Energy…Give Me More!

By Michelle Owen.

We all want to have abundant energy to get us through the work day…and still have more to go to dance the night away!

This is one of the most common things that people want when they come and see me – more energy.

As C,H.E.K Practitioners, we never treat the disease that has the person – we only treat the person that has the disease. So for those suffering from lack of energy and its consequent disease, we teach how to embrace the Six Foundation Principles. These are:

THOUGHT,  BREATH,  HYDRATION,  NUTRITION,  EXERCISE   and   SLEEP.

As far as energy goes, I have written many things on the importance of breathing correctly, hydration, quality of food, postural balance, exercise and sleep.

This time I am focusing on thought.

Thought triggers emotions. Every thought we have has a corresponding emotion, and every emotion has a hormonal and energetic reaction within our body. Hence our Psychology is our Biology.

Thought always comes first and the thought creates the emotion. For instance, if the thought is: “I don’t like my job” or, “Nobody loves me” these thoughts can cause us to feel very unhappy. Consequently our energy levels fall. The same goes for other life situations such as relationships; self image; financial status etc.

Poor thinking pumps stress hormones into our body. Over time this causes hormonal imbalances, leading to decreased energy and disease. Too much stress or poor thought of any sort will weaken the immune system, no doubt about it!

When we create what we don’t want, our energy decreases.

When we create what we do want, our energy increases.

When we are in tune with what we really want, we never run out of energy!


We are all given the same amount of life force. If people are sick or tired they still have the same amount of life force, they are just channeling their energy differently. Creating new and positive thought is the most powerful way out of this.

Pain of any sort, physical or emotional, is the compass of our soul. These experiences help to push us to make better choices to get to our higher self. The more the pain, the more we are out of alignment with who we really are.

For some people, injury or illness can be one of the most valuable things in life, maybe not in the moment, but the learning from the experience because it can be so life changing! It can lead to greater knowledge of themselves, greater health, love and appreciation of all they have in life. Quite often it is only on their death bed that people’s appreciation for life is amplified.

Wouldn’t it be far better to reach this appreciation while they are in fully involved in life?

Give yourself some energy

Energy is like money in the bank – What are you doing to put it back? Or are you spending it all?

A lot of my clients are so busy; they squeeze things into every moment of the weekday and their weekend! This is great for productivity, but we all need to stop and refuel at certain times. Running on the fast track without rest and recovery soon leads to decreased energy, depression, anxiety, long term adrenal exhaustion, and burn out.

There are many different ways we can give energy back to ourselves (get the money in the bank). For instance:

  • Meditation
  • Hot baths or spa pools with oils and candles
  • Saunas
  • Good quality food in the right balance for your metabolic type
  • Deep breathing
  • Any time spent in nature
  • Time with animals
  • Time with good friends/family/people that give you peace
  • Massage
  • Soul healing work
  • Pedicures/manicure/facials
  • Nice energy music, movies or reading
  • Good quality exercise
  • Low level exercise like stretching, mobilizations, tai chi etc.
  • Getting to bed before 10pm.
  • Having afternoon naps

Give to yourself often, even if it is small. If you spend all your energy without giving back, you will end up emotionally and physically bankrupt.

The importance of clearing past traumas

The human mind is an endlessly complex creation made up of the conscious/subconscious or active/reactive mind.

The subconscious or reactive mind stores every picture of our past, good or bad. This includes sight, sound, smells etc.

The reactive mind is so strong that in times of stress it takes over our conscious mind and can put us back into the feelings of past experiences. This can cause all sorts of pain physically and emotionally. It also keeps us stuck in feelings of loss, fear, anger; an endless list of negative emotions.

I believe that one of the most powerful things we can do to recreate health in mind, body, and soul is to get professional help in clearing past traumas/ experience that keep us stuck in poor patterns, repeating the same cycles. A professional will guide you along the path that best suits you, for many such paths exist. I have tried several and continue to do so. All are very powerful and each person will find a different one that works for them.

To me they are all different roads to the same outcome of cleaning up rubbish in our minds.

Michelle Owen
Michelle is a C.H.E.K Practitioner Level 3 and CHEK Holistic Lifestyle Coach Level 3. With a successful studio in Auckland, New Zealand, Michelle works as a Postural and Wellness Specialist, Lifestyle Coach and Practitioner. She also offers onsite Corporate Wellness Seminars and has spoken for a number of corporate companies including Hyatt Regency, Kensington Swan and ANZ Bank. As a Key Note Speaker, Michelle is passionate about bringing the CHEK principles to people everywhere.
www.michelleowen.co.nz
www.stitchedup.co.nz

FIT JOINTS Series #1: Atlas “The Master Control Centre”

Introducing a new contributor to the HQH Fitness blog – Dr. Theresa Dobson.

PART ONE OF THE “FIT JOINTS” SERIES

Introduction

Let’s have a look under your skin. OOOUCH!!!

No doubt you have spoken that profound word (amongst others) when you have engaged in the journey of a joint injury. Most of us have and this is not surprising considering life in the 2011’s requires most of us to be endurance athletes in and out of our work environment:

We wake to an alarm, toes to carpet and we’re off rushing in to the new day.

Combine that with the fact that most sports, jobs and hobbies (both recreational and professional) require that we use our bodies in very imbalanced and repetitive movement patterns…and our bodies will be sure to remind us of it at the end of each day!

Years of experience as a Chiropractor, Sports Practitioner, and having the delightful challenge of working with professional athletes, coaches and trainers in the full spectrum of sports has taught me that most joint injuries occur within a very small range within the joint – generally when a joint is taken past its normal end range of motion to the minute amount of 0-4 degrees.

Indeed this sounds quite ridiculous!

However, when you understand the intimate relationship of the body’s “playful threesome”:

Tendons + Ligaments + Muscle

which make up the basic foundation for joint movement, you too will become intrigued at the intimacy of this relationship.

So…lets take a peak beneath our skin!

FACT: There are 206 bones in the human body (note that this number will vary slightly for those special genetic off throws). In order for these eager bones to move and perform for us, they require the assistance of the “playful threesome”.  This threesome literally become the pulley and lever system for the bones. Quite honestly it is like a game of puppetry. Without this pulley and lever system we wouldn’t be much more mobile or interesting than a sea slug!

