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General Fitness

What are the Benefits of Yoga For Women?

Yoga is a popular form of exercise that brings various health benefits for individuals without the usual strenuous movements involved in other workouts. Because of this, more people are starting to get into the practice of yoga. A study on the diversification of physical activities in Australia shares that yoga is among the top ten most practised forms of physical activity in the country. Further research indicates that the level of participation of US and Australian individuals in yoga are higher than in Tai Chi and Qigong, which are exercises that are similar to yoga.

Although yoga is undoubtedly beneficial for both men and women, there are some health issues that only or most women experience where yoga is advantageous. So, here are the three benefits of yoga for women:


Helps during pregnancy and labour

Because yoga focuses on breathing exercises and gentle stretching, it’s one of the physical activities that pregnant women can safely perform to remain active and healthy. As a matter of fact, the discipline of prenatal yoga is specifically designed for pregnant women. It allows expecting mothers to physically prepare themselves for childbirth by helping them increase their strength and flexibility. It can also guide first-time mothers in combating the anxieties related to pregnancy: prenatal yoga teaches women breathing exercises that can enable them to relax and stay positive once they go into labour.
Some of the best prenatal yoga poses for pregnant women are the standing side stretch and the wide-knee child’s pose. These alleviate back and stomach pain while improving flexibility. However, it’s important to note that even if most women practise prenatal yoga, it’s still best to consult with healthcare professionals before performing any physical activity during pregnancy.

Yoga classes the body refinery

Improves sleep quality

Studies on self-reported sleep quality revealed that women adults in Australia are more likely to experience suboptimal sleep, which is alarming because sleep quality is associated with other health conditions, such as obesity, cardiovascular diseases, and type 2 diabetes. Fortunately, yoga is proven to help individuals sleep better as well. In fact, one reason why people should start doing yoga is that it promotes better sleep efficiency and quality. You can experience these effects in as little as eight weeks if you practice yoga consistently. This is because the activity promotes deep and slowed breathing, which may induce people to sleep better. It also encourages individuals to be mindful of their present state, allowing them to forget any worries that may be affecting their slumber.

Some examples of yoga workouts for improved sleep include the standing forward bend and legs-up-the-wall pose. These can regulate breathing in preparation for sleeping. To further promote better sleep, consider keeping your bedroom dark and quiet and avoid consuming drinks with caffeine a few hours before bedtime.


Boosts heart health

Another health condition affecting individuals is cardiovascular disease. Indeed, a national health report on cardiovascular diseases in women finds that over half a million Australian women had one or more heart, stroke, and vascular disorders. Luckily, yoga can support women in boosting their heart health. Aside from alleviating stress, yoga encourages individuals to take deep and slow breathing exercises. Such exercises can decrease your heart rate and dilate your blood vessels to enhance your overall blood flow.

Some simple yoga routines for a healthy heart include the seated forward bend pose and the bridge pose. However, yoga should not be the sole prevention method for cardiovascular diseases. In our article on health checks last Women’s Health Week, we shared that women aged 45 and above should receive heart health checkups at least every two years. This is because you become more susceptible to such health issues as you age. That being said, while yoga is beneficial, consulting medical professionals are still necessary to help you reap the most benefits out of this relaxing yet effective activity.


Article contributed by Ruth Jentson for The Body Refinery

Cardio Fun Facts

Cardio Fun Fact

On a treadmill, elliptical, or one of our numerous group fitness classes there are plenty of options to get your cardio fix.

If you enjoy it by all means “cardio on” but if you are skeptical here are some facts to help you understand how it is important to work its cardio and make your cardiovascular training more efficient and effective!


The Cardiovascular System

  • The cardiovascular system, also called the circulatory system, is a vast system that transports oxygen, nutrients, hormones, and metabolic products throughout the entire body. It includes the heart, arteries, veins, capillaries, and lymphatic system and has been estimated to be as long as 100,000 km. The average person has 4.7 to 5.7 liters of blood and the heart pumps this volume every minute at about 70 beats per minute, pumping around 7600 liters of blood a day at rest! The primary role of the cardiovascular system is to provide oxygen to your cells while removing carbon dioxide. As the heart pumps, its moves blood to the lungs where it picks up oxygen and continues back to the heart to be pumped back out to the rest of the body. The oxygen in the blood is taken up by your cells for energy while carbon dioxide produced by the cells is picked up and expelled through the lungs. The blood and cardiovascular system are also important in regulating body temperature and transporting the cells of your immune system around the body.

