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Body Coach Fitness- Educational Exercise Library


Do you struggle with range of motion when moving & exercising eg on your squat and /or have trouble maintaining a neutral spine whilst executing a dead lift or lifting heavy objects in every day life ? Do you have physical limitations or experience undiagnosed pain? Would you like to learn more about corrective exercise , biomechanics screens and specific flexibility exercises to enhance your movement and learn techniques which could improve your strength lifts in the gym and /or for every day life? This is what Body Coach fitness educational exercise library is for-(A subscription based version with more detailed content will be launching late 2018) .
 For now please take advantage of these 'free' screens   & corrective exercises to use to help improve your health, fitness, sports performance and movement through intrinsic biomechanics and other forms of flexibility and core work and corrective exercises ( more to be added at later date)  

Exercise Library Examples


4 Sign (Pelvic Spasm )Test & 4 Sign Exercise

 4-Sign Test(Pelvic Screen Muscle Spasm)

 Lay down on floor on back or bench/bed. Cross one leg over the other ,with the outside ankle laying across the opposite thigh, just above patella (knee). Make sure you fix the opposite side of the pelvis so it doesn't tilt. There should be symmetry on each side with the right side of movement the same as the left side. As a guide the distance from the knee to the floor /bench should be no greater than the span of your out stretched hand .A positive test (fail)  is when you have asymmetry and /or one side is higher than the distance of your hand span from the bench /floor to knee. A negative test result ( pass) is when symmetry is present and there is a small distance from bench/floor to knee ( smaller than the span of the hand).

 If the test is positive then this means the pelvis is dysfunctional and must be addressed before a fully functional spine can result and the 4-Sign exercise below can be used to help correct this.

4-Sign Exercise 

Sit on a chair and cross one leg over the other  placing both hands on the inside of the knee. Press ankle down into knee of opposite leg by rotating at the hip joint. You will notice that the knee wants to lift ,if you do it correctly  . Press down using 20% strength  maximum effort ,just enough to engage hip muscles. (This is a static contraction-so make sure leg does not move during exercise)If this test is positive that means that the pelvis is dysfunctional and should not be ignored as functional defects can result eg:- it may become rotated and the piriformis and gluteals  may well be in spasm

Hold for 20 seconds /release for 20 seconds ,on each repetition and do 4 sets on each leg( AM & PM) and before and after exercise . 

Downing's Sign & Gillets Tests(Pelvic Check)+ Anti Spasm Exercise

 Downing's Sign Pelvic Test
Assuming there is a (LLD) Leg length discrepancy ,begin with the shorter leg ( say for example the shorter leg is the right leg ) - place right hand inside your right ankle and left hand underneath the right knee. Lift leg and flex the hip into internal rotation and adduction. (The 45/90/45 Degree angle must be maintained throughout exercise)Then retract the hip whilst it's in flexion and then externally rotate it as you adduct the hip and return it into it's starting position.
Gillets' Test-Pelvic Test
Stand facing a wall , whilst some one crouches down behind you  placing their thumbs on the dimples of the posterior  superior iliac spines (PSIS) and their eyes at the level of their pelvis.
 With the feet together and holding onto wall for balance lift one knee to wards your chest. The person with their thumbs on your PSIS will look to see if it moves up or down as the knee is lifted. Make sure the leg is lifted more than a 90 degree angle and that the persons hands are fixed to the pelvic bones to ensure correct reading.
Each PSIS should lower as the client flexes their hip and lowers leg and returns foot to the floor. If it doesn't lower as they raise   their leg ,they have a positive test (fail).
If the test is positive this means that the pelvis is dysfunctional and must be addressed before functional spine can result. In other words the piriformis and gluteal muscles may well be in spasm .
Static Leg Press Exercise
Sit on  a chair  and lift your knee towards your chest, and put both hands behind the lower thigh as shown in the picture. Press your knee down into your hands with 20% maximum strength and just enough to engage the muscles in your hip. Making sure the leg does not move. Hold for 20 seconds and do 4 sets on each leg (AM & PM) and before and after activity or inactivity.

