flexibility

HOW YOU MOVE IN THE GYM = HOW YOU MOVE IN LIFE

HOW YOU MOVE IN THE GYM = HOW YOU MOVE IN LIFE

Online Fitness Training & Movement Rehab by a Qualified Physiotherapist & Personal Trainer.

MOVEMENT...WHAT IT REALLY MEANS!

American Turner Gymnasium 1860

American Turner Gymnasium 1860

An online lecture I saw recently given by Dr Ed Thomas, an expert in the foundation of Physical Education, drove me to analyse what fitness is today in comparison to what it was historically.  Historically, there are three fundamentals of movement and fitness, these are Progression, Variety & Precision.  

Now from what I can tell and have observed over the years is that the majority of fitness enthusiasts seem to do well to take care of the Variety aspect of fitness, it's not hard to keep workouts varied.  Progression seems to be mostly adhered to, it's quite simple, you learn a movement to a satisfactory level until it becomes quite comfortable and then you progress that movement, either by adding weight, increasing reps or challenging the movement to a higher level of difficulty (i.e. advancing from a squat to a single leg squat progression).  Now, I have to take a pause here, although progression seems to be quite evident in most fitness programmes, there is a little issue that is quite niggling…this would be the over-eagerness to progress.  This is a huge issue that is present within our field, you may have someone who is recently able to squat their own bodyweight comfortably but then wants to throw 40kgs onto their back and continue to squat, or a personal trainer who wants to make a client sweat more by handing them heavier weights resulting in a less precise movement pattern.  You can't expect the body to move as efficiently with extra load in a movement pattern that is newly learned with only bodyweight or that is challenging enough with the current weight used.  This brings me to the third and final (and I personally believe the most important) fundamental...Precision.

We need to find a way back to basics and get the population moving well and precisely again, we are so far away from our own mind-body connection that most people just go through the motions of exercise without ever making a conscious connection to how they are moving, why they are moving or how they are breathing.  There was no sloppiness in movement back in the 1800's & most of the 1900's, precision was the key focus and the fitness just followed.

functional movement personal trainer gold coast.jpg

In Gray Cook's book, "Movement", he talks about the origins of Martial Arts and sums up what fitness should and used to be.  Somehow recent generations have managed to distort this approach and turn it on it's back.  Current jobs and lifestyles have a huge role to play and make it hard for the body to hold onto fundamental physical fitness, but not impossible by far!  "Purposeful movement perfection was the focus, and physical conditioning happened as a natural side effect".

primal movement personal trainer.jpg

Modern day gyms are stacked full of equipment promoting dysfunctional movement.  The use of fixed machines encourage your body not to utilise it's core stabilising musculature and instead, rely on your large, global muscles for movement.  In our daily lives we need to be able to squat, lunge, push, pull, reach, run, bend and rotate, all done whilst fighting gravity (not sitting locked into a machine).  This is when our bodies are moving as intended.  These are the movements we need to perfect and do with precision in order to be healthy, fit individuals avoiding injury.

Look at gyms from ancient times and see if you can spot a hamstring curl, a pec deck or a leg extension machine anywhere?  They only use anti-gravity equipment in the form of ropes, rings, parallel bars, ladders etc and hand weights in the shape of dumbbells, kettle bells, medicine balls and clubs.

Train functional movement patterns and make sure you do it with Precision, Variety & Progression in order to achieve true fitness.  Don't rush into a new movement before you have perfected its predecessor and don't load up a movement pattern before being comfortable and strong enough in doing it body weighted first.

DYNAMIC DEEP SQUAT

Following on from our previous post. Here is an example of how you can improve your deep squat by making it more dynamic (adding movement). Try these movements out for up to 30 seconds per movement. 

~ Rocking forwards and backwards.

~ Rocking side to side.

~Rotating one way and then the other.

Slowly you will feel your joints and muscles loosen up and feel more comfortable in the bottom of the squat.

HOW TO WORK TOWARDS THE DEEP SQUAT

We all could squat at some stage of our lives. Over time, unfortunately, some of us have lost the ability to get down into a relaxing deep squat. Whether this is due to injury; poor movement habits or sedentary lifestyles.

