Category Archives: Pilates and rock climbing

Mel Collie | Is your neck stronger than your core?

Mel Collie | Is your neck stronger than your core?

Core exercises are all the rage and have been for years, they’ve been embedded into our heads from fitness classes, magazine articles and celebrities shouting that you should all the doing core strength exercises, however.. if you are, and seeing minimal results, why is that and what can you do about it…?

  1. Do a core exercise you are familiar with.
  2. Now do it again and be aware of the following – clenched jaw, tilted head position, lifted shoulders, tight diaphragm, clenched toes.
  3. Why those in particular? Well, these are a few compensatory ways of using what we believe is our “core” when in fact, the connection between brain and “core” isn’t as strong as we believe.
  4. It takes a brave person to admit they have a weak core,  I see it a lot os weak “core” muscles in my NKT sessions.
  5. If you aren’t stable in your centre, the extremities will take up the slack, you will experience tightness in arms, legs, jaw, neck, pelvic floor or diaphragm.

A simple example :

Lie on your back with knees bent, feet flat on the floor.

Now lift both arms up to the ceiling, palms facing each other.

Now lift your feet, knees stay bent at 90 degrees, so the knee line is above the hip bones.

Breathe in

Exhale as you, slowly lower the right leg towards the floor(leg can stay bent or straight, depends on your current level of core connection)  and the left arm back

Keep the arm straight, keep the knee bent.

Inhale come back with arm and leg.

Change sides as repeat.

Compensation points to check:

Chin lifts as your head drops back

Shoulders lift

Breathe holding

Toes lifting or clawing at the ground

Pelvic floor clenching

Ribs lifting

Glutes squeezing

Eyes closing

 

It doesn’t have to be a check list of all of these, but it could be one or two that you may notice.

Work on correcting those and your core exercises will take off.

Stick with the compensation patterns and they will get stronger, not your core.

How can you tell? Get assessed by an NeuroKinetic Therapist (NKT) or have your compensation check list as listed above and listen your brain.

Be your brain. Where does your brain go to when the core isn’t connecting.

What does your brain do?

Mel Collie

www.melcollie.com

Mel Collie | How to get rid of shin splints

Mel Collie | How to get rid of shin splints

 

My client has shin splints..if you’ve ever had these you will know that they are very painful, but why do you get them?

Maybe through sport like running or climbing, or even walking fast uphill, or wearing new trainers, theres quite a few different reasons, however, what can you do about it?

Using Neuro Kinetic therapy protocols, it makes common sense to look for the cause, otherwise you just keep on placing a plaster on the issue and it just keeps on returning, so thats why we test whats going on, however, shin splints can usually be treated this way:

 

Massage the tender area on your shins, usually its the Tibialis Anterior, so gently press around the area until you find that tender spot, and massage it for a minute. tibialis-anterior,

 

Check your feet out whilst you do this, as you may find that your foot tends to be supinated…have a look at your shoes… see if you wear your shoes out more on the outer edge than the inner. This also contributes to shin splints.

Then strengthen the side of your leg, the TFL . Lie on your side, lift the leg to the height of your waist, and bring it forward 30 degrees, then slowly lift and lower the leg 3 – 5 times, rest, repeat a couple more times, ensuring good alignment throughout. tfl

 

Above all, if you can, find an NKT therapist to assess you to see if your issue is the above, as this was the issue for my client, and has now been pain free for a while now after having shin splints for years.

Mel

www.melcollie.com

Assessments from my home clinic in Portreath, North Cornwall.

Email: melcollie@gmail.com

Tel: 07800 797300

First assessments 90 minutes £49

Mel Collie | Inner knee pain and your thighs!

Mel Collie | Inner knee pain and your thighs!

In her third session, my client came in with amazingness that he core was feeling a lot stronger, more support and she no longer needed her blue inhaler, which was a bonus…all because we had been doing some work on her diaphragm and breathing.

However, with a pain she couldn’t quite pin-point, around  the inner knee, inner thigh area, we did some Neuro Kinetic Therapy tests on her Quads , when one of those quads was tested, there was an aching pain on the outer hip.

The body leaves clues…NKT teaches you what to look for..which takes the guess work out of assessments and means clients get fast and long lasting relief from pain.

So, it seems that her inner quad muscle, the Vastus Lateralis was Inhibited..as when tested it tested weak. Weak doesn’t mean its totally not working, but that its less effective than it should be.

quads

Seeing what it was Inhibited for, and the pain she experienced during the test lead me to the

Ilio Tibial Band, which you can see here:

ITB

Now she’s been running in a few dog agility competitions.

IT Band issues are common in runners , but rather than roll it on a foam roller, find out why its tender and whats going on.

get it tested, it may need rolling, it may not, if it does, its Facilitated, find what its compensating for, strengthen that muscle or those muscles and your IT Band should be as high as rain again.

Mel Collie

www.melcollie.com

Appointments can be booked by emailing me : melcollie@gmail.com or calling 07800797300

Appointments are from my home studio in Portreath, North Cornwall.

