What is normal muscle fatigue & when should I worry?

What is normal muscle fatigue & when should I worry?

When you exercise, in particular after strength training, there will be a degree of slight tearing in the structure of the muscle the day or two after exercise.  

This is normal, and occurs because you have taken the muscle beyond what it would normally do in order to give it a reason to grow and change.  The muscle will then repair itself and become larger and stronger as a result.

This sensation, known as DOMS ( delayed onset of muscle soreness), feels like a heavy, sore sensation, similar to a bruised feeling in the muscle when you use it the next day or two.  It is normal and goes away after a couple of days.  Exercising again, although a bit difficult, will actually help this sensation go away more rapidly.

Article written by: Michael Dermansky (email:

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Is Pilates a good substitute for strength training?

In general, clinical and reformer based Pilates is strength training.  The wonderful thing about reformer based Pilates is that it not only works on the obvious power muscles that you generally tend to work in the gym, but you also target the stabilising muscles, the muscles that control movement, which makes training more efficient and effective.

The main elements of Pilates which makes it a great strength training program are:

  1. Reformer Pilates is resistance based – when using the reformer, a good instructor will set the weight of the reformer a little bit heavier than you are comfortable pushing or pulling.  This gives the muscles a stimulus to grow and strengthen overtime.
  2. The exercises have a purpose – the great thing about Pilates is that it is not like lifting a random weight in a random direction.  The movements and exercises that you perform match what you would do in everyday life, so your body and mind learn movements that they will use outside of the gym or studio, which makes them much more useful and improve your “functional” strength.
  3. The Pilates exercises have a balance component of training – Pilates exercises on the reformer, if instructed properly, are never one dimensional.  They will also work on your balance as well as your strength, to make then even more useful in real life and in any kind of sport you pursue.

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To book for your FREE full body assessment, call us on 03 9857 0644. We are open Mondays to Thursdays from m7am to 9pm; & Fridays & Saturdays from 7am-2pm. Parking is easy. We are located at 737 High Street, East Kew.

How often should I do Pilates to get results?

How often should I do Pilates to get results?

Like all good strength training programs, Pilates should be performed 2 to 3 times a week (ideally 3 times) for the best results.

For muscles to grow effectively, they need to be loaded and worked, then given a chance to rest and grow, then loaded again.

This cycle works best when performed 2-3 times a week.  Less than this is just not enough of a stimulus to the muscles to grow in the long term and more than this does not give the muscles enough of a chance to recover and grow between training sessions, ending in injury or a very quick plateau effect.

In general, the fastest rate of growth of muscle occurs in the first 3 months of a training program. However, growth of the muscles and strength continues to occur for at least 12 months or more, at a slower rate.

Clients who have been with us for many years have felt the benefits from the program after the first 9-12 months and progressively improve year after year.

Written by: Michael Dermansky – Senior Physiotherapist

If you’re interested in joining our 13 week Pilates program, book your FREE full body assessment on 03 9857 0644 or enquire online. We are open from Mondays to Saturdays and parking is easy. We are located at East Kew (737 High Street).

4 reasons why your feet hurt

We see many different reasons for foot pain, some are simple to fix and others that need to be managed.   This article highlights the 4 most common reasons we see foot pain and what you can do about it.

  1. Plantar fascia pain – this is the most common muscular reason for foot pain. It is felt at the bottom of the foot, usually travelling from the end of the heel to the beginning of the toes, but can vary a bit in which part of the foot gets the most sore.  The plantar fascia is a strong connective tissue that lines the bottom of the foot from under the heel to the beginning of the toes.  It’s role is to support the normal arch of the foot and the position of the mid part of the foot.  If the muscles that support the foot are not strong enough, especially the calf muscles, it puts more load onto the plantar fascia, putting it on constant stretch and causing pain.  Reducing this pain is about taking the plantar fascia off constant stretch and improving the strength of the muscles surrounding the foot including the calf and deep muscles of the shin, the tibialis posterior muscle.
  2. Shin splints – this is similar to plantar fascia pain, except the muscles breaking down are above the ankle instead of under the foot. It can cause pain into the back of the calf or into the inside of the foot.  The main aim of treatment is to make the muscles stronger so they can cope with load.  This often takes time and a modification of activities in the short term until strength improves, but this pain does get better with treatment.
  3. Swelling of the ankles causing pressure on foot – swelling of the feet can cause more pressure on all the small joints of the foot and the plantar fascia. Generalised swelling of the feet and ankles can indicate issues of circulation or heart disease.  If you find you have general swelling of the feet and ankles see your doctor for an opinion and appropriate management.
  4. Bunions – pain and swelling on the inside of the big toe, is usually due to poor biomechanics of the foot over a long period of time and wearing shoes that are tight over the toes.  This can be modified to a degree with treatment.  You can improve the biomechanics of the feet by improving the strength muscles supporting the foot, such as the calf muscles to reduce pressure on the big toe.  The big toe can also be mobilised to improve the movement of the toe to reduce swelling.   If there is enough damage to the joint, it may require surgery to correct the bunion, but this can be assessed by your doctor.

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What is carpal tunnel syndrome and can strength training help?

The carpal tunnel is a small tunnel the bones of the wrist create by their shape through which the tendons, blood vessels and nerves to the hand sit as they go into the hand.  It exists to protect these structures, how with excessive activity of the wrist and any kind of swelling is the wrist, that can occur during pregnancy, can reduce the space in the tunnel, putting direct pressure on the nerves and blood vessels of the hand.  Because the tunnel is made of bone at the bottom and a thick layer of connective tissue called the flexor retinaculum on the top,  even  a small degree of the swelling can compromise this space, compressing the nerve.

Once it occurs, causing pins and needles in the thumb and next 2 and 1/2 fingers, treating with exercise usually doesn’t change the procedure.  Treatment requires cutting the thick connective tissue on the front of the wrist, called the flexor retinaculum, to relieve pressure on the nerve.

Exercise can not change the symptoms much when it has occurred and surgery is needed, however, you can always strengthen the muscles of the shoulder, elbow and wrist to reduce the pressure on the wrist in the hope of preventing this injury.

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