Mobility, Strength, Flexibility
Beginners to Advanced
REHABILITATION to peak performance
Background and Inspiration for this suite of Videos:
I am passionate about enabling people to move with confidence, helping people discover their innate, natural ability to move well. Teaching people how to use their bodies with joy and confidence, without causing harm (and in some cases overcoming old injuries), is one of the things I and my expert colleagues at SF Studios do on a daily basis. I aspire to teach every person I meet to feel physically resilient, robust, strong and confident; to feel fully alive physically as well as emotionally.
‘Confidence’ (in my life) exists only when my body, mind and emotions are aligned. Being fully grounded in myself enables me to live a full and fulfilling life. Being able to move well and with confidence gives me energy and peace; I think well, I feel well, life is good, life works.
When we are not confident in our body and our ability to move well, all too easily we can feel emotionally overwhelmed/tired/anxious/low/sad/frustrated while our body feels sick/weak/in pain. Worse still, we can slip into a negative cycle, lacking energy and motivation, becoming stuck – we lose power and our zest for life.
How to get unstuck? Even better, how to avoid getting immobile in the first place?
We can build our personal capacity and sustained energy (emotional, mental and physical) through regular (ideally daily) tailored exercise. A walk of 20 minutes, an exercise routine of 23 minutes… it makes all the difference to being able to enjoy a fulfilling life on a daily basis – AND we can help you succeed! With each session you will feel more confident, more resilient, more ‘up for it’. While moving we don’t only work our body, it is very much a holistic experience benefiting body, mind and emotions; our whole state of being is influenced positively.
Importantly, existing poor mobility is not something that is inevitably or irreversible. Whatever our physical condition we can all improve our physical mobility, flexibility and strength. Every day at SF Studios we work with clients who transform their physical wellbeing and confidence and a similar life-enhancing opportunity is waiting for you. Every day is a new opportunity to experience and build an enabled body and mind, which brings joy and freedom.
For whom are these Videos:
These videos are for people that want to approach exercises with intelligence and dedication and who want to enjoy a step-by-step process. it is a matter of achieving small things daily/weekly, and importantly, you will harness ‘being present in the moment’. There are levels of attainment and you will naturally progress through the levels. However you will also at times ‘dial-back’. Sometimes we are stronger, sometimes weaker, sometimes flexible, sometimes stiff, sometimes we abound with energy and sometimes we feel flat – and so on. I encourage you to respond to how your body feels each day and choose exercise intelligently; do ‘what makes sense’ in the moment.
Age and ability do not matter; however I do think that these videos are for people aged 35 and over, for people who want to develop through committed practice. The routines require attention and focus and you will see real progress when you are fully ‘present’ on your mat. The more you practice, the more you will become aware and the more you will be able to interpret what is going on in your body. You will learn what it is you need and in what dose (intensity, duration, specific area(s) of the body).
These videos also work well for people rehabilitating through and after physio/osteo/sports therapy and any hands-on treatment. The exercises will supplement the treatments and will help you to become active, independent and self-managing of your condition.
Too easily people walk out after their quality, professional movement/treatment session and either lack the confidence to exercise without guidance or can’t remember the specifics of a valuable movement routine. These videos are the perfect motivating guide and companion.
With these videos you will be able to look forward to ‘your time on their mat’, confident that you will experience a holistic, life enriching experience and conscious of what this means for the rest of your day and for all those around you.
What to expect:
A step by step (very natural) approach that flows well. The episodes are graded in terms of progressions and each episode forms part of a whole.
The exercises are specific, consistent in quality and application. The exercises will make sense to you – following the straightforward guidelines you will experience progression and at times there will be a light-bulb (eureka!) moment where you realise that something has just fallen into place; that you have the ability to do something that you were not able to do before. You will also realise how one set of exercises form the foundation for the next.
Seek to improve mobility first, then strength and then lastly flexibility. You will be amazed at how much you can achieve in 20 minutes, you will feel you have had a thorough workout. I whole-heartedly believe that 20 minutes/day can make the difference between moving freely and feeling old and stuck.
How to choose:
Mobility first, then strength and then flexibility.
Take note, I am not including hypermobility in this – hypermobile people mostly have to focus on strength training, at the correct level and the correct place in their bodies.
If you are unsure how to choose or where to begin, then start with Mobility Level 1, Episode 1 and then Strength Level 1, Episode 1.
Understand your daily capacity – this includes physical, mental and emotional ability (the amount of energy you have on the day). Understand the demands placed on you yesterday, today, and take into consideration what is coming tomorrow for you. You can play ad-hoc or you can understand now that you have to schedule and therefore plan your exercise in advance. Not even a top athlete performs at Level 3 all the time, in fact they define skills and do their body MOT’s weekly during Level 1’s.
Each video is 25 – 30 minutes. The videos will be yours to keep forever – build your library and file them in folders under Mobility, Strength and Flexibility. You will note that the Videos do have titles that could also help you make a decision on what to choose.
Future Episodes. Our library will continually be updated and we will add episodes when they are ready. Experience tells us that people work best in 6-9 week blocks. Use this time to learn to supplement your existing training and to really make a difference. Know the exercises; Feel them; Become them. I really hope you love them, I am confident that you will benefit from them and that they will empower you as you build your confidence to move well.
I can Move. I will Move. I am Moving.
Start with Level 1 (even for the advanced people), there might be that one instruction, that one placement that can make all the difference while there is real value in Level 1 on ‘lower capacity days’.
