Don’t do sit-ups, side bends or back extensions, train your hips for core strength & stability

Jan 17, 2022

In this tutorial we examine the theory that if you want to strengthen your core you need to train your hips. This is something I talk to my private clients about as well as covering in depth in my beginner’s Core Strength & Stability 12-Week Program.

So often in core training programs we find lots of spine bending exercises like sit-ups, crunches or twists. But these are not the most effective exercises for training the core. In order to better understand why this is, let’s talk about the anatomy of the hips and spine. Then we’ll look at some more appropriate exercises you might want to consider instead.

Anatomy of the hips

The different joints in our body work in different ways. They are designed for the purpose they serve. The hip is a ball and socket joint. This allows for a wide range of movement – flexion, extension, both internal and external rotation, abduction and adduction. In fact, it’s classified as a freely moveable joint. Hence,...

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Beginners guide to Core Exercises: how your core muscles work

Dec 21, 2021

As a PT, I spend a lot of time talking about core muscles, it’s a subject that is far more important than a lot of people realise. Firstly, we’re talking about more than just your abs – a common misconception. Secondly, the core muscles are involved in some way in almost every movement you’ll do with your body. Whether it’s lifting, bending, picking something up or carrying something, understanding more about your core muscles and doing the work to strengthen and protect them will benefit you both inside and outside the gym.

So, let’s look at six things you may not know about core muscles and some of the most useful core exercises for beginners:

  1.  The core works as one unit

Which are the core muscles? You’ve got the abdominals to the front, obliques to the side, around the back the erector spinal muscles, a little bit deeper the QL muscles. Then there’s the TVAs and internal obliques as well.

That’s a lot of different...

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5 myths of low back pain rehabilitation

Nov 22, 2021

When it comes to rehabilitating the lower back, there’s a huge amount of information out there. Some of it is valuable, some should be used with caution, and some is just plain wrong. The problem is, that if you try something that’s not recommended for you, it might be that it just doesn’t work, or you could actually exacerbate the problem and make it worse.

That’s why I wanted to do a tutorial that busts some of those commonly held myths about treating low back pain.

MYTH 1: You have to strengthen the muscles of the torso

You might think this one is a slight technicality, but to me it’s important how we define ‘strengthen’ in this context.

If you’re struggling with lower back pain, the last thing you want to do is go to the gym and overwork or fatigue those back muscles by trying to build up the amount of weight you’re able to lift, push or pull. Instead you need to build up the endurance of those core muscles so they work to...

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How Sports Massage can help with ACL Rehab

Oct 19, 2021

One of the most common sports injuries is an anterior cruciate ligament sprain or tear. It’s the one you often see impact top level (or wannabe top level!) footballers or basketballers. And it’s one that can be difficult to recover from, often requiring surgery and subsequent physiotherapy to ensure it heals correctly.

If you are suffering with an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury, sports massage should definitely be on your list of options to consider. Whether you’ve had a reconstruction but not received the subsequent rehabilitation post-surgery, or you’ve been cleared by your surgeon and physio but your ACL is giving you issues again after a period of time, sports massage is the perfect way to work on the affected area and improve your quality of life and ability to exercise.

In this tutorial, I’m talking about the anatomy of the knee and how sports massage can work to improve ACL outcomes.

The anatomy of the knee

While you might think the knee...

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A case study: How did this client overcome their low back pain with one consultation?

Sep 16, 2021

Wondering about the process we’ll follow if you sign up for the How to Overcome Lower Back Pain consultation and the online course? Here I’ll go through the process in detail and explain how it worked for one recent client, Beth (not her real name.)

An overview

  1. Questionnaires are filled out so I can get an idea of what’s been going on.
  2. Consultation over Zoom or similar to allow me to find out more.
  3. Advice and recommendations to help overcome your lower back pain.
  4. Online support for 2 weeks to answer any questions or clarify understanding.
  5. Results and discussion about next steps if required.

Let’s take a look in more detail.

The initial questionnaires

Click through here, enter your email address and you’ll be sent an email with the initial and consultation questionnaires.  I’ll be in touch by email, within 24-hours, to book in your 45-minute online consultation.

The consultation questionnaire provides the information I need to know about...