Understanding Cardio

  • There are 2 primary forms of cardiovascular training, aerobic and anaerobic. Aerobic means that the body is utilizing oxygen to produce energy whereas anaerobic does not. Typically, when the term “cardio” is used, this is referring to aerobic training. With aerobic training, the body primarily burns fats for energy. With anaerobic, the body primarily burns carbohydrates. This has led many people to believe that aerobic training is superior to anaerobic for fat loss. In reality, anaerobic training, especially high-intensity interval training (HIIT), has been shown to be superior for fat burning. This is because of a series of adaptations to higher-intensity exercise. The body responds by elevating its metabolism for up to 72 hours which means that it will continue to burn fat long after you stop exercising. Of course, there are benefits to both styles of training, and which one you focus on will depend on your specific goals.

Strengthens the Heart

  • With training, the heart becomes stronger and more able to pump blood throughout the body. This is one of the primary reasons why cardio training is so important. The heart is a muscle (one of the strongest and most resilient you have), and like other muscles in your body, it adapts to the training stimulus. The muscle cells of the heart, called cardiomyocytes, become larger to compensate for the increased demand placed on them. This is referred to as cardiac hypertrophy. This increase in size allows them to generate more force with each beat of the heart. The majority of this increase occurs around the left ventricle which is responsible for pushing blood throughout the body. The chambers of the heart also become slightly larger and more flexible, allowing more volume of blood for every pump. This increases what is called the Frank-Starling mechanism which utilizes the elastic ability of the heart to increase the amount of blood pumped. All of these adaptations make your heart healthier and improve overall health and performance as well as longevity.

Improves our Resting Heart Rate

  • The amount of times our heart beats while we are at rest is called our resting heart rate. A peculiar adaptation occurs with training where the resting heart rate actually lowers. This is called the athlete’s heart. Although this sounds bad at first glance, this is actually a very good thing. If the heart can beat less while still maintaining the same output, that means that it will save itself from tiring and degrading earlier in life. Imagine that the heart has a finite amount of beats in a lifetime, if you can make it beat less, then you can extend the duration that the heart can continue. On average, a person’s heart beats at about 70 beats per minute. Elite athletes have measured resting heart rates below 40! That means that the heart beats 30 fewer times in a minute than the average person. Imagine how many beats your heart is saving over your lifetime. This is possible because of the increase in the output of the heart, called stroke volume. It is also believed that there is an increase in your parasympathetic nervous system, known as the rest and digest stimulation, which helps us relax and lowers our heart rate.

Improves Blood Pressure

  • Cardio training can reduce and normalize blood pressure which is especially important for people with hypertension (high blood pressure). Many people today suffer from this condition and it’s likely you or someone you know has it. This occurs through a variety of mechanisms. For starters, exercise stimulates an increase in blood flow in the peripheries by utilizing the muscles to create a pumping action for the veins. This mobilizes blood and helps open up the vessels that may be closed and prevent circulation. Another amazing mechanism is something called angiogenesis. This is the production of brand-new capillaries, the small vessels that transport nutrients to and from the cells. With more capillaries, we increase the available volume for blood which lowers the overall pressure in the circulatory system. Lastly, another benefit of cardio training is a temporary reduction in blood pressure post-exercise which can last up to 12 hours. All of these positive adaptations help increase health and performance and also help prevent future cardiovascular disease.

Improves Cellular Function OR Increases Red Blood Cells and Mitochondria 

  • Nearly all our cells are reliant on oxygen to produce the required energy necessary for them to survive and maintain their function. This oxygen is transported through the body in our red blood cells (RBC’s), the primary component of the blood. Training increases the synthesis of RBC’s, meaning that we can now transport more oxygen to our cells which greatly improves our health and function. The body does this through a process called hematopoiesis, where signals from training induce the synthesis of more cells from the bone marrow. Along with the increase in RBC’s, training also stimulates the growth of more mitochondria. These are the powerhouses of the cells which produce energy from oxygen. Mitochondria heavily utilize fat as energy, and increasing the number of mitochondria means we also increase our ability to burn fat.

Makes You Feel Good!

