Tag Archives: crossfit london

Problems with Sacro-iliac Joint Pain

Sacro-iliac joint pain.

Having just covered all matters relating to pelvic girdle pain (PGP) it seems like a perfect time to discuss the sacro-iliac  joint.

This can be another source of pain and discomfort during pregnancy, but thankful like PGP it is manageable and usually subsides after childbirth.

If at any time you have fallen funny and landed on your butt that was probably your first introduction to the Sacro-iliac joint.

(The science bit)
The Sacro-iliac joint is one of the largest joints of the skeleton, where the pelvis and spine join. The bone is smooth and slides together and with large ligaments strengthening their connection.

So the question is: how does pregnancy upset this joint and cause us pain? It’s all down to those pesky hormones that relax all our joints and ligaments. We couldn’t give birth without them but boy do they give us a rough time!

Normally our bodies have the ability to compensate for these changes.
But when hormone levels are higher than normal or there is already an underlying instability of the pelvis, the sacro-iliac joint can begin to slide out of place.

This is when pain is felt.

You could think of pain as the signalling telling our bodies:”It’s time to slow down and adapt your movements”

You will feel this commonly in the lumber (lower) region of the back, possibly radiating into the butt and down one or both thighs. Referred pain may be felt at the symphysis pubis .

So we can’t affect the release of the joint-relaxing hormone, this is a given.

What you can do is work on balancing out tight and/or weak muscles connected to the pelvis. The piriformis is a common culprit. It connects from your pelvis to the top of your leg. Try using a form roller or a tennis ball will also do the trick.

I  keep  mentioning stability and I can’t push this point enough. A stable pelvis will support your growing bump and counter the effect of the hormones by giving you a strong base to work from.

Never neglect your pelvic floor work. Use you abdominals to hold your bump in. And don’t be afraid of squats!
This all helps give the sacro-iliac joint the support it needs, to help reduce or eliminate any discomfort.

Next week I will be putting together a short video showing some simply ways to engage your pelvic floor .

(Sacro-iliac pain can sometimes be mis-diagnosed as sciatica. If you do feel pain and discomfort in this area please consult your doctor first. Seeking professional help with exercise is advisable)

For London based consultations you can reach me at sally@crossfitlondonuk.com)

Sally Dixey is a Personal Trainer in Bethnal Green @ Crossfit London

 


 

Dealing with Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (Pelvic Girdle Pain)

Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction or Pelvic Girdle Pain as detailed in a past post is the separation of the symphysis pubis.

One of two things will happen if you experience this. You will want to stay in bed for the remainder of your pregnancy, everyday activities seeming too painful or you will want to carry on with some sort of activities least of all your day to day tasks.

First things first though make sure you see your doctor. In severe cases you will need to see a physiotherapist.

Either way management of the pain and knowledge of what will worsen or help the situation is always useful.

Exercises for someone with Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (PGP).

I wish I could give a straight forward answer but I can’t. I can generally state that movements that would worsen the condition would include movements that mean the hips, legs are separated ie a wide squat, lunges. Or simply putting one foot in front of the other ie walking.

Saying that though this will vary from woman to woman. Ranges of movement and particular exercises will differ across the board.

Prescription needs to be specific to each woman. How do certain moves and ranges feel? If pain is experienced quite simply STOP

I have seen a client who struggles with wide squats but found regular squats with a shortened range fine. Or couldn’t do lateral lunges but reverse lunges and regular lunges are fine.

If you want to continue to train you need to be realistic that something like Crossfit at this point is probably going to be extremely scaled and or stopped altogether for a more gentler approach.

Remember ladies this is fine!

Your symphysis pubis will return to normal after your baby is born.

It is Ok during pregnancy to take the tempo down. It is a small amount of time in the grand scheme of life.

Believe me you won’t have time to slow down when your baby arrives!!

In all cases focus on the core stabilising muscles of the pelvis is vital.