 Nerve Screening  & Slump Sciatic Nerve Self Mobilisation Technique


 Nerve Screening:-(Straight Leg Raise -Sciatic Nerve Test)

 Lay down flat on your back, actively raise a straight leg to a comfortable position ,to see your active range .Then get some one to slowly raise your leg for you to the point where you feel tension (stretch) tightness and tingling. At this point make  a note of where you feel this ( degree of hip flexion) .Then adduct the leg across your midline of your body and make a note whether this increases the stretch you previously felt. As the leg goes across the midline ,don't take the leg beyond the line of the opposite leg and make sure you do not lower height of leg.

 If the feeling changes between position of leg then the test is positive for adverse negative nerve tension and if it does not then the test is negative. If positive try the Slump mobilisation   exercise in video (description below)

 Slump Sciatic Nerve Mobilisation technique 

Sit in a chair /on  a table which is high enough to allow  your feet to hang freely with out touching the floor. Slouch/Slump down putting chin to chest and lean forward(forward flexion) vertebrae to vertebrae(Keep foot at 90 degree angle).

Slowly straighten leg to the point where you feel a gentle stretch ( usually felt at the back of leg, but can be in the calf , behind the knee or gluteals) The with out pausing lower leg to disengage tension and repeat .

Perform this  exercise x1 daily and up to 2-3 x daily is possible  ( starting with 8 reps x 2 sets and building up to 15 reps x 3 sets)

 (If there is  reaction ,when you progress return to previous levels)



Shoulder Screening & Pec Minor & Thoracic Mobility Exercises

In a person with good postural alignment ,elevation of the arm is free to a full 160 degree to 180 degree motion with out impingement of soft tissues. In a person with classic forward head, rounded shoulders and increased kyphosis ,the scapula rotates forwards and downwards ,depressing the acromium process and changing the direction of the glenoid fossa. When the  person with forward head posture attempts to raise their arm the supra spinatus tendon and/or the sub-deltoid bursa may become impinged against the anterior portion of the acromium process. Repeated motions like this may accelerate over use injuries or cumulative trauma disorders and lead to early changes consistent with tendinitus and /or bursitis .

 Pectoralis Minor Screen

A shortening of the pec minor will lead to anterior tilting of the scapula .To identify a postural shortening of pectoralis minor in association with shoulder injury a test od the  muscle length  is necessary. Lay down on back ( supine)  on a bench/table , arms by the side and elbows flexed. Get some one to use their  finger span  to measure the distance between the posterior ( back) of the acromium process of the shoulders and the bench/table. The distance should not exceed 1 inch .A distance greater than this would suggest imbalance and muscle shortening, accompanied by inhibition of spinal extensors and a rounded thoracic cage.

Pectoralis Minor Anti Spasm Exercise  

If pectoralis minor muscle is found to be tight and shortened on tests above , use this  pectoralis minor anti spasm exercise to help alleviate this. It is an isometric scapular retraction and/or depression of the shoulder against a door frame ( in standing) /or use own hand or some one else's hand (in sitting, standing or supine position) Use 20% strength for 20 seconds each repetition for 4 sets per day for best effect.

 Strength Antagonist (Scapular Retractors/Elevators & Rib Depressors)

Exercises such as shoulder shrugs with retraction offering resistance ,or shrugs (with thera band ,dumb bells, barbell or cable) bent over single arm rows, reverse flies  and elevation and retraction of scapula (with thera band ,dumb bells , barbell or cables)

Thoracic Mobility Exercise

As tightening of pectoralis minor is often linked to an immobile thoracic spine  so mobilising the thoracic spine will also help. Lie on back and lift  arms over head and back  ,whilst laying  over  a wrapped up towel -moving the towel to different levels on the spine to mobilise vertebrae.