Here is a user friendly version of the threesome:

  • Ligaments are strong fibres (like thick fishing lines) binding bone to bone, allowing and limiting motion and providing attachment sites for muscle tendons.
  • Tendons are fibrous tissue (again like fishing lines) connecting muscles to bones.
  • Muscles are tissue made up of contractile fibres ( like elastic bands) that effect and create movement of bones.

So in short, as the muscle contracts, it shortens. With support of the tendon attachment to the bone it levers the bones in different directions depending on the joint type and shape. Ligaments secure, protect and hold bones together. This “threesome” allow our body’s the joy of movement!

So to keep a joint fit and healthy, we must keep it within the range of motion dictated by the joint shape and function as well as the ligament’s protective grip.

Joint Injuries in Relation to Sports:

Most sports force imbalanced muscle demands, demands which twist us one direction, loading one side of our joints, ligaments, tendons and muscles. This creates uneven contracted strong muscles on one side and weak, loose muscles on the other, in turn putting tremendous stress across the joint which ripens it for injury.

Then an athlete takes this stressed joint out to play and the slightest 0-4 degrees of unfamiliar movement or impact punishes the joint or muscle. In turn this angry joint punishes you!

A postural / length tension assessment can reveal and correct imbalances, but should be done by a qualified practitioner.

Not so FAQ’s…but on the “need to know” list:

Muscles heal quicker than tendons/ ligaments as they hog large amounts of blood (which contains the jewels of healing), whereas ligaments/tendons get very little blood and heal slowly (Zen patience required!).

JOINT OF THE MONTH:

This month I will address the most important joint – the top of the spine is top on my list.

“The Master Control Centre” – C1 (Atlas Vertebra).

Located just behind your earlobe, your atlas is a 2-ounce bone at the top of your neck that is responsible for supporting the weight of your head – which can weigh between 9 and 17 pounds! Not only is the atlas the first bone in your neck, but it is the foundation of your head and centre of balance of your body.

The atlas surrounds and protects the upper spinal cord and brain stem region, and houses over three trillion of your nerve fibres that live feed ingoing/outgoing data from your brain to your whole body.

It is critical for an athlete to have this checked, as a misaligned atlas can affect reaction time, balance, speed, recovery, sleep, immune system, and peripheral vision – just to name a few.

Did you know:

Your atlas can be misaligned via impact, muscle imbalance, repetitive movements and stress. And in most cases you won’t even realise!

What exactly is a “misaligned atlas”?

A misaligned atlas is essentially “vertebral subluxation”, where the head is not quite centred. And when your head is not sitting level over your atlas vertebra, your whole body can twist off centre. Essentially this creates a “domino effect” due to the pressure at the brain stem affecting your whole nerve system that feeds information to every part of your body On an x-ray, it simply looks like the head is at an angle to the base of the neck. In some cases it can be incredibly subtle, in others more extreme.

Side effects:

A misaligned atlas can result in tight neck muscles, neck pain, organ and joint dysfunction and the common headache. In some cases it can refer down the spine and result in lower back pain or other injuries or symptoms.

How can you tell if an Atlas is misaligned?

As a chiropractor, I studied the Atlas-Axis complex for four years – there’s much more to it than you may realise! Through specific tests, touch and observation I can tell immediately. However most people don’t have the luxury to spend four years on this one area!

Practitioners may use X-Rays as well as tests to observe the feet – looking at leg-length discrepancies. Others may be able to observe that simply by doing a postural assessment. A C.H.E.K Practitioner learns two key tests that can indicate if an Atlas is misaligned – one is a marching test, and the second is using two weight scales and identifying a weight shift. If you are interested in learning more, I recommend you seek out a C.H.E.K Practitioner or look into the CHEK program for further study.

How to fix it:

Atlas correction is a passive avenue to gain huge sporting advantages. However it is a very specialized field, so you will always need to go to – or refer your client to – a specialist in this area. Important note: Always be very aware of the specialist you use or refer to, because a simple “neck crack” does not always suffice! Often neck adjustments performed in this manner do not target the specific area of the joint that needs adjusting. There is a reason I spent four years studying this one area, and that is because it is incredibly complex. Rather than a generic approach, my method is to make small and specific adjustments in the area required, to ensure that my patient’s specific needs are addressed. I recommend you seek out someone who does the same if you suspect an atlas problem in the spine.

Next month’s FIT JOINT Series article will focus on the Knee.

Dr. Theresa Dobson

Doctor of Chiropractric, Neck Specialist, Neuromuscular Therapist, Biokinetics Practitioner, CHEK Holistic Lifestyle Coach Level II, Sports-Specific Practitioner and Seminar Presenter, Dr. Theresa Dobson has a long-standing rep utation as a highly experienced and knowledgeable practitioner. With two clinics located in Auckland and on the North Shore, Theresa works with a wide spectrum of patients such as professional rugby players, boxers, surfers, yachtsmen, cyclists, motor racers, soccer players, as well as recreational sportsmen and women of all age groups. Theresa is currently setting up a new business, guiding people through the “Dos and Don’ts” of surgery, offering programs and seminars to advise patients how to manage their pain effectively.
www.activecare.co.nz         www.stitchedup.co.nz
Theresa Dobson welcomes your emails at info@activecare.co.nz

Surfing Your Way To Success With Total Gym

Inspired by summer creeping up around the corner and a couple of fantastic surfing videos on the new-look Total Gym website, this month I decided to write an article for our Total Gym owners – how to use Total Gym to train surfers. Many of the exercises came from GRAVITY Master Trainer Jeff Groh, which you can view on the Total Gym website.
Click here to view videos (note: these are alphabetical – click the right arrow twice to get to ‘S’). The models in the pictures below are Nicole Decker, Rob Glick and Jeff Groh.

