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THE IMPORTANCE OF GOING BAREFOOT

How often do you take your shoes off just to feel the grass between your toes, walk around the house barefoot because you can? My guess is probably not often enough ...

Your feet are incredibly important and were designed to be mobile, otherwise you wouldn't have 26 bones in such a small body part. But feet that sit in shoes all day long (particularly high heels, steel-capped boots or any heavy, high-ankle or thick-soled shoe) are not happy feet. They need to breathe and have the freedom of movement.

Because of the amount of nerve endings found in the feet (more per square centimetre than any other part of the body) , they're your gateway to proprioception (awareness of where your body is in relation to space). So imagine if your feet were stuck in thick-soled, flat shoes all day, not knowing if there was a need to alter your movement due to uneven ground, inclines, declines or changes in temperature. These are all important messages that should be received through your feet, but when they're constricted within shoes, the brain doesn't receive the feedback.

Stiffness in your feet can eventually affect muscles and joints higher up in the kinetic chain, like ankles, knees, hips and spine. Paying attention to and exercising your feet can change pain experiences in other areas of your body...never underestimate the importance of happy, healthy feet! Here are three things you can do to reclaim your feet.

1. Mobilise your feet.

Using a tennis ball, golf ball or a posture pro (as seen in picture), gently apply pressure to the bottom of the foot and roll back and forth along the whole arch, targeting any areas of tenderness. This can be done in sitting or standing. Spend at least one minute working on each foot, if not longer.

2. Get your feet moving.

Though they seem simple, these foot mobility exercises can make a huge difference. Try any of the following:

  • Spread your toes apart, then squeeze them together.
  • Point your toes, then flex.
  • Point your foot up from the ankle, lift it up a few inches and move it side to side, making small circles with your foot one way, and then the other.

If your feet and toes are really stiff and you struggle to connect with them, use your fingers between your toes to help get your feet moving!

3. Take your shoes off.

Spend as much time as you can barefoot. Walking your dog in the park, doing chores around the house, train barefoot in the gym...anything that re-connects your foot with the ground.

Try it! Your feet will thank you. You'll gain more mobility, stability and, if you're someone who suffers from repeated ankle sprains, you'll definitely benefit from a barefoot lifestyle as your ankles are clearly trying to tell you something!

PREVIOUS INJURY IS A BIG PLAYER IN THE MOVEMENT GAME!

quads vmo personal trainer adelaide gold coast.jpg

One of my clients, who is a keen diver, tells me whenever he swims or dives he usually always gets pretty bad cramping in his right hamstring towards the end of the swim/dive and wandered if there was anything he could do for it.

After a couple of minutes of assessment I had discovered he had a hamstring to quad dysfunction & his hamstrings were compensating for his medial quadricep (Vastus Medialis) predominantly. His VMO muscle (Oblique fibres of the Vastus Medialis that form the teardrop muscle at the knee) was particularly weak and had some noticeable wasting. His quadriceps in general on the Right side were slightly wasted in comparison to the Left.

He then precedes to tell me when he was 15 years old (+-50 years ago) he tore his medial quad & never got treatment on it, there was a noticeable dip in the muscle bulk as well which had been there ever since (a give away for a full tear or a possible partial tear). EUREKA!  

So our findings related back to an ancient injury from decades ago that has manifested as dysfunction in his right side and causing him problems at this time.  He admitted never having issues after the injury healed and kept playing footy for years.

Moral of the story, even though his injury was decades old and he'd adapted to it in a way that enabled him to get away without too much trouble for many years, it eventually comes back to bite you in the ass!  Some cases being worse than others but don't ride on dysfunction for too long as it will always win!  Post injury compensations stay with you for life, unless of course, you seek help to change them!

PLASTIC FREE JULY: DAY 26

Have you ever stopped to think about what your clothes are made out of and the impact they could have on the environment and yourself?

I know I hadn't up until recently and to be honest, doing some research on it has left me feeling just a little depressed. So many fabrics these days are harmful for the environment, either by way of cultivation (using up large supplies of water, pesticides, forests); by manufacturing (a lot of fabrics are created using all sorts of chemicals and acids); by our daily usage (many synthetic microfibres that are released during a load of washing land up in the ocean and ingested by sealife).

To find out more about which fabrics to avoid and why, click here.

Because clothing materials go through such huge processes before they land up on the shelves, they can even be quite toxic to the human body in some cases. Here is an article that is worth reading regarding the lack of regulations in Australia of chemically harmful clothing.

It doesn't even seem like there are many 100% safe options to choose out there but it does seem that the best options are organic and listed below:

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  • Cotton
  • Silk
  • Linen
  • Hemp
  • Wool
  • Cashmere

Make a change...
Re-think your thinking...

PLASTIC FREE JULY: DAY 22

Day Twenty Two:

Do you own a razor? Is it a "disposable" one? If so, have you thought about the impact that all those plastic razors can have on the environment?

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Why not invest in a stainless steel razor, that way you only have to change the blades. Click here for a great brand to invest in. Alternatively you could use a plastic style razor that has the detachable blades so you can keep the main part for years and only have to replace the razor head occasionally. As long as you avoid the one piece plastic razors which get thrown into landfill after each use...these are bad!

Re-think your thinking...

PLASTIC FREE JULY: DAY 18

Day Eighteen:

Do you find yourself constantly buying lunch at work? Have you thought about the impact all that packaging can cost on the environment?