All is not lost though. It is still possible to train your body to be able to squat again. 

There are many benefits to enabling your deep squat!

Improved hip & ankle mobility / Improved lower back flexibility / Improved abdominal stability.

There are also some common reasons why a deep squat may currently be out of reach:

Tight calves / stiff or immobile ankle joints / stiff hip joints / tight hip musculature / stiff, immobile spinal joints / weak, dysfunctional abs.

There are ways to work around these issues to help you gain your squat back!

When you're able to squat effectively, it crosses over into your daily life and helps you to avoid moving in awkward ways which can avoid a number of potential injuries that otherwise may have occurred. 

Practising the deep squat:

Starting Point Option One With Heel Raise

Starting Point Option One With Heel Raise

Starting Point Option One Without Heel Raise

Starting Point Option One Without Heel Raise

Starting Point Option Two

Starting Point Option Two

Option One:

Using a door handle for support and heel raises (door stoppers from Bunnings) if ankle mobility is an issue.

Holding onto the door, slowly lower into a squat to a depth that feels manageable. Hold for up to one minute. Start slow, if a 10 second hold is all you can manage, that's ok.

 

 

As above, but if it is comfortable enough to do without needing a heel raise assist then use this version.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Option Two:

Using a doorway for support and heel raises (door stoppers from Bunnings) if ankle mobility is an issue.

Holding onto the doorway, slowly lower into a squat to a depth that feels manageable. Hold for up to one minute. Start slow, if a 10 second hold is all you can manage, that's ok.

Half deep squat on doorway regression.jpg

Alternative Depth:

If lowering deep into the squat isn't comfortable at first, then start at a depth that is. 

Take your time with this, slowly build up the amount of time you spend in the squat and then work on the depth. If you're using heel raises then aim to try and slowly wean off them (by having your feet further forward on the raise until you no longer need it) as it gets more comfortable. 

Once you have spent time (and it may take a lot of time, even a year or so) on your deep squat and feel comfortable enough to try without any assistance, start working on an unassisted deep squat.

Last Progression To Full Unassisted Deep Squat

Last Progression To Full Unassisted Deep Squat

This is the final destination of the deep squat journey! This is where you want to try and aim for eventually and then work up time spent in this position.

Once comfortable to do this you can gently rock side to side and forwards and backwards as well as gently twisting either side to try and create more movement through the ankles and hips in this position. Click here for a video demo.

Start your deep squat journey now! I would love to know how you go so feel free to post a pic of where you're at with the squat on our facebook page!

NO. 4 AND FINAL OF OUR TOP 4 AB EXERCISES: FITBALL OR TRX JACKNIFE AND/OR PIKE

Jackknife and Pike on a fitball or TRX. A great ab and core exercise for hitting the abs hard!

Want to train your ABS in an efficient, functional way?

As mentioned in the previous Sit-up posts, you all know (unlike most personal trainers), I am no fan of traditional sit-ups. So here is the fourth and final of 4 alternatives that will hit your abs hard and give you that burn that you probably desire. As well as increase the function of your core area if done correctly.

No. 4 in our Top 4 ab exercises

4. TRX or Fitball Jackknife/Pike:
This is really two in one as the pike is a good progression from the Jackknife! 

Using either a fitball or a TRX for the Jackknife.
Hands on floor in a pushup position with shins and ankles on fitball (or feet into TRX straps). Push your hands away from the floor to activate your shoulders, gently push your ankles into the ball and drive your knees towards your elbows. Make sure you brace your core and don't let your pelvis sag down or raise up too much. Keep your shoulders stable so there is no movement through them.

The pike is very similar but instead of bending the knees, keep them straight, push your feet into the fitball or straps and reach your butt towards the ceiling, whilst still pushing your hands away from the ground. Keep your neck neutral, I could probably have tucked my chin in a little bit more in this video. 
Only lift your hips as high as is comfortable. Mine go pretty high but start by getting used to the movement first and making sure you’re moving through your hips and not your lower back.

These are both quite advanced moves so please only attempt if you have relatively good stability and strength.

