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I was very lucky that I met my husband, like so many people do, at work. He arrived on my doorstep for Alexander technique lessons. He had a few lessons, and as he was a personal trainer he then attended my course for personal trainers. He had studied in America on a rugby scholarship in a very well known and respected college for chiropractors. During this time, he was over adjusted by a fellow student. When I met him, a few years after he left the States he still had tremendous problems with his mid to upper thoracic area of his spine. Being over adjusted is a very serious matter, and although that student got a telling off, it did nothing to rectify what had happened to my husband’s back. The Alexander lessons really put him straight, and we became firm friends. He also applied all his new knowledge from the personal training course to all his clients and raved about the excellent results they were getting. If your body is badly aligned when you start exercising, then the mal-alignment is exaggerated, and people end up injuring themselves. To quote Alexander “exercise exaggerates the alignment you already have in the body.”
I had the pleasure of working with a big body builder who was also a personal trainer at the gym where I taught. Although somewhat resistant to the technique at first, once he started to see that he could achieve better results without risking injury he, was convinced.
The key to using the Alexander principles in exercising is to keep the movement slow and deliberate and also to isolate the muscle group, for example when exercising the stomach muscles, the neck and back muscles must not be involved. This seems most simple but you would be very surprised how many people are unaware of how to do this. We are taught to rush along and do a thousand reps of this or that, without realising the repercussions of how that movement will destroy our joints, and create problems in the future. Exercising effectively is a passion of mine, I could really write about it for pages and pages. It is so very important. In the first blog I wrote about walking correctly, well, today, I am emphasising how important it is to be mindful of how we exercise. We think that if we are doing something, that we must be doing good. So few trainers are aware of the neck and head connection and how important they are. There are some sports out there that just lend themselves to very poor posture, but for the most part, you should be able to exercise your whole life, carefully, mindfully and with great respect for your BODY, since you only get one! Ask your trainer if they are S.E.T. trained and if they are, then you will be using the Alexander principles in your exercise programme.
Step lightly, be spritely. www.alextechnz.com