Mel Collie | Got Bunions?

 

Ever looked at your feet and wondered why you have got bunions?

Take a look at the sole of the shoes you wear the most, it tells a story of how your foot works when you walk. Bunions often tell the story of a pronated foot. A pronated foot means that the arch is not as visible , however pronation is not a bad thing your foot pronates when you walk, its supposed to, but it becomes an issue if it gets stuck in pronation, creating bunions and an ankle that has limited mobility.

An ankle with limited mobility will look to the knee for help which can result in a painful knee. Its not the knee thats the problem, look to the ankle first before fixing the knee.

Standing up, place your feet in a pronated position, lose the natural arch of the foot, observe what happens to the knee, hip, shoulder and head. Take a few steps with a pronated foot, you may be able to notice that you use the big toe and second toe quite a lot as you walk. Your inner part of the shoe will be more worn than the outer part.

What can you do about it?

The Peroneals can be tender when bunions are an issue, this picture is a great shot that demonstrates where your Peroneals are, at the side of the shin,on the outer edge..find an area that feels tender, like you are pressing on  bruise. Massage the area gently, don’t go in too heavy , for a 30 – 60 seconds.

peroneal-anatomy

 

Then once they’ve released go to the outside band of the thigh called the Tensor Fascia Lata, TFL for short.

Strengthen the TFL by lying on your side so the leg you pronate on (however, it may be both feet..so you need to practice this on both sides) is on top, lift it slightly away from the bottom leg, no higher than your hip, and bring it forwards about 30 degrees, slowly and gently lift and lower the leg…its a very small movement, don’t be tempted to go big, you may be missing a trick by overdoing it.

5 reps max or until you feel the leg being to shake, if you feel that after the first rep, then stop, 1 rep is all you need, you will find that as you practice this at least twice a day, you will get stronger and be able to do more repetitions.

NKT Tensor Fascia Stength

Any question, just send me an email to melcollie@gmail.com

Mel

www.melcollie.com

Mel Collie | 3 Ways to Reduce Belly Fat

Mel Collie | 3 Ways to Reduce Belly Fat

Firstly though, do you really want to reduce belly fat for yourself, or for someone else, because knowing why you want to achieve something and what it takes to get there are the real reasons you stick at something, show up when you don’t feel like it, realise that you will come across obstacles,life will get in the way and its not as easy as the celebs say on the dvd…

  1. Effort. Yes you need effort, realisation and a passion to really want this, willpower doesn’t work, it will fail you and you will reach for sugar and cancel your training sessions. Motivation , a passion and real reason behind your WHY is your key to sticking to your goal, you need more than “I just want to lose my belly”…peel the onion, peel back the layers and ask yourself why you want to…is it because you want to look great naked with the lights on in the bedroom…if so, why is that, so your other half will still fancy you, do you believe they wont fancy you if you have a belly, do they tell you that, is that thought true, if it is, who made you feel like that? This kind of peeling back the layers can be very painful, and induce tears sometimes, so be prepared to face your real truth, its liberating…but a bumpy ride for many of us as we face reality.
  2. Working in is just as important as working out. Shame really that sex sells…and things like meditation and breathing done make as much money, however, the tide has started to turn and people are seeking some peace and quiet in their lives. Belly fat stores cortisol, released from the arenal glands which sit on top of your kidneys, this means stubborn belly fat wont budge until you calm it down a bit. Working out for longer and every day may not cut it for you, might have done when you were younger, but if you are now stressed, hate your job, have low self esteem, think you aren’t worthy, menopausal and don’t celebrate the fact that you are alive and love your planet, then cortisol just might hanging around for too long. Yes we need that hormone, but not too much of it. Working in means breathing slowly and deeply a few times before you eat, touching your lips stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, which helps with rest and digesting food, taking a 20 minutes walk everyday, loving sex with your other half (if you are single then yes, masturbation also helps reduce stress…it also doesn’t make you blind…)Meditation and mindfulness are the obvious others as well, you’ve heard of them Im sure, but do you bother to practice them. You don’t need to be a Buddhist or chant, or indeed wear Orange robes, but a minute, 4 or 5 times a day, just focus on your breathing, be aware of you, be aware that in those 60 seconds, your thoughts will distract you. Busy brain you have there, as we all do. Clarity comes with practicing mindfulness, meditation, which helps reduce stress and anxiety, but you’ve got to do it. Always a catch…
  3. Perfection. Drop the perfection thing. Waiting to do something until the time is right, until everything perfect, until you are perfect, may take a while. Just start, make errors, make mistakes, its part of the journey, yet no one talks about their errors on social media, just their perfect lives..yet behind that mask they wear are may errors and mistakes. Be prepared to fail, embrace them and move on. You are already at perfection, just as you are. Its everyone else judgements about you that tip you of balance. Awareness of where you are right now is enough, you are enough and doing what you can with the best of your ability, is enough. Stop comparing, and accept you. As you.

Mel

www.melcollie.com

x