Otherwise, give it a go! :-)


LEARN HOW TO TRAIN SMART!

JOIN US AND TRAIN ONLINE USING OUR VERSATILE APP!

YOU WILL LEARN THE FUNDAMENTALS OF MOVEMENT AND HOW TO EXERCISE SMART.

PROGRAMS THOUGHTFULLY PUT TOGETHER BY A PHYSIOTHERAPIST QUALIFIED PERSONAL TRAINER.

GETTING YOU ON THE ROAD TO FITNESS SAFELY AND EFFECTIVELY!

NO. 3 OF OUR TOP 4 AB EXERCISES: STIR THE POT OR A FITBALL PLANK REGRESSION

A great exercise for functionally training your abs and core! Thanks to Stuart McGill for this one!

Want to train your ABS in an efficient, functional way?

As mentioned in the previous Sit-up posts, you all know (unlike most personal trainers), I am no fan of traditional sit-ups. So here is the third of 4 alternatives that will hit your abs hard and give you that burn that you probably desire. As well as increase the function of your core area if done correctly.

No. 3 in our top 4 ab exercises

3. STIR THE POT:
This is a killer exercise for your abs and core! 
Find a fitball, assume the plank position with a wide stance at the feet to begin with as this will be more manageable at first. Elbows on the ball but aim them to be just underneath the shoulders and about shoulder width apart.
SQUEEZE your gluts, PUSH your elbows into the ball to lift your body away from it. Make sure your butt isn't sticking in the air or lagging towards the ground (think good plank position).

If this is challenging enough then just start with a plank hold and work your way up to achieving 60seconds. Once this is manageable only then attempt the STIR THE POT.

Now you are ready to begin...whilst maintaining as close to zero movement through your torso as possible, gently make small circles with your elbows. Aim for around 6-8reps one way and then repeat the other way. You can then build on the reps as you get stronger or go for time instead. 

This is a great exercise for training your abdominal region to stabilise your pelvis and lower back. If you find your pelvis is rotating with this exercise and you are struggling to control it then maybe go back to the pallof press for a while as it may be a sign that your obliques are not in good working order.

Give it a go and let me know what you think.


LEARN HOW TO TRAIN SMART!

JOIN US AND TRAIN ONLINE USING OUR VERSATILE APP!

YOU WILL LEARN THE FUNDAMENTALS OF MOVEMENT AND HOW TO EXERCISE SMART.

PROGRAMS THOUGHTFULLY PUT TOGETHER BY A PHYSIOTHERAPIST QUALIFIED PERSONAL TRAINER.

GETTING YOU ON THE ROAD TO FITNESS SAFELY AND EFFECTIVELY!

NO. 2 OF OUR TOP 4 AB EXERCISES: FITBALL ROLLOUT OR TRX ROLLOUT

Fitball and TRX rollout exercise. A great way to functionally train your abs and improve core stability!

Want to train your ABS in an efficient, functional way?

As mentioned in the previous Sit-up post, you all know (unlike most personal trainers), I am no fan of traditional sit-ups. So here is the second of 4 alternatives that will hit your abs hard and give you that burn that you probably desire. As well as increase the function of your core area if done correctly.

No. 2 in our top 4 ab exercises

2. ROLLOUTS:

A great way to train your abdominals and work on core stability.

Using either a fitball or a TRX, kneel down, if using a fitball then place your hands on the ball about a foot or two in front of you. If using a TRX then grip the TRX about hip level. Slowly reach out (either rolling the ball out or letting the TRX push forward) whilst locking out your hips (you should feel your gluts & abs engage) so your knees; hips; shoulders are in a straight line. 
Only go as far as you can without feeling any discomfort in your back, if you do, then back off a bit. Don't think you have to rollout all the way, start small and progress. You should be feeling it in your abdominal region. 
Roll out and then back again for 1 rep, see how you go with the reps to determine where to start...don't push it at first though, only do what is comfortable and build on that. I'd suggest holding a good breath on the way out and breathing out as you come back to the start position.

Give it a go! :-)


LEARN HOW TO TRAIN SMART!

JOIN US AND TRAIN ONLINE USING OUR VERSATILE APP!

