Success is a mindset

I work with a gentleman who knows success.

He is from Switzerland and has achieved in sport, business and has a lovely family.  Now in his 70’s Rolf comes to the gym with one thing in mind – to exercise as hard as he can and go home feeling like he is a step healthier.  He monitors his health with a fitbit – keeping a steady eye on weight, energy and sleep, whilst still enjoying a very social life.  Generally he works within the perimeters of our advice and avoids injury, sometimes he needs reminding, but he always gives as much as he has to give.

Rolf was a middle distance runner in Switzerland in his 20’s, achieving record times.  He still attacks his work outs with enthusiasm and vigour – obviously with the occasional off day(!!) knowing what it takes to keep strong and mobile, and active.

It has been a wonderful experience – I work with Rolf with two colleagues from New Energy Fitness (where I am based), making this a really rewarding all around approach. Anything in life gets repetitive with the same people and no one can offer everything.  We have a really great team who offer many different angles to health and fitness and whilst I would say I have most bases covered as a Coach I would also say that from the client perspective, having advice from a variety of people who are on the same page often excites more to get much better results.  Rocky offers him a different and fun way to keep cardio fitness, Helen opens the door to a dynamic way of training, with many compound exercises that challenge the brain and co-ordination, whilst I continue to pursue the journey of postural correctness and a huge emphasis on alignment, trying to rid of pain and avoid injury – always aiming for better technique in the full ange of motion exercises that we are aiming to do.

The best approach is often a multifaceted approach – when more than one person is saying the same thing in a different way and through a different avenue it is much easier to understand the importance of change and much easier to adopt it.  It is wonderful to find like minded people to work with and be able to have such amazing results.  Also by working on alignment, mobility, agility and strength one avoids the necessity for massage, physio etc keeping motivation high because one is keeping pain at bay.

 

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Amazing the mindset around MS

It has been truly amazing to work with Sarah.  She came to me in Jan 2016.  She was in a place of massive frustration of where to go.  The route that she had found available to her was constantly giving her the excuse that of course she was finding balance difficult – she had MS (Multiple Sclerosis – Click here to find out more about MS)

We decided to take the approach that Sarah was a client who had essentially had bed rest for a number of years and so had lost strength. She had had hip surgery to add to the complications and had not been given proper rehabilitation because there was always a concern of her MS – A confusion as to what was caused by the MS and what was from the surgery.  We have worked together with regular training sessions often twice a week to regain strength and to rewire the neurology and firing order of her muscles.  We have broken down every day moves into tiny bite sized pieces and have then built it all back up again.  In 2016 Sarah would use a wheel chair if any sort of distance was to be covered.  Now … I don’t think she even knows where her wheel chair is.  We have gone back to two sticks to encourage her to be straighter and to stand tall and weight bear more evenly.  She was getting all sorts of aches and pains in her lower back and we don’t seem to get that any more.  Her neck has grumbled a bit lately, but that is something we are working on because she is still not functioning quite straight enough and is still not as mobile in rotation and as stable in her hip as we would like.

I am sharing a video here of her progress over the last few years.  If you look at the walking style you will see the improvement.

Diseases like MS are not to be bowed down to.  We need to fight and stay strong physically and mentally.  Sarah’s strength is herself, and her resilience and her determination to be constantly improving.  She practices and practices what we work on – she is the one who does all the work I am just the guide.

How we effect our horse in our balance and riding style

This is a great video that shows the same horse being ridden in the same year by 4 different riders, all get a different response out of him.  The riders experience levels vary as do their techniques, age, weight, balance and way of motivating.  The video shows the different ways we influence.

The importance of “Recoil”

The importance of “Recoil”

Recoil is an interesting concept.  Do we need muscle strength?  Maybe our bodies move in fact through stretch and release – through recoil.  In golf, cricket, tennis to even handball player would we be able to throw the ball as far if we just had strong arm muscles but no body tension?

Recoil will only work if the trunk is stable and in correct alignment and posture in order to “winde the body up” in rotation or stretch so when released it can spring back to create power and movement.

Animals in the wild do this all the time.  Look at the cheetah – he lands with his back feet way under him and then he pushes off and fires his body like a catapult over the top of his legs and stretches out to as long as he can be and then releases the stretch and his feet come back through under him again.