  • Many people who are avid runners often talk about getting a “runner high”. A feeling of energy, exuberance, and even happiness. Aerobic exercise and exercise in general cause the body to release various hormones as a response to the activity. Two of these hormones, serotonin, and dopamine, promote a feeling of happiness and pleasure. Some people get such a flush of these hormones that they experience these profound moments mid-exercise. In the long term, the more we exercise, the more we reinforce these hormone pathways. It’s no coincidence that people who are active and fit are often happy, glowing and full of energy. These psychological benefits don’t only stop with feeling pleasure and happiness, aerobic exercise also improves our brain health. Exercise has been shown to be neuroprotective, meaning that it helps prevent neurological degeneration and disease as we age. It also improves the brain’s ability to critically think and problem-solve, so if you’re keen to keep your wits, it’s important to maintain your exercise!

Strengthens the Lungs and Bones

  • Beyond the cardiovascular system, cardio training also shows great benefits to other aspects of our body. The respiratory system, which comprises the lungs, is intimately linked with the cardiovascular system. As we exercise, aerobically or anaerobically, our demand for oxygen and nutrients increases as well as our demand to breathe out carbon dioxide. This is compensated for by the respiratory system increasing how much we breathe in and how many breaths we take. As intensity increases, so does our breathing. This trains the muscles that are responsible for respiration, increasing the function of our breathing. Outside the respiratory system, aerobic exercise like jogging or running and anaerobic exercise that taxes muscles is also excellent for improving bone density. The repetitive forces placed on the bones from small impacts and muscle pulling causes them to adapt and form harder denser bones. This helps protect against osteoporosis and fractures with aging.


At The Body Refinery, we have a number of services and Health Professionals that can assist you in improving your cardio and general fitness endeavors. These services include Physiotherapy, Exercise Physiology, Fitness and Pilates.

Our Pilates services are run by highly skilled and trained Pilates instructors who can tailor a program to suit your needs.

Our Physiotherapists also work with athletes in our Clinical Strength classes and our Exercise Physiologists will help you reach your goal through their Strength and Conditioning classes.

Or you can join our online Platform where our Instructors have added more than 120 workout classes including cardio and Hiit classes. Visit and join our online community.

Please call our friendly reception team today at 3358 3915 to discuss how we can help you!

Cardiovascular Disease

Cardiovascular Disease

Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) is the number one killer for Australians, yet most of these deaths are preventable. Cardiovascular disease accounts for 27% of deaths in Australia. Around 1.2 million Australians have 1 or more heart or vascular conditions. CVD is an umbrella term for conditions that effect the heart and blood vessels.

Atherosclerosis is the main contributor to CVD. It is characterised by a chronic inflammatory response within tissues resulting in plaque forming on the intima layer of the arteries. Consequently, resulting in thicker vessel walls and a reduced lumen area. This is an underlying contributor to CVD because less blood can flow through the vessels and more strain is put on the heart.

The most common forms of CVD are;

Heart attack –Acute myocardial infarction, also known as a heart attack, is a life-threatening condition that occurs when blood flow to the heart muscle is abruptly cut off, causing tissue damage. This is usually the result of occlusion in one or more of the coronary arteries. A blockage can develop due to a build-up of plaque, a substance mostly made of fat, cholesterol, and cellular waste products or due to a sudden blood clot that forms on the blockage.

Stroke – The most common type of stroke is ischemic stroke. This happens when plaque or a blood clot blocks blood flow to an artery in or on the brain. Haemorrhagic stroke is less common. This happens when a blood vessel breaks open and leaks blood into the brain. A transient ischemic attack (TIA) is similar to an ischemic stroke, but the blood clot breaks up after a short time, usually before there is long-term damage.

High blood pressure> – Consistently high BP in arteries that increases the development of atherosclerotic plaque due to the increases demand on lumen walls. Hypertension = 140/90, risk factor for cardiovascular disease due to the increased myocardial demand.

Chronic heart failure: heart is unable to pump blood at a rate that is adequate for the metabolising tissue. Low stroke volume = low ejection fracture and consequently less oxygen getting to the muscles. Guidelines for the prevention, detection and management of chronic heart failure in Australia include “Participating in regular physical activity” as the number one priority for management and prevention.

Atrial Fibrillation: disorganised atrial electrical activity – rapid and irregular ventricular depolarisations. Often associated with heart failure.

Cardiovascular Disease

Risk factors – non-modifiable and modifiable 

There are risk factors that can’t be changed (sex, age, and family history), but most risk factors of CVD are modifiable. These include high cholesterol (>5.5mmol/L), obesity (<24.9 BMI), smoking, high blood pressure, alcohol use (over 2 standard drinks p/d), sedentary lifestyle (>150m p/w), stress and depression.