YOU WILL LEARN THE FUNDAMENTALS OF MOVEMENT AND HOW TO EXERCISE SMART.

PROGRAMS THOUGHTFULLY PUT TOGETHER BY A PHYSIOTHERAPIST QUALIFIED PERSONAL TRAINER.

GETTING YOU ON THE ROAD TO FITNESS SAFELY AND EFFECTIVELY!

1 OF OUR TOP 4 AB EXERCISES: PALLOF PRESS

A great exercise for oblique function!

As promised from our previous post, here is the first of four of our top abdominal exercises that won't harm your lower back.

Want to train your ABS in an efficient, functional way?

As mentioned in the previous Sit-up post, you all know (unlike most personal trainers), I am no fan of traditional sit-ups. So here is the first of 4 alternatives that will hit your abs hard and give you that burn that you probably desire. As well as increase the function of your core area if done correctly.

1. PALLOF PRESS:

This is a killer exercise for the OBLIQUES! 

Kneel down side on to either a light powerband or a cable (I would start with 10kg and go from there, this is harder than it looks!). You only need a small amount of tension if using the Powerband. Keep your hips locked out and hold the cable/powerband level with the bottom of your sternum. As you breathe out, extend the arms and lockout the elbows. The band/cable will want to pull you across to the attachment, the aim is to not let it, make sure you don't hold your breath or flex the hips, if you do then back off the band a bit or lower the weight.

Once this is manageable then try hold the arms out for a count of 5 seconds whilst still breathing.


LEARN HOW TO TRAIN SMART!

JOIN US AND TRAIN ONLINE USING OUR VERSATILE APP!

YOU WILL LEARN THE FUNDAMENTALS OF MOVEMENT AND HOW TO EXERCISE SMART.

PROGRAMS THOUGHTFULLY PUT TOGETHER BY A PHYSIOTHERAPIST QUALIFIED PERSONAL TRAINER.

GETTING YOU ON THE ROAD TO FITNESS SAFELY AND EFFECTIVELY!

PROGRESS AT THE STUDIO

A change is as good as a rest they say...

Well, we decided to change up the moov space this week to free up a lot more room in the gym and open it up a bit. Our Hatha Yoga Classes now have a better area to work with and there is a lot more floorspace available for things like crawling; animal flow; farmers carry's; walking lunges etc.

Check out some of our progress pics below...

So there it is...plenty of functional space to be utilised. See you at the Studio!

DON'T STOP MOOVING...

Our bodies were designed for movement. The more we don't move, the more we suffer and become sick.

Find ways in your day to encourage movement, whether it be on a small scale or a larger scale.

If you work from home, try and find different positions to work in, don't just sit all day and don't just stand all day.

- Spend a few minutes down on the floor in different positions with a laptop or book raised on a stool.

- Find a way to raise your work up on something that can encourage you to stand for a while whilst you work.

- Spend some of the day sitting on a fitball and moving your pelvis gently forwards and back/side to side/around in circles.

- Spend some time down on one knee in a hip flexor stretch; switch legs after 10minutes then spend some time down on both knees with hips open.

hip flexor stretch work in half kneeling
 

- If you have to make some phone calls during the day why not go for a walk whilst you are making them.

Challenge your body and your brain throughout the day to encourage a healthy lifestyle.

Go for long walks in nature when you have time after work or on the weekends. Breathe in fresh air and appreciate the beauty of the planet we live on. Leave your mobile phone at home and be in the present moment. 

Let's encourage healthy habits for ourselves and our children. Seek movement on a daily basis...

DeskMoovs - Complete Series
2.99

An easy to follow video routine of movements you can do right at your work desk, put together by a Physiotherapist. This 57 minute video will be all you need to help you gain more flexibility throughout your work day. Helping you avoid those aches and pains from sitting all day.

This video covers:

  • Lower Back & Hips
  • Upper Back & Shoulders
  • Neck & Headaches
  • Forearm / Wrist / Hands
  • De-Stress

It is packed with easy to follow instructions and education as well. A sure way to improve your productivity and get you feeling better!

This is a combination of all the DeskMoov videos we have on offer.