Get fit for summer with Alan Obst! Part 3

Alan shows us the plank exercise and how to progress to harder versions.

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Muscles used in plank

Here are the muscles used.

The highlighted muscles include the anterior deltoid, abdominals (particularly deep core and with the advanced plank there is also activity in the obliques and rectus abdominus), hip flexors, quadriceps, and tibialis anterior.

There is also activity in the triceps and sometimes biceps, middle and lower trapezius, spinal extensors and calf muscles.

Plank - Muscles used

Get fit for summer with Alan Obst! Part 2

Alan shows us how to strengthen our core for great abs!

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Get fit for summer with Alan Obst! Part 1

Part 1: Alan shows us how to sculp our gluteals with the perfect squat.

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Falls Prevention – it’s a hop, skip and a jump away!

There is more to come, but in the meantime, Alan explains our usual falls prevention strategies….

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Run baby run! Yurrebilla and the long distance mind….


Many of you will be aware that it was the Yurrebilla 56km ultra marathon today, starting at Belair and ending in Athelstone after much gruelling up hill and down dale.  An incredible achievement for all of those who participated, who show dedication to their sport, which is really more of a passion, I mean it has to be don’t you think?

A huge congratulations to Campbell Collins-McBride, who did his first ultra today and smashed it in 6 hours and 15 minutes.   Cam showed an incredibly sensible approach throughout his training and was very good at listening to his body rather than adhering strictly to a training schedule.  And the benefits showed today.  Well done Cam!

So what makes people want to do ultramarathons? Is it the personal achievement? Do they want to see just how far they can push their bodies? Are they adrenalin junkies? Is this the best for of meditation to quieten the mind whilst the body is occupied?  Are they just naturally gifted?  Are they crazy??

I’m not sure, but I do think they are amazing and inspiring people.  After New York next year, (yes we are going back, please pray for no more hurricanes, typhoons, or anything else!!) maybe this is the next thing to work toward.  Let’s just take it one step at a time…

Once people get into running, it is like a whole new family of people who understand why others do it. It is a solitary sport, which is fabulous! Solitude is such a precious commodity in today’s overstimulated society.  Running gets you away from the madness and stresses of our day to day life and just allows you to clear your head.

It is a great chance to think about things.  Most runners get into a meditation which is very easy, as their breathing synchronises with their steps, and they think about taking one step after another.  There are many counting strategies involved, sometimes to get through difficult stretches of running, but all of these techniques result in a deep meditation that refreshes the brain’s functioning.

The Huffington Post notes the following 13 mental health benefits from running, and as stress is now the number one cause of injuries and illnesses this is important stuff!

Here they are: (from

  1. Reduce stress
  2. Boost happy chemicals (natural ones that is)
  3. Improve self-confidence
  4. Enjoy the great outdoors
  5. Prevent cognitive decline
  6. Alleviate anxiety
  7. Boost brainpower
  8. Sharpen memory
  9. Help control addiction (will let you know if i reduce my chocolate addiction…They are really talking about drugs and alcohol – see article)
  10. Increase relaxation
  11. Get more done (more productive and more energetic)
  12. Tap into creativity (shown to be more creative for up to 2 hours post exercise session)
  13. Inspire others

Pretty convincing huh??  Have you got your gear on yet?  Are you out of that door???  Dont forget your hat… and no sunscreen on the forehead!

Courtney_Salter_North_Adealide_Physiotherapy_PreventFor those who like to have some company with running, there are many fantastic running groups such as SARRC (South Australian Road Runners Club who set up some terrific runs and provide a great resource of knowledge from those experienced runners and coaches.

The Streakers

Believe it or not, there are many people who cant go a day without running.  They are the ‘streakers’.  And yes they are wearing clothes.  They run for a minimum of one continuous mile every day, running consecutive days and NEVER missing a day.  Some of the longest running streaks have been well over 40 years.  (

Some of these runners have actually run EXACTLY THE SAME PATH for those 40 years.  Maybe they have a fear of getting lost.  Who knows but it is just amazing don’t you think? Could you imagine doing that?  Not sure that I could.  There is a man in LA who is particularly famous for this, so much so that people come to run with him, and he now has a whole trail of people who wait for him at his usual entrance point to the beach and run along behind him.  He has inspired many.