Exercise Benefits

Exercise has a favourable effect on many of the established risk factors of CVD, such as weight reduction, cholesterol reduction, increase mental health and decrease blood pressure.

Exercise Sports Science Australia (ESSA) the governing body of Exercise Physiology says that people need 150 minutes of moderate activity per week to decrease blood pressure and maintain healthy cardiac function.

Exercise benefits for cardiac and circulation – exercise increases stroke volume, increases diastolic, decreases Hr, increase myocardial perfusion (more oxygen for the muscles), lower resting levels of catecholamine, potential increases in ejection fraction, increased peripheral vasodilation. In layman’s terms – it improved exercise tolerance, vo2 peak and peripheral blood flow.

Exercise benefits for skeletal muscle – increase mitochondrial number and density, increases capillary, increases muscle fibre size and bulk, increases type 1 muscle fibres, increases oxidative enzymes, and delays anaerobic metabolism. Layman’s terms – Improved oxygen extraction, muscle strength and endurance.

Exercise benefits ventilation and others – reduced shortness of breath and perceived exertion scores, decreased oxygen demands at submaximal workloads, improved quality of life, sleep quality, mental health, and increase/maintain bone density.

Exercise Prescription

Aerobic – 11-13 RPE. Requires supervision and monitoring of HR and BP (but using RPE). 8-10 minute warm-up to reduce adverse cardiovascular effects including ST segment depression, arrhythmias, and transient LV function, increase blood flow & skeletal muscle perfusion, reduce muscle viscosity, and reduce injury risk. 8-10 minute cool down to reduce venous pooling, dizziness and post-exercise hypotension. 5 days per week.

Resistance – requires supervision, avoid Valsalva manoeuvre (as it raises blood pressure), 12-20 reps at low intensity, including 8-10 exercises. Progress intensity and reduce reps to 8-12 after 6-8 weeks of training.  Heavy weightlifting of intensive and isometric nature should be avoided as it causes further increase in blood pressure. Often this can be an advertisement as most people with these conditions will be overweight and would like to hear that it would be “easy” to start off with.

Bottom line is to get exercising!!

We have a range of options here at The Body Refinery, talk to our friendly front desk.

Women’s Health Week: Day 2 – Menopause matters

Women’s Health Week - Day 2 - Menopause matters

Perimenopause is the lead-up to a woman’s final menstrual period, the menopause. Perimenopause usually happens between 40 – 45 years of age.

Menopause is a woman’s final menstrual period. Most women reach menopause between 45 and 55 years of age – the average age of menopause for women in Australia is 51 – 52 years.

Both perimenopause and menopause are a part of normal and healthy ageing.

Due to changes in the levels of oestrogen and progesterone hormones, women may experience the following symptoms:

  • hot flushes or night sweats
  • joint and muscle aches and pains
  • vaginal dryness and pain during sexual intercourse
  • mood swings, which may include low mood, anxiety or irritability
  • sleep disturbance, including insomnia
  • crawling or itchy skin
  • headaches
  • lower libido
  • forgetfulness
  • weight gain, especially in the tummy region  

It is recommended that you maintain a healthy and physically active lifestyle to support your body during these changes. It is also important to look after your emotional health.

See your GP if you are troubled by less regular periods, have symptoms of menopause that interfere with daily life, or have any symptoms of depression or anxiety.

Our team of Women’s Health Physiotherapists and Exercise Physiologists are here to support you and can help you to manage some of the symptoms of menopause.
For more information:

Women’s Health Week: Day 1 Check me out – Health checks for women

Women’s Health Week - Day 1 Check me out - Health checks for women

Regular health checks can help with the early detection of illness or disease.

