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Confined to Run – running during Coronavirus

Over the last few weeks one positive that has surprised us in the clinic is the number of people seeking our expertise for exercise related injuries. It seems that half of North Sydney has managed to dust of their running shoes and hit the pleasantly empty streets.

With gyms closed, CEO’s working from home and a temporary hold on the school run, time has been created for the most important thing – the self. New work out routines and self-imposed running schedules are abundant.

With all of this in mind I thought it would be a good idea to provide some encouragement and education on how to prepare for your run, progress as a runner and how to keep version 2.0 of yourself running, exercising and meditating when the virus is nothing but a distant memory.


Our clients are so keen to lace up the runners and race at the door that many of them are missing the most important part of the run. The old phrase ‘fail to prepare and prepare to fail’ rings true.

School PE lessons would have us take a few laps around the oval and then some good old-fashioned hamstring stretch and this is exactly that – old fashioned.

Instead ask your self – how’s my butt? The glut muscles are the powerhouses of the body. Not only do they keep our pelvis aligned, contribute to single leg balance and knee alignment when running they also serve to drive us forwards and thereby taking the stress of those sore calves you are plagued with!

The series of exercises below should be completed prior to starting your run. They can also work, as a set of exercises to be used when taking a mini-break from your desk as those hours spent sitting will have your backside snoozing.

1. Single leg bridge

2. Lying hip abduction (With or without resistance band)

3. Single leg dead lift.

Bonus point:

Before you put on your running shoes spend 2 minutes rolling the base of your foot with a lacrosse/spiky ball. This simple movement will re-awaken your constricted feet and begin to mobilise the 26 bones, 33 joints and 100 tendons, muscles and ligaments.

How to increase running distance:

If you’re completely new to running then the Couch to 5KM is the most commonly used program that has people up and moving in no time. (

If you’re already pounding through 5km and, the proverbial carrot is not getting any closer, then keep reading. Every time we increase our running routine whether its distance, time or speed we also increase our likely hood of picking up an injury. But good news, there is ways to prevent this.

1. Increase running distance by no more than 10% each week. So if you’re running 10km this week – next week you can do 11km.

2. Ensure you are wearing well-fitted running shoes that are suitable for your running style. Head over to Pace Athletic ( for a running gait analysis and a pair of runners made for you.

3. Cool down – this is more important than most people realise.  Aim to complete a cool down that is 10% of you’re workout – add an additional 1km to your workout at a slower pace gradually reducing to a walk.

4. Implement a preventative programme including, stretching, Pilates, good nutrition, hydration and adequate sleep.

Upgrading version 2.0

Now you’re running at version 2.0 its time to keep upgrading.  It is commonly thought it takes 66days to form a new habit. The length of time public health restrictions have been going on for means we are almost there!  When events are up and running (excuse the pun) and we can start to be more human by gathering outside there is a few ways you can push your exercise to new heights.

1. Join a running club

2. Park run – The world’s biggest running event. A free, weekly 5km in open spaces and parks around the world. Park run offers a positive, welcoming experience. Feel free to walk, jog, run, volunteer or spectate. (

3. Sign up to an event – This single most effective way to give yourself a purpose. 5km, half marathon, mud-run or sponsored walk. Put it on the calendar and keep working!

Now you have managed to find time for all your new healthy habits – exercising, connecting with food in your kitchen, listening to and engaging as a family – I hope that life doesn’t return to the way it was.

Tradies National Health Month

Tradies National Health Month

It’s Tradies National Health Month and as physios we always want to help prevent injuries for all our clients. So as part of this month we’re encouraging all our tradies to get active and get checked.

If you’re a tradie no doubt you make sure your tools and ute are in top shape but what about your biggest asset – you? The best way to look after you is get fitter and stronger and be aware of ways to prevent injury.

Tradies National Health Month

Get Fitter

Throughout Tradies National Health Month why not challenge yourself to increase your step count. There are great devices on the market to keep track of your steps (Fitbit, Garmin to name a few) and they can help to keep you accountable and motivated. A simple goal can be to increase your steps by 10% each week throughout Tradies National Health Month. You might even find this becomes a habit and you continue past August.

Another simple trick is to increase your incidental exercise throughout the day. Park further from your site, hop off the bus one stop early or walk around the block when you get lunch are just a few simple examples of ways to increase daily activity.

You could even go a step further and sign up your fellow tradies to a local sports competition and improve mental and physical health and team bonding. It’s win win!

Get Stronger

In such a physically demanding job it pays to be strong. Not only does it make the job easier but can also reduce the risk of injury and pain. With heavy lifting, carrying, overhead activity and squatting many muscles need to remain strong to protect your joints. Joining a gym can definitely help but there are also exercises you can do at home with no equipment (or even use your tools) so there’s no excuse. Our physios can tailor an exercise program for your work tasks to make you stronger.

Prevent Injury

Unfortunately nearly 3 in 5 serious workplace injuries involve a tradie so it’s important we’re looking after your physical wellness. Obviously ensuring your tools and equipment are in safe working condition but ensuring your body is in great working condition is equally as important.

Learning how to do manual tasks safely, pre-work warm-ups and setting up your workplace ergonomically can help to prevent back injuries, knee pain and many other injuries.

Get Checked

Finally if you are suffering from an ache or injury make sure you get it checked. Your body is vital to your work and to not be on you’re A game can lead to other aches, pains and injuries and might lead to time off work. Our physios can assess and treat your injury/pain and give you simple strategies to make your work day pain-free.

Continue to check out of Facebook page and blog throughout Tradies National Health Month for more advice on how to look after yourself.

