workout (the time of day you have the most energy). Most members report that they have the most energy in the morning, but everyone is different. Focus on giving your best effort. If you need to cut your sessions short or only exercise once a week - that's okay - let that be your starting point. Over time, as you exercise regularly, you will probably find that you fatigue less quickly, because you have more muscular endurance.
My ankle starts to roll after I walk for a while, would a brace of some kind help?
Wearing a brace will add stability to the joint, but it will not add any endurance or strength to your muscles after they start to fatigue.
Wearing a brace outside of exercise could be a great method for helping your daily activities. But do not use the brace DURING the workouts involving the lower limb - let the muscles do all the work!
I keep getting too tired while holding the stretch during the stretch videos.
Make sure you are breathing during your stretches. You may not even be noticing that you've been holding your breath. It's okay if you want to scale back on not stretching as deeply - just go as far as what is comfortable for you. And if holding the stretch for 30 seconds at a time is costing too much energy, try holding the stretch for 10 seconds at a time, relax, then reengage the stretch - repeat, etc.
I can barely lift my (foot, hand, leg, etc) during the exercise!
That's okay! Perform the motion to the best of your ability. Actively lift and engage the muscles (even if you are not seeing any movement occur). If you're feeling a fatigue in the targeted muscle then guess what - you're delivering the necessary stimulus to gain strength!
Progressively challenging it with your best effort, being measured, focusing on recovery, and then reapplying will give you the best chance at gaining as much strength, functional ability, and a plethora of other wonderful benefits.
I'm new and very lost! How do I start exercising! Help!
Let's start from the beginning, and if you have any questions afterwards, let us know.
Is it okay for my legs to feel tight and heavy the next day after doing the exercises?
YES. And . . . Good job!
Can I stretch right when I wake up in the morning time?
It is not recommended to "static stretch" a "cold muscle". The risk is damage to the targeted tissues (muscle, fascia, tendons, and ligaments). You experience "cold muscles" when you wake up or before exercise, due to lack of blood flow (assumed) in the area. Static stretching means going into a stretch and holding it. This could be detrimental to the tissue if there isn't increased blood flow to the tissue prior because the tissue is rigid and tight, not supple & pliable.
I have yet to see any improvements in my strength. Please help!
Here are some tips to work on:
PLEASE HELP! I'M JUST NOT MOTIVATED TO EXERCISE!
In regards to motivation, our first recommendation is to bring this up within the Members-Only Facebook Group. There are hundreds of MSers who have gone through the very same feelings you're going through - hear what they have to say!
I want to have better downward push power while riding my bike. What exercises should I do to improve that?
When bicycling, your entire lower body (quadriceps, glutes, hip flexors, hamstrings, calves, shins) is used. The downward-pushing, in particular, involves the quadriceps and hamstrings the most. The best exercises for improving this would be the Leg Press and Safe Squat (Eccentric or Metabolic)
Should active rest days include some type of exercise?
Yes, active rest days should involve some for of low-intensity exercise. That means exercise that will not produce a deep burn, nor will it fatigue the muscles. We only want you to elevate your heart rate and increase blood flow throughout the body. Low-intensity could mean: walking, biking, swimming, pilates, yoga (or you can perform our steady-pace exercises and disengage before you start to feel the burn).
Can you do more than one workout at a time or add exercises to a workout?
If you would like to add exercises to a workout, the way we recommend doing it is by adding them as "finishers". After you've performed your weekly exercise class, try adding 2-4 finishers. Normally, finishers dictate a type of exercise that targets a weak area that you want to put special attention towards.
Will my progress come over a longer period of time and not just from one workout to the next?
As long as you are fully-exhausting the targeted muscles (reaching 'muscle-failure') during the workouts, then you will get stronger. It also greatly helps to be consuming plenty of protein and water everyday; please review our Nutritional Fundamentals for more information on how to optimize strength growth.
The Online Progress Journal doesn't want to record times longer than 1:30. What do you do if you need longer time to exhaust your muscles?
It is physiologically important when building strength to fully-exhaust the targeted muscles before reaching 90 seconds of high-intensity tension.
My ankle curls to the interior side while doing certain ankle exercises - while lowering my foot, first the outer side touches the ground then the inner side. In general, this curling is causing my ankle to sprain a lot while walking.
We would recommend performing the Ankle Eversion exercise 2-3x a week to full-exhaustion. This will externally rotate your ankle, strengthening the lateral portion of the shin, which will help aid in your ability to keep your foot from curling inward.
My entire lower body is weak. I can't perform Leg Extensions or Leg Raises well at all.
It is not at all uncommon to have both weak hip flexors and weak quadriceps.
I thought the stretch routines were supposed to match the weekly exercises?
The Stretch Routines are not directly related to the weekly exercise sessions. But the Stretch Routines mimic the full-body protocol of the weekly full-body exercise sessions. As long as you are using them in conjunction with each other (full-body exercise session + full-body stretch routine) then you will be ensuring a fully exercised & stretched body.
I am using a green band for a lot of the exercises and getting to 1min 30sec. Should I move to the blue band now?
Yes, you should! To get stronger, you need to increase your resistance for that exercise whenever you are getting to 1:30 without disengaging. Do not wait until you can do all the exercises in a session with the same band -- treat each exercise separately with regard to resistance.