Here is a quick guide to what health checks you need and when:

  • Cervical screening test: This has replaced the Pap smear as the standard screening test to detect cervical cancer. Every five years from age 25 to 74. Screening starts two years after you were first sexually active.
  •  Breast health: Early detection of breast cancer increases the chances of treatment success. It is important to conduct a monthly self-examination. Get to know the normal look and feel of your breasts and speak to your GP if you notice any unusual changes. A breast cancer screening mammogram should be performed every two years from age 50 to 74. Women with a higher risk or family history of breast cancer may need to screen earlier / more often.
  • Bone health: Once a year from age 45 or post-menopause. Depending on bone health and risk of fracture or osteoporosis, your GP may suggest a bone density scan (DEXA) every two years.
  • Heart health check: At least every two years from age 45 (age 35 for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women).
  • Blood pressure check: Every two years from age 18, or more often if at increased risk.
  • Cholesterol check: Every five years from age 45 (age 35 for Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander women), or earlier / more frequently depending on family history and personal risk factors.
  • Bowel cancer screening: Bowel cancer is common, and if detected early has a good recovery rate. A test is recommended every two years from age 50. This can be done at home with an easy-to-use self-test kit. Women at higher risk may need to screen more often and with other tests.
  • STI screening: for sexually active women of all ages, speak to your GP about how often to screen for sexually transmissible infections (STIs). Women under 30 may need screening at least once a year.
  • Mental and emotional health: If you are experiencing symptoms such as intense sadness, irritability, fatigue, anxiety; have had changes to your eating or sleeping habits; or have any other mental health concerns, speak to your GP as soon as you can.

Women’s Health Week is a reminder to make your physical and emotional health and well-being a priority. If your health checks are not up to date, make an appointment to see your GP today.

For more information:

Returning to running post natal – how do I know if I am ready?

I am postnatal and want to start running. How do I know if I am ready?

Running is a popular form of exercise for mums. You can do a quick 30-minute workout for free, work up a sweat and even take bub along once they are old enough. So it’s understandable that many new mums are keen to get back into running after having a baby.

However, because running is a high impact activity, there are some important things to consider first. When your foot hits the ground, there is a force called a “ground reaction force” that comes up through the lower limb, some of which is transmitted to the pelvic floor. In anticipation of this force, your pelvic floor will automatically activate just before your foot hits the ground to support your pelvic organs and prevent leaking.

Ground reaction forces are reported to be 1.6 and 2.5 times your body weight when running. In the postnatal period, your pelvic floor is weaker and slower to contract, making it less able to provide support and maintain continence while running. This means that if you return to running too soon before your body is ready, it can lead to pelvic floor issues such as prolapse and incontinence as well as musculoskeletal pain.


I have had my 6 weeks check-up with my GP / obstetrician, so doesn’t that mean I can start running? 

No – and there are a couple of reasons for this.

  1. You should be at least 3 months postnatal before considering returning to running to allow enough time for the pelvic floor and abdominal muscles to heal.
  2. The 6-week postnatal checkup is only about 30 minutes long. In that time, your doctor has a lot to cover and often doesn’t have the time or the specialised training to clear you to return to running.

That is why it is recommended that, in addition to seeing your GP or obstetrician, you also see a women’s health physiotherapist who specialises in pelvic floor assessments.

I had a C-section, so shouldn’t my pelvic floor be fine if I return to running? 

No – before the birth, your body doesn’t know that you are going to have a caesarean, so it will undergo many changes during pregnancy in preparation for birth. For example, there is a gap in your pelvic floor muscles known as the levator hiatus where the urethra, vagina and anal canal pass through. The levator hiatus area widens during pregnancy and takes 4-12 months postnatal to recover, rarely returning to its prenatal size. Although the levator hiatus doesn’t increase significantly as it does after vaginal birth, it will still be wider post caesarean than what it was before pregnancy. If you run with a wider levator hiatus, there is less support for the pelvic organs, predisposing to leaking and prolapse.

After a caesarean, there is also abdominal wound healing to consider. Studies have shown abdominal fascia has only regained 51%-59% of its strength by 6-weeks post caesarean section and 73%-93% of its strength at 6-7 months postnatal.

For these reasons, it is recommended you have an assessment with a women’s health physiotherapist if you wish to return to running, regardless of whether you had a vaginal or caesarean birth.


What is involved in a women’s health postnatal running assessment? 

In the assessment, your women’s health physiotherapist will take a subjective history and identify any risk factors for returning to running. They will then perform an objective examination to check your abdominal function, lower limb strength and how your body copes with load and impact among other things. With your consent, they will also perform an internal examination to check your pelvic floor function and pelvic organ support.

Based on the assessment, your women’s health physiotherapist will prescribe an individualised exercise program to prepare you for running. This may involve exercises to strengthen your pelvic floor and lower limb muscles as well as re-training your pelvic floor to work reflexively like it does when running.


How long does it take to return to running? 

