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Health & Fitness

When Should You Stretch

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A Physio’s Take On Stretching – When Is the Best Time To Stretch?

On a recent visit to P360, two colleagues and I were treated to a gruelling yet enjoyable functional workout, put through our paces by Jason. Once I had recovered and regained control of what felt like jelly filled legs, I was left to reflect on the thorough, systematic and professional approach that the P-360 team have integrated into their gym. Focussing on functional movements, correcting mal-adaptive postures and movement patterns, they manage to incorporate science, enjoyment and a feeling that by the end of the session you have worked to your maximal capacity in an all encompassing work-out style.

One of the areas that I was most impressed with was how the trainers chose specific stretching techniques at specific points of the session. To the unassuming or untrained eye, it may just seem like a normal part of the exercise session.  However, when it is broken down and analysed it becomes apparent that the stretching techniques chosen have been carefully thought through and scientifically match the stage of the workout.

Here’s how it works….

Stretching, more formally known as flexibility training, comes in different forms with varying degrees of advantages and disadvantages. Here I will discuss briefly the different methods of stretching and the practical applications in each case.

During the warm-up we were taken through a series of dynamic stretches. Dynamic stretches are controlled, specific movements that are used to prepare our bodies for activity. It promotes dynamic and functional flexibility, often involves multiple joints and replicates the movement patterns that will be used in the ensuing exercise. Used as part of the warm up is a perfect application, improving co-ordination, strengthening the contracting muscles and keeping the core body temperature elevated so that muscles and surrounding tissues remain pliable. Although dynamic stretching is not as effective as static stretching for producing long-term gains in muscle flexibility, it serves the purpose of getting the body prepared and ready for activity.

As we moved through the exercises, the trainers were closely analysing our movement patterns and exercise form, identifying tight structures that were inhibiting optimal movement. In the break between sets, we were each encouraged to perform PNF style stretches of various individual muscles. Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF) were developed by physiotherapists in the 1950’s and have since been perfected for use in the athletic world. PNF stretches utilise muscular contraction to elicit relaxation in muscle groups and are highly effective for producing short-term increases in flexibility; giving instant results to induce a change to exercise form between sets.

To end the session the focus was switched to static stretching of the major muscle groups that had been used. Static stretching involves elongating the muscle to its tolerance and holding that position for 30 seconds before relaxing, with each stretch repeated 4 times. 30 seconds has been shown in scientific studies to be the recommended time to hold a static stretch, allowing sufficient time for the muscle to relax without causing permanent connective tissue lengthening or increasing the risk of injury. Although the adaptations of static stretching disappear within one hour post exercise, consistent and frequent use can result in long-term flexibility gains. The instruction given during the static stretches by the trainers empowered us with the knowledge and practical application to continue these stretches in the post exercise period, aiding recovery and overall flexibility. Static stretches performed prior to exercise can result in a temporary strength reduction which doesn’t occur with dynamic stretches.

In summary, the correct stretching techniques, performed at the appropriate times can complement and facilitate improved training outcomes; conversely, incorrect stretching techniques can negatively affect training, adaptation and growth. The importance of this is clearly not lost on the team at P-360 and is just one example of how they use thorough, evidence-based training techniques with great success.

Ciaran Caldwell, BSc (Physio) Physiotherapist

Web: www.performancepodiatry.com.au

Phone: 07 3846 4800

Address: Suite 2B, 90 Vulture Street, West End, Queensland 4101

Postal: PO Box 5325, West End, Queensland 4101

10 biggest mistakes when eating healthy

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The 10 Biggest Mistakes People Make When Trying To Eat Healthy