Working on transverse abdominal activation, pelvic floor recruitment will all make this condition far more manageable. And would be prescribed for any degree of PGP.

(Please note -Always seek help and advise from a trained professional)

Approaching day to day tasks you will need to think about how you move.

Here is an everyday example to help get in and out of bed.

Keeping your legs together. Hips and knees square, rolling onto your side and pushing yourself up to seated using your arms. Swing your legs gently, allowing your legs to dangle off bed/sofa, keeping them firmly together throughout the movement.

Remember the golden rule – if it hurts or gives you pain STOP

(A small minority will experience extreme pain, during pregnancy you are not able to use pain relief in the same way as before. Please consult your doctor or midwife for advice on pain relief and ways to deal with it.)

I hope this gives you a good starting point for PGP management. You can reach me through email for further advice on specific areas and questions. -sally@crossfitlondonuk.com

 

Sally Dixey is a Crossfit London Coach at Bethnal Green

Stability in Pregnancy – A Must Have!

Symphysis pubis diastasis (SPD) is the separation of the pubic symphysis, a cartaligious joint approximately 6 inches below your belly button. It connects the two sides of the pelvis.

Symphsis pubis diastasis is common during pregnancy. This is because of the hormone relaxin, which is released to loosen ligaments. The pubic symphysis expands up to 2-3cm.

You can imagine the instability this creates and becomes a key point you need to consider when training.

Careful thought is needed to ensure that movements and workouts don’t exhaust an athlete’s ability to stabilise. Walking lunges are a good example, since although they can be done with no problem pre-pregnancy, it is advisable to scale to stationary lunges to allow better focus on stability.

It is not only Symphsis pubis diastasis that makes her more unstable, the baby bump will shift her centre of gravity too.

SPD is normal in pregnancy and if properly managed shouldn’t become an issue, but in some cases it can become quite painful causing pain sometimes in both the front and back of the pelvis. If pain is experienced you must stop any activities and discuss with your doctor.

This then is given the name Symphsis Pubis Dysfunction, it causes pain and discomfort, both in workouts and everyday tasks such as walking and climbing stairs. The best medicine is rest and time spent developing the surrounding pelvic stabilising muscles. Stability balls, TVA exercises and pelvic tilts are all common tools to alleviate Symphsis Pubis Dysfunction.

But as they say, prevention is better than cure. So I’d rather try and avoid it in the first place by scaling movements, addressing stability and stopping when something doesn’t feel right.

(If you feel you are experiencing more then just the normal symphsis separation –pain is a good sign. You must seek advise from your doctor or midwife.)

Sally Dixey is a Crossfit London Personal Trainer in Bethnal Green

 

 

Pregnancy in the Developing World

When I think about developing world pregnancy I am amazed to see images of women still continuing to do the same manual work they did before pregnancy.

It really drives home the message, that what you did before pregnancy is still achievable during pregnancy.

Do you think it even entered her mind to stop what comes so naturally??

Of-course not!

Here are some of my favourite images.

It doesn't look like pregnancy stopped them!
It doesn’t look like pregnancy stopped them!
8 Months in and she is still lifting weights!
8 Months in and she is still lifting weights!

Manual labour and Pregnant?????? Didn't stop them

Manual labour and Pregnant?????? Didn’t stop them
Post-Natal and very active
Post-Natal and very active
Pregnant & Working hard still!
Pregnant & Working hard still!
Pregnancy and Squat? Hell yeah!
Pregnancy and Squat? Hell yeah!
One tough looking pregnant lady!
One tough looking pregnant lady!

 

(I am not suggesting you squat or take up manual labour if this was not already part of your pre-pregnancy life. Form and technique is very important so you need advice and a bit of guidance before you start squatting for England and baby. Please ensure your doctor has OK-ed exercise during pregnancy)

 

Sally Dixey is a Crossfit London Personal Trainer in Bethnal Green

 

Making Time for Mummy

While I was pregnant I had very romantic ideas of motherhood. Imagine me skipping through London Fields holding my baby’s hand. A writhe of flowers in my hair, wearing a long flowing white dress.