Total Gym and Surfing

Surfing is so much more than just “getting up on the board.” And when it comes to competitive surfing – that is a whole other playing field. A very specific functional strength is required to replicate the movement patterns of surfing. The primary ones being:

  • Paddling
  • Duck Diving
  • Popping Up
  • Manoeuvres on the Board (requires a strong core for stability / balance)

To achieve functional strength, the muscles of the upper body, lower body and core have to be trained in a way that translates directly over to the sport in a synergistic manner. While isolation in some cases is necessary (core, beginner, rehab, etc.), primarily the athlete should be trained using exercises that challenge a combination of muscles – to replicate how they are challenged while surfing. This is necessary to improve or get the edge on a competitor…and is what separates the winners from all others.

Space/Time Saving Solution

As a personal trainer you want to give your client the most effective workout possible. However the time spent changing machines and moving to different areas within a room eats up time and disrupts what should be a time-efficient yet still challenging experience – particularly with professional athletes.

Total Gym ticks all the boxes because it enables you to work within a small area (a “pod”), maximising both your time and your client’s. In regards to the surfer it offers stability challenges, has core integration in most exercises, offers seamless strength transitions and near-unlimited advancements to ensure continued progression. Total Gym has incredible functional applications to almost any sport, and when it comes to surfing it is ideal for replicating many of the real-life actions of the sport.

And you don’t need to be an expert at surfing – you just need to understand the movement patterns and functional strength required to develop in the sport. Not sure what functional strength is exactly? Click on this link to read a great article by friend and colleague Dean QuirkeUnderstanding the Principles of Functional Training.

The added benefit of Total Gym is it is the perfect training tool not only for able-body surfers, but also surfers who have some kind of limitation or disability and are restricted by the equipment they can use.

Examples of Exercises to Benefit Surfers using Total Gym

Following are some functional exercises for the surfer using Total Gym. As we lead into summer there are loads of opportunities to start developing programs and promoting to attract novices who are ready to get back on the board or professionals who want a leading edge.

PADDLING – Surfer Lat Pull.


This popular exercise is a great way to challenge the lats/back while integrating the core, increasing the strength and endurance required for paddling out, or just prior to catching a wave (modification-high kneeling).

__________________________________________________________________________

PADDLING – Swimmer.

Strengthen the back musculature and arms in a swimming motion for muscle endurance. The unique thing about Total Gym is the glideboard – allowing the surfer to replicate the movement with resistance.

__________________________________________________________________________

PADDLING – Prone Reverse Fly with Back Extension.

Again, strengthen the back musculature with another great exercise. This position has more focus on scapula retraction and shoulders. Incorporate as little or as much back extension as the client needs.

__________________________________________________________________________

DUCK DIVING – Dive Bomber.

This exercise replicates duck diving under a wave or popping up on a surfboard. It could be likened to a pike, however it is quite different. The starting position has the heels raised and a neutral core position. The client ducks down towards the board, and moves into back extension. This translates into functional strength for surfers ducking under waves.

__________________________________________________________________________

POPPING UP – Prone to Quadraped.

While it is not safe to pop up to a standing position on the glideboard, you can pop up to a Quadraped position which is still a great stability challenge. Direction comes from the trainer (call out “pop up!”). A great method is to have the athlete performing a swimming motion on the glideboard lying prone (left), then the trainer calls and the athlete moves into the quadraped position (right).

__________________________________________________________________________

POPPING UP – Drop Squat.

While there are a number of squat variations that can be performed on Total Gym, all ideal for lower body functional strength for a surfer, the drop squat in particular is unique as it mimics the concept of popping up and landing in a flexed position. It also protects the knees while still providing the necessary challenge required. This is different to a normal squat in that the knees pop up, then land in a neutral position as the feet land on the squat stand. Holding additional weights at the upper body increases the challenge.

__________________________________________________________________________

CORE – Jack Knife.

With the SCRUNCH® accessory, you can achieve an incredible core-targeted workout. SCRUNCH® elevates core training by allowing the athlete to stretch, strengthen and stabilise the entire core and trunk for a targeted abdominal workout. This is of great benefit to the surfer who needs to acheive optimal core strength to effectively manoeuvre the surfboard.

__________________________________________________________________________

STRETCHES – Hip Flexor

There is a lot of shortening of the abdominals and hip flexors with the SCRUNCH exercise, so Total Gym allows the athlete to round out again by assisting an incredibly effective and deep hip flexor stretch. The glideboard allows for a dynamic stretch option so the athlete can move deeper and deeper into the stretch as required.

__________________________________________________________________________

STRETCHES – Hip Flexor with Reach


The Hip Flexor stretch can be modified into a 3-dimensional stretch by adding arm drivers in the sagittal plane, frontal plane and transverse plane. This offers an incredible variation with the movements, opening up the entire body and rounding everything out again.

__________________________________________________________________________

MOBILISATION – Foam Roller (Vertical and Horizontal)

A surfer is often in a flexed position and the spine will relish a release. Horizontal and vertical mobilisation is incredibly effective for this using the correct sized foam roller (100mm diameter). Click here to download a Foam Roller article for more about this.

MODIFICATIONS

Total Gym is an exciting piece of equipment due to the diversity and endless possibilities. Not only can this single piece of equipment achieve well over 200 exercises, you can add other training tools to enhance an exercise or further increase the exercise possibilities.

  • For enhanced strength incorporate Dumbbells, Kettlebells, Medicine Balls, Weight Bar, Plates, and more.
  • For increased functional stability incorporate a Suspension Training tool or Cable Machine.
  • For stability challenges incorporate BOSU, DuraDisc, or any other unstable platform to use with Total Gym.

The glideboard is also adjustable – it be positioned from an incline to a horizontal position to act as a bench and it can be positioned at the ground level for evolved Pilates work.

The possibilities are endless. The rest I will leave up to your imagination!

SUMMARY

The exercise prescription for surfers to achieve their goals needs to be functional, compound movements that challenge the entire body to achieve the necessary levels of strength, mobility and flexibility. And, most importantly, these need to translate directly over to the movement patterns of surfing. If you’re a Total Gym owner – then you’ve got a great way to achieve this.

Click here to download this article in PDF format and view a breakdown of each exercise including more images and progression options.