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4 stages for greater core endurance, core stability, core strength, speed & power

Aug 16, 2021

If you’re looking to improve your core strength, you’ll find plenty of experts suggesting exercises you should try. You might be surprised, therefore, when after a little while you’re not getting the results you’re after.

In my Core Strength & Stability 12-week program I will support you through building the foundations of good movement and then developing the endurance and core skills you need before beginning to build up that speed, power and strength in your movements. It’s a much more effective and safer way to get to where you want to be and reduce your risk of injury.

Here I explore the 4 stages we’ll work through in order to effectively improve your core strength and why this really is the best way to approach things:

  1. Fundamental movement and core skills

I often talk about eight fundamental movements:

  • Lifting
  • Carrying
  • Pushing
  • Pulling
  • Walking
  • Running
  • Getting up
  • Rotating

These are movements you do every day whether just going...

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5 Common mistakes people make while they’re treating Lordosis

Jul 15, 2021

If you suffer with Lordosis and want to improve your posture, stretching and exercise are an essential part of any plan. But, how you stretch and exercise is important – that’s why I wanted to talk a bit about how to perform stretches and exercises for lordosis so you get the best possible results.

Here are some common mistakes I see clients making when they’re stretching or exercising to correct Lordosis:


Mistake 1 - Not using everyday activity to correct Lordosis.


Each day you have 24 hours. You sleep for 8 hours so that leaves 16 hours. And how many of those hours do you exercise? Maybe one? Well, that leaves 15 spare hours you can use to either undo the good work that you did in that hour or to really make a positive difference to your posture. Imagine if you did good quality exercise for one hour and then used those 15 hours more effectively, being mindful about the position your body is in, and really thinking about the way you move.  Your...

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Bird Dog vs Back Extension: which is the best exercise for lower back pain

Jun 18, 2021

When it comes to exercises for lower back pain, there are plenty to choose from, but how do you know which ones are right for you?

Some exercises can help lower back pain and some can hinder it, it all depends on your situation, but arming yourself with information about how each exercise works anatomically is a great place to start in working out which will be most effective.

Why are some exercises better than others for low back pain

Different exercises will require your body to undertake distinct movements, each bringing different muscles into play and exerting force on your spine and other joints. This can be in the form of compression, over extension or ineffective working of the muscles. To get the most out of any exercise you perform, your goal should be to maximise muscular activity while reducing the risk of further injury.

In this tutorial we’ve chosen to compare the Bird Dog and the Back Extensions, two commonly selected exercises for lower back strength and...

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The Limitations of the McKenzie floppy push up that can create more lower back pain

May 16, 2021

The floppy push-up, or McKenzie press-up, as you might have heard it called, is an exercise that is often prescribed as a way to help overcome low back pain. There are good anatomical reasons why that is the case, however, there are also limitations that it’s important to understand before you decide whether this is the right approach for you.

 What is the McKenzie floppy push-up?

To perform a floppy push-up, first lay down on your front. With your hips touching the floor, gradually push up onto your hands, bringing your head and chest upwards away from the floor. You’ll notice you’re creating an exaggerated curve in the lower spine and it’s this that physiotherapist Robin McKenzie, advocate of this approach, claimed could have a positive impact on lower back pain.

And he was right, to a point.

To explain, we need to turn to anatomy.

The anatomy of a disc bulge

The floppy push-up is said to help reduce the pain caused by disc bulges and herniation, so...

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5 of the best core exercises for beginners that build fitness and reduce injury

Apr 21, 2021

As a beginner to the world of core training, it is vital that you go about things in the right way.

Exercises you choose should be simple to understand and to master, they should work on the fundamental aspects of core strength and stability, and they should offer a robust foundation from which you can build.

Of course, when we’re exercising, we want to push our bodies and try out more and more complex exercises. But I believe it’s so important to get these foundations right that I’ve chosen five key exercises and made them the cornerstone of my online core strength and stability programme.

I talk you through them below, but if you prefer a more visual approach, you’ll find plenty of images as well as more detailed explanations of the muscles you’re using in the video linked above.

5 of the best core exercises for beginners

  1. The Plank


Yes, the pros might pride themselves on being able to hold a plank rock steady, for a minute or even more, but...

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