Guest blog post – Tina has written a blog about the 3 Biomechanics sessions she’s had with Wilson’s Workouts. Thank you so much for your feedback, Tina!
Imagine – spending a Sunday morning out running through the beautiful parks of Amsterdam, afterwards stopping for a coffee with friends… and not being in pain! Not starting to limp halfway through your run, or spend the two days post-jog cursing your failing body. Apparently for some people this is a reality. But for me, this was not the case.
In terms of health and lifestyle, I’d call myself average. Like many, I struggle to make the time to put my health first, could definitely stand to lose a few kilos, and have slowly started feeling age creep into my joints and muscles. I used to be quite active – running triathlons and half marathons, playing weekly rec hockey, but after a move around the world I found myself out of sorts, and out of shape. Deciding to get back into running, I joined House of Running, where my coach put me in touch with Lorna, a biomechanics coach. A bio-mc-what??? Before my first conversation with Lorna, I really didn’t know anything about biomechanics, or what it might do for me. But I was struggling with some chronic hip pain and aching knees, so was more than open to anything that might make me feel better.
So for any of you who might also be wondering what biomechanics is, let me give you the quick rundown. In a nutshell, it’s the study and practice of getting your body to work in the way that it’s supposed to. Sounds simple right? Except that many of us spend our days in unnatural positions for our bodies (sitting at desks), and have developed habits in our athletic training that are counterintuitive to how we should function. During my three sessions with Lorna, I realised how out of tune with my body I had become. (For a more technical and professional definition of biomechanics, check this out.)
So I embarked on my first session with Lorna excited about the possibility of making my body feel better, and although she insisted that she wasn’t in the business of ‘pain management’, I secretly hoped this might be a positive side effect. I showed up in my full athletic kit – ready to run, jump, cycle – anything she needed me to. So what a (pleasant) surprise when she asked me to lie down and just relax. Lo and behold, the assessment that she does is very simple and easy – measuring range of motion, noting down points of tightness, watching how my body turns. And after about half an hour we sat down together and she showed me the “dysfunctional” parts of my body, based on her assessment. (Author’s note: that term “dysfunction” took some getting used to, at first making me feel like I had failed the tests. But I soon realised that it simply meant that those parts of my body were not working correctly…yet.) Next Lorna explained that we would start with the points around my pelvis and core that needed work, and move out from there. She gave me four exercises to do 3-4 times a day until my next appointment. She smartly asked, “how much time do you have to put into this?”, realising that doing these exercises four times a day is no small commitment. However I was happy to make time to give this a real shot, and stuck to my program religiously.
For me it was easiest to do one set of exercises in the morning before work, one set at work, and two sets in the evening. It helps to have a supportive and sport focused workplace like I do – when my boss walked past my office and saw me sitting on top of my desk slumped over raising my legs up and down, she merely smiled and nodded. In the first couple of days I could feel that my body was a little sore; the exercises weren’t difficult, but were using and strengthening muscles and joints than I normally didn’t use. However by the end of the week, I felt that my body was looser. And lo and behold, at my second session, when Lorna re-measured my body, there were significant improvements in the areas I had worked on!
Over the next two sessions I received new exercises from Lorna, and started feeling more in tune with my body. Both when doing the exercises and when simply sitting or walking around, I paid more attention to how my body was moving and how it felt. During my runs, my hip caused me less pain, and was considerably less achy afterwards. I could feel my shoulders and chest opening up, which made my posture better. I felt like I was re-connecting with my body in a way I had been ignoring for the last year – it was motivating and encouraging.
So what did I think of biomechanics after my three sessions? Well you could call me a believer. It was amazing to learn how my body was supposed to be moving, and be able to feel a real difference in a short amount of time. Simply by being aware and thinking about what my body was doing when I ran or cycled, or even sat at my desk, made a difference in my attitude and how I treated myself. It’s too easy to let ourselves forget that there is a proper way for our bodies to exist and fall into bad habits. I was also sceptical at the beginning that this practice could do anything for an average Joe like me, sure that this type of treatment would only really be impactful for the high-endurance, hardcore athlete. But I was absolutely wrong about that – every single one of us deserves to learn how to get our body moving in its most optimal way.
Big thanks to Lorna for all of her teachings! Treat yourself and book a session with her – you and your body won’t regret it.
*House of Running is a fun, motivating community for runners and aspiring runners of all abilities, no matter age, shape, size or speed. They offer a variety of goal-based training programs to get you fit for running distances from 5K to marathons. Join them here.
If you want to know more about biomechanics or book a session, send us an email!
Author: Lorna Wilson
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