Bodywall Sydney North Shore

Bodywall Sydney North Shore

The Bodywall – a unique and innovative training apparatus to promote strength, speed and flexibility.

The Bodywall is a specialised training and rehabilitation invention developed in New Zealand. When you stretch on your own, or with a partner, a point is reached where either the muscle spindles or Golgi Tendon Organs (found in muscle tendons) are activated to resist being over stretched. This is a built-in safety mechanism that prevents damage, in the form of tearing, to the muscular and fascial tissue. Whilst preventing tearing in certainly a desired effect, you may find it difficult to get the stretch your muscles need to restore them to proper functioning.

Many upper body stretches require you to grab ahold of something to pull against. When you grip, you contract many muscles, most particularly those in your forearm. Whilst you may experience a degree of “stretching sensation”, you are still relatively contracted, or “unstretched”, throughout part of the kinetic chain. Strictly speaking, stretching in this way will never achieve a true release of muscle and fascial tissue. Alternatively, if you had a partner pull the limb for you, you may well also find yourself fighting against this stretch.

When using the Bodywall, you wear specially designed gloves and shoes that have an incredible grip technology. This allows you to place your open palm on the carpeted Bodywall. The special gloves and shoes allow you to support your body weight whilst dropping down or pulling across the wall. You can perform a seemingly infinite number of stretches without unnecessarily contracting the muscles needed to be stretched.

This method of stretching is extremely safe, pain-free, and achieves amazing increases in ranges of motion. You, and you alone are always in control of the stretch so there is no reason for your muscle spindles or Golgi”s to activate before a full stretch is achieved.

Initially developed as an aid for stretching, Bodywall was quickly recognised as having amazing training capabilities as well. In fact, it has been utilised by many professional New Zealand sporting teams. It is not restricted to the use of professionals however, there are hundreds of exercises suited to any level of fitness and skill.

Up to two people can be trained at the same time on the Bodywall. You can run and jump on pads thereby limiting impact on ankles, knees and hip joints. There are also other training aids used in combination with the Bodywall, such as ropes, resistance bands and medicine balls to make the workouts more varied. If done correctly, you can put tension through muscles far in excess of what can be achieved in a weights room.

In a normal gym setting, you always run the risk of lifting weights you perhaps should not be lifting. Using the Bodywall eliminates this risk and teaches you to produce tension in your muscles in a unique way. All sports can be catered for and it is a brilliant rehabilitation training system.

Bodywall is the perfect complement to your training program. Most of all, it is a fun way to train, but do not be fooled, you will finish a session dripping wet and exhausted. One really needs to try it to fully understand it’s capabilities as it is so different from most other training modalities. For more information about training using the Bodywall, you should contact Mick McCleary at Bodywall North Shore. Mick has kindly offered patients of mine at North Sydney Sports and Chiropractic a free session and discounted training packages. What are you waiting for? Take him up on it!

*DISCLAIMER: This discussion does not provide medical advice. The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained in this discussion are for informational purposes only. The purpose of this discussion is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read in this blog.

The Stretching Myth

The Stretching Myth

The real reasons why muscle stretching helps your body, and how to do it properly

Stretching before activity is great for you, but not for the reasons you might think.

When you stretch a muscle, you increase the length of the muscle to the point where you feel that balance between pain and a pleasure. Generally, people think that stretching helps with flexibility. However, unless you held a stretch for an extremely long time (5 mins), and did this on a regular basis, (twice daily, 7 x /week), it’s unlikely you will change a muscle’s resting length.

To help understand how flexibility is improved, think of the saying, “Use it, or lose it.” During exercise you are required to move your limbs into positions that require full lengthening of the muscles. The more regularly you exercise and the more varied the activities are, the more your muscles are required to adapt both in strength and flexibility.

In other words, if you use your muscles a lot, your body will continue to invest resources into these structures. Think of these resources at a cellular level, more muscle fibres making the muscles grow longer and stronger. Ask yourself, is there any point in investing resources into muscles which sit at desks all day?

Of course, there is always a trade-off between flexibility and strength. If you just did weights workouts all the time, you might get so bulky that the extra muscle mass actually obstructs some ranges of motion. For example, your biceps might grow so big that you could not touch your right shoulder with your right hand.

Whilst this is an unlikely scenario for most people, the point is to vary your exercise regime. People who run four times per week would increase the benefits of their exercise exponentially simply by substituting the fourth run for either a sprint session or a weights workout. The change in routine enables the muscles to become more versatile in their functioning. This partly explains why people who consider themselves active individuals are still prone to muscle injuries.

The body builder packs his week with squats, curls and presses – maximising strength. By comparison, the ballerina mixes her routine with activities demanding a balance between core strength, cardiovascular fitness and functional strength – maximising athletic ability. What would you prefer?

Stretching your muscles is recommended before exercise as it primes the muscles with blood. Blood delivers the food that muscles use to function. Without it, the muscles are likely to tear during activity. However, before you start stretching rather spend five minutes jogging very slowly. This is a better way of priming your body with blood as it gets the heart pumping quicker than what stretching does. Also, because you are not required to lengthen your muscles all that much when jogging, there is less chance you will irritate your muscles doing this, than there is during stretching.

flexibility

The goals of stretching before activity should be to prepare your body for what is about to come. Dynamic stretching is a term used to describe gentle-to-moderate swinging and bouncing motions for warming up muscles. For example, leg swings, walking lunges or shoulder circles. These stretches aim to imitate the activities you are about to perform at higher intensity.

Once you have finished exercising, your body is very warm and you should cool it down gradually. Ever put a hot glass cup straight into the freezer? Sometimes it will crack when you do this. If you have just finished a sprinting session or an intense sporting match, cool down with a long walk and some static stretching. Static stretching is what most people are familiar with ” stretch and hold for 10-30 seconds. In this way, your muscles are less likely to injure next time you use them.

Next time you exercise, spare a thought for your muscles. If you prepare them properly before activity, they will function more efficiently and you can prevent injury. Ask your health professional for more tips on how to maximise your performance through pre and post stretching.

*DISCLAIMER: This discussion does not provide medical advice. The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained in this discussion are for informational purposes only. The purpose of this discussion is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read in this blog.