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FUNCTIONAL FITNESS

with Ruth Meehan

NEWSFEED

Find your weekly challenges and other news about your course on here. 

KEY CONTACTS

RUTH MEEHAN

Personal Trainer

email: hello@ldnphysio.co.uk

instagram: ruthlikes

NIC COLOMBO

Physio

email: nic@ldnphysio.co.uk

instagram: ldn.physio

WEEK 4 RECORDING

Here's the recording from our last session for those wanting to catch up.

Well done to everyone for sticking through Part II! You've truly levelled up!

LAST WEEKLY CHALLENGE

BURPEE CHALLENGE!

Here's your last weekly challenge! And it's the best one yet (or worst one? can't tell)! This one counts double! 

Current Part II leaderboard:

Lisa ⭐️⭐️

Cat ⭐️
Patrick ⭐️⭐️

Sylvie ⭐️⭐️
Finn ⭐️⭐️

Oli ⭐️⭐️

Lily ⭐️

WEEK 3 RECORDING

Here's this week's session for those wanting to catch up.

WEEKLY CHALLENGE #2.2

500 ABS CHALLENGE!

Here's your second weekly challenge! Dedication from Ruth under the pouring rain! You've got until Monday to grab yourself a challenge star ⭐️

Current Part II leaderboard:

Lisa ⭐️

Cat ⭐️
Patrick ⭐️

Sylvie ⭐️
Finn ⭐️

WEEK 2 RECORDING

Here's this week's session for those wanting to catch up.

WEEKLY CHALLENGE #2.1

4 MINUTE CHALLENGE

Here's your first weekly challenge of Functional Fitness Part II! You've got until Monday to grab yourself a challenge star ⭐️

PART II: NEXT LEVEL!

WEEK 1 RECORDING

Well done for those of you continuing with the course and welcome to the newbies joining us! Here's this week's session for those wanting to catch up.

LEVEL 1 LEADERBOARD

Well done to all of you for participating in the weekly challenges! Here's what the course leaderboard looks like. Clearly all winners here!

Lisa ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Oliver ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Patrick ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Will ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Hilary ⭐️⭐️
Lily ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Finn ​⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Cat ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Sylvie ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Craig ⭐️⭐️⭐️

- WEEKLY LEVEL-UP CHALLENGE #5 -

PRESS UP CHALLENGE

Here's our last weekly challenge. Well done to everyone who managed last week's... Level Up leaderboard updated!

Lisa ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Oliver ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Patrick ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Will ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Hilary ⭐️⭐️
Lily ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Finn ​⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Cat ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Sylvie ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Craig ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Can you manage this week's? Last challenge counts double!

- WEEKLY LEVEL-UP CHALLENGE #4 -

COMMANDO CHALLENGE

Here's our 4th weekly challenge. Well done to everyone who managed last week's... Level Up leaderboard updated!

Lisa ⭐️⭐️⭐️
Oliver ⭐️⭐️⭐️
Patrick ⭐️⭐️⭐️
Will ⭐️⭐️⭐️
Hilary ⭐️
Lily ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Finn ​⭐️⭐️⭐️

Cat ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Sylvie ⭐️⭐️

Craig ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Can you manage this week's? In 2 minutes, squeeze 50 mountain climbers, 50 shoulder taps, 20 burpees then as many commandos as possible. 

Ruth: 8 commandos

Nic: 21 commandos

- FUNCTIONAL FITNESS PHYSIO TIP -

THE KEY TO STRONGER PUSH UPS?

YOUR SERRATUS ANTERIOR

by Nicolas Colombo, MSK Physiotherapist  at LDN PHYSIO

 

 

My what?

 

I know, it's a mouthful, but it's probably one of the most overlooked muscles in any fitness or strength classes, yet so important in any upper body movements.

The serratus anterior muscle attaches between your ribs and underneath your shoulder blades on each of your sides. One of its main roles is to "protract" your shoulder blades. That is, to draw your shoulder blades away from each other towards the front of your ribcage and lock them there. Because your shoulder blades link to your arms, when the serratus anterior muscles do that, your arms are thereby pushed forward. It's essentially what punching is.

When your serratus anteriors fail to do this, your shoulder blades ricochet right back into your body from any resistance, punch or push on the other end (hand), greatly decreasing the power and effectiveness of your effort – and possibly tweaking your shoulders. Your shoulder blades end coming off your rib cage, what is commonly called "winging".

That's what happens in pushups if serratus anteriors are weak or not engaged. 

 

Check the difference between left and right here. On the left, the serratus anterior is not engaged and the resistance from the ground is too strong for the arm to stay locked forward. Her shoulder blade pings back and comes off the rib cage and her upper body "sinks" in between her shoulder blades. Stability is compromised! 

 

On the right, serratus anteriors are engaged, enough force is applied from the shoulder down to keep the shoulder blades against the rib cage and the upper body sits "high" in between her shoulder blades. Great stability! 

Can you see on this pic too? Especially the lady on the top. (Bottom one her technique is all over the shop anyway)

Easy to see how the stability gained through proper serratus anterior engagement can also help with your high plank, low plank, burpees and a whole bunch of exercises, especially when you weight bear through your hands. The serratus anterior has got many other roles too which I won't go into too much detail here, such as helping you lift your arms overhead and protecting your neck amongst others.

So how can you strengthen your serratus anterior to improve your push ups then?