So my ‘streak’ has been 2 days (‘cough’ – hardly a streak yet!).  Spurred on by my fabulous patients who have instructed me to stop working so much and get out there!  Thank you to you all, you know who you are, and all Librans need a push from time to time…  Let’s see if i can streak all the way to my birthday next month… it’s a start!


Coach Jay’s ‘Myrtl’ routine for the hip and pelvis for runners.

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Some great exercises from Coach Jay for runners to loosen and put the brain in touch with the body before a run.

Running Video Analysis

Do you have a running injury that is stopping you achieving your goals ?

Then a biomechanical assessment  of your running technique can help you receive the most  appropriate, effective and efficient treatment.

Many   athletes have certain weaknesses or inefficiencies that can impact on their running efficiency and increase risk of injury.

There are a number of underlying factors that can cause this including muscle weakness, current injury and pain, previous injury, generalised flexibility issues and biomechanics.

Your running technique can significantly impact your risk of injury and a video analysis can help your physiotherapist to identify issues and then address them with technique changes, corrective exercise, manual therapy and referral for foot orthotics if required.

What does video analysis involve?

During the video analysis process you will run on outside  for a few minutes at different running speeds, and a short recording is taken from the front, side and back at each speed.

We will then analysis your run technique and once a fault is identified we will explore the underlying causes thorough our athlete screening tests and examination of your joint and muscle capacity.

A program will then be designed specifically to you and will include running re-education, corrected exercise, manual therapy and foot orthotics (if required).

The overall goal of this process is to reduce injury risk and among some people, improve running efficiency.

Book a running video analysis for a comprehensive break down of your running gait and tips to treat/prevent injury and improve your efficiency.

Call us today on  8361 8182.

Nextin – great new 24/7 appointment booking app!

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We are very proud to say that one of our patients has designed this app with his brother, to help people get booked in for an appointment and feeling better in no time!  Congratulations boys!

So simple and quick to use, you will love it.  It will be launched next week on the App Store and Google play, check out this clip to learn more….


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Stand up for your health! Benefits of sit to stand desks…

Did you know you can lose weight and get healthy just by standing a little more through the day? 

For those who are interested… read on!

By Cassandra Zaina, Specialist Occupational Health Physiotherapist FACP, APA Titled Musculoskeletal/Manipulative Physiotherapist

I guess you have heard about the adage ‘sitting is the new smoking’.

Well, it really does seem to be true.

A 2011 American study reports that prolonged sitting is linked with a higher risk of many types of cancer.

They state that breast and colon cancer are most influenced and suggest that prolonged sitting could be responsible for as much as 49000 cases of breast cancer and 43000 cases of colon cancer ANNUALLY in the US. Frightening.


The same study found that a significant number of cases of lung cancer (37 200), Prostate cancer (30 600) endometrial cancer (12 000) and ovarian cancer (1 800) could also be related to excessive sitting.

They are not sure as to how this occurs, but scientists have identified a number of biomarkers that are present in greater levels in those who sit for long periods that may be associated with the development of cancer.

Prolonged sitting also carries an increased risk of diabetes, weight gain, low back strain, cardiovascular disease… and….(gulp)… death!

An American study found that if a person reduced their sitting time to three hours per day, their life expectancy would climb by two years.


Ok so now that I am standing up while I am typing this I already feel better!

For those of you who haven’t seen a sit to stand desk, it is a desk that you can press a button to raise or lower the desk, to enable people to alternate between sitting and standing.

Humanscale Float Desk

Humanscale Float Desk

For an example see 

Humanscale Quickstand

Humanscale Quickstand

There is also a smaller device that sits on a standard desk and enables people to move from sitting to standing

The truth is, this concept has been around for some time.

Even before the current  electrified sit to stand desks, famous people who have used standing desks include Winston Churchill, Virginia Woolf, Ernest Hemingway, Donald Rumsfeld, the Duke of Wellington and Benjamin Franklin.

