back support

Is this the best hotel gym space in London?

 

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As many of your know Precision Movement has been making extensive additions and changes to our little Mayfair studio space courtesy of Grosvenor House Apartments.  And though she be little she is (mighty) fierce and versatile.  Here are the new changes to the space and how they optimise your workout.

 

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The rig 

This March we had a custom designed BeaverFit rig installed into the ceiling.  This has been the most anticipated change in the studio since we moved in.  The rig will be used for pullup/chin up and brachiation training. Also check out the fat GRIPZ for extra intensity without extra load.  It has proved super popular so far! 

 

 

 

Suspension Training 

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The rig also enables us to use TRx, Crosscore180 and Olympic Rings for suspension and aerial training.  Bring on the strength!  The rig is 3.5m long meaning we can have someone working on the Kinesis, someone working on the TRx and someone in the weight area quite comfortably.

 

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The floorspace 

The matted floorspace has been increased by a third meaning more workable space for people to use and more people using the space at the same time.  It also means the floorspace becomes more versatile - we can bring out a barre for a ballet workout or clear the space for kickboxing or a yoga based work-in.  We have had some guests using the space to practice their karate katas and MMA moves.  We have left the space open for just this purpose because no single person's workout is the same and we want to cater to that as much as possible.

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We now have adjustable weights up to 41kg each alongside the original rack of 1-10kg.  We have a few olympic bars and weight plates for more traditional strength training as well as weighted medicine balls and powerbags.  The original Kinesis cable machine is still installed as well.

 The bring out put back system 

We have lots of different equipment that can be used in the space - kettlebells, powerbags, battling ropes, agility equipment, olympic bars, medicine balls.  We bring out what we need into the space for your specific workout and then put it back to open the space up again.  It sounds really obvious but many gyms, particularly hotel and residence gyms are the same space as our little studio but packed full of machines which limits the type of exercise you can do in the space. Training has moved on past machines... there are some uses for machine work but at Precision Movement we are more steered towards challenging your body in different ways. Which is why we think our space is becoming one of the best hotel gyms in London. 

The space is being used more than it ever has been and it's being used in many ways, for all kinds of movement, workouts and sports conditioning.  If you haven't been down to visit yet, then please do. We'd love to have you! 

The core killer that negates a killer core

teddy in casts
teddy in casts

I recently saw a man working out at my Mayfair studio who was wearing a back brace.  I asked him what it was for and he proceeded to tell me that he had terrible back pain and was advised to exercise with a sturdy back support.  If there is one thing that I find contradictory, it's wearing a brace that stops movement so that you can exercise/move in the gym.    If you want to make your back pain worse then wearing a back brace or support is the quickest way to do it and here's why....

Casting is for breaks

Have you ever broken any bones?  Last year I worked with a lady who broke her ankle.  She was in a cast for 6 weeks and a boot for another 6 weeks.  When she started her rehabilitation with me the difference in the musculature from left to right was incredible.  It looked like she had two separate legs!  You see the body is mighty clever.  If you are not using muscles they atrophy (shrink).  A similar phenomenon happens to astronauts when they go into space for long periods.  Because there is no gravity their bones become less dense.  The good news is that when there is an increased need for muscle the body responds and adapts to the stresses it is put under.  

This is why I am so adamantly against back braces for back pain.  If you have back pain from disc prolapses, spinal stenosis, disc degeneration, or non-specific back pain back braces are really not going to help you in the long term.  I am not saying do not wear one but I would like to educate you on what they do to the body so you can make a more informed decision about wearing one.

The off button

Effectively, just like a cast, a back brace will cause muscles to switch off.  One of the first things you learn when you start corrective exercise is how to activate the core.  Core activation is absolutely essential to the support of the spine and surrounding structures.  Switching off these muscles is just asking for trouble.  You cannot rely on a brace to give you the support you need - that is the job of your muscles and connective tissues!  If you stop conditioning the muscles under controlled conditions with gradual development you will leave your back even further unsupported and at risk of further injury.

Restricted movement

The point of exercising is to move.  Wearing a brace can result in muscles getting tighter as they are not able to move through a full range.  This will create further imbalance as certain muscles will become tighter and others will overwork to compensate further pulling you out of alignment and causing more stress on your back.  

Faulty messaging

If you are wearing something that restricts movement and causes muscles to switch off you will effectively change messages to your brain and alter movement patterns.  The brain responds to the movement patterns you put it through and with repetition it creates a blueprint that is stored for future use.  It means we do not have to learn a movement every time we come to do it.  However, if you change the variables for instance by putting a brace on, the brain will change it's blueprint accordingly.  When you take the brace off and go through daily movements, the brain will use the newly formed blueprints with restricted range of motion and less muscle activation.  This leaves you even more vulnerable to injuring yourself further.

What to do

You body has its own brace system - your core.  The great thing about the core is you don't have to put it on every day - it is always with you.  If you do not know how to activate it then seek out help from a corrective exercise specialist.  To find out more about your core read my article "Does having a strong core relieve low back pain?"  Equally important is your postural alignment.  If movement is not your specialist area then chances are you won't know if you have poor posture or to what extent your posture is affecting your back pain.  Optimal alignment, core activation and gradual progressive corrective exercise are the keys to getting your back pain under control.  There are no quick fixes.

If you are currently wearing a brace and would like to explore another option for improving your back pain then contact me at 

KT@precisionmovement.co.uk

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