Everybody is different. Some women are ready to return to running at 3 months postnatal, for others it may take up to a year before they are ready. Once you have been cleared to run, your women’s health physiotherapist will also be able to guide your return to running in a gradual way. This will reduce your risk of pelvic floor and musculoskeletal injury and ensure you get the best results from your running. Your women’s health physiotherapist can also recommend other forms of exercise that are best suited to your specific circumstances.

To book your postnatal running assessment with one of our women’s health physiotherapists please call 3358 3915 or visit our website.

Working out at home

The Body Refinery online workout at home

Do you know The Body Refinery Online?

Finding time to fit in exercise can be a challenge. Exercise often takes a back seat to all the other important things we have going on day-to-day.

It’s important to make moving your body a priority, whether it be fitting in a gym session three times a week or taking the time to go for a short walk or for a quick stretch session.  With many people working from home, it’s easy to become more sedentary when there’s no need to walk to the bus or to get lunch.  As a result, we are seeing more and more people suffering from postural ailments, making it more important than ever to keep moving your body to prevent injuries, help ease stress and anxiety.

Upper Body – 6 minutes Workout

For more Pilates and Fitness classes join our online Studio: HERE.
New classes every forthnight.

to a gym or Pilates studio on a regular basis can be difficult, inconvenient, or even daunting.  The Body Refinery Online was created to ensure that everyone has access to quality mat-based Pilates and Strength classes run by our amazing and talented Pilates Instructors, Exercise Physiologists and Physios at any time of the day.

Along with our 45 to 50-minute classes, we have created a series of 15 to 20-minute videos for those who are short on time or who would like to mix and match their workouts.  As a busy mum of two small children, this appeals to me greatly, as I can get a workout done in a short period of time and then get on with my day, feeling energised and uplifted.

All The Body Refinery Online workouts require little-to-no equipment, so there are no excuses not to workout! The Body Refinery Online is also great for those who come to our studio but would also like the flexibility of being able to do an extra stretch session or class from home whenever they like.

Subscribe today and feel the benefits! Visit and join our online community.


Written by Pilates Instructor Emma Hinwood

What is TRX?

what is trx new farm

The Total Resistance Exercise (TRX) system is a unique way of building strength, endurance and overall fitness without having to lift heavy weights or push yourself to exhaustion. The TRX itself is securely attached to an overhead position and allows you to complete a range of upper body, lower body and full body exercises at the intensity you choose, this allows the TRX to be effective in both an individual and group setting.

The TRX first began in the late 1990’s as a creation of a former Navy Seal, the legend says the original prototype consisted of nothing but a Jiu-Jitsu belt and parachute webbing, before being released in its current form for sale in the early 2000’s. It has then risen to become the most popular and widespread of any suspension based exercise system. The system itself is quite simple, two handles suspended securely from a high point allowing the individual to control the intensity of the movement by changing their position in relation to the TRX, using gravity and the user’s body weight.

The versatility of the TRX is one of its main strengths, this is due to the large range of exercises that can be completed, combined with easily being able to change the intensity through increasing or decreasing the leverage of gravity (more and less angled body position) and pace of the exercises. This versatility leads the TRX to be an effective way of reaching many different goals for many different people. From healthy adults seeking general strength and fitness to older adults seeking increased strength and ability and athletes for injury rehabilitation and prevention.

Those seeking general health, fitness and strength benefits will be happy to know that in a study completed by Smith et al. 2016. A group of participants took part in an 8-week TRX program and by the conclusion of the program, it was found that they had improved strength and endurance while also experiencing improvements in their blood pressure, body fat and other cardiovascular disease risk factors.

Though this study was completed on relatively fit adults there are still benefits to TRX based exercise for older adults. In Gaedtke, A., & Morat, T. (2015) a group of older adults aged 60 and over completed a TRX exercise program for 12 weeks, and after this program, they all reported positive effects on their strength, balance and functional ability.

Lastly, an example of TRX in use around athletic populations can be seen in this study where 30 female athletes with Functional Ankle Instability (FAI) took part in a 6-week TRX training program which caused an improvement in strength and proprioception which are both directly related to injury risk (Khorjahani, A. 2021)

Here at The Body Refinery, we utilise the TRX system as part of our services that occur in the gym space, such as Exercise Physiology, Age-ility & Better Bones and Strength & Conditioning. We also hold specific TRX group exercise classes with a maximum of 8 participants where you are guided through a workout that will leave you feeling invigorated and energised. These group classes are run under the supervision of either our trained Pilates Instructors or Exercise Physiologists. Though these classes are fitness-focused and are aimed at those who are relatively fit and healthy, your instructor can also modify the program to your needs if you are recovering from a minor injury or any other minor ache or pain.