Shara Curlett
Shara began her career in the fitness industry at Les Mills Dunedin in 2005 and from there combined her passion for fitness with her strength in business to create a niche role for herself specialising in “the business of fitness”. Shara has consulted for gyms and small studios, developed an indoor cycling program, and continues to work one on one with fitness business owners as a sideline passion. As business development and marketing manager for HQH Fitness, Shara is focused on business development, company strategy and marketing.

Understanding the Principles of Functional Training

‘Functional Training’ is a term that has been used dare I say it “loosely” within our industry over the last few years.

So what does the term ‘Functional Training’ really mean?

What I will aim to do in this article is to give you an overview of some of the principles of functional training and how you can apply those principles to improve client performance through exercise prescription.

Let’s first take a look at some of the definitions of functional movement:

  • An exercise continuum involving balance and proprioception, performed with the feet on the ground and without machine assistance, such that strength is displayed in unstable conditions and body weight is managed in all movement planes.
  • Multi-joint, multi-planar, proprioceptively enriched activity that involves deceleration (force reduction), acceleration (force production) and stabilisation; controlled ammounts of instability; and management of gravity, ground reaction forces and momentum.
  • A spectrum of activities that condition the body consistent with its integrated movement/use.

All of these definitons authentically state what functional movement is, but with the growth of new trends within the health and fitness industry we tend to lose site of the application of some of these principles.

To keep things simple, I propose an alternative definition:

Functional Training involves movements which are specific to the task or purpose within a person/s activities of daily living.

Conditioned Athlete vs. Non-Conditioned Athlete

There seems to be a belief that sports activities differ from active daily living and that we should train our conditioned athletes one way and our non-conditioned athletes another way. While this is typically true in terms of power and performance, both activities share some basic features:

  • They involve skillful application of ground reaction forces.
  • Forces are transmitted through the body through a chain reaction.
  • Tasks are performed in 3 dimensional planes of motion.
  • In order to achieve balance and skills needed to perform these tasks, we regularly get into certain postions. As these tasks are performed more reguarly, motor programs and functional adaptions are reinforced.

For these reasons it’s helpful to re-think the traditional distinction between athletic and non-athlethic activities.

Therefore when designing a program we can look at the fundamentals of the type of activity which is being performed by either the conditioned athlete or the non-conditioned athlete. Then we can then determine the role ‘functional training’ will play in either the enhancement of performance or is helpful in improving the overhall quality of life.

Principles of Function

Principle 1 

Function is 3 Dimensional and includes all three planes of movement:

  • Sagittal: Front to Back
  • Frontal: side to side
  • Transverse: Rotational

Principle 2

The physical forces that the body has to contend with are:

  • Gravity
  • Ground Reaction Forces
  • Momentum

Principle 3

Movement is Driven

  • Drivers of the body

Note: For example we would classify the foot as the driver during an anterior balance reach with the foot reaching towards the specified target.

Principle 4

  • Chain Reaction

As 3D movement includes the whole body and involves multiple joints, we must therefore assume that there will be a chain reaction created throughout the body as we deal with the physical forces.

Applying these Principles of Functional Training

As trainers we all have an understanding of exercise prescription and an abundance of different exercises to choose from in our forever expanding tool bag.

However we must understand that it is not the exercise that will determine the success of the movement – it is the movement that will determine the success of our exercise prescription.

I often see clients that have come to me for post-rehabilitation after several weeks of working with a health professional during the acute phase of injury. These clients have mostly had a reduction in pain and are therefore ready to engage in a post-rehabilitative exercise program.

After an initial subjective summary we start to build a picture of the client’s functional health and activity history. An example of this would be a client who sprained their left ankle 6 months ago and received no treatment for that injury. A great one to remember for later on, whilst performing the client’s functional assessment.

A typical functional assessment would include:

  • Gait evaluation
  • Balance Reach
  • Lunge
  • Excursion Tests
  • Other Tests

Staying within our principles of function, let’s take a look at the balance reach assessment.

For example:

Observing the Sagittal Plane Balance Reach

We direct our client to reach their right leg anteriorly and posteriorly at a verticality of ground and at a distance of mid range.

Results

Interestingly during our observation our client shows a limitation in dorsi-flexion through the left ankle complex when reaching the right leg anteriorly.

Exercise Prescription

On completion of our functional evaluation we can review our subjective summary and observation of functional movement before we determine our exercise prescription. The great thing about a functional assessment is that some of the exercises that we use to assess our clients may be also prescribed in our exercise selection.

For example

Balance Reach Observation

Our observation in the sagital plane showed a degree of limitation in dorsiflexion in the left ankle on a anterior reach with the foot as the driver.

Corrective Exercise selection

Balance Reach – Frontal Plane

Frontal plane reach with foot driver working within the ‘threshold of success’ – same exercise selection but alternative plane selected to work on improving the mobility of the ankle complex.

Conclusion

Observing our client’s movement in all three planes of motion may help us to identify a series of limitations in their functional capabilities.

Clients learn new skills in stages so it is important to work with our clients within the ‘threshold of success’. It is important to recognise these stages and to prescribe your exercises accordingly.

Mistakes play an important role in how we learn, as long as we are adhering to the main principles of function and our mistakes are minimal. The trainer must be able to identify those mistakes and be able to provide a solution to enhance our client’s functional capabilities.

References:

  • Mentoring Workshop 2011 Dirk Crafford Orthopaedic Rehab and Performance Consultant and Founder of Functional Health Fitness
  • Santanaj.c. (2000) Functional Training Boca Raton FL: Optimal performance systems

Dean Quirke
Master Dip. Fitness Testing & Sports Therapy, Dip. Exercise Science, BWLA Weight Lifting Coach, Advanced Strength Training AGSHSS Corrective Exercise Level 2, AGSHSS Pre & Post Natal Exercise, AGSHSS Myofascial Trigger Point Release Therapy, CHEK Exercise Coach,NLP & Transformational Coach, GRAVITYPost-rehab Trainer. Dean specialises in corrective exercise, injury prevention, weight management and special populations. Based out of Sydney, Dean’s passions lie within movement and rehabilitation. This has led him on an incredible journey of self discovery and education. Dean believes there is a great need and a requirement to be open-minded and adaptable in order to be successful in this field.
www.holistichealthconcepts.com
Ph: 04 3144 1213  or   Mob: 0431 441 213
“We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” – George Bernard Shaw


Make What Is Yours

By Josh Smith

“The only time success comes before work is in the dictionary”…

The freedom to choose; to decide; and to determine our own outcomes is the most powerful ability human beings have over our animal counterparts.

