Human Anatomy


Written by Adrian Choy, Exercise Physiologist at Blacktown. Article from August 2018

The Knee Unlocking Muscle

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An odd place that raises eyebrows when experiencing pain in this area is the posterior knee compartment. There are structures in the back of the knee that are frequently associated with posterior knee pain. One of the involved structures is a small muscle called the popliteus. This muscle is triangular in shape and has what is called a ‘reversed orientation’ (1) meaning the muscle belly inserts distally and the tendon originates proximally.

Issues may arise when the popliteus lacks the mechanism of ‘unlocking’ the knee joint.

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How Incorrect Breathing Contributes to Neck Pain

Written by Demi Ljilja, Exercise Physiologist at Campbeltown. Article from July 2018

How incorrect breathing contributes to neck pain


Causes of Neck Pain 

Incorrect breathing is not the primary nor the only cause of neck pain and bad posture. There are many other factors such as muscular imbalance, biomechanical alignment, muscular tightness, mobility and movement proficiency that account for and contribute towards neck pain to a greater extent. All these factors need to be addressed prior to primarily focusing on breathing.

So what is the correct way to breathe at rest, during activity/exercise?

The correct way is by using the diaphragm during inhalation and exhalation, called diaphragmic breathing.

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The Great Glute Max & Lower Back Pain

Written by Adrian Choy, Exercise Physiologist at Blacktown. Article from July 2018.

The Great Glute Max & Lower Back Pain


Lower Back Pain

I often hear lower back pain (LBP) being a common and repetitive problem reported by many that walk through the clinic doors. LBP has been well documented clinically as a cause of high pain levels and function loss. A major joint of the lower back is the sacroiliac joint (SIJ). This joint, if compromised, can result in debilitating pain for many humans today who lead either sedentary or active lifestyles. During weight-bearing activities, the SIJ provides the link between the trunk and lower limbs for ground reaction forces.

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Bowel Cancer & Exercise

Written by Sussanah Keppo, Exercise Physiologist at Croydon Park. Article from July 2018

Bowel Cancer & Exercise

Exercise for the Aging Population 2

Bowel cancer is the second most common cancer in Australia. It is associated with being a lifestyle condition, where modifiable risk factors are a definite way to decrease the risk. 

Some of the risk factors for bowel cancer include:

  • Sedentary Behavior
  • Smoking
  • Alcohol
  • Excess body fat

Exercise for all cancer is found to be the beginning of a vital therapy to improve immunity and promote cancer-fighting cells. Additionally, exercise can also aid with managing the side effects of various cancer treatments. The research states that it is clear that some activity is better than none and more activity is better than less (Hayes, Spence, Galvao, Newton 2009).

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Neuromuscular Control And Knee Health

Written by Hamish Hall, Exercise Physiologist at Sylvania. Article from June 2018

Neuromuscular Control and Knee Health

knee article

Strength and balance training for improved knee health

The tibiofemoral joint (knee) often becomes arthritic due to wear and tear of the cartilage, and clients often ask what I can do to improve this. I always tell my clients that improving the strength of the surrounding musculature and improving the neuromuscular control of the knee through balance training will significantly improve their knee health by providing support throughout a variety of movements.

What is neuromuscular control?

Neuromuscular control involves the body’s ability to contract the correct muscles during movements to provide stabilisation; this is done through the proprioceptive system.  

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How To Train Your Core Functionally & Effectively

Written by Gabriel Pisanu, Studio Manager at Croydon Park. Article from June 2018

How To Train Your Core Functionally & Effectively

the core

At Optimum, we consider the core pretty much anything that attaches to your pelvis. That is a large plethora of muscles ranging from your Rectus Abdominis (6-pack) to your hamstrings.  I quite often see people in commercial gyms performing exercises such as planks, crunches and sit-ups to train the “core”. These are not always the best way to attain the greatest functional benefit from this crucial network of muscles which have the role of stabilising the spine, maintaining posture, improving performance and reducing the risk of injury.

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Think Of Balance As A Muscle

Written by Michael Zajc, Exercise Physiologist at Croydon Park. Article from June 2018

Think Of Balance as a Muscle


Did you know, not being able to hold your balance on one foot for longer than 5 seconds greatly increases your risk of falls. There are many senses and processes that begin to decrease as people begin to age. One very notable loss as we age is our ability to balance and control where we are in space. Balance is an essential part of our day to day lives and plays an important role in allowing us to live life to the fullest and with confidence.

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The Importance Of The ‘Glute Med’

Written by Brian Castro, Exercise Physiologist Student at ACU. Article from May 2018

The Importance Of The 'Glute Med'

glute med

If someone asked me to list the 5 most important skeletal muscles for joint injury prevention and for everyday function, the gluteus medius, also referred to as the ‘glute med’ would definitely be on that list. We usually hear the terms ‘glutes’ and ‘glute max’ but how often do we hear the term ‘glute med?’ Not very often. The glute med is generally neglected in typical exercise programs, therefore we need to understand its importance. Let’s start with its function.

The glute med is one part of the three gluteal muscles.

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Managing Your Lower Back Pain

Written by Susannah Keppo, Exercise Physiologist at Croydon Park. Article from May 2018

Mindful Tips On Managing Lower Back Pain

lower back pain

There has been much research into lower back pain and the best ways to manage it. This ranges from medications, therapy, heat packs through to surgery and other extreme measures. I believe the longer someone has been experiencing this pain (especially with unsuccessful interventions) the more likely that person is to fixate on this pain and withdraw from work and normal daily activities, ultimately letting the pain dictate one's overall quality of life. There is research looking into chronic pain and its psychological components.

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PFPS – Not Just Another Acronym

Written by Tess Hawkins, Optimum Exercise Physiologist. Article from April 2018

PFPS - Not Just Another Acronym

knee pain

Have you ever had pain at the front of your knee? Did it progressively get worse over time? You might have had patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS). Research suggests that one in four people will experience PFPS at some stage of their life. It first presents as a dull ache, however, over time it gradually appears earlier inactivity and becomes more severe.

What is PFPS?

PFPS is a common overuse injury affecting knee function. It is a fancy term to describe the kneecap being pulled to the outside of the knee presenting as pain or discomfort.

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