Posts Tagged ‘Exercise’

The Psoas

The Psoas (Greek for loins) is a long muscle that attaches to both the lumbar spine and pelvis. The primary function of the Psoas is to lift the upper leg towards the body.

But did you know that it also helps bend the trunk sideways (lateral flexion) and helps you get up from a lying down position?

It is a key muscle used in running and also helps with movements at the hip joint.

Tightness in the psoas can lead to pain in the lower back as it can compress the lumbar discs when tight. It can also limit your trunk sideways movements when tight.

Irritation of the psoas can lead to groin and thigh pain.


Stretching your Psoas

The sequence below shows you how to do this stretch that will let you know if you have a tight psoas but also give your psoas a well-deserved stretch.


The Psoas stretch lengthens the muscles at the front of the hip.

  • To begin, ensure your rear knee is directly under your hip and your front knee is in line with your front heel.
  • Tuck your bottom under and lean forward.
  • For an extra stretch place your hands behind your head and slightly arch your upper back backwards.

More exercises

Click the type of exercise below.

Dynamic Exercises for Runners

Dynamic exercises helps the muscles to stretch through their optimal length and take the joint through a full range of motion prior to doing an activity. For runners we suggest the following sequence of stretching exercises.


1. Walk 3-5 minutes – to take joints through a range of motion

– Increases blood flow to muscles
– Stimulates the nervous system that you are ready to run

2. Jog 100m 2-3 times – to increase blood flow to muscles

– Recruits fast twitch fibres


3. Lateral swings – to mobilise hip joint

– Swing leg side to side

– Lengthen muscles on the inside outside of the hip


4. Karate kicks – to mobilise hip joint

– Swing leg forward and back

– Lengthen muscles hip extensors

5. Dynamic lunge – to mobilise hip knee and ankle joints

– Lengthens muscles on the thigh, hip and lower leg


More exercises

Cooling down exercises


Cool down exercises for runners

Below are our recommended cool down exercises for runners .

These are ideal for after a run or after an fun run event such as Sydney to Surf.

Hold each stretch for 30 seconds and repeat 3 times each side.


1.  Walk 3-5 minutes

– Allows heart rate to return to normal
– Avoids pooling of blood in lower limbs


2. Quad stretch

– To lengthen the muscles of the front of the thigh

– Ensure knee is directly underneath your hip



3. Adductor stretch

-To lengthen the muscles of the inside of the thigh

-Don’t let your foot roll inwards. Lift up through the arch for a better stretch



4. Glut Stretch

-To lengthen the buttock muscles

-For an added stretch gently push your knee away from you


5. Soleus Stretch

-To lengthen the deep muscles of the lower leg



6  Psoas Stretch

-Lengthens the muscles at the front of the hip


  • To begin, ensure your rear knee is directly under your hip and your front knee is in line with your front heel.
  • Tuck your bottom under and lean forward.
  • For an extra stretch place your hands behind your head and slightly arch your upper back backwards.


Would you like more help?

If you need help with developing a running training program tailored to your specific needs, then call us on 9819 6151. We can help keep you moving well.

More exercises

Warming up exercises  – dynamic exercises for runners

The Importance of Warming Up

dreamstime_xl_46146163-300Why warm up

Warming up prepares the body for exercise by increasing:

  • blood flow to muscles and hence the nutrients the muscles require for activity
  • blood flow to heart preparing the heart muscle for exercise
  • oxygen delivery to muscles
  • speed of nerve impulses


Warming up also decreases:

  • Muscle viscosity leading to smoother muscle contractions and increased mechanical efficiency
  • Stiffness of connective tissue and likelihood of tears

Research shows …

Structured warm up programs designed to prevent injuries can reduce injury risk by 50% or more.

How best to warm up prior to exercise

The most effective warm up should last consists of a:

  1. Pulse raisers
  2. General exercises
  3. Specific exercises


Pulse raisers


A pulse raiser is designed to gradually increase heart rate (temperature, blood flow and oxygen) to your muscles, preparing the body for exercise.A suitable pulse raiser could be
  • jogging
  • cycling or
  • skipping
TIP: Start slowly and gradually increase.