We have the ability to see a situation unfolding, process it, and then decide which path of future action we wish to take. More often than not, we take the paths that are familiar to us, that have meaning to us, and which allow us to continue living comfortably and happily. And more often than not there is nothing wrong with this!

But I believe it is the continual striving for the comfortable, the need for the familiar, and the lack of motivation to break free of the ‘norm’, that all too often limits our chances to transcend our capabilities.

How often have you heard it said of famous authors, inventors, and entrepreneurs that their success comes not from following the paths of those in front of them, but from beating down new paths behind them? They forge their own way; creating new beliefs, developing new philosophies and changing the consciousness of hundreds, thousands or even MILLIONS of people in the process!

These people live life knowing that the decisions they make and how they choose to spend their time has a direct impact upon the way their life pans out, and ultimately, the successes to which themselves, their families and their businesses reach.

So this month I ask the following:

Is your time being best used to maximise your potential life success?

Do you spend time working on developing yourself, becoming better in your chosen field of work or establishing and maintaining healthy relationships with your friends and family?

If not…is now the time to do so?

It is constantly said that it is small things we do, day to day, that make the biggest differences in our lives.

So today…

  • Instead of spending your lunch break talking about last night’s X-Factor or Biggest Loser results, why not spending it engaging a co-worker in a meaningful conversation?
  • Instead of sneaking minutes looking over friends’ photos and news feeds on Facebook, why not spend those minutes trawling the net for informative articles and stories?

You will be amazed at how your life can change from just swapping the minutes you spend on intellect-depleting distractions to energy-creating pro-actions!

It is within you.

Josh Smith
Josh is the Director of Mitise Health & Fitness, offering Personal Training, Nutritional Guidance, Lifestyle Coaching, Personal Development, Corporate Seminars, BootCamps and Boxing Groups. Josh is a qualified CHEK Exercise Coach, CHEK Holistic Lifestyle Coach Level 1 and GRAVITYPersonalTrainer, along with various other qualifications and trainings, and is a very inspirational individual. Mitise (pronounced my-ties) is a word invented by Josh and actually stands for “It is within/in Me“. Check out the spelling of Mitise and you’ll see the connection. Clever huh!

www.mitisehealth.com
twitter.com/MitiseHealth

Posture and Pain

By Michelle Owen.

The Impact of Forward Head Posture.

Other than acute injury or trauma, most of the mild discomfort or chronic pain felt in the neck, shoulders and back are contributed by adopting poor posture. This adoption of poor posture can start in our early childhood years and progressively develop over time into pain, discomfort and for some, debilitating illness.

In Fig 1 (right) we see on the left good posture – where the line running through the ear, middle of the shoulder (as well as the hip and ankle if they were in view).

On the right however, we see that the head has migrated forward and the ear lobe does not line up.

Every inch your head is forward in posture, you are adding the additional weight of your head.

If your head posture is 3 inches forward from the correct position you will have added 3 times the normal weight, which is an additional 10 to 15 kg of load on the spinal column where the head and neck joins the back (Fig 1 No 1 & 2).

The effects are never felt immediately as neck and back problems develop over time and can start from a very early age, for example from poor sitting posture at school or carrying heavy back packs.

As a result of having a forward head posture and rounded shoulders, (Fig 1 No 3) the angle of the first rib gets depressed. The result of this is that major organs in your body will become compressed and not be able to sit in their proper location and position. This restricts them from proper healthy function and adds additional and unnecessary stress to your body. It will also affect your overall wellness, vitality and quality of life.

Quite often people will develop a fatty tissue deposit called a Dowager’s Hump located where the neck meets the upper spine, as the body attempts to stabilise the additional head weight. There is also a huge pressure exerted on the spinal cord (Fig 1 No 2). Its ability to carry messages and feelings is restricted and impaired to the point where we suffer severe problems.

Other examples of areas affected by poor posture are poor lymphatic drainage and poor circulation throughout your body – the pump system including the heart, diaphragm etc.

The spine also houses the spinal cord, which is an intricate sensory network that runs through the vertebrae to transmit feeling and movement commands from the brain throughout the entire body.

When posture is poor we are putting pressure on the whole nervous system and this is extremely draining to our daily energy and vitality.

Correcting Poor Posture

If you have forward head posture you will most likely have other related issues that also need to be addressed. The only way to correct poor posture is to treat the body as a whole.

As a C.H.E.K. Practitioner Level 3, I will begin with a comprehensive in-depth Postural and Orthopedic Analysis. From this assessment I can determine which muscles are tight, weak or long.

Once a program has been designed to correct the imbalances in the body that are causing the discomfort or pain, the client begins to learn a specific stretching plan to stretch “the tight muscles only”. Upon mastering this we would move along to stabilise the spine and the weak muscles throughout the body that we found during the assessment.

From there we move into functional movement patterns that we do on a daily basis, to strengthen the body as a whole. This becomes the base of the strength and conditioning program to move the client into other goals that they may want to achieve. These may include things such as body fat loss, muscle shape/tone, and strength for home, work or sports.

Our body is just like a car. We can be a vintage in great condition or a new model all beaten up and not running well. Age does not have to determine our condition.

If you have mild discomfort now, it will not correct itself, it will only amplify as time goes on.

Remember, prevention is always better than cure!

Footnote

If you have imbalance in your body and you do a balanced fitness programme you will have no chance to correct the imbalance. Fixing muscle imbalance is very individualised. Your body needs to be coached out of imbalance through specific exercise as well as a re-education process that addresses every other area of your life, e.g. sitting, walking, lifting, working positions etc. This is done at a neural, (brain) level. We have to re-educate the way that we think about our posture.

Also, you could have the best exercise program in the world but if you did not apply the six foundation principles you may not have the ability to recover and repair. Using the 6 Life Principles we can support the postural correction with improvements in our overall wellness. For more on the 6 Life Principles visit www.michelleowen.co.nz

A Note from Michelle.

