Super Seniors Fitness Solutions

Keys to Living Well, Feeling Great & Enjoying Life

Round Shoulders? November 6, 2014

Filed under: Health,Senior Moments — jax allen @ 8:00 am
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Rounded Shoulders?
Exercises You Can Do At Work!

Work in an office?
Noticing that your shoulders have rounded over time?Wondering what exercises you can do while sitting at your desk?

Here are the three exercises to try:

#1- Opening Up Your Collar Bones


Sit nice and tall opening up your collar bones, relaxing, then moving into being nice and tall again. Repeat a few times every few hours.
Start by holding for 5 seconds, then when that feels ok increase to 10, 15, then 20 seconds.
Aim to work the muscles around your shoulder blade and mid back.
Feel a light stretch in your chest.
Stretching chest which becomes short and tight and strengthening mid back area – around shoulder blades and the upper back muscles that become weak with a rounded back posture.

#2 – Mid Back Tightener


Sit up tall.
Take your hands behind your head. Squeeze your elbows back.
Feel the stretch across your chest.
Tighten, hold and relax.
As before hold for 5 seconds.

#3 – Laced Fingers Over the Head


Sit nice and tall.
Lace your fingers, arms are straight over head as high as possible.
Bring your arms back down again.
This time hold for 2 or 3 seconds only.
Aim to stretch your lats area, around shoulder blades and thoracic extensors in mid to upper back.

Repeat these 3 quick and easy exercises a few times each day to gradually rebalance muscle and improve your posture.


Pilates Classic Exercise – #1 The Hundred June 15, 2014

Filed under: Fitness,Health — jax allen @ 10:17 am
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The Hundred
Joseph Pilates 34 contrology poses

(1) Serious students: buy & study “Return to Life…”!
(2) Avoid potential injury! – Join the “Pilates Community” at your local gym or studio.
(3) Tips on posture and muscle tensioning – “Pilates Contrology”.


Pilates Hundred, Pose 1:-
Zip and hollow in preparation, and maintain zip and hollow throughout. Note that the toes are pointing away.
Anchor your scapulas, and keep them gently anchored throughout.
Tuck your chin and lift your head and shoulder blades off the mat. Make sure that you are looking down at your belly.
Raise your straight legs just 2″ off the floor.
Raise arms to the position shown in pose 2.

Pilates Hundred, Poses 2 and 3:-
Beat your arms up and down just 6 to 8 inches (elbows locked)-
Fives beats while inhaling slowly.
Fives beats while exhaling slowly.
A total of one hundred beats.

Pilates Hundred, Pose 4:-
Relax completely (note that the abdomen is still zipped or scooped).
Pilates demonstrating the Pilates One Hundred, Poses One to Four:
(diagram derived from original photo).

Pilates Hundreds, Watch Points:-

Keep your lumbar spine glued to the floor!
Neck pain: perform the hundred with your head resting on a cushion, & seek physiotherapist, chiropractic, or therapeutic massage advice.

Pilates Hundreds, Joseph’s Comments:-
At first you probably will not be able to carry out instructions as ilustated in poses – this proves why these exercises and all succeeding ones will benefit you. However, with patience and perseverance you eventually should succeed in achieving the ideals as posed – with accompanying normal health(1).

Pilates then and now:-
Nowadays, the Pilates Hundred is often performed with thigh bones angled higher, and arms angled lower(2). Higher angling of the thigh bone works the Rectus femoris very hard over its shorter range: a sure fire recipe for triggerpoints and muscle pain. So why is it taught this way? – Presumably it evolved to help dancers condition their Rectus femoris muscles to cope with the enormous stresses of straight leg raises during dancing(3)?

J H Pilates and W J Miller: Return to Life through Controlology. 1st Ed, publ. 1954 J.J.Augustin New York (Review & purchase…)
Bruce Thomson: The Modern Pilates Hundred
Jack Giangiulio: Anterior Hip Pain in Young Dancers: Don’t Be Fooled
Pilates Hundred, Free Pilates Poses, Pictures © Bruce Thomson, EasyVigour Project


Super Senior on Parallel Bars! June 7, 2014

She is amazing and so are you!
Never give up – we can all learn from this fabulous lady.

Health and fitness isn’t all about six packs and biceps… Far from it. It’s more about having the energy and ability to do the things you want to do with a little in reserve.

Use It Or Lose It
The confidence to stay active the use it or lose it rule is so true. The less you move the less you’ll be able to move. Doing exercise seated in a chair can be challenging. Get a resistance band and use it daily. You will be surprised how your body responds, you’ll get stronger, your posture will improve, you’ll have more energy and sleep better too!

DIY Exercise at Home
Not sure where to start? watch for our short videos coming soon.
You won’t find mocked up, studio flashy exercise sequences. Just real people from my groups doing real exercises to maintain their health and fitness.

Keep Moving!


Core Stability Training – are you doing too much? January 27, 2014

Filed under: class schedule,Fitness,Health — jax allen @ 5:50 pm
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Core Stability Training – are you doing too much?


