5 Tips on Preparing for the 2014 CrossFit Open

2014 CrossFit Open is about to begin - Image from games.crossfit.com

2014 CrossFit Open is about to begin – Image from games.crossfit.com

The 2014 CrossFit Open begins on Feb 27, 2014. If you are smart, you will have begun preparations. Here are some tips on what you might want to focus on…
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Are your pelvic floor exercises making you weaker?

Purpose – to challenge your thinking and beliefs…and those of your therapist!
Method – questions and answers, haven’t had a chance to look at the research
Summary – my beliefs were challenged…I hope yours are!

***i will add pictures and formatting to this post when I get home :) ***

Do your kegals!
Switch on your core by using your pelvic floor!
Do more pelvic floor to increase your core stability!
A strong pelvic floor will help your back pain!

We have heard it all before…but do you (and your therapist) understand what the implications are?

These are my musings about the hysteria about pelvic floor exercises and how it affects your back pain and performance. I have not read about this mentioned anywhere in the past so if you find resources, please let me know. The closest I have found is Taryn Hallam from WHTA in Sydney…brilliant woman.

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7 Reasons why women should train at the men’s weight – one Rx weight only!

Girls-RxDI have learned many things from Darren Coughlan, Brendon Walsh, Pip Malone and the coaches at Reebok CrossFit GCS and CrossFit Newcastle. The one thing I want to talk about today is what Rx is in the world of Give’m Cold Steel…and how it can change the way you think and change your results.

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How I broke through my front squat plateau…and got a 12% increase in 2 months

Antony Lo's Front Squat - much improved form over the last 2 months

Antony Lo’s Front Squat – much improved form over the last 2 months – there is a prowler next to me in the picture!

Those of you who know me or have read this blog long enough will know that I am a stickler for technique. I love getting the “mechanics, consistency, intensity” right. I love improving people’s mobility, flexibility, stability, strength, power/speed, etc etc. Being the human that I am, sometimes I find it hard to take my own medicine. Please remember that in the Crossfit world, I am just your average (or below average) CrossFitter who will never make it to Regionals or the Games nor ever grace the podium at a local comp. If I ever compete, it will be fun or charity only. But I do have a desire to get better. I do want to improve…and I HATE plateaus in my strength.

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All exercises are pointless…

This post is dedicated to all the well-meaning posts, videos, and even therapists out there who show you a good exercise but don’t watch or correct how you do them. You see, all exercises are pointless – even the ones I give you to do… Read more of this post

The “art” of physiotherapy

I am going to be straight with you. I am not the smartest Physio, nor am I the best. I don’t do anything that is unique. There is nothing really that is new, just repackaged and reinterpreted.

What I do practice is the “art” of physiotherapy.

When I teach you an exercise, I want you to feel the difference immediately. When I mobilize your joints, I want it in just the right direction. When I massage a muscle or move a nerve or tweak your technique or give you a cue, it is the subtle differences that make all the difference.

So when I give you something to do like an exercise or stretch or activity, remember that I want it just right…

…how do you know if it is right? It works! It will feel better!

I call this my “30 seconds rule”. You will know in 30 seconds if it will be helpful or a waste of time.

My challenge to you is to think about the exercises and cues you use and see if it makes your performance better or worse… Because if you are worse, perhaps you need to reconsider how you are doing it :)

Lifting to train vs rehab lifting – Is there a difference?


I am going to try write more quick entries because I have a long list of long articles on the back burner… And people keep asking when I am going to write more.

So today’s post is about when I told a patient we are going to go lift now…during his initial assessment. Read more of this post

Hip pain? Trouble Squatting? Consider your ribs (aka Thoracic Rings)

During the recent seminar I ran, we met Nicole. Nicole has given me permission to write this blog because of the beautiful illustration of how various parts of the body interact and can cause pain.

Nicole has been chasing her pain around for a while. It started with some ankle soreness which became back pain which became right hip pain. Looking down the barrel of an MRI for a labral tear…but no incident or accident. She couldn’t squat or move well because of the pain. The standard hip tests seem to indicate pain in the anterior hip like a labral tear.

But what I do is a bit different. I look to see how she squats and what moves well and what doesn’t…and I discovered that her ribs aren’t working well…don’t know why yet, just that they aren’t working properly – we were in a seminar remember, not in a consultation :)

Anyway, I found where her movement first deviates from normal…and it was in the left side of her ribs…The term “Thoracic Ring” was coined by Linda-Joy Lee (www.ljlee.ca), probably in a similar way to how the pelvis is called the “Pelvic Ring” – if you think of the 2 ribs and 2 spinal bones and the breastbone or cartilage the ribs join onto, they form a ring…what you do to one side affects the other side. But most people know what ribs are so I still persist with that when speaking with the general public ;)

So back to Nicole…

When she squats, you will see that the first 2 squats show her shifting off her sore right side. When she “corrects” the rib on the left, she squats better and accepts weight onto the right side. There is a bit of a pause in the video because I am asking her to squat “evenly” – the fact that she can’t tells me that there is a bit more work to do to unravel why she is doing this.

What you don’t see in the video is that by **THINKING** about supporting that rib, she can take that pain in the right hip away. When she lay down to do some “quadrant testing”, her pain was there without the “correction” and when she or I “corrected” the rib, the pain went away. So to my way of thinking, is it really a torn cartilage? I didn’t even touch the hip itself!

There aren’t that many people who can assess this way…I was luck to be among the first in Australia back in around 2006/7…there are a few more now since then…but, as always, the proof is in the results…

I also like to show videos like this because quite simply, I expect results like this every day I am with my clients. I love the challenge and the pressure to “get it right”.

So the take-home message is this: Just because something hurts, it doesn’t have to be the REASON why it hurts. Nicole’s hip hurts but there isn’t something “wrong” with the hip…it seems like there is something wrong with the coordination in her ribs!

If you have an interesting story to tell, please let me know below.

Nicole’s Squat Correction

How to train through injury…yes, you can usually keep training!

Ouch...Do I keep training?

Ouch…Do I keep training?

I see a lot of athletes – both high level and recreational – as part of the work I do. To develop your body, you need to overload your body – the old SAID principle…Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demands. If you don’t believe me, check out the photos of how different sports will cause your body to develop differently (or at least choose different body types) here. But it is a fine line between enough stimulus to develop and too much load which will cause breakdown and injury…

…and injuries occur. They always have, they always will. Nothing is without risk. I just like to minimize the risks as much as possible.

The following blog post is about how I like to minimize the risks of re-injury for my patients who are injured.

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A Common Complaint I See – Neck, Shoulder and Chest Pains – Related or 3 Different Problems?

I receive messages basically every day from people by locally and from afar asking for advice. I do my best to help everyone I come across but I thought I would answer this one in a blog post…well, because James suggested I could! Thank you James :)

Read on after the break to see what he wrote to me and what my suggestions were…

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