Pilates Workout – Donkey Kicks with ball

Pilates Workout – Donkey Kicks with ball

Here is my latest video on how to do Donkey Kicks with the fitball. These are a great glute workout, remember to keep an eye on your alignment and form to get the most out of your workout.


1. Start on your hands and knees with your knees under hips in a box position.
Place the ball in the back of your knee.

2. With your spine in neutral, pull your belly button tight towards your spine. Imagine you have a tray of drinks on your back, keep it steady. Eye line down and keep a long neck.

3. Slowly press your thigh back, working leg is bent parallel into a donkey kick. Drive heel up towards the ceiling, hold for two seconds then lower the knee.
Perform 8-10 Reps.

4. This time take the leg out to the side raising it only as high as to maintain level hips. Perform 8-10 Reps.

5. Next take the leg across behind the supporting leg, try to maintain a steady back drawing your belly button to spine and even weight in both hands.
Perform 8-10 Reps.

6. Release and stretch into a child’s pose and reset for the second side.

Thanks for watching.

Pilates Balance Workout

Pilates Balance Workout

Over the next few weeks I will share with you some of my favourite Pilates workouts to increase strength, flexibility and balance.

Balance is a fundamental skill everyone should practise. It’s something we take for granted, but as we get older balance and muscle strength can help to stop us from having falls. When you balance on one leg you use your core and small muscles in your feet to keep upright. Find a spot on the wall in front of you which keeps you in alignment. Draw your belly button to your spine and feel the length through your spine, use your toes to grip the ground. In this video I have added in some upper body work with the ball, as you increase the range of movement think about squeezing your core to remain still. Each time you open your arms imagine squashing a walnut between your shoulder blades to activate your upper back muscles. As you improve increase the range of movement and then reps. To make it harder try standing on a block, to make it easier decrease the range of movement and height of the leg. I hope you enjoy this little video. Subscribe to keep updated with more Pilates workouts.

Posterior Shoulder Strength Exercise from our friends at Seventy9 Sports Therapy

Posterior Shoulder Strength Exercise from our friends at Seventy9 Sports Therapy

The structures of the posterior shoulder play a vital role in stabilising the ball and socket joint (glenohumeral joint) of the shoulder.  When they are dysfunctional, they are unable to generate appropriate  compressive force to the joint, leaving a feeling of disconnection in the shoulder girdle.  This is particularly important in overhead athletes such as throwers and swimmers.
This exercise targets all of the structures in the posterior shoulder with the long lever position creating an additional load challenge.
Externally rotate from the shoulder (the elbow/forearm will subsequently rotate), before horizontally extending the shoulder joint, driving the movement by squeezing the shoulder blade (scapula) backwards into retraction.  The movement should be smooth and controlled, yet with enough resistance to be a challenge.

‘seventy9 Sports Therapy is a private sports injury clinic in Farnham, Surrey, specialising in the treatment and rehabilitation of musculoskeletal injuries across the entire activity spectrum.  We pride ourselves on the delivery of a high-performance service, regardless of your physical or sporting abilities.  Our skilled and experienced therapists use best evidence-based practice to restore full fitness and function across the spectrum of sport, exercise and occupationally related injuries, treating you as an individual and building bespoke exercise programmes to fit your lifestyle and schedule.  Our therapists are all members of The Society of Sports Therapists.’

Why should you load your hip flexors? We talk to Ian from seventy9 Sports Therapy to find out more!

Everyone understands that loading the glutes is important for hip & back health, as well as sports performance.

But do you load your hip flexors? Muscles in the body work as pairs (agonists & antagonists), with one accelerating a movement whilst the opposing muscle acts as a brake. Glutes are hip extensors, therefore the opposing muscle to the hip flexors (during hip flexion/extension).

Hip flexors get a bit of a bum deal – the thinking being that they’re a structure that is always tight & creating pain. However, improving their ability to produce force often improves this tight feeling as they handle daily activities without reaction. Additionally there are performance benefits to hip flexor strengthening for all athletes. These include a snappier first step, improved recovery mechanics in all runners which positively impacts run economy, & improved out of the saddle pedalling (including sprinting) for cyclists.

This bridge position with miniband hip flexor march is a great way of getting hip flexor load whilst bracing the trunk & recruiting the posterior chain on the opposite side, mimicking the muscle recruitment patterns seen during running.’

 
 
‘seventy9 Sports Therapy is a private sports injury clinic in Farnham, Surrey, specialising in the treatment and rehabilitation of musculoskeletal injuries across the entire activity spectrum.  We pride ourselves on the delivery of a high-performance service, regardless of your physical or sporting abilities.  Our skilled and experienced therapists use best evidence-based practice to restore full fitness and function across the spectrum of sport, exercise and occupationally related injuries, treating you as an individual and building bespoke exercise programmes to fit your lifestyle and schedule.  Our therapists are all members of The Society of Sports Therapists.’
Winter Fartleck Training

Winter Fartleck Training

Fartlek is Swedish for “speed play,” and that is what this training session is all about! Fartlek is unstructured and alternates moderate-to-hard efforts over a period of time.

During the winter months it’s good to mix up your training on the bike to keep you energised and excited about layering up and pedalling on.

I hope you enjoy my video!

My next adventure is looming, the Carpathian MTB Epic

My next adventure is looming, the Carpathian MTB Epic

Since the Trans Alp in 2016 I have been really keen on riding another stage race. The Trans Alp was so tough both mentally and physically but the highs well outweighed the lows and I have been keen to find another adventure and test my body and mind against the odds.

The Carpathian MTB Epic seemed like the perfect adventure. 180KM, 8,100m of lung busting climbing in 4 days, through the land of Dracula in one of Europe’s last genuinely wild mountain regions.

How could I say no!

This year along with taking on this 4-day stage race my life is a little different to when I did the Trans Alp. Back in 2016 I had no dog to look after and I managed to reduce my coaching right down to just the kids club in order to fit in 12 / 14 hour training weeks. This year that wouldn’t be possible! Luna (my German Shepherd) needs her regular walks and runs and my coaching has been booming. I have this year introduced mountain bike retreats for adults as well as taking Pilates classes, so as you can see life is a whole lot busier than 2016 so 12 hour training weeks are a juggling act!

In short I have had to condense my training into one long ride and a sprints or hill session a week. I have also been running and doing kettlebells each week which has helped to increase my muscle strength. Pilates as always is something I do each week and is a great way to strengthen my core and upper body as well as help prevent injuries.

 

 

 

My tips for staying focused on long rides are:

  • Set out with a planned route or goal in mind
  • Have enough water and snacks for the whole session (If you cannot carry enough water which is likely then know when you can get some on route from a friendly pub or shop)
  • Practice eating different snacks on shorter rides and use your favourites for those long sessions, have something salty
  • Only focus on the hour ahead, this is especially important if the weather is bad or you’re feeling tired only think as far as the next hour that way you can chunk your ride down
  • Use lampposts/trees as little sprint breaks if you’re feeling full of beans or just pick the pace up a little for 2 mins and then drop back down again

The Carpathian MTB Epic is a full-service event running from 16th – 19th August and is the perfect opportunity for an adventure, even for the time crunched like me. If you hurry up and register until July 29 you may catch a good deal as well. Last day for registrations is August 5, 2018.