 

There are hundreds of examples if this with other animals

 

In order to get the most power out of our bodies we need to do the same.  We either stretch in one plan or in rotation.  We need to hold the core strong and in good alignment in order to create maximum stretch in length and in tension. Just like the animals, as the runner’s leg hits the ground and the gluteus muscles pull the body forwards and over the foot, if the core stays strong and straight and the foot remains in contact with the floor creating maximum stretch down the front of the leg, hip and body, then the athlete simply picks the foot off the floor and flicks it up behind and in the process the muscles down the front of the body will contract and pull the leg forwards and through and so running becomes effortless.  When the body is not held strong and hunches over or bends at the waist, then running is an effort and leg strength is needed to push the body forwards through a bending and straightening of the knee, the knee then gets a lot of wear and tear, as does the spine, due to a lot of bending, becoming weakened and loads on the front and back edge of the discs creating more movement which can lead to irritation of the nerves at the facet joints plus due to excessive movement the discs degenerate and wear down causing even more likelihood for irritation of the nerves.  When nerves are irritated they cause pain either at the site or along the length of the nerve – sciatic pain is a good example of this.

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Other sports such as golf and tennis are great examples of rotation and how if we corkscrew the body around we then can let go of the turn and the torso will spin back to its neutral position creating power.  For example the serve in tennis, general shots like forehand, the golf swing etc all demonstrate that when a large back swing is used it will project the ball with more power.

 

We learn as we grow and develop that if we can really stretch we can be more powerful.  Here are some wonderful pictures of Thaïs Brûlé, a young handball player in France – really getting good height and great power as she stretches her hand away from her toes.  If she were to simply jump up and then throw she would get no where near the throwing power and accuracy, her play looks light and strong.

 

For more information on how to work on posture and core strength plus to have an assessment to look at your alignment please contact us on 07748560077.

Straightness

It is all very well to correct our straightness and our posture in a controlled gym environment but what we really need to be doing is correct it in al the actions and things we do in life.  This is where a static biomechanics assessment is invaluable – take a look from head to toe at the body and look at alignment, tightness, locked up areas and work out where the issues are and work out how to release and strengthen.

The Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar

The Benefits of apple cider vinegar are many.  But the main reason for taking a table spoon before every meal is to realign the pH level of the gut.  ACV is alkali and as most of the common ailments are due to too much acidity this is an incredibly good way to neutralise this imbalance.  Acidity essentially is degeneration, directly in the stomach one can develop ulcers, acid reflux etc; it causes muscle wastage due to the buffering necessary regain an equilibrium, it causes bone decay due to the fact that the calcium its stripped as a form of alkali; it causes tooth decay for the same reason as bone decay.

A small amount of ACV can reverse this acidity.

Acidity comes from the modern diet, preservatives, toxins etc, high stress levels and adrenalin levels, intense exercise produces lactic acid, alcohol and drugs, prescription drugs such as antibiotics.

Think we get prescribed ant-acid to combat stomach issues. antibiotics are known to have side effect – acid reflux, ulcers etc.

For more see the link here – www.gerson.org

 

Is inequality right? Andy Murray defends Women in tennis

We are in a world where men and women are trying as hard as each other to succeed and win championships, participate in sports, and be part of teams.

The same experience has to be reached, the same desire and determination, the same sacrifices and choices made, and the same heart felt disappointment when things don’t go right.  Why is this respect not there?  Andy Murray brings this up in a recent interview – http://www.telegraph.co.uk/tennis/2017/07/14/serena-williams-love-andy-murray-defending-womens-issues/

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Inequality is so unfair because it is hugely disrespectful.  What are the reasons for choosing men in teams over women, reasons paying men more in job scenarios than women – we are seeing recently with the BBC.  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-39502872.    Is this the world we want to bring our children in to.  Many of these decisions are made by men, and many men have children who are girls.  Do they want this road to continue for the daughters/ nieces/ cousins?

Ignorance in communication is incredible – we have the Volvo Ocean Race openly trying to engage women and encouraging teams to take them, then they go and allow sexist comments to be printed by male competitors implying that the inclusion of women is a “social experiment”  how is this acceptable?!!

What is the world afraid of?  What is going to happen – other than it becoming a happier place.  And I am not even talking as deep as the suppression that is still going on in the middle and far east.  That is simply a disgrace.

It is time to make a change for the kids of the future – educate the sons and daughters of the future.  There are blatent issues on our doorstep and there are issues in the Far and Middle East ….. what are we going to do about it?  Dad’s and Mum’s look at your kids and work out a plan.

There are some great initiatives out there – This Girl Can

THINK ABOUT IT – TIME TO CHANGE