Continuing on my Gymnastic Journey.

Coach Sommer was back in town for the weekend 11th -12th January for another of his fantastic Gymnastic workshops.

Last time he made a visit was early July 2013. I was at the beginning of my gymnastic journey. Not quite sure of what I could achieve as an adult with poor mobility and little flexibility. I was however interested to discover if there was anyway of reliving a childhood advantage I had missed.

Following his first weekend I felt suitably excited about following a structured routine in a view to improving my gymnastic ability. The biggest take home from his first weekend was mobility and how lacking I was.

Previously I had been working some mobility, using Becoming a supple Leopard and some old school stretches I had learnt over the years but nothing too enthusiastic or routined.

What could you also say that about your own mobility and stretching routine?

So I set about making time in my week just like I did for olympic lifting and strength to focus getting a routine in place. We all know that the hardest part is getting a new regime started.

Normally I would find stretching and mobility boring so don’t judge me but I needed to find a time where I could put a bit of trash on the telly and enter a zone. This way I could just sit in stretches or work through flossing with a distraction. At first it felt impossible but after 4 weeks I began to notice I could find my toes more easily in a pike stretch and that my hips moved more easily.

Encouraged by my small victories I decided to bite the bullet and purchase Coach Sommers foundation program. Having previously hovered over the ‘Click to Pay’ button as it seemed like a lot of money to hand over. Money I now feel I spent well.

And so here I am 5 Months later. What have I achieved?

I haven’t had as much time to spend on lifting these days as I have got more involved in gymnastics. I have even gone ahead and completed my British Gymnastics General-Gym Level 1 certification and am helping out at East London Gymnastic Club with there baby squad.

I am way more flexible these days. I put this down to religiously sticking to a stretching routine, while I started at the very beginning of Coach Sommer’s foundation program and although I have found some of the foundation beginner program simple to work through it has allowed me to focus on the area I am lacking the most. I still have a way to go with shoulder and thoracic mobility but I am making gains and that is what counts.

Probably the most surprising angle in this, is that depite spending minimal time on my strength, I haven’t lost much of my mojo. For example my deadlift may not be at it’s all time best, 120Kg but it is not far off it and considering how little time I spend on oly lifts I have PB’ed twice. Clean 67.5Kg Jerk 62.5Kg.

How does that work???

And best of all I am the closest I have ever been to a hanging Muscle up on the rings, having just got a ‘from the floor’ Muscle up this morning. Thanks Rachel for shouting at me to tighten up.

The last 5 months have been great for my training all round. PB’s and great Fran times (6:19 if your interested) Possibly one of the best things I could have done. Why don’t you try adding more mobility and stretching into your routine. And if you are looking for more guidance with your gymnastics either tap into one of the adult gymnastics classes on offer at CrossFit London or SE11 or speak to me about Coach Sommer’s approach to gymnastic strength.

 

Sally Dixey is a Personal Trainer in East London. Find her At CrossFit London in Bethnal Green – CrossFit Training & Pregnancy Exercise

My contribution to Tower Hamlet in 2013

Part of the reason I love my job is the satisfaction I get from helping people.

Whether it’s helping an athlete reach a goal or helping a post-natal Mummy re-connect with her body again, the buzz is addictive.

This year I have fueled that addiction by giving a little back to the community I live in, Tower Hamlets.

Living in Tower Hamlets I am lucky to have 12 SureStart Children’s Centre, all in walking distance. The centre’s offer free groups for you to bring your baby to. They also offer help and support to families from all walks of life but specifically targeting struggling families and teen mums.

I found these centre’s priceless. A little haven where I could bring Sebastian, get support and meet other mothers.

So when I started learning about a more functional style of post-natal recovery classes, Foo foo Fun Club I got thinking, how cool would it be to teach ladies from the Children’s centres?

(More info on my Foo foo classes and what it can do for you)

I could help educate mothers who would otherwise not be able to afford or access this kind of help.

I had no clue where to start, so like hunting for a needle in a hay-stack I sent out emails and letters to councils and leisure centres in the hope someone else would also think this was a good idea.

It didn’t end up taking that long in the end as I got a response from Katie Ellis the Women in Sport coordinator at Better (formerly GLL)

She was very interested in what she could do to help me so we set up the first of many meetings, sometime way back in March.

Trying to do something nice was not going to be as straight forward as I then I first thought.

Between liaising with the children’s centres and GLL, writing up proposals, police checks and finally getting the funding to buy the equipment and to pay the creche workers to run the classes, it took the best part of the year.

I have now finished two 6 week  fully funded Foo foo Fun Club courses.  It was well worth all the running around.

Here is what some of  the ladies had to say about the course;

“I have developed an appreciation that many small changes will make for a more sustainable effect. The movements are simple but so effective and have helped me manage my stress levels”

“Foo Foo has really helped change my perspective toward diet and lifestyle. I feel I am starting to get fit again after having my twin boys. My eating habits and that of my family have made a change for the better. Thank you.”

“I will definitely be telling people about the Foo foo effect. I have not only met like minded mothers but feel a lot more confident”

A big thank you to Better for helping me get this off the ground and the Amazing Jenny Burrell for her continued support and help.

 

Sally Dixey is a CrossFit London personal trainer in Bethnal Green and East London. She teaches CrossFit, pre & post natal fitness.