Boy was I wrong.

The day I have time to skip through the park like Little House on the Prairie is the day pigs fly!

The reality is that as a mother your day is one big juggling act.

Starting early and not finishing till late, often waking in the night to attend to your darling(s).

I don’t think I am wrong in stating that 90% of what we do during the day is for others.

Is it no wonder that you struggle to make time to exercise?!

Exercise and fitness has got to be in the top 5 of things you wish you had time for but don’t. We all want to get back to our pre-pregnancy weight, Right?

I do understand, I get that same feeling of guilt when I try to do something for myself.

A little voice is tutting, reminding me of all the wonderful chores I could be doing…

mountains of washing, cooking, cleaning, sterilising, nurturing, trips to the park, trips to baby groups, nappy changes, feeding, burping, birthday parties to take them to, doctors appointments, cuddling, comforting, encouraging, the list is infinitely endless!

What happens when you finally come up for air and want to do something for yourself? -the excuses. And this list is equally endless!

Harsh I know but how many times have you said “I will have some me time when…

– they start to walk, are out of nappies, at nursery, when they are at school, after I give them dinner, when they go to bed!”

Even harsher is the reality that now you are a mother you will never have time, there will always be something or someone to look after.

Is there a solution?

Simply you have to get better at saying No and making the same effort for yourself just like you do for others.

Ask yourself would I make a better mother/wife/partner if I had 30 minutes to spend on me?

What a fantastic role model you make when your child watches you being active/reading for pleasure!

Could you say no/put off something till later?

Do you really need to hoover/tidy/iron everyday?

Can you ask for help?

An example of how I fit exercise in without living in a gym is probably using the most understated and cheap piece of kit.

Wait for it….. A skipping rope.

Everyday I take Snoop out into the park he is either sleeping or taking the world in, either way while he is tucked up in his pram I will pick points to stop and bust out a few minutes of skips.

This has dual purpose of entertaining Snoop and also setting a great example. Everyone is a winner.

And because I take him out to the park anyway it’s not going to get in the way of my busy life.

Ladies I hope this has inspired you to look at what you can change in your everyday life, to give back a bit of time and remember who you were before a Mum.

Tell me your stories, how did you reclaim your 30 minutes and how did you use it.

 

Sally Dixey is a Crossfit London Personal Trainer in Bethnal Green

 

 

3 concerns for a Pregnant Crossfitter/Exerciser -Signs and prevention

I have made a big point of the advantages of training and exercise during pregnancy so let’s have a look at what signs mean you should probably rest or need to slow down.

The major concerns for a pregnant athlete are dehydration, hyperthermia, and hypoglycaemia.

Dehydration is an easy one to answer as it is just as important not pregnant. A simple test is to take a look at the colour of you urine. The darker it is the less hydrated you are. During pregnancy you want to try and keep it as close to clear as possible.

Hyperthermia is a greater concern during your first trimester when the foetus has trouble regulating temperature and can easily get over heated from an exercising mother. The good thing is that ladies who are well trained before pregnancy are better able to dissipate temperature then others. That doesn’t mean you can totally disregard the point. Some athletes will take their temperature before a workout and just finishing a workout to gauge more accurately temperature change.

There are different forms of hyperthermia but the three types most common for a pregnant exerciser to watch out for are heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat syncope.

Heat exhaustion is where the body is starting to over heat possibly from exercising, watch out for cold clammy skin. You may feel one or all of -giddy, thirsty, nauseated, weak and sweating profusely (although I don’t think sweating is a good sign as I sweat loads anyway)

Heat cramps are a painful muscle spasm in the arms legs or abdomen, usually after strenuous exercise or activity. Heat cramps are usually a lack of salt in the body.

