Fun with Functional Movement
Michael on a bike

Michael Jephcott – Functional Movement Expert

Michael Jephcott is a Myotherapist, Sports Massage Therapist and Personal Trainer, and he is more than a little obsessed with Functional Movement.

Functional Movement is the ability to move the body with proper muscle and joint function for effortless, pain-free movement.

Join us in our series of blog posts where Michael attempts to explain how important it is to be able to move properly.


Can You Touch Your Toes?

Being able to touch your toes is a natural pattern we possess as humans.  It enables us greater potential to move better, though unfortunately it is easily lost.

Here, I’ll show you a quick fix that helps you to regain this pattern. It involves tricking the nervous system into changing the neurological pattern. You’re basically pulling the wool over your bodies’ eyes.

You’ll get better results if you’re warm to start with, so go for a walk or spin on a bike.

First, try and see how far you get when you try to touch your toes.  This will give you a good basis for comparison later on.

Feet together.  Hands overhead.  Breath in through your nose.  On the way down, breathe out through the mouth.

Then measure your range.  How did you go?


First Toe Touch

How far down can you get?


Now, all you need is a plank of wood and a towel. Roll the towel up and place it between your knees and squeeze it.

Go on the board with your feet up. Feet together.

Stand up straight, arms up, and breathe in.  As you breathe out, bend down to touch your toes.  Once you get to the first point of stretch in your hamstrings, squeeze the towel with you knees really hard, and you’ll go a little further.

After that, bend with the knees to cheat, so you’re touching your toes.

Repeat 10 times



Do exactly the same thing with your heels elevated.  Repeat 10 times.

Get off, on a flat surface, get rid of towel, and retest.  You’ll see how much further you’ll get.



Do this once a day and eventually you’ll be able to touch your toes.


If you think  you’d benefit from having a functional movement screen with Michael, call us on 03 99391133 or click here to book online

April 21, 2017

When ASADA comes calling


Everyone knows about doping in sports.  Professional sportspeople are tested regularly by anti-doping authorities ASADA to make sure they’re not taking performance-enhancing drugs.  The rules are strict and the penalties are severe.

But what about amateur athletes?  If you’re a trainee triathlete or a pre-pro performer, when you compete in an event you might be bound to the same rules as the guys that are paid the big bucks.  Here, age-group competitor Renee Kiley tells us about the night that the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority came calling.

“On the 19th December 2016, I got a knock at the door around 8pm, which is about an hour before my usual bedtime so I thought it was slightly odd. I took my dog with me to the door so I would have an excuse to shoo off what I thought was going to be telemarketers.

When I opened the door, I was greeted with two very serious faces in matching uniforms. “Hello, is Renee Kiley available please?”

Definitely not telemarketers, but at that point I still wasn’t sure who it was. I left them waiting out on the front porch while I excused myself and put my dog outside. When I returned one of them said, “We are from ASADA, Renee, are you happy for us to come in?”

ASADA, ASADA who were ASADA again? I knew the name sounded familiar but couldn’t think under pressure. I must have looked pretty silly standing there blankly. After what seemed like minutes of silence I remembered exactly who ASADA was, and said out loud, “Oh wow, ASADA, yes wow of course you can come in.”

I think my heart rate immediately rose to about 200bpm.

I rambled the whole way down the hallway making small talk and nervously laughing, trying to make conversation. I was carrying on, saying it had been months since my last race and that I was injured and was currently so out of shape (like it mattered!)

I was extremely anxious. But not because I was concerned that I was doing the wrong thing. I’m the type of person who gets nervous when I’m approaching an RBT even if I haven’t had an alcoholic drink for 3 months.

The ASADA representatives were also very serious which wasn’t helping.

I kept repeating how nervous I was while they sat me down in the lounge room and started filling out paperwork. I cursed myself about the way that I must be coming across to them. I was getting more overwhelmed and I’d correct myself and explain it wasn’t because I was taking anything – I’d just never been through this process before. I can’t imagine what they must have been thinking.

Renee Kiley

Triathlete Renee Kiley

They explained what was going to happen and how long it would take. I was required to give a urine sample and that the female ASADA representative would be coming to the bathroom with me and would need to be able to see the urine stream the whole time for the test to be considered correctly completed. They asked me a series of questions, mostly in relation to my understanding of what was happening, but they also asked me who my coach was and whether I had had any medical procedures etc within the last week or so.

Then they asked me what supplements I took. I started naming them but I kept going blank. I was so nervous so I ended up going to the kitchen and gathered my supplements up in my arms. I took them all into the lounge room and they wrote them down one by one. I think this part of the process made me stress a little bit. I hadn’t really given my supplements much thought before – they are all quite common and basic stuff. But I started remembering stories and recent Facebook posts about contamination, and the gravity of the situation really hit home.

Once we completed the paperwork, we went to the bathroom and of course it took me ages to be able to “go”. The ASADA lady was great. She explained she was a nurse and had seen it all before, and even turned taps on and off helping the “process” along.

Once the sample was provided I had to put it into two separate containers so there was an A and B sample. The ASADA representatives explained that I was the only one allowed to handle the sample and they constantly asked me to hold the bottles up to the light and check I was ok with the condition of all the instruments used during the test.

Once the samples were bottled up they had me tighten the lids until they locked and explained that only machines were able to open them now. They completed their paperwork, had me sign a couple of forms and declarations and they gave me a copy to keep.

