Archive for the 'Training Programmes' Category

The Litmus Tests of Function – Tri-Planar Movement

Posted in Fitness Articles, Training Programmes by admin on November 11th, 2007

This month we are going to dive back into the discussion of human function and hopefully go one step further into helping you understand the definition of “function” in relation to your fitness.To do this, in the next few issues we are going to talk in more detail about what are known as the litmus tests of function.These have been formed by Gary Gray, the originator and developer of many nationally acclaimed educational programs, including the “Chain Reaction” series of seminars and DVD’s where this information has been drawn from. Gary is know as “the father of function” and is the leading pioneer and authority in rehab and training.The litmus tests are what a true function coach will use to help them “step back” and constantly assess what is going on in order to help them accurately create an exercise programme that facilitates the coach/patients desired function – whether it be improved performance in a certain sport (such as golf or tennis), rehabilitate an injury that is inhibiting them in some way, or even lose weight.Therefore it is important that an exercise should not be termed functional unless it passes all of these litmus tests.One of the most vital litmus tests for function is whether or not an exercise is utilising all three planes of movement. The three planes of movement are explained below:When I was first learning about human movement my university lecturer always used to say that if you imagine the body being cut open with a circular saw then it could be cut in one of three ways -sagittal, frontal or transverse.If you cut the body front to back so you had a left and a right side, the cutting movement would be “sagittal”. If it was cut the from one side to the other so you had a front and a back, the cutting movement would be “frontal” and if the saw cut the body across your trunk so there was a top and a bottom half it would have been a “transverse” cutting movement.At all joints in the body and in all muscles, these three planes of movement are utilised to create a specific function such as gait. This is explained below:When you observe the movement of the body during gait (walking) it appears as if the movement is predominantly sagittal based, since you move in a forward direction when you walk. But if you could tear off the skin and look a little closer at the hips and pelvis, you would realise very quickly that the hips move in the frontal and transverse planes to create the sagittal movement of walking. This realisation will help you to understand that if the other two planes of movement are so important in walking or running, then why do we not focus on these planes of movement more in our exercise programmes?If you consider that 90% of all knee injuries occur in the frontal and transverse planes, as an external force is applied to the knee, it is therefore apparant that a prehabilitation programme that works in all three planes of movement to stress the knee would be very wise!An exercise programme that is solely saggital based (such as your average gym workout) is relatively limited. Why not try including some frontal and transverse based movements into your normal exercises to stress the body in all three planes? If you think about it, when working this way you are applying forces in three different ways. Your muscles will have to recruit 3 times more fibres to stabilise the joints under stress, or create the movement that you desire – and this will mean that you will have a much greater physiological response of muscle hypertrophy. In laymans terms, you will get results much faster!Example: Try a walking lunge exercise with a dumb bell. Swing it from your left hip over your right shoulder as you lunge and repeat on both sides. Not only will you be working within the three planes of movement you will be stressing the body through the forces of gravity, ground reaction force and momentum.We will go into this in more detail in the next newsletter!To return to the TJF Personal Training homepage click here – Personal Trainer London.PS: Please visit our new website Arcanum Phuket to view our new wellness retreat in Phuket called The Arcanum.

Sun Salutations – great to wake you up in the morning!

Posted in Fitness Articles, Top Tips, Training Programmes, Wellbeing Articles by admin on October 16th, 2007

sun-salutation.jpgThe Sun Salutation Pose (shown above), also known as Salute to the Sun and Surya Namaskar, is a flowing series of 12 poses which help improve strength and flexibility of the muscles and spinal column. This pose also warms up the body and tones the abdominal muscles.Here at TJF we recommend adding the Sun Salutation to your workout – you should see vast improvements in your flexibility in a relatively short period of time.Follow the steps below:

  • STEP 1: Start with the Mountain Pose. Bring your palms together in prayer position. Exhale.
  • STEP 2: As you inhale, raise your arms overhead, keeping your palms together.
  • STEP 3: Exhale and then bend forward until your hands touch your feet.
  • STEP 4: As you inhale, step the right leg back, arch back and lift your chin.
  • STEP 5: Exhaling, step the left leg back into plank position. Keep your spine and legs in a straight line and support your weight on hands and feet.
  • STEP 6: Retaining the breath, lower your knees, your chest and then your forehead, keeping your hips up and toes curled under.
  • STEP 7: Inhaling, stretch forward and bend back. Keep your arms straight.
  • STEP 8: Exhaling, curl your toes under, press down into your heels, and lift your hips.
  • STEP 9: Repeat Step 4 using the left leg. As you inhale, step your leg back, arch backward, and lift your chin.
  • STEP 10: Exhale and then bend forward until your hands touch your feet.
  • STEP 11: Inhaling, stretch your arms forward and over your head. Slowly bend backward from the waist.
  • STEP 12: Exhaling, gently come back to Tadasana.

As with all other poses, make sure to perform the Sun Salutation Pose correctly to achieve optimum results. You can ask your trainer for assistance so he or she will be able to tell you how to do it the right way.To return to the TJF Personal Training homepage click here – Personal Trainer London.PS: Please visit our new website Arcanum Phuket to view our new wellness retreat in Phuket called The Arcanum.

Functional workout routine 2

Posted in Tim's Diary, Top Tips, Training Programmes by admin on July 5th, 2007

It was Independence Day yesterday. Not that it means much to us over here though. I had a hard work out in South Kensington. Had some power tunes on my Ipod Shuffle and did the following:

  • Clean Press x 12 (3 sets)
  • Single Leg Hamstring Curl on Swiss Ball x 10 each leg (3 sets)
  • 20 kgs Bicep Curls x 12 (3 sets)
  • Multi directional Lunges off the Bosu x 1 (3 sets)
  • Leg drives on the Swiss Ball x 12 each leg (3 sets)
  • Swiss Ball Passover x 12 (3 sets)

Pretty sick of the weather. Not much fun being a trainer when its wet! I got caught with another client at 2pm in Green Park. Need to buy a new rain jacket as mine only looks like a rain jacket and is infact useless. I was soaked all day. Ariane and I are going to Nike Town in Central London today to get new jackets.To return to the TJF Personal Training homepage click here – Personal Trainer London.PS: Please visit our new website Arcanum Thailand to view our new wellness retreat in Phuket called The Arcanum.