Sydney City to Surf

Last minute preparation for Sydney City to Surf

With the Sydney City to Surf just under 3 weeks away, are you only now realising you’re not feeling quite as prepared as you would like. That perfect 12 week training program that you promised yourself you would do this year never happened. For some, the regret is real.

But now is not the time to psyche yourself out, look at the positive, you still have 3 weeks to prepare, as long as you know how to train smart. Keep reading, and we will share some tips from training, wearing the right gear and fuelling your body appropriately.

You’ve got 20 days to go!


If you want to be a better runner, the best thing you can do is run. Get outside and go for a run! Try a running app like ‘Couch to 5km’ or the ‘Nike Run Club’ app if you need some ideas or a program to help you get prepared.  Start slowly, first aim for 2km and make sure you give yourself a rest day in between and then maybe aim for 4km. Before race day on August 11, you should look to have completed at least four longer runs in preparation.

If running continuously is difficult due to time or ability, start with some interval training. Work on 30 seconds running, and 1 or 2 minutes of walking…whatever works for your level of fitness. Slowly build up the length of time you are running, and reduce the rest time between.

REST! This is so important even when you feel like you don’t have time. The body needs rest to allow the muscles to get stronger after running. Give yourself at least 1 day between runs, maybe even 2 depending on how you feel. And ensure you have 3 days off before race day. Not giving your body time to rest will only increase your risk of injury. Make sure you get a good nights sleep before race day too.


Use your training runs to work out what gear is best for your body. Do you like your leggings to fit tight around your waist, or are shorts more comfortable? You don’t want to regret wearing those brand new clothes that you’ve never tried before. Shoes…most of us know how important the right pair of shoes is. The right footwear will work with your natural biomechanics, boost running efficiency and ensure comfort and support, but most importantly, reduce your risk of injury. Pace Athletic are a great place to go with knowledgeable staff who can help find the best footwear for you. But don’t want too long to get this organised, as wearing in new shoes is crucial before race day.


Fuelling the body before running is so beneficial to your performance, and again use your running training to try different foods and find out what works best for you. Everyone is different and what works for one person, may not work for you. Try to avoid the ‘carb-load’ too much on race day and the night before and instead choose your whole fruits and vegetables. These sources are much easier to digest and will keep you going for longer.

Finally hydration is so important. Focus on being fully hydrated in the few days leading up to the race and then on race day, sip as you go. Whatever you do, don’t scull a litre of water before you run, the only place you’ll be running is to the bathroom.


Most importantly regardless of where you are in your preparations, make sure you HAVE FUN. The Sydney City to Surf offers some of the best of Sydney, with fantastic views, music and after all it is called a ‘fun run’. You are surrounded by thousands of people all giving it their best shot, so take inspiration from the people, enjoy the music and keep smiling…. all the way up heartbreak hill and over the finish line at Bondi Beach. 

Click here to read more about preparing for Sydney City to Surf on the day.

The Benefits of Resistance Training

Some of us shy away from resistance training – we don’t want to get ‘bulky’, it’s too hard, or it’s just not for me. But there are so many benefits of resistance training. When we talk about resistance training we are not just talking about going to the gym and pumping iron. Resistance training can incorporate your own body weight, resistance bands, weights or weight machines or anything you have lying around the house you can utilise!

So, why should we incorporate resistance training into our lives? There are so many benefits to our bodies including:

  • Increasing muscle strength to protect our bones and joints from injury. Stronger muscles carry the weight and stress of your movements, reducing the impact on your joints and bones.
  • Increase bone density and strength to reduce the risk of osteoporosis or bony injuries. Not only does resistance training help with bone strength it can help with balance preventing fractures associated with falls.
  • Increase the strength and thickness of ligaments and tendons to protect our joints.
  • Disc health for our back. With resistance training (body, free weights and machine weights) we’re building our ability to take load through our spine without injury.
  • Increasing general health and well-being. Including weight management, lowering blood pressure, managing chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, depression and obesity.

So whether you’re a runner, a mum, office worker or retired you can be loading your body! Remember you should always load progressively and seek advice from your physiotherapist, trainer or doctor if this is new to you!

Want to start your resistance training today? Join one of our Pilates classes to start reaping the benefits of resistance training. Click here to see our timetable.

If you have any questions get in contact with our lovely team to book a consult today!

Reverse the effects of the daily desk job

Reversing the Effects of the Daily Desk Job

Sitting at a desk all day can create a lot of stiffness in our backs. This isn’t just in the lower back that a lot of people complain about, but a lot of the time it is coming from our thoracic spine (middle of the back) which cops a lot being in the one position all day.

The stiffness in the middle back can cause further problems with our necks, shoulders and can even be contributing to some lower back pain. Weather you are a sportsman that needs to be reaching overhead or rotating to swing a bat or racquet, or a mum bending and lifting your children, you need movement in your middle back.

Another element of this ‘slouched posture’ can commonly be shallow fast breathing. By straightening your spine and opening your chest it allows your main breathing muscle, your diaphragm, to work more efficiently taking deeper, fuller breaths.

As physios we are seeing more and more people coming in with associated back issues which is either causing pain or limiting function, or both! Our backs are made up of so many joints and have so many muscle attachments and our goal is to get more movement in these joints so as all the muscles can function at their optimal abilities.

Our five top exercises to reverse that stiffness:

Thoracic spine extension on the foam roller

Book openings

Thread the needle

Cat Stretch

Superman scapula strengthening

If you have any questions or any niggles please give us a call and book an appointment with one of our physios!