Tag Archives: snowdonia climbing

Mel Collie | Your Nervous System is All Powerful!

Mel Collie | Your Nervous System is All Powerful!

Whilst the planet is still stretching hamstrings, expecting them to “let go” (which they wont , because they are tight for a reason…ever wondered why?) ..theres a small section of the fitness industry that searches for the truth and asks “why” and searches for the truth, trying to change the industry to avoid the untruths that still abound on the internet.

Anyhow..heres the thing, I went searching for more answers, mainly to help my hamstrings lengthen, help my glutes work (squats do work, but only if the muscles are responding well)  and to understand exactly how the body responds to exercise and nutrition.

Heres what I discovered : the body is a complex system ( No surprise there) but at the same time, it responds to simple ways to re-boot it.

Heres one – your nervous system is in charge, you know that I am sure, but if you didnt, it means to check with your brain that its happy before checking with your muscles.So, with that in mind, heres one way to get your brain to let go of your restrictions…(see your brain at the CEO, and the rest of your body as the departments, if the departments are short of staff or have issues, their reports back to the CEO will warn it of a reduction in the workforce, which means reduced production which means reduced performance )

Quantum Scone | Climbers Brain

So…the CEO see these things as a threat :




Spatial Awareness


(not necessarily in that order)

Whats a threat to the brain? Now thats the question, because it varies from person to person as your are unique, so a threat can be :

Financial worries


Nutritional Stress

Family stresses (getting the kids homework done, cooking, planning holiday, car needs an mot, keeping everyone happy etc etc)

Lack of Sleep

Judgemental comments from other people


Failure at work

Past Injuries (the brain doesn’t forget you broke your toe at 5 years old or fell over at 2 years old)

Athletic performance (worried about strength, falling, stamina, failing)

Its a little known fact that something as simple as lack of hamstring length can be improved by massaging the head and forehead, a focus on deep breathing for a minute x 10 a day, improving vision with simple exercises and spatial awareness drills.

All of this and more you can find in an hours assessment, online or at my home studio in Llanberis, Snowdonia.

Its so fast and so amazingly simple, its like that illusionist, Dynamo, looks simple, happens quickly, leaves a lasting impression.



Mel Collie | Are you worried about bending over backwards?

How often do you look at the ground…?

A few years ago, I remember a friend calling to me from across the road as I walked to the shop , she couldn’t get my attention because I was in a world of my own, and I was looking at the ground as I walked.She told me off for looking at the ground too much..and you know, I did that a lot, she was right…

Now, I see this all the time in clients with tight lower backs and painful shoulders and necks, they look down a lot, its as though their head weighs too much to lift it up and keep it there, and in a way, thats true..but it runs a little bit deeper than that..

Theres something called the green light reflex, and it looks a little bit like this, and call also be known as a classic Swayback Posture:

Posture and Back Pain Reduction in llanberis Mel Collie
Posture and Back Pain Reduction in llanberis Mel Collie

Is that you? What does it mean though? Its my posture for sure!
Hips pushed forward, extended knees, weight in the heels ( you feel as if you would lose balance if you shifted your weight forward to the front of your foot)

A green light posture can show that your mind, your beliefs, is for someone whose mind is always on the go, always doing something next, rather the a focus on the here and now. Worry and anxiety can also be a part of this posture.

If you look at the lower back, and the rib cage just above it, most of the pressure rests on the first couple of your
lumbar vertebrae, creating a painful, tight lower back, its not weak, its being over worked.

Yes, this is an extreme version of the posture, and it can vary, but this is just one way of seeing whats going on in your body and mind. There can be a restriction in the pelvis and shoulder region, pain in the lower back and hips is very common as is breathing into the upper chest.

You can work your glutes all you like (these are usually “weak” in a green light posture) but if you don’t address the cause, then you are just putting a plaster on it, glutes , like abs, don’t just work because you are doing an exercise for that specific muscle.

You can do loads of squats, but your brain might be using the wrong muscles to get there and back, and you can then look at your bum and wonder why it isn’t tight ! the same can b for abs, you can have a great 6 pack, but have a rubbish abdominal connection, usually because the neck is doing the work of stabilising, rather than the “core”.

So…if you do look at the ground a lot, if you worry about what others think of you, and find it hard to get your hand behind your lower back if you stood against a wall and the lower back was flat against the wall, then this is for you.

You look up to the sky a lot, you look at the sun, the clouds, the stars, the wind, the trees. the rain, taking washing off the line, getting a glass from a high shelf in the cupboard, and when you do, its called extension. Yet in a Pilates class, you might feel scared or worried about doing an extension exercise (In Pilates its called “swan dive” and is done lying on your front but can also be done standing)

We worry about extension because we think it is going to hurt our backs, but the opposite is true,a lack of extension will hurt your back, and using the wrong muscles too, as I say in sessions, its not how you get there, but what you use to get there.

How can you extend without pain?

1. Lengthen the spine first, create space between the tailbone and crown of the head, as if you had to create space for an extra vertebrae at your mid back, the heart line. (or the bra line for girls.) This lessons pressure on this area of your back and creates more strength for your spine.
2. Lift from the chest, rather from your lower back, as if, ladies, you were sticking out your boobs, and guys , as if you were lifting up your heart to the sky.
3. Eyes. use the signal from your eyes to switch on the muscles that help you extend, and look up with the eyes, not the head, just the eyes, if you look up and reduce the space from the back of the head to your shoulders, you are compressing the neck, which is what you don’t want to do very much of. Just look towards your eyebrows with your eyes as you extend. See what happens.

Embrace extension, it can bring a lot of freedom and strength to your back, shoulders and neck.

Mel Collie

Posture and movement assessments online and from my posture studio in Llanberis, Snowdonia. Each takes 60 – 90 minutes and is a load of fun, because you move more freely in each session, its simple, easy, and unbelievable , and yes, sometimes people cry, me too, because you can now have more movement, without pain. Nice.