Stiffness hides a stability problem and causes a mobility problem
- Gray Cook
I have had hundreds of Personal Training clients and every single on of them was prevented in their journey of reaching their full potential due to their muscular imbalances, pain and constriction in their tissue.
"You cannot teach exercises and overlook poor form due to muscle length and tension relationships"
Many trainers struggle with the issues of imbalances in their clients who want to achieve goals, such as " I want to be able to dead-lift". You can completely own the knowledge to coach a dead-lift, you can study like myself and many others have for years for the best coaching, and form, however if the client has tension you are fighting a uneven battle.
As trainers we try to teach foam rolling, corrective exercise and other forms of myo-fascial release, but at the end of the day without a massage therapist addressing the foundations, and restoring these, you cannot expect the body to do an exercise you want it too, because in truth the person is out of balance.
"As personal trainers we are constantly competing with poor posture. Trainers can only do so much. We can address posture and imbalances, but in most situations the individual has years and years of fascia tension, muscle over-activate, muscle inactivity. Trainers are there to mostly get the client to perform movement. The client needs a massage therapist and a trainer"
The individual may want to learn military press, but they had overactive chest muscles, and sadly I realised I could not progress them until these muscles were addressed more thoroughly. It comes down to safety and injury prevention. I had clients who wanted to squat but had a rotate torso. I had people who wanted to fix their posture but had thoracic tension from a rounded spine. I tried to balance both but in the end...a trainer can only direct so much time to myo-fascial release. You cannot straighten an over flexed thoracic spine with some foam-rolling home exercises and 15 minutes of myofascial release.
"But the client is still seeing YOU for primarily for strength, for the military press to be able to lift his son above his head, what do you do. I couldn't compete with the length of time needed focusing on muscle tension, and their expectation of me as a trainer to give them the results they wanted. I knew I had to become a Massage Therapist!!!! A Massage Therapist merged with a Personal Trainer.
As you try to battle helping these people with their imbalances and train them you know it is a danger to themselves to give them bench press if they have overactive pecs and rounded shoulders. Soon enough they will be off to a physio "because of you". I found over and over again I had to consult clients and say this isn't best for you with your current restrictions. I knew they wouldn't get the over all affect they needed from other specialists also,as just like me they are pressed for time in their field.
Physios address injury and pain. Physios don't have time to give the person a full body massage, focusing on fascia, muscle release, muscle stretching etc.
I found that massage therapy is more healing than many understand. Many specialists can be limited to time and have to focus on specific areas. Is it a rotator cuff issue? They work on this area, but can be limited on time to look at the entire body. Do they have the rotator cuff issues because of rounded shoulders from sitting in spinal flexion in their chair?
"You can work on the the rotator cuff injury but the body works as a whole unit. Addressing the symptoms does not balance the entire kinetic chain. Many imbalances that create one localised symptom. You must address the whole body, at the same time to achieve ultimate progression."
I needed to create a system where other specialists can refer clients to me to address the whole body in a special therapy. I work alongside others, such as Physios, Chiropractors,Podiatrists and more. I also wanted to create a place were people just like you can trust in a therapist to listen to your body and then get you moving optimally. When clients come to see me for my style of therapy they know, as they embark on their fitness journey or continue it, they will have a body that can function in balance. They have a massage therapist that not only understands the muscles and how they create movement, but how the body works as a unit. I possess the knowledge and experience to understand your sport, style of training and condition, to look through your body with xray eyes. Through muscle testing and range of motion analysis I can visualise how YOU move. You are not just a body on the table, you are a being of movement specific to your current state. This is not just massage therapy, corrective exercise testing, coaching, its giving you the chance to restore, redesign and reach your ultimate level of health and fitness. The personal trainer, whether it be myself or another can go " Yep, Fredrik can now perform or learn the dead-lift with a functional balanced temple." As a trainer and therapist I know I am giving his tissues the best chance at working as a unit, safely. As a result of this balance he can get stronger and healthier than before.