In the Online Progress Journal, I accidently put in the wrong band color & time, is there a way to go back and change it?
If you mistype one of the options, you can re-do the entry with the corrected information. Just fix the information and press ENTER. As long as you make the edit that same day, it will overwrite the last entry.
How do I incorporate the Mobility Series into my routine?
There are three ways you can go about incorporating the Mobility Series into your weekly exercise routine. (The Anterior Pelvic Tilt, Mobility (lite), and Weak Core Series work in the same way) --
What can I do about cramps or spasms?
It is best to consult with your medical practitioner regarding actions you can take. There are many variables that need to be taken into account.
The New Member Orientation isn't challenging enough.
Here are some suggestions you can try for increasing difficulty of the exercises in the New Member Orientation:
Is there a way to speed up the exercise classes so there is less rest time?
You can perform the exercise classes within the Online Progress Journal. In here, there are no 30sec rests between each exercise).
FAQ - Technical
Can I customize my workouts?
Yes! In order to make a personalized routine you can utilize the 'favoriting' system and the My Account dashboard. To learn more please watch our How-To video Building a Personalized Routine.
What equipment do I need to perform the workouts?
You will need a CLX Theraband, access to the online progress journal, a chair, a fan, and a water bottle. Therabands can be purchased on our webstore.
How do I purchase an exercise band?
How do I know which exercise band to use?
Our graphic system makes it easy for you to know exactly which exercise band to use.
Why is there a big timer on the right side of the exercise?
The Steady-Pace® timer sits on the right side of each exercise to help guide you through each movement in a safe and effective manner. The timer allows for you to count down each rep or hold. The progress bar lets you see how far along in the exercise you are. The clock keeps track of time during the exercise (this is the time you'll record in your progress journal). The Exhaust Range is the last 30 seconds (indicates your resistance band level). And the title bar tells you the name of the exercise and the type of movement.
How do I get the exercises onto my TV?
1). First, how new is your TV? Newer TV's sometimes have the ability to search the internet on them.
How do I watch a previous week's exercise class?
You cannot do this for the weekly-updated classes. Since the weekly-updated classes are designed to be full-body it isn't important if you missed a particular week - you can jump into it at any point.
Where are the FORM videos?
The Form Videos are located in the chapter menu of the individual exercise within the All Exercises page of the website.
I have a power wheelchair and can't hook the bands up to my chair.
If you can't find a place to hook them up, you can send us some pictures of your chair, so we can take a look too.
How can I add symptom-specific exercises to my weekly routine?
Most of the Symptom-Specific Series' have 'LEVELs'. For some of the series, a LEVEL incorporates 10 exercises, while on others it incorporates 3-5 exercises. We didn't do this on purpose to make it confusing! The reason is: some series only utilize isolated exercises, while others have compound exercises (hitting multiple muscles at the same time). It's important that every session you do you are targeting lots of muscles, as it will promote a higher communication to the body and strengthen you more effectively. This means that some series would be able to replace a full-body weekly-updated class effectively, while others would not.
I need a new band shipped internationally.
We automatically cover the shipping cost for the starter kit, but any additional bands will require an international shipping charge.
The Wheelchair Class is not updating.
The Wheelchair & Seated Class has two different sessions: Upper Body and Lower Body.
I'm not sure which CLX Multi-Loop Theraband I should purchase next.
The best way to determine which band to use is by looking at the chart attached to the bottom of the Webstore page. It will show the estimated weight (lb) for each band, so as to make it as easy as picking out what level of, say, dumbbells you're looking to buy.
Where can I obtain a SEAT GRIP?
We don't carry seat grips in the webstore, but you can find them online. They are also called "anti-slip cushions" & "non-slip covers".
What is the exact time that the membership website / online journal updates the weekly classes?
The Online Progress Journal doesn't have an option for ankle weights or dumbbells. I use weights when I exercise so what do I do here?
At the time being, the Online Progress Journal only supports theraband color for tracking. In the future, we plan on adding a feature to switch out the resistance type to lb/kg for members not using bands.
FAQ - Nutrition
I know I need more protein every day. How can I do that?
Our advice is based on recommendations by Health.gov and the Mayo Clinic, as well as various health organizations. With that being said, your nutrition plan should be something that is between you and your doctor or nutritionist.
You say to consume 0.8g of protein per pound of body weight. I way 200lb, does that mean I should be taking in 160g of protein every day!?
The USDA, Mayo Clinic, as well as several other authoritative bodies in nutrition recommend:
Eating 5 meals a day is wrong. Our body needs to rest from digestion and tries to auto-heal. Intermittent fasting and ketosis is the best for people with MS. Please also see Wahls Protocol.
Dr. Walhs is on the cutting edge for individuals living with MS and dietary lifestyle.
How many calories do these exercises burn?
This is going to vary greatly depending on several factors. Age, height, weight, gender, how much muscle you have on your body, how much effort you are putting forth in each exercise, and how long you engage your muscles in each exercise.
The nutritional fundamentals says nothing about fruits. No fruits?
Our Nutritional Fundamentals goes over general information regarding nutrition. Feel free to add fruit in where you would like.