Living in Malaysia means I don’t get to see family as often as I’d like unfortunately. 

However I was lucky enough to recently have 3 weeks in Australia, so had some much needed quality time with some of the family. 

My mum celebrated her 70th birthday by taking a 6 week, well deserved, overseas holiday. While she was away my sister took very good care of her business, and I helped for the last 10 days.

Some highlights of the trip were (not in any order!!);

Learning the day to day runnings of my mum’s business (, & being trained by my inspirational sister, Amy! ​

One of the biggest take aways from this experience (besides being proud of my mum and sister), was how much the girls are making a difference to so many people’s lives. 

How dressing someone in an outfit they love, can make them feel really good about themselves. 

I spend most of my time in workout gear, and only dress up occasionally when going out, so it was really nice to dress up a a bit each day. 

It’s also a reminder for me to take more pride in my appearance. Making an effort in our appearance has a ripple effect on how we feel. 

So for me it’s now out with some of the old and in with some new! Sometimes the right outfit can make you feel a million dollars and it doesn’t need to even be expensive.

Filming the Core Fit Club Classes with my sister on the Sunshine coast

This was fun, and my Core Fit Club Online Pilates Studio members loved the new location and also having my sister in class.  It reminded them of Aerobics Oz Style; an Australanian aerobic exercise instruction television series. This was before the times of the internet! 

Oh and can’t forget the famous man and his dog who made and appearance half way through our class! hehe 

Seeing my dad, brother, his partner, & my nephews in Sydney! 

It was about 3.5 years since I’d seen my dad and nephews! Far too long. It was lovely to take beach walks, catch up over dinner, cruise on my brothers boat and help him with his back! 

My brother made the mistake of telling me he had back pain!
As you can see from the photos this is what happens when my family tell me about their body issues!
They usually end up on the floor in all different positions, moaning and groaning and pulling lots of weird faces.
On a series note now, the first thing I asked him was what exercises the physio was giving him.  To my surprise only a hip flexor stretch. Well now he has a bit more homework to do!!
I gave him glute and hamstring stretches which he badly needed.  Often most back pain will created tight glute muscles and so a glute stretch is always a good go to for some relief. 
Glute Stretch 1 – The Number 4 Glute Stretch.
– Lying on your back.
– Cross right ankle shin area over left knee
– Place left hand around back of left leg
– Place right hand between legs and hold back of leg with both hands
– Pull the leg towards you without lifting the bottom too far off the floor.
– You can lift your head up if you can’t reach any other way.
– Or place the left foot against the wall, to help hold the leg up.
Hold for 30 seconds and switch to other side.
Glute Stretch 2 – Piriformis Stretch
– Lying on your back.
– Left leg straight along floor
– Hold right knee towards chest with right hand on the knee and left hand over the ankle
– Draw the right knee towards the midline of your body/chest area, and even towards the left shoulder a bit, while at the same time drawing right ankle towards the left shoulder.
– Keep pulling the leg towards your body to deepen the stretch. 
Hold for 30 seconds and switch to the other side.
Hamstring Stretch – using towel around foot. 
– Lying ono your back
– Place towel around right foot
– Draw the leg towards your chest and keep it as straight as you can. 
– Hold for 15 seconds, and at the same time flexing the foor – drawing the toes towards you. 
– Do the same, drawing the leg towards your chest with a slightly bent knee.
– Hold for 15 seconds, and at the same time flexing the foor – drawing the toes towards you. 
– While doing this stretch your bottom leg can be straight or bent. Keep it bent if you have back pain.
Hold total 30 seconds and switch to the other side.
I also helped him with his standing posture.
This was useful for hime as it turns out he gets back pain when he stands for a long periods of time. So these tips I showed him standing will really help.
Things like softening his knees, avoiding thrusting his hips forward and keeping his weight equally in his feet. 
Full details of this posture analysis I gave him, can be found in my online Pilates studio – The Core Fit Club
I also assessed his seated position and as suspected he sat with his pelvis tucked under and a rounded back. Not upright in good posture position.  This means his back and core muscles would not have been working as well.  

To read more about this tucked pelvis position you can check out a previous blog here

These couple of things alone will help him dramatically – if he remembers and does them 😉
How is you back? How is your posture? 
Perhaps you also sit with a rounded back?
Let me know in the comments below. I’m happy to assist in anyway I can.

Please also share with anyone you know who can benefit from these stretches.

Lots of love and see you soon on the Mat! 

Em x

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