Heat syncope is a sudden dizziness experienced after exercising in heat.The pulse is weak but the heart rate is rapid. Body temperature is normal. Skin is pale and sweaty but cool and moist to touch

If you find yourself or a client suffering from hyperthermia you must –

  • get them out of the sun into a cool area or room.
  • get fluids into the body, fruit juice or water.
  • take a cool shower or bath or sponge down body.
  • lie down and rest in a cool place

Hypoglycemia again is a concern for a general population as well as pregnant ladies. You will find though that with changing blood pressure and increased blood volume this will be more sensitive for the pregnant ladies. You may feel light headed or unsteady on you feet, a quick look back at when your last meal or snack was should help distinguish hypoglycemia from a possibly more serious sign on the below list. Ensure that meals are regular and snacks are readily at hand post workout, should ensure you keep this at bay.

If any of the below symptoms occur you need to stop, cool down and replenish your body. I would also advice you check out your symptoms with your doctor as it could be an early warning sign.

Difficulty walking

Contractions

Unusual absence of foetal movement (note that during exercise baby is usually quiet)

Vaginal bleeding

Faintness

Shortness of breath

Pain

Dizziness

 

Sally Dixey is a Crossfit London Personal Trainer in Bethnal Green

 

Whooping Cough is back!

In light of the recent increases in Whooping Cough and the alarming rise in deaths this year, does the debate of vaccines need to be addressed again.

How safe is it to have a vaccine during pregnancy? and how does parents decision to refuse vaccinating there babies affect the number of cases?

The ultimate question is -Should vaccines be made mandatory? Would this save lifes?

I can totally understand the need for reassurance where vaccinating during pregnancy is concerned. Think back to the anti-sickness jab given in the 60’s which caused birth defects.

Worrying I know but the NHS website assures you that it is safe and if anything will help protect your baby in the first few weeks after birth before they have the Whooping Cough jab. I think it is really important that if you do have any worries that you do ask as many questions to your mid-wife and doctor.

I did that very thing when it came to Snoop’s MMR vaccine.

I had read a book and heard from a few friends who have nephews and nieces that aren’t vaccinated and quiet naturally my curiosity was roused.

The book I read was The Truth about Children’s Health by Robert Bernardini, M.S.

I have to say on  reading the chapter on vaccines, the content was quiet scary. I am talking about the language they used and the emotions they were trying to evoke in the reader.

In the space of 1 hour -the length of time it took to read the chapter, I had switched from being fine with vaccines to OMG.

This prompted me to speak to my doctor.

The first question she asked was how old the book was?????

It was nearly 10 years old.

She then asked me what hard facts and evidence was in the book???????

Thinking first I realised there was no real hard evidence at all, just anecdotal.

The doctor directed me to a site with an article on vaccine safety.

What I read made sense to me, more so then the book.

I have always believed that to vaccinate your child is to protect them and now I had looked further into it I was sure I was doing the right thing.

Of the millions of children vaccinated I don’t doubt some might have a funny reaction -a fever, crankyness, soreness at the site of the jab -That far out weighed the risk of Snoop getting Mumps or Whooping Cough.

As far as the book is concerned I know they are trying to inform parents but in my opinion they are scare mongering parents and blaming all of society’s issues on bad vaccines, from anti-social behavior to the increase in the prison population. It’s all down to vaccines????? I am not so sure.

Millions of children in third world countries are fighting for vaccines while parents in the West turn them down.

You can never ask too many questions so if you are in any doubt your best place to start is asking your doctor.

Do I think vaccines should be mandatory?

No I don’t think they should as it is a parents right to choose.

Do I believe in the vaccines?

Yes of-course I do, and after asking the right questions and looking into the facts I believe I made the right choice to protect my son.

 

Sally Dixey is a personal trainer with Crossfit London in Bethnal Green

 

 

Should you drink Protein Shakes while Pregnant?

Interestingly when I researched this topic almost entirely the sites found were US based.