Mobility Level 1, Episode 1, 2, 3 (ML1, E1, 2, 3)
Strength Level 1, Episode 1, 2, 3 (SL1, E1, 2, 3)
Flexibility Level 1, Episode 1, 2, 3 (F L1, E1, 2, 3)
Decide whether you want to improve mobility, build strength and/or work on flexibility and purchase a block of 3.
So, you can buy Mobility Level 1, 2 and Strength Level 1, or, you can buy;
Mobility Level 1, Episode 1
Strength Level 1, Episode 1
Flexibility Level 1. Episode 1…etc.
The SFStudios Series consist of 4 Zones, 3 Levels and Individual Episodes.
The 4 Zones:
1. Spinal Articulation
2. Joint Mobility
3. Muscle Strength
4. Overall Flexibility
The 3 Levels:
Level 1 – The Foundation: Lower Intensity Training.
The start for everyone, and the place to go back to for all. All bodies need a regular check-up and/or check-in. This is also ideal for a return to training, when feeling lower on energy or concentration and when starting your journey. I urge everyone to start with Level 1, we all have that one thing (or more) which isn’t quite as good, strong or mobile as the other. This level works on discipline and awareness – this is where you will start to know your body and abilities and will lead to self-empowerment and true confidence.
Level 2 – Intermediate: Medium Intensity.
You are more confident and you are moving with a degree of experience and mental, emotional and physical comfort. You are ready to push yourself that bit harder. You are starting to love exercises. You have a better relationship with physical discomfort and the management of pain. You understand your capacity and work accordingly.
Level 3 – Advanced. Hard Intensity.
You are an Advanced Mover. You are confident and courageous on the mat and you work for strong progression and performance. You love a demanding, thorough work-out, however want to maintain balance and safety.
Each level will have different episodes, each full of creative variations. These episodes focus on different part(s) of your body or work the same part of your body in a different way. You will be challenged in different ways, keeping you engaged, motivated and inspired. You can choose your favourites and those that you find particularly beneficial for your area of concern, mark them and repeat them until you and your body know and performs them instinctively.
Spinal Articulation: All our limbs are completely dependent on our spine which transmits all neural communication and provides the skeletal base for movement. Good form can give and receive good force: do give your spine a lot of love in terms of articulation, postural correction exercises, strength (bearing load correctly), circulation, neural feedback and proprioception awareness exercises. Look at the fundamentals weekly. One ‘sick‘ joint can cause severe agony and restriction, thus precaution is our rule (as best as we can, because age combined with our daily postures will do its best to stiffen you up).
Mobility. When our joint mobility is healthy, the green light shines bright and we are ready to go! Mobility is simply No.1. When in doubt, choose mobility (except for people with hypermobility and very poor control). Most people tend to go for a strength-based exercise or a stretch, however when the underlying joint is not healthy, it’s like banging your head against a wall. I accept that with advanced arthritis (and perhaps fusions) we do our best to maintain muscle health, however, improving joint mobility is our priority. Once the joint moves well, we then teach the muscles to act on them. Once the muscles act on them, especially in repetitive sports or high intensity training, well, then we have to stretch don’t we!
Strength. We ‘up’ the level, the intensity and the energy radiates in red. You will have to plan your strength sessions along with the rest of your day – your sleep before and after, as well as your eating, while managing stress levels, should also complement your training. Train to Progress; Progress is the best Motivation. Target the main areas of weaknesses in your body and progress through routine and targeted effort.
Muscles do shorten, due to many factors (poor postures, infrequent use, dehydration etc.) so it is very important to stretch and to work on improving and maintaining flexibility to ensure good muscle health and function. Optimal flexibility in muscles is important for healthy joints that can move through full range and to control movements as best as we can through full movement. Flexible muscles bring ease to performance, ‘effortless execution for the observer’.
Flexibility. You have to be cool, calm and relaxed. Muscles yield and respond better when they are warm. Choose your environment well. Muscles do not yield under fast storms of ‘shout’, you simply cannot rush a stretch, it does take time. Allocate time.
Most people stretch when they should in fact focus their time on joint mobility. Stiff muscles in many cases are due to joint immobility and weaknesses in the muscles. It is pointless to stretch a weak muscle, with an underlying faulty joint and a poor posture. Effective stretching requires dedicated breath control and takes commitment to overcome discomfort (perceived pain; a strong response from your sympathetic nervous system). Thorough stretches require focus, dedication, breath control and time. Through stretching you will improve your body’s awareness, you will understand your thresholds and limitations better and you will start to push the boundaries of your physical capacity. It is completely worth it, however in this case, slow gain with controlled discomfort (pain) is the order of the day.
Movement: Mobility, Strength, Flexibility
Mobility relates to joints. All joints have the function to allow articulation in some way. Such articulation is normally effected by means of muscles – but it must be understood that muscle function is incidental – articulation can be effected by an external agent while muscles remain totally relaxed. Joint stiffness is by far the most common complaint as we age – and is most commonly caused by overuse or misuse in youth (sports injuries, an overly sedentary lifestyle, also not excluding genetic and lifestyle factors that cause inflammatory diseases).
Strength relates to muscles, more specifically causing joint articulation against resistance. Thus, strength exercises involve working muscles against resistance.
Flexibility/Stretching relates to muscles, more specifically distending and contracting muscles with/without resistance; frequently in opposing pairs.
Movement relates to the combinations of Mobility, Strength and is facilitated by muscles which allow distention and contraction, i.e. stretching.
I can Move. I will Move. I am Moving.
I Am Free.