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02 Nov

Squats and the wibbly knee

So you’re trying to achieve the perfect squats. Squatting. Heavy….for a girl.

You have the bar in place, you have the plates loaded. You breathe in as you go down, brace your core, nearly get there…..and your knee caves in. Damn that knee. You Nearly had your PB. Again. Sound familiar?

So what causes these imperfect squats and what can you do to correct it?q-angle affecting squats and knees

More prevalent in us girls, we have the problem of wider hips. Wider hips and a larger Q-Angle. Unfortunately, it’s anatomy.

Problems can be exacerbated by weaknesses in hip abductors and external rotators, glutes, hamstrings, ITB tightness, over pronation and also…bad habit!

So how can we start to correct these imperfect squats?

Strengthening and stretching, with a bit of foam roller added in for good measure. Use a mirror. No…not to check your makeup, but to watch your form. Get a massage. No, not a relaxing lovely smelling one, a sports therapy treatment. (Emily Campbell at Priority 6 is great for Oxford locals!)

Work on single leg squats, especially on your weaker side. Start the day with some glute band walks and stretch and roller that tightness out of your ITB. Add in hamstring curls and single leg kettlebells deadlifts.

Start over with your technique. Do a week of squatting technique, low weight. As you come up from your squats, concentrate on exhaling (connecting to that PF) and pushing your knees out.

Get fixed. Get heavy. Get lifting.

 

22 Oct

Butt Wink & The Pelvic Fairy

So I just posted something on Butt Winking on my Facebook page, basically your tushi dropping under when you squat, your back rounding not giving you the depth you need for ass to grass squatting and putting you at higher risk for injury.

Now, as pointed out in the article, this could be caused by physical restrictions in your joints, lack of mobility and also lack of coordination through your deep core stabilisation muscles – your diaphragm, multifidus, TVA  and of course your PELVIC FLOOR! Yes, your diaphragm and pelvic floor act as the top and bottom to your core, what I like to think of as your internal canister.

Imagine a coke can (heaven forbid!). If you press down hard on it, it’s pretty sturdy, right? Now imagine that can has a weakness somewhere, either in the bottom or the sides – what happens if you put pressure on the can? Typically it will leak out from this weakness. You get what I’m talking about…right? What happens to the sides? They crumple. The internal pressure is gone. The same goes for your diaphragm, tightness can lead to you not being able to maintain the pressure within your ‘cannister’. A diaphragm release can help with your breathing and ultimately, your squats.

So think of this can as your core. Core CannisterAny weakness will prevent you from performing to your maximum potential. How can you squat your PB when the muscles needed to support you are not working together properly? Train your deep core muscles from the inside out. If you’re post natal (doesn’t matter how old your babies are!) get your tummy checked for diastasis (weak midline & tummy gap = loss of energy & pressure).

Strengthening those deep layers of your core will ultimately strengthen your pelvic floor, also helping in all other aspects of functional life – running (for the bus, after the kids), sneezing (winter is coming!), heavy lifting (deadlifts, squats…), high impact exercise (dare I say…Zumba, skipping, burpees, box jumps, etc), managing kids (you know…when you shout so hard a little bit of wee comes out…)

Find a trainer that can help engage your core, your breathing, functional movement & life balance.

Get fixed. Get strong. Get lifting!

06 Oct

Blast from the past….part 2

Ok….so I measured (click here for part 1)….so overall? I’m 5 inches smaller, not a lot, not bad over 16 years though, 2 children, etc, etc…

I am however, also 15% less bodyfat, I gained an inch on each bicep (not like Briggs though), my knees also got skinnier. Result! At least I no longer have fat knees! Hamstrings though? I still hold something there to be worked on!

The reason for this post? Getting older and having children doesn’t mean you have to be unfit. It’s all about balancing your family, work, healthy eating.  You don’t have to spend hours in the gym, even 20 minutes 3 times a week is a start – and get that strength training in!

I’m fitter now than I was 2 years ago (thanks to Crossfit at  Priority 6), when I was running a half marathon for fun – my knees were screaming at me, my back and pelvis constantly out of alignment – some people (including me!) are not made for running. Now? I lift heavy, I do high intensity short workouts,(never more than 40 minutes – and that’s a long one!) and do lots of intensive core work – the same as I teach my Core Restore clients.

Make time for yourself. A 20 minute bodyweight circuit you can do at home is a start! Get a workout timer on your phone, set it to 40 seconds work, 20 seconds rest to start with, 8 rounds – try a combination of these exercises at home – it will take you 8 minutes. 8 MINUTES!!! THAT IS ALL!!!

  • Squats to a chair or lower if you are comfortable doing this (depending on your current level of fitness)
  • Press ups on the floor – knees down if you need it, lower yourself all the way to the floor, press your chest back up, lift your knees up into a plank position
  • Tricep dips on a chair
  • Alternate leg lunges

Take some supplements! Firstly – make sure you are taking a good quality Omega 3 supplement, I use Alimenent Nutrition for mine, also a super greens drink, such as Priority Greens

Let me know how you get on! Look out for more workouts that you can do at home….

30 Sep

Blast from the past…

personal balance photo

Well…1999 to be exact, the year we were supposed to party, I was your average 20 something year old, gym member with a cloned programme, slave to my desk and cardio hater. To get my mum moving too, we joined the toning tables area of my gym. Yes. Tables that tone I hear you say? Indeed… Apparently by laying on a moving couch, you lose inches. What could be easier? Brilliant for my mum, in terms of getting joints moving…but inch loss…purrrllleeeease! At around 30% body fat, surely I needed (small!) miracle?

  
Anyway, the actual blast from the past was a slip of paper that had all my measurements written on. Which I’d updated. In 1999 several times. 3″ lost! Whoopie! That would be water retention then, or time of the month. Then in 2000 & 2003. So I thought, what the heck, let’s measure in 2015. I’m now a 40 something mum of 2 mischief makers, wife, crossfitter, personal trainer and women’s holistic core restore coach.

Best get me a tape measure then….! 

  

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