In this article you have read about the impact of poor head posture and the effect this has on our whole body. It is
imperative to point out that any poor posture in any part of our bodies impacts on the rest of our body. I am using Forward Head Posture as an example and it is only one common postural dysfunction that isrequired to be treated in many people.

Information resourced from “C.H.E.K Practitioner Level 3 manual” from Paul Chek and the C.H.E.K Institute.

Michelle Owen
Michelle is a C.H.E.K Practitioner Level 3 and CHEK Holistic Lifestyle Coach Level 3. With a successful studio in Auckland, New Zealand, Michelle works as a Postural and Wellness Specialist, Lifestyle Coach and Practitioner. She also offers onsite Corporate Wellness Seminars and has spoken for a number of corporate companies including Hyatt Regency, Kensington Swan and ANZ Bank. As a Key Note Speaker, Michelle is passionate about bringing the CHEK principles to people everywhere.

www.michelleowen.co.nz

What Role Does ROI Play In Your Business?

We are in a time when now more than ever, setting up a business is not as easy as 1, 2, 3.

We need to consider a multitude of factors and are often restricted by a limited budget and strict timeframe.

So how do you start up a business – maximise your return – and most importantly survive the statistics of failing as a small business within 2 – 5 years?

Possibly one of the most important factors that is often overlooked – is your ROI.

So what is “ROI”?

ROI stands for Return on Investment (also known as “rate of return”, “rate of profit”, or simply “return”). Basically it is the ratio of money coming in (cash flow / income / profit), relative to the total amount invested (capital / asset / expense).

Now if you start getting into this it can get quite complicated, however for the purpose of this article we’ll simplify it right down.

In regards to your fitness business, the key factors you want to look at in regards to your ROI is:

  • How long will it take you to recover the money you have invested?
  • Will you still be paying the equipment off in 6 months? 12 months? 2 years? Longer?

Key ROI tips when Setting Up Your Business…

Tip #1 – Avoid Unhealthy Debt

You don’t need to purchase everything outright when you first start out! Always consider your budget. If you have savings and can purchase outright – fantastic! If however you need finance, then that’s another story.

Do you already have debt? If so – will more finance add extra pressure and stress to you and your business before you even start?

If you have no existing debt but do need finance – then the next step is to consider what you need vs. what you simply want. Wants and needs are two very different things!

Unhealthy debt creates a stranglehold on your business. It generates stress and creates unnecessary pressure as you build your business.

Positive debt (if it can be called this…!) is based on your projected rate of return or ROI realistically being achieved within a minimal timeframe; from 6 to 12 months.

In regards to your fitness equipment selection, always choose equipment that is within your means (budget) and not excessive to needs. Therefore you will maximise your ROI and ensure you will pay it off within a reasonable time frame.

From here you can make the choice to gradually invest in more equipment. A positive method is to save as you go, and only invest in more equipment that you can purchase outright. Then you can safely do so with the knowledge that you’re not adding extra pressure to yourself or your business.

And…you can make a big deal about new equipment coming in via newsletter and social media so your clients start getting excited about these new toys!

Tip #2 – Set Up the Smart Way

Setting up the smart way” begins from Day 1 of planning your business. The questions you need to keep asking yourself are

What is the most cost-effective way to do this?”

And “Does this fit within my budget or is this excess to needs?

Now some things can’t be helped – accountant, insurance, design work, business cards. However some of these things can be helped with a little know-how, or thinking outside the square.

  • Can you do a contra with a professional you know (contra personal training for work)?
  • Are you social-media savvy enough to start up your presence via social media to save on initial website costs?
  • Can you get free publicity?
  • Can you work out a deal on space i.e. utilising the room of another business until you have enough money to move into your own space?
  • Can you get in someone else to help cover the costs?

Maximising your ROI means cutting down your expenses – which is a matter of thinking outside the square!

Tip # 3 – Select the Right Equipment for your Business Model

The key investment for your start-up business should be fitness equipment, second only to upgrading a room or area as your working space (if you have the money to do so).

In deciding what equipment you’re going to purchase, it’s important to think about the following:

  • What will your point of difference be?
  • What space do you have available?
  • What is your primary training model? (personal training/multi-client/group/team)
  • And most importantly – what is the minimal equipment that will achieve all of this for you to start out with?

It is for these reasons and more that fitness professionals are now opting for a functional training studio over purchasing static, single-plane machines.

Functional fitness equipment often offers a multitude of exercise options that can be performed and tailored to the clients’ individual needs.

Most static machines on the other hand have limited use and simply take up space.

Functional = diversity + maximum use of space.

Other factors to consider when selecting your initial and ongoing fitness equipment:

  • Does the product present longevity? – i.e. they won’t present dated training methods in 2, 5 or 10 years.
  • Does the product offer diversity? – i.e. they offer a number of different exercise options with the one product
  • Can the product work for you? – i.e. is there a product that can be used by your clients unsupervised and offer extra income to your business?

In addition, it’s never a bad idea to consider products that will either create an added point of difference, such as:

  • Foam Rollers (for after-session use)

Or in some cases invest in higher priced items that can pay for itself unsupervised, and is based on a booking system. Examples include:

  • Inversion Table
  • InfraRed Sauna
  • InfraRed Light

By considering an added point of difference you can maximise your profits, and set yourself apart!

Solutions!

In summary, when planning your business:

  1. Avoid Unhealthy Debt
  2. Set Up the Smart Way
  3. Select the Right Equipment for Your Business Model

Always consider your ROI…take the time to research all the options available to you…and make the smartest decision that meets your needs, in the most affordable way.

Final Note – from HQH Fitness

Why Total Gym is great for ROI.

HQH Fitness truly believe in and back Total Gym as a product. This is not only because it’s such a high quality product, but also because of the ROI Factor.

Total Gym offers great rewards.

As a product it is unique and diverse – it not only has personal training and multi-client personal training applications, but also group, Pilates and Post-rehab programming to work within any fitness or wellness business model. It works amazingly well as a centrepiece for Circuits and Small Group Training or Team Training.

The diversity alone means you can increase what you offer, position yourself apart, and have minimal space working for you 24/7.