In short TRX training whether in a group or individual setting is a great way to build strength and get a sweat up while completing a truly different form of exercise. If this interests you feel free to contact the admin team either by phone (07) 3358 3915 or email (



Smith, L. E., Snow, J., Fargo, J. S., Buchanan, C. A., & Dalleck, L. C. (2016). The acute and chronic health benefits of TRX Suspension Training® in healthy adults. Int J Res Ex Phys, 11(2), 1-15

Gaedtke, A., & Morat, T. (2015). TRX Suspension Training: A New Functional Training Approach for Older Adults – Development, Training Control and Feasibility. International journal of exercise science, 8(3), 224–233.

Khorjahani, Ali & Mirmoezzi, Masoud & Bagheri, Mina & Kalantariyan, Mohammad. (2021). Effects of TRX Suspension Training on Proprioception and Muscle Strength in Female Athletes with Functional Ankle Instability. Asian Journal of Sports Medicine. In Press. 10.5812/asjsm.107042.

Khorjahani, A., Mirmoezzi, M., Bagheri, M., & Kalantariyan, M. (2021). Effects of TRX Suspension Training on Proprioception and Muscle Strength in Female Athletes with Functional Ankle Instability. Asian Journal of Sports Medicine, 12(2), 1D-1D.

Is diversity good in an exercise routine?

Is diversity good in an exercise routine?

If we compare investment portfolios to exercise for a minute, those who are experienced investors always recommend having diverse investment portfolios to get the best returns. Exercise is the same. Diversity matters!

One of the biggest mistakes people make with their exercise program is not including enough variety. Research shows that diversifying your workout routine offers greater payoffs than sticking to the same moves for years on end. That’s because exercise variety maximizes benefits and minimizes obstacles to working out, such as injuries, plateaus and boredom. Diversify your fitness portfolio now and your health will be less likely to disappear in the future. Exercise variety will help decrease your risk of heart disease, arthritis, disability and even some kinds of cancer. In fact, recent data suggest that regularly engaging in a range of physical activities decreases all-cause mortality rates.

Although your optimal balance of aerobic and strength training may vary slightly depending on your age, a good rule of thumb is to strive for equal amounts of the two each week, integrating flexibility exercises into every workout.

The Body Refinery is a traditionally Pilates-based studio but we now provide diversity to our clients which includes a gym for activities such as traditional strength and conditioning, Barre for a great cardio workout, TRX which is a suspension system to tone and strengthen using your own body weight, Yoga, mat-based Pilates and stretch classes.  All of these additions are the perfect complement to your regular Pilates routine.

If you have an existing Fitness or Studio class pack you can trial our other services in our mat room (TRX, Yoga, Barre, Stretch and Release and Mat Pilates) for $10 a class. Get Diversifying!

Improve your athletic performance with Pilates

A body under repetitive strain

We all know that athletes push their bodies to meet their physical goals, whether it be running, swimming, cycling, competing in a triathlon or a marathon, lifting weights or playing competitive sport. These activities can place high demands on the body, particularly related to the frequency of training and competitive events. Such repetitive demands on the body can lead to imbalances in strength, flexibility and agility which can lead to poor movement patterns, causing loss of efficiency and injury.

Ideally, athletes should seek to achieve optimal biomechanics relevant to their sporting pursuits. This will assist in enhancing performance and limiting overuse injuries. In fact, 70-91% of triathlete injuries are caused by overdoing (1).


‘P’ for  – Precision, Performance,  Prevention …. Pilates!

How do we achieve optimal biomechanics? By strengthening and lengthening muscles, maintaining joint mobility, correcting muscular imbalances in the body, improving functional stability and body awareness.

And Pilates is the perfect fit for attaining all these outcomes.

The essence of Pilates is control of body position and awareness of precision in movement. Pilates exercises are designed to lengthen and stabilise major muscle groups and correct muscular imbalances in the body.

With regular Pilates, everyone (athlete or not) can experience improvements in their daily performance (sporting endeavours or daily tasks) and this helps to prevent future pain and injuries from developing.

