Yearly Archives: 2019

25th Nov 2019

Injury: Smart rehab.

Pain is unpleasant and stops you doing what you want to do.  However, the best way to approach pain is not to just ‘treat’ and eliminate it, it is to understand it and use it a as teacher.  The body moves away from pain, so if you are in pain the body has made a lot of compensation already.

What have you been doing to cause the problem which has resulted in compensations which has lead to the pain?  If you can understand the cause you can address the real problem you’ll achieve long-term freedom from pain.

From this broad perspective all injury is over-training.  Or, another way of saying over-training is under-recovering.

Rehabilitation – ways to speed up recovery:

Work around the problem.  By activating muscles near the pain this helps strengthen (and repair) the painful muscles.

Move the painful muscles but not so much to make the pain worse.  This tells your body to prioritise resources to heal the […]

31st Oct 2019

Female Performance Training

By Ollie Martin & Gemma Pilkington

Some Benefits of High Performance Training

  • Improved sports performance 
  • Better posture 
  • Optimal/healthy weight
  • Improved bone density
  • Better pelvic floor 
  • Better body image
  • Increased self confidence
  • Fun and social

However, many of the high performance training protocols having been developed for men.


Forward head posture & shoulder girdle

Female heads are on average same weight as a man’s but with 8% less bodyweight (plus potentially more hair).  For every inch the head moves forward there is three times the load on the neck extensors.  

Rounded shoulders are often adopted in puberty to hide developing breasts and exacerbated from sport specific muscle imbalances and too much sitting.  Steeper first rib angle causes excessive ligament strain.  This leads to thoracic outlet syndrome, where compression of blood vessels and nerves between the collar bone and first rib angle cause pain in shoulders/neck and numbness in fingers.

3rd Jun 2019


At Take Shape we are one of the few non-professional sports clubs to offer FITLIGHT assessment and training for speed, agility and cognitive movement.

The FITLIGHTS are used as targets for the user to deactivate as per the reaction training routine. Various measurements can be captured for immediate feedback in relation to the user’s performance or can later be downloaded to a central computer for future analysis. During any type of training, specifically speed and agility training, the lights can be deactivated by use of the users’ hands, feet, head, or sport/fitness related equipment, either through full contact or proximity with this revolutionary reaction training system.

FITLIGHT Trainer for Sports Performance 

  • Sports Specific High Performance Training
  • Enhanced Reaction and Response Time
  • Improved speed, agility, stamina, conditioning, coordination and visual cognitive processing functions
  • Sports performance analysis to track and monitor […]
7th Feb 2019


I first heard the term ‘antifragile’ from Nassim Taleb’s book ‘Antifragile’ and I realised is exactly how we transform clients at Takeshape.

Fragile – Robust/Resilient – Antifragile

Anti-fragile is the opposite of fragile and a step further than robustness and resilience. Fragile breaks easily, robust stays strong up until a point and is then overwhelmed – the scenario of a water dam being overwhelmed by a freak and unpredicted flood. This is also exactly what happens in many peoples’ bodies. The body robustly resists illness and injury until it is overwhelmed and disease sets in. I have described this in terms of adrenal fatigue previously.

Antifragile describes a system or organism that actually gets stronger from the random (disordered) stresses that are placed on it. The resilient resists shocks and stays the same whereas the antifragile get better.

“Some things benefit from shocks; they thrive […]

9th Jan 2019

What are you waiting for?

Many people are waiting for that big health drive, that perfect week when the rest of your life will be on hold so you can focus on your health. Well that rarely happens, and even if it does you get better, long-term results by implementing a few changes into your current lifestyle right now.

This works because it is sustainable as it creates virtuous circles of healthy actions, all helping each other and making it easier for you to choose healthier options. This is opposed to vicious circles of negative health actions – one chocolate bar / or beer leads to another.

create virtuous circles of healthy actions

The Health Retreat

Anyone can be healthy of a retreat but it only lasts a week or two!  Our challenge is to build health into our present lifestyles.

The Fitness Challenge

Such a running a marathon. This can be great for motivation but often leads to injury and illness due to overtraining (under-recovering because of […]