  1. Going Low Fat – Fat is considered sacrilege in the “health” world. Where did this bad wrap come from? Is it because we think “eat fat, get fat”? Or because fat is higher in calories per gram than protein and carbs? For whatever reason, not all fat is bad…In fact, we NEED it or your good cholesterol cops a beating (and we definitely don’t want that). Remember when choosing ‘low fat’ options someone in a white coat somewhere in the world has changed that very product you’re spooning down your throat.
  1. Making drastic changes over night – It always baffles me why someone who has had poor dietary habits for 15+ years want to switch overnight to drinking green tea and kombucha and while eating sauerkraut dressed with seaweed. I’m sorry to break it to you, making such drastic changes is NOT sustainable and will most likely set you further back when you give in to temptation while watching The Bachelor. I can’t think of a more applicable children’s story than the “Tortoise and the Hare” to insert here. Changing habits is a marathon, not a sprint.
  1. Not having enough Fruit and Vegetables – Are they really that hard to eat? Surely there is something with colour that grows from the earth that you like? If so, eat it. Eat it every day to start with if you must. Increasing your veggies will help provide your body power charged nutrients to keep you fuller, increase energy and to increase health on a cellular level. Remember most of us are full and satisfied but starving due to the lack of nutrients. That’s a dangerous place to be people.
  1. Not drinking enough water – This is the BEST supplement you could ever take. You know the stuff…the little droplets that “falls” from the sky is SUPER important for whole bunch of reasons. Also, this power supplement aids in weight loss. So drink up people.
  1. Choosing “diet” foods – Big company marketing tactics got you again right? This craze of “diet, low fat, reduced calories, 97% fat free, fat free, slim, trim, 3% fat, lite, baked and not fried, no added sugar, all natural etc etc etc. has to end. It’s simple… foods that have marketing claims such as these have been altered by that white coat guy in some factory again. Try to use whole foods where possible to avoid all that confusion and hours wasted on label reading.
  1. Tell yourself “I CHOOSE not to eat that” rather than “I can’t eat that” – Let’s say this one is a mental strategy many have had success with. If you’re at home resting on the couch, or watching a movie, or dining out with friends, generally this environment demands naughty foods right? It doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, even calling them “naughty foods” promotes a negative relationship with food. In brief, if you make a conscious decision that you CHOOSE not to have that dessert, or that chocolate, or that ice cream rather than feeling restricted and telling yourself that you “can’t” enables a much better mindset around food. Your thoughts are your actions!
  1. Following the latest celebrity diet craze – Paleo, vegan, vegetarian, ketogenic diet, zone diet, if it fits your macros, gluten free, sugar free, high protein/low carb, high carb/low fat, cleanse diet, soup diet, fruitarian…No wonder we’re all so damn confused. Even I am looking at some of the fads out there. To put it simply…The best nutrition plan is one that you can stick to while providing your body health on a cellular level. Don’t get caught up in the anecdotal evidence that worked for some celebrity, coach, fitness model, friend or family. It must feel right FOR YOU! Learn self-assessment and listen to your body.
  1. Taking the latest diet pill or powder that guarantees you shred 30kg’s of fat in 3 days. Once again, humans get sucked into the latest super supplement via clever marketing from companies with BIG budgets. If you don’t want your bubble busted again then please don’t read on. There is no such thing as the ultimate fat loss pill or powder. It’s simply persistence and consistency. So stop flushing away your hard-earned money (because that is literally where ends up) and invest in a quality Coach or Dietitian to assist with your fitness needs. You’ll end up saving money.
  1. Telling ourselves Carbs are the enemy – Carbs ARE NOT the enemy. Having a loaf of bread, 4 scrolls from baker’s delight, bowl of mac and cheese and 8 slices of pizza in one day is too many carbs (unless you’re an ultra-distance runner). What most don’t realise is that there is carbs in most packaged foods and as a society we consume these like we’re being invaded by another world and need to go into “lock down”. Like any food group…if you have too much of something it will throw out your internal system. Just be mindful and consume in moderation. You need these for liver, brain and muscle function.
  1. Going on a “diet” – Coming back to that mental strategy as mentioned above. If someone says to you “I’m going on a diet as of Monday”. I’m assuming your immediate thoughts are “it’s going to be hard”. “You’re going to need to restrict yourself”. “You’re going to be drinking juices all day”. “You’re not going to fun to hang around anymore” etc etc etc. Can you see the negative connotations to “going on a diet”? Why not approach it in a way that seem less like hell and more pleasurable. Maybe start with a few simple switches on brands ie table salt for pink salt or increasing water, or having fruit and nuts at snack time instead of cookies and a large cappuccino with caramel syrup.

 

Thanks for reading and hope you can truly start and cement a healthy lifestyle.

 

Jason Clark – Co Founder Perform360

IG – @Fulled_By_Plants

Could Your Big Toe Improve Your Squat

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Let’s get them GLUTES firing in your Squat!

There is no doubt there’s a lot to think about when performing the high skill movement such as the squat. You should be thinking how you can maximise activation during the entire movement as opposed to just moving up and down with some weight on your back. Watch this 56 sec video on how the “big toe” could improve your squat.

Maximise Your Chip Up – 54 Sec Vid

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Feeling stuck trying to improve your chin up? It’s all too common when we start to fatigue during some chin ups we somehow turn it into “Trap Ups” (meaning we use all upper traps and neck to complete the reps). We all know that the chin up is designed to build strength in the Lats (Latissimus Doris) right? Well here is how you build strength in the right areas for a stronger chin up.

Enjoy

Fail To Grow

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Usually around your mid-to late thirties you feel comfortable. You have experienced ‘enough’, done ‘enough’, have a job that you like ‘enough’. You have your comfort zone and don’t want to risk it. This is usually the point in our lives where we can very easily fall into a rut. Refusing to take the harder path.

