Fighting Fit in Pregnancy & Beyond: Part 2 Exercise in the Second Trimester

Having felt rather normal in the first trimester there had been little impact to my fitness regime but now in the second trimester I knew how important it was to ensure my fitness regime was appropriate.  My first priority is to ensure the health and safety of my baby, but my second priority is to ensure my own health and happiness.  I am a firm believer that keeping myself fit and strong can only benefit my baby both during the pregnancy and in the post natal period where I will need plenty of energy and strength to tackle my new job as mum.  In addition to staying fit and strong I want to also ensure that I am limiting the physical damage to my body to ensure I am not left with a legacy of musculoskeletal and pelvic floor problems in the years to come.

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Calf Strain: Bent Leg Rehab or Straight?

One of the most common complaints I see in my clinic, are clients hobbling in with calf strain.  Sometimes they really felt it go, and other times they were just waiting for a tennis ball at the net and felt sudden weakness or cramp hence the name – ‘Tennis Leg’.  I had one client in particular who

thought he was cramping, kept playing and the next day and for a number of weeks afterwards he had quite a spectacular bruise…. cramps don’t bruise!

 First things first, what exactly is your calf?  The calf muscle is a generic name used to describe the muscles at the back of the leg.  In fact there are several muscles living in this neighbourhood and identifying which one has been damaged is key to fixing the problem and getting you back on form.

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Power Tennis, the ‘Grunt’ and your Core

After a thrilling day at Wimbledon on Friday, my own little tennis ‘victory’ and some pretty tender ribs for the last week, I have been inspired to think about why my ribs hurt, why we ‘Grunt’ under pressure and how we can get more power in our tennis shots.

I myself can be guilty of the ‘Grunt’.  It comes at two stages for me.  Firstly when I am completely overstretched for a shot, the ‘Grunt’  makes an appearance – the result of me digging deep to get the power to return the ball with at least some pace when in this weak, lengthened position.  Secondly, it seems to appear on even the tamest of shots when I am in the third set and feeling weary.  So it’s clear that for me at least the ‘Grunt’  helps me to find power where there is none.  So why do so many women tennis professionals grunt on almost every shot?   Am I missing a trick?

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