The elusive ‘core’

We all know we need to improve our ‘core strength’ and ‘stability’ but what does this mean exactly? For athletes such as triathletes, this means a focus on functional dynamic stability. This is the ability of the body to hold itself in better alignment for longer, even under extreme fatigue, maintaining an appropriate posture, responsiveness and efficiency of movement (2).

Exercises such as swimming, cycling and running can place high repetitive loads and demands on areas of the body such as joints, ligaments and muscles. We can attempt to balance these loads by preparing and maintaining the body with Pilates. In fact, a ‘core’ or ‘stability’ regime such as Pilates has often been referred to as the desired ‘fourth discipline’ for triathletes to improve performance and avoid injury.


Pilates to improve your swimming performance

Although swimming is a great full-body exercise, frequent swimming or competing can often result in pain and injuries around the shoulder girdle.

The shoulder joint is innately mobile which allows a greater range of movement but can leave it vulnerable to injury. It is said that 90% of the forward propulsive power of a swim stroke comes from the upper extremities.  This continuous stroke repetition and generation of force places high demands on the shoulder joint, so optimal biomechanics and stability around the shoulder joint are required to avoid injury (3).

The body also needs to maintain alignment in a streamlined nature for optimal swimming biomechanics. Any deviation from this alignment may lead to fatigue and injury (4). For example, a swimmer who does not have adequate abdominal control and strength may show increased hip drop during the breaststroke sequence. This imbalance may consequently reduce the propulsion phase-out of the water, increasing the risk of straining muscles and joints of the neck, shoulder and back.

Regular practice of Pilates will help to improve the system of deep stabilising muscles that support and control joint motion. These muscles include the deep abdominals (transverse abdominis), pelvic floor muscles, deep muscles approximating the spine (multifidus) and deep hip rotators. Without this internal stability system, global muscle groups are required to work harder, which leads to the increased likeliness of fatigue and injury.


Cyclists need Pilates too

Similar to swimming, cycling also involves repetitive movement, which can particularly overload the hips, pelvis and spine. Pilates assists in strengthening the muscles that support the lumbar spine and helps athletes to reduce the amount of excessive movement at the pelvis – reducing shear tension through the lumbar spine.

Gluteal muscle strength and efficiency are also important for maintaining optimal knee alignment when cycling. This helps to reduce the incidence of knee pain and injuries.

Postural conditioning through Pilates is also of paramount importance for cyclists to ensure thoracic spine mobility and strength to assist in maintaining the forward postural position. Cyclists can often be known to develop neck and back pain from holding these positions for prolonged periods without appropriate conditioning.

What about runners?

Of each of these disciplines mentioned, running has the most impact on the joints, ligaments and muscles (1). For triathletes, it is also worth considering the fatigue factor involved, after completing the two previous disciplines of swimming and cycling in a triathlon. A focus on the deep stabilising system of muscles that support and control joints is therefore crucial to reduce the risk of injury and help to maintain running technique, stability and form.

The 6 ways Pilates will benefit your athletic performance

– Improved breath control
– Increased stability or ‘core strength’
– Better sense of balance
– Improved joint flexibility
– Prevention of injury
– Muscle Recovery


How can The Body Refinery help you?

At The Body Refinery, we have a number of services and Health Professionals that can assist you in improving your athletic endeavours. These services include Physiotherapy, Exercise Physiology, Myotherapy, Remedial Massage and Pilates.

Our Pilates services are run by highly skilled and trained Pilates instructors who can tailor a program to suit your needs.

Our Physiotherapists also work with athletes in our Clinical Rehab classes – this service blends traditional Physiotherapy exercises with Pilates informed exercise to provide you with an individualised program to assist with your injuries and performance needs.

Or you may find our refined runner program is what you are after.

Please call our friendly reception team today on 3358 3915 to discuss how we can help you!



  1. Crowell, S., Davis, I (2011). Gait retraining to reduce lower extremity loading in runners. Clin Biomech.  9(3),pp. 78-83
  2. Ezechielli, M (2013). Muscle Strength of the Lumbar Spine in different sports. Technology And Health Care: Official Journal Of The European Society For Engineering And Medicine [Technol Health Care] 2013; Vol. 21 (4), pp. 379-86.
  3. Heinlein, S (2010).  Biomechanical Considerations in the Competitive Swimmer’s Shoulder. Sports Physical therapy. Vol. 2 (6), pp. 519-525
  4. Richardson, A., Jobe, F., Collins , H (1994). The shoulder in competitive swimming. American Journal Sports Medicine