Shoulder Rolls Exercise

Lie on your back with knees bent and apart, clasp hands  and hold them in front of you .Keeping your hips and knees still, slowly rotate your upper body from side to side. Make sure your arms stay straight and your head keeps in line with your arms as they turn.

Median Nerve Screen

 Median Nerve Screen

 Start  with both arms both at your side lifting one arm out side ways ( away from the body)to the point where you feel tension and tightness  ( Make sure you keep shoulder down on moving arm out to side of body).At this point make a note of where you feel the stretch/tension and how far you have lifted the arm w=away from the body. (If you feel tension before you get to a 45 degree angle ( shrug your shoulder) if the tension subsides after shrugging shoulder  this a positive result for median nerve tension. If you feel tension as soon as you life arm from your side then shrug shoulder immediately and if tension changes this is also a positive result. (Repeat on both sides -making a note of pain/tension and angle of where tension if any is felt)

 If the median nerve is tight or adhered ,then the nervous system is a continuum which can cause and present with pain in a unlimited numbers of areas of the body.


(QL) Quadratous Lumboram Muscle /Spasm  Tests & Exercises

 QL Spasm Test

 Stand or sit or lie  down and  side bend down side of chair or couch keeping arms close to body and keeping body in line ,trying to use as much of mid thoracic ,upper and lower back as possible .(If you see a sharp angle-(hinge)- in the lumbar spine when you flex there is likely to be QL spasm on the opposite side to the hinge seen( This would be a positive QL test) However if you see no hinges and the action is smooth then this would be a negative test for QL spasm.

 (QL spasm need addressing as it may be in spasm for a number of reasons eg:- thoracic spine dysfunction).


QL Spasm Lateral Glides

If spasm is found on testing try this  QL lateral glide exercise. Sit on a chair with arms out at a 90 degree angle ,keeping shoulders and arms parallel to the floor ,glide the upper torso from one side to the other. Make sure your hips do not come off the chair .Make sure you do not parachute by side bending from side to side .

Perform this exercise at least once per day ,is possible try 2-3 times per day. Start with 8 reps x 2 sets and build up to 12 reps x 4 sets .If there is a reaction when you progress ,return to previous level .

 QL Spasm Wall Glides

 Stand next to a wall with your elbow tucked into your sides ,feet together and 2 inches away from the wall. Keeping your shoulders square ,slowly let your hips drop over towards the wall.

Perform at least once per day ,is possible try 2-3 times per day .Stat with  8 reps x 2 sets and build up to 12 reps x 4 sets. If there is a reaction on progression ,return to previous levels.  


 Spinal Mobility Exercise-Knee Rolls

Lay on the back with he knees bent up together. Have the arms out to the side at 90 degree angle ,keeping shoulders and arms still ,rotate the lower body from side to side .Do not lift the feet off floor ,simply roll on to the outside border of each foot. Make sure the knees stay locked and the hips must come off the floor as the body rotates .

Perform this exercise at least once per day ,ids possible 2-3x daily. Start with 8 repetitions x 2 sets and build up to 12 repetitions x 4 sets .If there is a reaction ,when  you progress ,return to previous level.

Reciprocal  Inhibition

This video gives an explanation of reciprocal inhibition stretching which is used for example in -tight hamstrings to inhibit contraction -by a reciprocal contraction of opposing muscle group -in this case the quadriceps. A full explanation is given through out the video of how this works .A useful partner technique stretching method .

Trigger Points- What is Foam Rolling & Should I Roll?

This instructional video explains what trigger point are and what myo fascial release is  ,what foam rolling is all about ,how to use it, when to use it and why and professional advice suggestions and tips on how to use foam rollers to release tight muscles.
  *(This is a small selection of education screens &  corrective  exercises and  more will be added to the collection soon- Full subscription exercise library launching later in 2018!)*


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