The difference is that the original versions existed as one desk to stand at, and an alternate desk to sit at.  This probably worked fine when people just had to move their writing pad from one desk to the other.

Now that we have 1-2 computers, phone(s), document holders, a keyboard, mouse, and are prolific multi-taskers, we really want to be more efficient in moving between sitting and standing, and hence the ‘sit to stand desk’ was born.

For those of you who are ready to take the plunge, there are a few things to keep in mind. 

Firstly, you need to ease into it, as essentially you are strengthening your body and preparing it to stand more, which is something it may not have done for some time.

The best way is to intersperse short periods of 30 minutes of standing into your day.  Gradually build the number of standing periods, and/or the duration of standing.

It is important to move between one position and the other, rather than standing for half a day then sitting for half a day (or vice versa).  This is because your body gets tired in active standing and then may adopt some compensatory postures, such as standing with your weight on one leg and popping your hip out to the side.  This may lead to a hip bursitis problem etc, and essentially is a result of your core and general trunk and leg muscles not having the required endurance to stand for that long.

So if you are standing and you feel tired, start to notice you are slouching on the desk, or popping one hip to the side, then sit down for a bit.  When you have had a rest for a while, you can then resume your standing posture again.

To reduce general trunk muscle fatigue, if you move around a little, by taking a step here and there, change your position, or feel like you’re dancing around a bit, this will strengthen your body, improve circulation, wake up your brain, and hey, you might even get a date out of it.

Secondly, when you move from sitting to standing, make sure you can elevate the screen so that you are able to still look straight ahead to the top toolbar on the monitor.  As you rise to standing, your monitors need to rise with you. 

The desk level should be such that your forearms are horizontal with your hands resting on the keyboard.  Once you have your height, you will know as it will feel very comfortable.

Microdesk Document StandThirdly, i should mention that if you read from papers whilst typing, I highly recommend the Microdesk which sits between the keyboard and monitor.

This reduces flexing, twisting and side bending of the neck and has relieved many patients of neck, upper back and shoulder pain.

This handy contraption is strong and can be moved forward over the keyboard for longer periods of reading or writing, or alternatively the keyboard can be pushed underneath when more desk space is needed for other tasks.

The fourth point is that it is still important to keep frequently used items within easy reach, usually within a radius of about 30cm from your body.  This reduces the need to reach which may aggravate shoulder, neck and back pain.

So now you’re all ready to begin.

In no time at all you will feel the benefits and wonder why you were sitting for so long!

Just to recap the benefits:

  • Improved energy

  • Reduced load on the back, hips and thighs

  • Reduced risk of obesity

  • Reduced risk of diabetes

  • Reduced risk of cardiovascular disease

  • Reduced risk of blood clots

  • Reduced risk of cancer

  • Improved lifespan

If you want to find out how many calories you will burn in standing versus sitting, look up this great calculator: 

For the final words of advice regarding Sit to Stand desks, i will leave it to the expert Professor Alan Hedge from Cornell University and Syracuse University in New York.  I  hope you enjoy his comments and hope you stand up for your health….

Sit to Stand Desks – The Benefits

Bodyflow Sports Recovery Promotion

Bodyflow Treatment Promotion April 2014

So you’re back on the playing field after a summer of relaxation. The cold weather seeps into your muscles and it feels like there is a giant hanging onto your calves as you run around the field. And it’s a battlefield out there…

If you want to get back on your game fast, try Bodyflow Electrostimulation for fast relief of pain from exercise related tissue trauma.

Bodyflow actually assists the healing of your tissues by promoting circulation to flush out those nasty toxins and bring in fresh nutrients.

In addition, it stimulates the lymphatic system, which collects fluid that is hanging around in our tissues and can cause damage when excessive levels occur.

Bodyflow can be used in our clinic with a large clinic machine, but the great thing is that you can hire a portable machine and use it at home as many times as you like, to really speed up your recovery.

If you would like to find out more, call us on 8361 8182 or go to