With complete education support, free online marketing tools, and for such a minimal investment, it’s just like a franchise model – without any of the on-going fees.

Many HQH Fitness customers simply choose Total Gym and a few accessories to begin with, pay off their equipment within the first 6 months, and after that…it’s pure profit.

From there, they will gradually add other tools and equipment – and build up their business as they go, doing so in a way that means they aren’t suffering financially as they go.

HQH Fitness even offer a free interactive Business Planner where you can work out your own ROI with Total Gym!

If you’re interested in setting up a studio, click here to learn more about different models and options.

Shara Curlett
Shara began her career in the fitness industry at Les Mills Dunedin in 2005 and from there combined her passion for fitness with her strength in business to create a niche role for herself specialising in “the business of fitness”. Shara has consulted for gyms and small studios, developed an indoor cycling program, and continues to work one on one with fitness business owners as a sideline passion. As business development and marketing manager for HQH Fitness, Shara is focused on business development, company strategy and marketing and is passionate about helping business owners achieve their goals.

3D Functional Strategies for Improving Movement

By Dean Quirke

As a trainer your aim is to fulfil the needs of your client through correct exercise perscription and guidance, that will help you to enhance their movement and overall function.

This article is designed to help you to identify some of the movement challenges presented to you by your clients and to give you some creative tools and strategies for developing a correct and safe training plan.

Identifying Movement Limitations through Screening

Prior to starting a personal training session with a client, it is important to observe and assess any movement limitations that they may have.

Developing a systematic approach to screening clients through movement and determining the limitations that a specific joint complex may have in relation to the acceptable ranges, will help to create a corective strategy and training plan.

Understanding How We Move

Interestingly we may refer to a client’s movement goals, exercise history and biomechanical abilities before we make the assumption of how an individual moves.

To get a greater understanding of human beings, we must be aware of how the body moves in a three dimensional space.

Triangulation is a concept patented by Physical Therapist Gary Gray.

This refers to movement within a three dimensional space which creates three aspects of motion – Tri – and the angulations which are:

  • Direction. Refers to the Plane of Motion i.e. Sagittal (forward and back), Frontal (side to side) and Transverse (rotational).
  • Height. Refers to the movement created either from the ground, the base of an object or from directly above. For example when a client is performing a balance reach with the arm as the driver, we can give the instruction of reaching “knee height”, chest height”, shoulder height”, or “above head height”.
  • Distance. Refers to how far away from the base the movement is.

How to Identify A Client’s “Real” Movement

During my ealier days as a personal trainer I was so focused on emphasising correct posture, alignment and learned cueing, that I sometimes missed what the “Real” movement was.

Real movements are typically movements that we don’t think about, we just do them. Examples of Real movements could be:

  • Bending down to tie a shoelace
  • Opening a door

So in relating this to your session, the way to identify a client’s Real movement is to do this subconciously.

How to Achieve A Desired Movement Subconsciously

To achieve a desired movement subconciously with a client, we can employ the use of an external objective.

Example 1 – The Lunge

While asking a client to perform a lunge you may notice that the client is showing limited right hip adduction. This may draw you to ‘consciously’ cue more hip adduction.

However beware – this strategy could potentially lead to more compensatory patterns developing. Why? Because the focus of performing a lunge is drawn solely on adducting the hip, the surrounding joints and movement may be affected when intense focus is placed on correcting the imbalance.

Instead, you could invite the client to perform the same anterior lunge however this time – rather than mentioning the adduction of the right hip – instead give them an external objective to focus on.

For example instruct them to drive the right hand, left and laterally over the head to address the right hip imbalance.

Other objectives could also be employed if your client presented a multitude of imbalances.

Example 2 – The Squat

Another example we could look at is the Squat, possibly the most talked about and written about exercise in the industry.

Initially when you ask a client to perform a squat, observation takes place with the client’s range of motion and execution of the exercise.

The client may present limitations in the range of movement in the ankle and hip complex. Commonly these may be represented by a heel lift and excessive forward lean. Naturally “conscious” cueing is considered to address these imbalances by asking the client to “maintain a lift through the chest”, or by reducing the depth of the squat, just to name a couple.

Another option to consider is to employ an external objective for the client to focus on.

For example when the client is performing the squat, ask them to reach with two hands anteriorly at a verticality of chest height with a distance of full range.

The client initiates the squat with their arms in this position, lowering into the squat until their arms come in contact with a dowel rod that will be holding below their outstretched arms. This way you can control the quality, depth and success of the squat executed.

Summary

There are many reasons why a subconcious strategy is of benefit when screening and training your client, but for me I have found that the carry-over from a subconscious level into normal movement has been instant and long lasting.

Clients have shown improvements in decreasing pain, functional limitations and sporting performance. Interestingly enough, it also provides the trainer with a blank canvas on which to become creative with their program design.

So good luck and have fun getting creative!

References

  1. Gary G & Tiberio Fuctional Video Digest
  2. Myers T.(2004) Anatomy Trains Churchill Livingstone

Dean Quirke
Dean is a NLP & Transformational Coach, CHEK Exercise Coach, GRAVITYPost-rehab Trainer and specialises in corrective exercise, injury prevention, weight management and special populations. Based out of Sydney, Dean’s passions lie within Movement and Rehabilitation, which has led him on an incredible journey of self discovery and education. Having sought out some of the foreward thinkers and innovative educators of our time, he has discovered that there is great need and a requirement to be open-minded and adaptable in order to be successful in this field. Dean likes to work with people that want to improve their lives on all levels but are just missing the one thing to make it happen…the tools! Getting results in a structured progressive manner is the key to his success.

“We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” – George Bernard Shaw

Total Gym Test Drive Tour NSW / ACT

Greg Doherty, CEO of HQH Fitness, talks about the latest Total Gym Test Drive Tour to NSW and ACT:

July 24th I set off on the second official Total Gym Test Drive Tour!

I was able to visit Galy O’Connor in French’s Forrest who just bought a new Total Gym PowerTower!

I checked out her home studio set-up (right) which is awesome – it just goes to show that you don’t need an expensive space to make a great business work!

Great work Galy!