General exercises


General exercises are designed to improve your range of motion in preparation for the type of exercise you are about to do.The best type of exercises are dynamic and can include exercises like:
  • high knee running
  • walking lunges with a twist
  • jump squats and
  • arm circles

Specific Exercises


Sports specific exercises usually come in the form of drills which repeat common movement patterns and skills you are likely to use in your sport. For example,
  • cutting manoeuvres
  • overhead serves
  • hitting practice
  • passing drills

Warming up – how much is enough?


There is no reliable data to prescribe the intensity and duration of a warm up. It is up to the individual to determine.TIP: But a rule of thumb mild is mild sweating without fatigue.


The effect of the warm up lasts around 30 minutes so it is important not to warm up too early and remember it is just as important to cool down after.


Like some help?


We’d be pleased to help you develop a warm-up routine that will keep you moving well.

Top tips for hydrating during exercise

Why is it so important to stay properly hydrated?

Whether you’re a serious athlete or recreational exerciser, it’s important to make sure you get the right amount of water before, during and after exercising.

Water regulates your body temperature, lubricates joints and helps transport nutrients for energy and health.

If you’re not properly hydrated, your body will be unable to perform at its highest level, and you may experience fatigue, muscle cramps, dizziness or more serious symptoms such as increased heart rate.



How do I know if I am properly hydrated?

A simple way to make sure you’re staying properly hydrated is to check your urine. If your urine is consistently colour-less or light yellow, you are most likely staying well hydrated.

TIP: Dark yellow or amber-coloured urine is a sign of dehydration.

How much water do I need to be drinking?

There are no set guidelines for water intake while exercising because everyone is different. Some of the factors you must consider are:

  • sweat rate
  • heat
  • humidity
  • exercise intensity
  • duration of exercise

Basic water intake guidelines

autralian-institute-of-sport-logoThe Australian Institute of Sport suggests the following basic water intake guidelines for people doing moderate to high intensity exercises.

Before Exercise

For most sports and types of exercise, it is recommended that you drink regularly throughout the day leading up to exercise and another 200-600 mL immediately before exercising.

TIP: Water is usually a suitable fluid to drink before exercising.


Fluid intake during exercise

Fluid loss can impair performance and can affect your body’s ability to control its own temperature.

If you are exercising for less than 60 minutes, you should drink approximately 200 mL of fluid every 15-20 minutes. Water is appropriate in this situation.

For longer duration activities (more than 60 minutes of vigorous exercise) where there is a risk of glycogen depletion, a sports drink containing glucose and electrolytes can be most effective.

For activities lasting several hours these sports drinks can be supplemented with energy bars.

Fluid intake after exercise

Replacing fluid stores largely depends on how much fluid was lost during exercise. This can be calculated by comparing your pre- and post-exercise bodyweight.

Any weight loss you experience is most likely from fluid loss and needs to be replaced with water.

The Australian Institute of Sport recommends you will need to drink 150% of any fluid deficit in the 4-6 hours after exercise to account for ongoing sweat and urinary losses.

When fluid losses are high and/or rapid rehydration is required, sodium replacement may be required such as a sports drink, oral rehydration solutions and salty foods all help replace lost sodium.

Summary of Fluid Guidelines (Australian Institute of Sport 2014)

    • Begin each exercise session in fluid balance. This requires drinking regularly throughout the day leading up to training or competition. Have a drink with all meals and snacks.
    • Immediately, before exercise commences, consume 200-600 ml of fluid.
    • Develop a plan for fluid intake for all exercise sessions longer than 30 minutes. Aim to match previous fluid losses as closely as possible (within 1% of body mass). Take into account all the opportunities within the sport.
    • Begin drinking early in the exercise session and continue to drink small amounts regularly. Sports drinks or water are the best options. Replace any residual fluid deficit after exercise. Sports drinks, oral hydration solutions and salty foods can all contribute to sodium replacement.