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I know we can't always be quite as prepared as we'd like to but we can certainly make a lot of effort to prepare as much as we can to avoid creating more waste as well as creating more of a hole in our pockets. It doesn't take long to cook up some food on a Sunday to store in glass jars in the fridge, ready for the week ahead. Depending what you cook for dinner you can sometimes just do double the amount and have leftovers for a few days. Time better spent than in front of the telly ;-).

I find glass jars so much better for keeping things fresh than plastic or cling film (both of which we want to try and reduce usage of). 

The accumulative cost of purchasing lunch every day as opposed to making it at home and bringing it in is quite substantial, both on your wallet and on the environment. Not to mention saving yourself from low quality, preservative-filled food options. Most lunches are also packaged in plastic or polystyrene and these are the two materials we need to make more effort to reduce.

Re-think your thinking...

Pregnancy Workout Options - lunge/step

Here are some of the exercises I like to use with my pre / present / post pregnancy clients. Each week I will put up a new short clip of different movements. This is not a prescription of course, each individual is their own case.

Some things to consider when exercising during pregnancy are:
- your exercise & fitness levels pre-pregnancy
- your current state of well-being during the pregnancy
- what stage of the pregnancy you are at
- whether or not you have any pre-existing or pregnancy related health issues
- how you feel on the day of exercise
All of the above factors affect the type of exercise you would do on that day.

The 3rd movement is the LUNGE/STEP. Building lower body strength is important for many reasons:

- improving fitness climbing stairs

- enabling you to pick things up off the floor and to get yourself up off the floor if needed

- improving your walking fitness

Above is a short clip of different versions of LUNGING/STEPPING. Aim to lower your back knee down towards the ground when lunging, keeping your torso upright and achieving 90 degree angles at the hips and knees.

The Pistol Squat

The pistol squat is a great bodyweight skill to challenge balance; coordination; flexibility & strength.  It also never lies and will show up any asymmetries in the lower complex.  

I have been re-visiting pistol squats (this video was taken a couple of months ago) after neglecting them for quite some time.  I had to first work them off the bench to warm up into the movement before getting back into full depth.  They still need a fair bit of greasing but if pistol squats are a goal for you I would make sure that you first have the necessary mobility (or start working to improve what you have) and work your strength in a regular squat in addition to exploring the pistol squat.  I like the use of a bench as a regression as you get some feedback of your depth and still ensuring you are gradually working depth within a strong foundation through the foot.

There are many ways to work your pistol squat, here is a great article from GMB with their view on how to work a pistol squat, with advice on regressions and progressions.

 

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Studio 415 - Our New Home

Studio 415 - Our New Home

The new home of moov personal trainers, personal training gym in Adelaide CBD.

The Turkish Get-Up

The Turkish Get-Up (TGU), one of my favourite movements as it requires & improves mobility; stability; strength; cross lateralisation (right brain communicating with left brain); proprioception; balance AND it feels great to do!

A client of mine who had previously been training in a group setting elsewhere had been told that she couldn’t partake in the TGU portion of the class as she was unable to do them properly. The TGU was one of her goals working with me so we started by breaking down the separate components of the TGU and teaching her brain to learn each phase of the movement using only her bodyweight.  At the start she struggled with the initial phase of the TGU (going from lying on your back to propped up on your elbow).  This phase requires good reflexive stability through both the Anterior Oblique Sling & Posterior Oblique Sling (Anterior - adductors; same side internal oblique; opposite external oblique & pec minor. Posterior - Lat; Thoracolumbar fascia; opposite side Glut Max).

The TGU predominantly utilises the transverse plane (rotation), taking my client back to basics by retraining rolling patterns significantly improved her initial phase of the Get-Up within the same session.  We spent  as long as we needed, dedicating about 5-10 minutes of each session, practising the Get-Up until I was happy she was moving smoothly enough to progress onto the next phase.  All the other movements chosen for our workout session were geared at feeding the Get-Up.

Now she is able to power through the whole TGU from ground to standing with more fluidity and ease of movement.  This is a great milestone for her progression! It also translates over to life, as she has been feeling a lot more flexible and stronger in her day to day life, which for us at moov pt, is more important than anything else! 

Being able to assess WHY someone is struggling through a certain phase of any movement and having the ABILITY to apply movement correctives to ENABLE that person to access that phase more efficiently is what we are about at moov pt.  Tapping into someone's motor control system to make positive change takes KNOWLEDGE and EXPERIENCE along with an extensive library of corrective exercises.  

If you are trying to achieve a complex movement, make sure you break it down into it's individual parts and spend as much time needed on each component to give your brain a chance to learn what you are trying to achieve.

 

how to make bircher muesli

So simple, yet so tasty!

Serving size: 1 (adjust accordingly)

bircher muesli recipe healthy breakfast
  • pour 1/2 - 1/3c of raw organic oats into a tupperware

  • pour apple juice (or any apple and other fruit combo, my fav is apple & ginger or apple & guava) over, just enough to nearly cover the oats

  • add any extras you desire such as a handful of goji berries; cinnamon; chia seeds (my chosen picks)

  • gently mix with a fork to make sure the juice has mixed with the dry ingredients, cover & soak for at least one hour in the fridge or if making in the morning just put it in the fridge at work when you arrive.

  • in a seperate container add 1/2c of organic yoghurt, this is to mix in with your oats once you are about to eat it.

  • feel free to add nuts/berries or any other fruit to it just before eating...ENJOY! :-)

 

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