From there I made the drive down to Canberra to visit a couple of facilities there. I’m happy to now welcome Graeme Sproule and his team at SportsCare and Physio Therapy in Dickson to the Total Gym family. They will be taking delivery of a new Total Gym GTS  today!

The University of  Canberra was another stop I made where I met some of the team – John Stelzer, Kate and Darren.

We did a “parking lot demo” where Darren got on board and did a workout! He gave it a good go and definitely enjoyed it.

Darren even reported back to me as being sore the next day – great job Darren!

From here I was able to visit Melanie Hrusik at Vigour PT, a customer who bought Total Gym in 2009.

Melanie has a great set-up where she has converted her garage to a full on multi-purpose training studio. Initially she purchased 3 Total Gym Classic GTS02 units.

Since then has purchased 2 more and the business grew so much that she was able to take on her husband Rowan as a second trainer in the business! They now have a great lifestyle business in a lovely neighbourhood.

Heading Back to Sydney I made a stop in at Bowral. What a lucky chance I had to see some of  Australia’s beautiful country towns. Fantastic scenery on the M5 to Canberra. And I loved the Rest Areas, where I did the “Stop-Revive-Survive”!

Back in Sydney, I discovered a new neighbourhood – Leichardt, which is an inner west suburb where the Leichardt Park Aquatic Centre is based. This is a fabulous facility in a great setting.

Here I was able to connect with an HQH Fitness customer  from years back where I showed him the new Total Gym GTS.

From here I stopped in at Fitness First Pitt St and gave a demo to several of the personal trainers there.

While I was in Sydney I did spend some time organising our warehouse stock and meeting with finance and logistics suppliers. I’m happy to say we have some great finance/rental options for Australian clients that will make it very easy  for anyone with the desire to get started with Total Gym.

Also I’m very pleased to say we met with a  new  business partner, who will be able to facilitate a new product to your door – Doorstep delivery! And, for a little more will unpack and install the product onsite. Very exciting!

I have just put together my next three Test Drive Tour dates so that we can get you to experience first-hand the new Total Gym. These are as follows:

Sydney NSW  and surrounding areas, Canberra, Newcastle Oct 5-14

Brisbane, Queensland , Gold coast Sunshine Coast  Nov 4th to Nov 9th

Melbourne Vic , Geelong and  surrounding areas Dec 4 to 10th

Book your appointment now so we can get more BOB’s! (Butts on Board!)

To jump on our next Test Drive Tour Australia – email admin@hqh.com, use our ‘Contact Us‘ online form, or phone 1800 552 878.

If you are based in New Zealand and want to check out the new Total Gym GTS, then contact Kerry our National Sales Manager on totalgym@hqh.com or phone 0800 552 8789.

Greg Doherty
Greg is the CEO and Director of HQH Fitness. As a business owner, C.H.E.K Level 3 and CHEK Holistic Lifestyle Coach Level 3, Greg has worked with thousands of businesses and fitness professionals over the past 16 years  and understands the various needs of a business. Having successfully built up the CHEK program in Australia, he is now focused on bringing the benefits of Total Gym to Australia on a larger scale.
gregd@hqh.com

Expand, Grow, Live!

Insight from Josh Smith

Looking out of Mitise Health and Fitness’ office window, I am able to see vast distances in all directions.

I can view the steadily rising Adelaide Hills in the south, with houses scattered sparsely across their slopes. Blending down into the densely populated inner city suburbs, the hills gradually make way for the towering concrete buildings of the CBD, stacked floor upon floor of workers, day in, day out.

As I scan further to the north, I am able to see the new projects our government is undertaking, from the new hospital to new housing estates and local community developments. Continuing my scan west, I eventually come to the see the deep blue sea of the Gulf, with its shipping port acting as a gateway to the world’s oceans.

During this relatively quick viewing of my small home town, I came to the realisation that there is a substantial amount of opportunity in the world for us as individuals:

  • For business growth
  • For personal development
  • For social connections
  • For education
  • For financial gain
  • For physical capabilities

…just to name a few.

These opportunities are presented to us every day, in our work, our home lives, and during our spare time. But what do we do with them? What CAN we do with them?

Well…

YOU can develop, build, and change any of these in any which way you see fit, given the right amount of time and effort.

YOU can start a business, today, and build it to be bigger than Nike or McDonalds.

YOU are able to read, which gives you access to hundreds of thousands of personal development coaches, gurus and experts the world over, in books and magazines.

YOU can learn, from any and all of these coaches, strategies to look at the world differently, to relate to people better, and to increase the quality of your life.

YOU can join new sporting teams, social groups or professional bodies.

YOU can pick up a new textbook, download a new podcast, or watch a new DVD, and immediately learn something new about the world.

YOU have the ability to save more money, whether its one dollar or one hundred dollars, and re-invest it to make you MORE money.

YOU can spend more time at the gym or the local park, or you can take the stairs instead of the elevator.

YOU can lift more weights, go for a longer run or join a Pilates class, taking your body ever closer to that body you always dreamed of.

YOU could repeat this process over and over again, gaining new friends, new networks, bigger business, more financial freedom, unlimited knowledge, a greater level of self awareness, of social responsibility, of physical capacity.

Yet you don’t.

Why not?

Is it time that you did something different? Time you explored new avenues, or finally stepped out of your comfort zone?

It is only by getting out of our current comfort zones that we can seek to grow and develop as human beings, taking ourselves to that next level, the one we are always striving for yet never seem to reach.

So this month I challenge you to take the first step, climb that first rung, and do something different to that which you have always done. You will never know where it may lead you…

Josh Smith
Josh is the Director of Mitise Health & Fitness, offering Personal Training, Nutritional Guidance, Lifestyle Coaching, Personal Development, Corporate Seminars, BootCamps and Boxing Groups. Josh is a qualified CHEK Exercise Coach, CHEK Holistic Lifestyle Coach Level 1 and GRAVITYPersonalTrainer, along with various other qualifications and trainings, and is a very inspirational individual. Mitise (pronounced my-ties) is a word invented by Josh and actually stands for “It is within/in Me“. Check out the spelling of Mitise and you’ll see the connection. Clever huh!

www.mitisehealth.com
twitter.com/MitiseHealth