What does this say about our side of the water?

Either we use protein supplements less or as a much less active island the question to shake or not to shake while pregnant just doesn’t come up on UK Mum networking sites.

Anyways here is the best answer I could find.

A pregnant lady requires roughly 71 grams of protein a day more if carrying twins. This works out at about 10 grams more then usual give or take.

While I believe we should be getting our protein intake from whole foods some struggle eating meat and protein rich foods.

Some choose the supplement route, using brands such as Maxi-muscle and MyProtein. If you have taken them before pregnancy it may not occur to take a look at the labels to see if they are OK to take during pregnancy.

Often there will be a disclaimer on the label stating not recommended and that is for a good reason.

A lot of these products are combined during manufacturing with added vitamins, minerals and herbs, some that are not appropriate for pregnancy.

It is also worth noting that artificial sweeteners are also not very desirable during pregnancy

Some studies have even shown these to contain heavy metals although they were within the safe guidelines. I think it’s prudent to ask your doctor for alternatives they could recommend.

You could however make your own shake up using a low fat yogurt mixed with peanut butter or fruits. You could throw in a tsp of flexseed oil for good measure -(this is of-course providing your not on a paleo diet)

I found this site quite useful for further information on the subject.

 

Sally Dixey is a Crossfit London Personal Trainer in Bethnal Green

 

19th September -Lumber Jacks 20 – No try 60!

Anyone who has done Lumber Jack 20 before will have vivid memories and traumatic scar’s. All in the name of  remembering lost soldiers.

Lumber Jack 20 is a hero workout in which Crossfit uses the workouts to honour those lost in combat. There was an awesome comment on the main Crossfit site that said “You’re here, they are not so go hard”

I love the sentiment of that comment and that is absolutely what we did!

Props to Kirsty and Adrienne who accompanied me.

This is how it went………….

Firstly Overhead Squat 1 Rm.

Kirsty 42.5Kg

Adrienne 50Kg

Me (Sally) 60Kg

Now to explain LJ.

Tom and his crew on sat did this as a team so not wanting to be left out so did we.

Multiply  the reps by the amount of people. For each move those reps needed to be accumulated by the team. This meant that stronger members would end up doing more and weaker members less. In between each move is a 400m dash! Nice.

(I am just going to list the female weights for this workout)

Deadlift 85kg

400m

Kettlebell Swing 24Kg

400m

Overhead Squat 38.5Kg

400m

Burpees

400m

Pull ups

400m

Box Jumps 24 inches

400m

Dumbell Squat Cleans 15Kg each arm

So for each move your looking at 60 reps.

The Deadlifts were the move to slow us down and personally I don’t like running but hey you can’t love it all.

Another Stonker of a workout for the team trails. Nice one Crew.

 

Sally Dixey is a Personal Trainer with Crossfit London in Bethnal Green

 

18th September – The 5’s

Getting to the end of the 5’s and the weights are getting tougher!

I can’t wait to see where this takes me, over half way through now.

Today saw me Back squatting and Bench pressing.

Working weight was 85% and the target was at least 5 reps plus some.

In between each move I inserted pull ups and double under practise, using time effectively.

Phillip has given me a few pointers with my double unders, which I am finding frustrating!

I am trying to make the double under move efficient by bouncing through my ankle and not my knees and hips. This is defiantly less taxing but as a primary school break time skipper use to bouncing through my knees and hips its hard to switch them off.

Aware that I need to add more met cons to my routine I tried out my Monday night Crossfit London WOD.

AMRAP 3 Minutes

10 Box jumps

15 Ball Slams

1 minute active rest of max pull ups (as I need to work on Push ups I did them instead)

This was a lot harder then it appeared. Ball slams and Box jumps are exhausting at the best of times but together they made a killer combo.

I did 5 rounds.

 

Sally Dixey is a Crossfit London Personal Trainer in Bethnal Green