Tag Archives: canon

Mel Collie | How stable is your core?

Mel Collie | How stable is your core?

Theres a saying by a respected health and wellness coach that goes like this:

“You cant shoot a canon from a canoe”

What does that mean?

It means, that if you are going straight into lunges, burpees and squats and your core isn’t stable, you are going to get problems.

Basically, exercises classes aren’t structured to assess you before you do any of their classes. Overhead weight lifts, strength raining on clients who have basically sat all day at a computer are an accident and a shoulder impingement waiting to happen. Thoracic extension can be very difficult when the spine hasn’t moved very much all day. Shoulder mobility can be very tricky when your ams stay in the same position all day. Forward head posture is now commonly more than 3cm. Instability and lack of mobility in the upper thoracic therefore is common.

You just turn up, and get on with it.

I’ve been there, so don’t get me wrong, I’m not bashing exercise classes, I used to teach Bootcamps on a Cornish beach. Ive attended bootcamp and circuit style classes. Ive seen bad form, and its painful to watch.

Trouble is, I saw people struggling with good form whilst they bashed out another 10 push ups after sprinting , doing squat jumps and lunges, seeing their anterior tilts not improve, seeing them getting up super early to go to a session when a lie in was what their adrenal glands were craving.

Shoulder, back and knee injuries are common…yes, even in well meaning Pilates classes.

I used to go to an osteopath for my tight neck muscles, (too much studying on a laptop!) who told me that they had many clients who came to them with lower back pain after going to Pilates classes, mainly in a gym with more than 10 people per sessions, sometimes up to 30 people in a class…they were at the point where they didn’t recommend Pilates to any clients!

You are NOT going to receive personal attention if you are going to a Pilates or Yoga session for rehab if your physic/dr/ospeo/chiro has told you that you should be doing one of these classes and it has lots of people attending.

If you are super lucky, your instructor may have received awesome training from a great training provider and taken more in depth courses in anatomy and physiology, neuroscience and muscular patterns.

If they have, stick with them, have some 1:1 sessions, and your training will come on in leaps and bounds

You will know your imbalances, you can work to correct them, you can work to enhance your inner strength.

Build your core strength and joint mobility before shooting that canon from the canoe.

Your future spinal health will thank you for it.

Remember, more is not better…better is better.


Movement Pattern Detective in Training


Core strength assessments : https://gotpain.wufoo.com/forms/got-core/

Mel Collie |Are your actions in line with who you want to be?

Mel Collie |Are your actions in line with who you want to be?


I’ve recently started to train for a challenge, and its made me think about a few things…its made me wonder about actions, excuses and if you are actually stuck in a rut, what are you going to do about it? Expect others to help you out? Blame others for not helping you out? Blame the weather?

When I ran Bootcamp sessions, clients started out with great intentions, then the excuses started to come in…why?because life got in the way..the excuses started to come in.

So,when I started to train for the Three Peaks Challenge, it seemed like a good idea at the time. I was looking for something to challenge me, a fitness and health related challenge, to get me off my bum, away from the TV, out in the fresh air, and to earn money for a charity at the same time.

I researched a few charity websites  and their organised challenges, a couple of them I might do next year, but when I chatted to my other half about them, he mentioned the challenge he had done 3 times, the Three Peaks. I knew nothing about this, and when he explained all about it , and that he would help train me, I decided I would go for it.

Week one looked like this:

Monday: 30 minute weights intensity training

Tuesday: 3 mile walk

Wednesday 5 mile walk

Thursday 6 miles

Friday Interval Training with weights

Saturday 6.8 miles

Sunday Day off, bouldering by the sea.

This week looks like this:

Monday 4 hour walk, 40 minute ice skating, 30 minute interval training.

Tuesday 5 mile walk

Wednesday – 4.5 mile walk

Thursday – Interval Training

Friday – 10 mile walk

Saturday – 10 mile walk

Sunday Day off.

I have got a plan for weeks 3 – 10, but I wont bore you with them, however…Tuesday morning, I found I was knackered after such a long day, the 4 hour walk was around the Eden project here in Cornwall, followed by the ice skating session, which Im rubbish at,, but its such a laugh, and thats important, we don’t laugh enough!

Anyway, Tuesday morning, I could’ve had a lie in, I could’ve made excuses, I could’ve told my self ” ah well, you can train tomorrow, its not important, you’ve done quite a bit already, do more next week”

Great excuses, for some, a bit like calling in sick when you cant be bothered. I recognised those excuses, they are just thoughts..

I got my walking boots on and took myself off for a long walk, a strenuous walk, as humans, we are capable of walking at about 3 miles per hour, I was aiming for 4, with a few steep up hill ascents along the way and some great scenary too, my mindset about half way into the walk was ” take a short cut here, go back early” , tempting, but I ignored it, and went on further, reminding myself of why I started this in the first place, the action I would have to do, everyday, to achieve it, and visualising the outcome.

Excuses are just thoughts.

Thoughts …what are they.. they are just thoughts, there to challenge you, to steer you off course, to help you, to keep you stuck, the trick is to embrace the thoughts, step back and see them for what they are, have no atachment to them, sounds tricky?

Try this :

When you have a thought, like I had the though ” you dont want to do a walk today, you are too tired”

I ask ” is that true?”

If the answer comes back as NO, then I get on with the walk, if the answer comes back as Yes, I challenge it, “Really? is it really true?”

Well, no it isn’t, I’m not exhausted, the human body is designed to move, a lot, all day, every day, we do more harm  by doing less.

When Ive challenged my thought, I then ask myself ” who would I be without that thought?”

…and thats the crux of it all…I would be me, doing what I said I would be doing, training for a challenge for charity, I would be happier, content having achieved what I set out to achieve.

It takes work

It means showing up every day

But whats the alternative?

Staying the same…being happy with average. If thats where you are at and are happy with that, then thats ok.

If you arent, then its down to you to show up and do what you said you were going to do.Do the work. Be the change .

If it was easy, then everyone would be doing it. Truth is, they arent  🙂

However,when you are following your desire, your passion, questioning your thoughts, doing the work, you find your path, it becomes easy, because taking the alternative of pain, discomfort, frustration, becomes second best.

Arent you better than settling for that?





References: Byron Katie – the Work.