Ask 100 fitness professionals and rehabilitation specialists, and they’ll all have different answers – and even then, it will still be dependent on the athlete/client/patient. We can’t even effectively define “core,” let alone “core stability exercises” to answer the question.

Taking it a step further, only 15% of low back pain has a definitive diagnosis. One could make the argument, therefore, that only 15% of core function can be adequately assessed/interpreted. We’d like to think that we know exactly what is going on with a spine, but that’s just not reflected in the research.

The good news, though, is that while most people encounter low back pain at some point in their lives, the overwhelming majority of them do get better with rehabilitation. We just don’t know what’s optimal – and I’m not sure we ever will, but we are getting a lot better, thanks to the availability of both research and anecdotal experience of rehabilitation specialists, fitness professionals, and folks who have remained healthy.

My Pilates and Bio- mechanics training has enabled me to assess you and create a program to address your core needs.
You may be hypermobile and need to improve stability, or tight and stiff and benefit from increased mobility. In either case a large group, general class may not help your back at all!

If you’re local and would like to learn more about my small group training sessions get in touch for a trial session.
This class might suit you if you want to develop a strong and mobile core.
‘All Core’ Tuesdays 18:00
Hayden Hill Studio. GL51 0SW


Shoulder Pain? What Causes Your Pain October 15, 2013

Filed under: Fitness,Health — jax allen @ 7:30 am
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Shoulder Pain? What Causes Your Pain

Hot, tender or painful spots in your muscles are Trigger Points. They typically develop from lack of stretching or improper stretching but can also be caused from stress/trauma, repetitive motion or even poor posture.


Other common causes are:
sitting without firm back support (slumped posture)
prolonged sitting in a chair without armrests, or armrests that are too high, or too low (leaning to one side)
cradling a phone between ear and shoulder
large breasts
one leg shorter than the other
typing on a keyboard that is too high
prolonged improper sleeping position
playing a violin
overly tight bra straps
carrying a handbag (prolonged hiking up of the shoulder)
head-forward posture (jutting chin)
walking with a cane that is too long

Reduced circulation in trigger points will eventually lead to muscle shortening and restricted movement which further accentuates the pain, thus completing a cycle of decreased mobility and further pain.


This commonly becomes the underlying cause of chronic shoulder immobility and even chronic headache pain. You will typically continue to suffer from these ailments for long periods until the problem is treated directly.

Over the next few days we’ll go through the actions you can take to ease your pain or remove the causes.

Stay Active, Eat Well, Feel Great


Improve Your Breathing #3 July 2, 2013

Filed under: Health,Uncategorized — jax allen @ 1:48 pm
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#3 Focus on Breathing – Child’s Pose Drill

There are numerous breathing drills to work on. There are some quality drills out there that can be done using balloons, and other tools to help restore proper breathing mechanics. However, my favourite drills are extremely easy to use and require little set up time to perform properly. Here are the top 3 breathing drills.

3 Child’s Pose Breathing- If you’re familiar with yoga at all, then you’ve probably seen this one. The child’s pose is done by sitting back on your heels with your toes plantarflexed (pointed), knees tucked, heels on your butt, and your chest tucked into your knees with your hands along the floor ahead of you. I really like to use this one if someone struggles with getting air into the low back with either the crocodile breath or The other drills i use here. The child pose position allows you to close off your ribs with your knees, and really helps force air into the low back to stretch the spinal muscles in the upper back with each breath. This is a good one if you’re stuck in an extended posture. Getting into some major flexion and controlling a breath will be a challenge, but will be useful in getting your posture back in line.

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Are You Breathing Right? June 24, 2013

Filed under: Health — jax allen @ 1:05 pm
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#1. Focus on Breathing.

Over the past few years, the importance of proper breathing has really been embraced by many coaches and trainers, myself included. Dramatic changes in breathing mechanics lead to positive mobility improvements within minutes, some in seconds, after changing breath patterns. The results don’t always happen that quickly, but the immediate changes I’ve seen by changing breath and rib cage position can be profound.

There are numerous breathing drills to work on. There are some quality drills out there that can be done using balloons, and other tools to help restore proper breathing mechanics. However, my favourite drills are extremely easy to use and require little set up time to perform properly. Here are the top 3 breathing drills.

Drill #1 Crocodile Breathing
Lie on your belly with your forehead in your hands.
Get comfortable and try to relax.

The floor will provide proprioceptive feedback to let you feel your belly breathing into the floor so you’ll know you’re doing the exercise correctly.
Many people will start by feeling the majority of the breath through the chest with minimal movement within the abdominal midsection.
Start to learn “belly breathing” in this position. However, you should NOT only focus on breathing into the belly. You should strive to fill up the belly, oblique’s (your side waist areas) low back, and lungs. You should be thinking about getting a very wide breath…360 degrees every time. The floor provides your body with feedback to “feel” that you are breathing wide.