Playing it safe is cool; nothing wrong with that. But is that really ‘enough’.

The other day we bought a slack-line for P360. Have you seen them? Basically it is a wide but thin piece of very strong fabric that is tied to two anchor points. They are unstable and a huge challenge just to stand on let alone walk across!

I gave it a shot – this was my first time – and of course if failed!

Now; this is the turning point (well an analogy of one anyway!). Do I stay on the ground? Safe, secure, enough. Or do I get up and try again, and again. No matter the frustration, no matter how many times I fail, no matter how long. I choose to try. I choose the harder path.

After many frustrating and failed attempts to walk 10m across the slack-line I was slowly starting to improve, most times walking further than the previous attempt. My brain was adapting and was beginning to send the correct signal timing through the central nervous system to my muscles to stabilise the slack-line. I was getting better! Within 2 days of my first attempt I successfully completed the 10m.

Now; I know that walking a slack line isn’t exactly like navigating through life however I always try and look into things deeper; learn lessons and see how my failure actually is my success.

This inspired me to look deeper into ‘enough’. Here is what I learnt:

  1. Trying something new means you could fail. Yes, fail! This is not a scary word. Everyone MUST fail to get better. You need to be encouraged to fail in order to learn and grow and that should be celebrated. In reality it’s only failure if you didn’t learn something. Michael Jordan said it well! – “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed”.
  2. Trying something new requires you to leave the ego at the door.  Ego is not your friend; and needs to be leashed. Ego will often prevent you from trying something new; especially in front of people; as you may ‘think’ you’re not living up to others expectations. An ego makes you blind to the fact – no one really cares if you fail! An ego makes you question too much – what if you fall, what if you suck, what if, what if, what it. But what if you are great at it! What if you love it! You’ll never know unless you try. By trying something new you are motivating others to do the same. You are leading people to take a chance and showing its ok. Leave the ego at the door
  3. Trying something new forces you to grow. Who knows! You might try something new (like the slack-line) and find out you are a superstar at it! Or not – doesn’t matter! The point is you tried and that builds confidence, and confidence carries over to other facets of your life. You will also expand your knowledge base and constantly challenge yourself. We need to constantly challenge ourselves both mentally and physically or we become stale and feel like we’re in a rut.
  4. Trying something new leads to meeting new people. Trying a new sport, joining a new club or even attempting a new career means you will meet new ‘like-minded’ people and develop new friendships. These friendships could open up other potential possibilities in your professional and personal life. Being around and connecting with like-minded individuals provides us with a sense of community and it’s a lot more fun doing things with other people than on your own, especially when they’re supportive and cheer you on.

The next time you want to give something a go for the first time, DO IT!

Remember that we all experience fear, so take a deep breath, get outside of your comfort zone and have some fun. You never know what will happen.

Never say enough!

Brent Coglan

Co-founder Perform 360

New Year Revolutionist FREE ZONE!

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P360 is a New Year Revolutionist FREE ZONE.  We don’t want New Year – we want ALL YEAR!

For those of you wondering; we start our 8 week challenge late in January rather than early January for a very good reason. To put it bluntly we don’t want any New Year Revolutionists.  You know the type – join a gym. Turn up for the first two weeks then we don’t see them again until next January.

New year resolutions (NYR) are proven to not work; with a recorded dismal statistic rate of 87% that give up before the end of January!

However I truly hope this is not offensive to those who made a health & fitness orientated NYR & pray you are one of the 13% who succeed. But looking back through history the chances are slim to seeing your NYR through.

Why do you think this is the case?

Possibly it is because you:

  • Made the goal in a negative mindset (i.e. hungover, sick, stressed, slightly depressed)
  • Made the goals too unattainable for the time frame you set?
  • Did your support network let you down?
  • Maybe you didn’t understand “why” it was important to you?
  • Or did your events & living situation changed?

In my opinion the only reason those that fail in achieving their NYR is because they didn’t ask themselves the above; they didn’t really understand – with a clear mindset – WHY they wanted to make that resolution and working out how to overcome obstacles that possibly “get in your way”.

And this is why we starts our 8 week challenge in late Jan.

We want you to have time to reflect – assess – and really understand what is important to you and how you will feel and benefit from a positive health change.

We don’t claim to be psychiatrists, phycologist, expert mindful coaches. We just give you the best tools to excel when you find out your “why”.

So if health & fitness rings high in priority we’ll happily provide the professional training/coaching, the expert nutrition information, enable you to experience cooking demonstrations, give education that lasts a lifetime, support you 100% of the way and start (or continue) health as a lifestyle and maintainable choice.

So let’s say “cheers” to longterm health.

Jason Clark – Co Founder at Perform 360