 

The first thing is to become aware of how to engage it in a push up position. A good exercise to do that is a "push up plus", which is pushing your hands forward and slightly rounding your back at the top of a high plank.

The movement here is exaggerated on purpose so you can really feel the difference between the two positions. Perform sets of 10 reps, you should start feeling some fatigue and even a bit of a burn underneath your shoulder blades, that's your SA!

 

Another great exercise is a serratus jab which you can perform with a resistance band or a cable machine. Again, sets of 10 to 15, slow and steady, comparing each side.

Those exercises should increase your awareness of how to engage your serratus anteriors during similar positions. Try adding them to your workout routine or as warm up exercises, and dedicating some of your mental focus during the class on engaging your SAs properly!

See you in pushups!

Any pain during your exercise is worth investigating. Let us know if you have any questions or concerns, our physios are here to answer them!

[Video graphics credits:  Jeremy Ethier]

- WEEKLY LEVEL-UP CHALLENGE #3 -

100 REPS CHALLENGE

Here's our 3rd weekly challenge. Well done to everyone who managed to do last week's challenge... You're all getting a mario star ⭐️ on our Level Up leaderboard!

Lisa ⭐️⭐️
Oliver ⭐️⭐️
Patrick ⭐️⭐️
Will ⭐️⭐️
Hilary ⭐️
Lily ⭐️⭐️

Finn ​⭐️⭐️

Cat ⭐️⭐️

Sylvie ⭐️

Craig ⭐️⭐️

Can you manage this week's?

- WEEK 3 LIVE SESSION RECORDING -

- WEEKLY LEVEL-UP CHALLENGE #2 -

500 ABS CHALLENGE

Here's our 2nd weekly challenge. Well done to everyone who managed to do last week's challenge... You're all getting a mario star ⭐️ on our Level Up leaderboard!

Lisa ⭐️
Oliver ⭐️
Patrick ⭐️
Will ⭐️
Hilary ⭐️
Lily ⭐️

Finn ⭐️

Cat ⭐️

Can you manage this week's?

500 abs challenge (50 of each):
- Opposite elbow to knee crunch Right and Left (100 total) 
- Flutter kicks 
- Toe taps
- Low plank hip dips 
Repeat x 1 = 500

Good luck!

- FF PHYSIO TIP -

WHAT'S THE CORRECT KNEE POSITION WHEN SQUATTING? 

by Nicolas Colombo, MSK Physiotherapist  at LDN PHYSIO

 

"Keep your knees over your toes"

"Don't let those knees fall inwards"

You may have heard this before when doing a fitness class. You've probably heard Ruth say it a few times already... But do you know the reason behind it?

For this week's physio tip, let's take a closer look at the knee joint:

The knee is stuck between the hip and ankle, both of which allow side-to-side and rotational movements.  So rather than purely moving in a single plane for bending-straightening, the knee has the ability to move in other directions to function better and absorb forces.

Neutral alignment is when the hip, knee, and ankle are aligned in a straight line, with equal distribution of forces across the joints.

In certain positions and exercises, we sometimes see our knees moving inwards instead of keeping a neutral alignment (what we call "knee valgus"). Like in a squat for instance (pic 1). This is often increased in single-legged activities such as a single leg squat (pic 2) or running (3)

The problem is the knee joint is more susceptible to injury when it is in this valgus position. In fact, many knee injuries are highly associated with a knee valgus position including the infamous runner's knee (that knee dull pain behind or around the knee cap, aggravated by activities such as squatting or running).

So what causes our knees to knock when we squat and run?

Well there can be a whole range of factors, but for the sake of keeping this physio tip concise enough, let's focus on the most common one. Losing neutral alignment is often caused by lack of activation in the muscles responsible for maintaining this alignment; and these are mainly located around your hip joint, more specifically the glutes. Their role is to turn your hip outwards and by doing so keep your knee in the right alignement.

A simple tip often used to maintain good alignment at the knee is to make sure your knees are pointing over your toes (when looking down). What this does essentially is prompt you to engage your glutes. If you see your knees going towards the midline, your glutes are likely not engaging enough. This can also happens at the end of a session when glutes are getting too tired and start "letting go".

A simple exercise to start working on to activate glutes properly and maintain a good alignment at the knee is miniband squats. The resistance band around your knees will pull your knees inwards, so you'll have to resist by engaging your glutes more to keep them tracking over your toes. You'll feel the burn in your glutes after just a few reps! That's the sort of glutes activation you need. Practice it over a few days and see if you can use that contraction in Ruth's next class!

Any pain during your exercise is worth investigating. Let us know if you have any questions or concerns, our physios are here to answer them!

- WEEK 2 LIVE SESSION RECORDING -

- WEEKLY LEVEL-UP CHALLENGE #1 -

- WEEK 1 LIVE SESSION RECORDING -

ABOUT YOUR TRAINER

RUTH MEEHAN

L2 Qual. Personal Trainer

Ruth has been a leading figure during our lockdown workout series. Her gruelling routines and unwavering smile have earned her a strong fanbase amongst our LDNers.

 

Ruth is passionate about bringing the best out of everyone in her classes, encouraging you to dig deep and trust your own ability. She makes a mission to push you into your very best to help increase your strength, motivation & energy, not only during her workouts but also in your everyday life.

 

She's made the "strong body starts with a strong mind" motto hers - and it never makes as much sense as when she takes you through her finishers!

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