I asked how long it took to get the results and they explained generally it was a 2-3 week turnaround but because it was now the Christmas holiday period it could take 4-6 weeks. They also advised that I would only hear anything if I received a positive test result and that I would get a letter in the mail.

No news is good news apparently!

I mentally calculated in my head that I would feel at ease by the first week in February. That seemed so far away – happy holidays…

The whole thing took about 45 minutes. In the following days I went to the ASADA website and checked my supplements about 17 times. I cursed myself repeatedly for not being more cautious and serious about checking them before I took them. They are all very basic though, things like protein powder, fish oil, BCAA’s, and magnesium, but it has been proven of late particularly with contamination concerns that you can never be too careful.

Renee Kiley and Michael

Renee with Fluid Myotherapist Michael Jephcott

For me, this was a huge eye opener. And a great wake up call. It has definitely made me super-conscious of what I’m putting in my mouth and who is manufacturing these products. And I have to admit I am now much more curious about companies that put their nutrition products through independent testing before they package them up to sell.

With two more athletes testing positive in the last week and now facing bans which will affect their career forever it has never been more apparent that we need to be incredibly diligent in our choices in regards to both supplements and sports/racing/training nutrition.

Are you in training? See our Sports Recovery Centre here:

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Lauretta on a hill

How long is a marathon?  When I started this journey, I had no idea how long an actual marathon was.  Oh sure, I technically knew how long a marathon was.  It’s 42 kilometres.

Lauretta Hignett

I’m pretty darn airy-fairy.

But I never really understood how long it actually was, when you’re trying to cover that distance with your jaunty-trotting feet.  I was just all up in my airy-fairy head, thinking “oh, running a marathon sounds like a good goal, it’s pretty far, it will be quite hard, I should set myself a challenge and go ahead and do that.”

My head is a nice place to live sometimes, because I am INSANELY naive.

A marathon is huge.  It’s not just huge – it’s fair to say that running a marathon is DAMN NEAR IMPOSSIBLE.  When I started, I could barely run three kilometres without wanting to die, then dig up my own corpse and kill myself for trying to run in the first place.  But everyone reassured me, if I trained properly, if I kept it up and I built up slowly, then I could do it.

I understand now why the people that I spoke to about it that weren’t fitness nuts just looked at me like I’m crazy.

Because it’s hard.

And I understand why the fit people were all serious and encouraging about it.

Because it IS serious and you need SERIOUS ENCOURAGEMENT.

It’s been a rough month…

This month was very grim starting out.  I had a few minor niggles that prevented me from running for very long – an old ankle flare-up, and a weird hip problem that I get from lugging my hefty two-year-old daughter around.

So I could only train in fits and starts, and I wasn’t running any more than 6 kilometres at a time.  And then, because I obviously wasn’t working hard enough anyway, I decided to take a holiday to visit my family in New Zealand.

Or, what I thought would be a holiday, maybe punctuated by a couple of short runs, just to keep my legs in condition.  Little did I know I was about to fall into the clutches of an exercise sadist.


My sister Verity

My sister Verity knew about the marathon training and, trying to be helpful, she entered me into a 6.7 kilometre fun-run, which was due to start about half an hour after I landed in New Zealand.

That’s right, I was supposed to run a race, after two airports and four hours on a plane with a couple of toddlers who used me as a climbing frame the whole time.

As it turns out, it was quite nice.  I fronted up to the start line expecting to die, but the terrible circumstances of the day actually worked out in my favour.

Until that moment, I’d spent the whole day sitting on my bum, so to be on my feet and pounding forward felt amazing.  I’d had hours of toddler-wrangling and barely had a moment without a tiny body crushing my own, so to run free, unimpeded, was heaven.  I’d spent the best part of the day answering ‘why’ questions and singing nursery rhymes, so to listen to Beyonce loudly extorting me to Get In Formation was just exhilarating.

I enjoyed it, I ran the whole way and I felt like I could have easily kept on going.

Lauretta Race

I ran a race and didn’t die

And the fitness just keeps coming

Because of the whole marathon-training thing, my sadist sister was under the impression that I am a Very Fit And Active Person, so she roped me in to doing her latest fitness craze with her, which is climbing enormous mountains.

Fast.  Actually running up them.

I guess you could describe it as trail running, but it was practically trail climbing.  It was Cardio City.  And I HATE cardio.

The last one we did was 5.6km up 800 metre elevation, and it was tough.  Luckily for me, after a few days of forcing me to do climb after climb, Verity fell off her roof while trying to clear the gutters during a storm and got pretty banged up, so I got a couple of days break.

But I guess I got something out of it, because once I got home and started to train again, something weird happened.

The Lazy Girl finds her sweet spot

I don’t hate running anymore.

It could be all the cardio that the exercise sadist made me do.

It could also be because I’ve found the perfect time of the day for me to run.  Before, I was trying to drag myself out of bed at 6am to do it, which was horrendous.  I’m not an early morning person. I can get up if I have to, but the idea of going for a big run in the morning, then doing a big full day of toddler-wrangling was like signing up for a full day of torture.

SunsetNow, I go for a run as soon as I’ve put the kids to bed at 7pm (or what I’ve come to know as FREEDOM PM).

The thrill of being able to run out the door as soon as I’m done being a child-servant is addicting.

And I love running at night.  The twilight is as beautiful to me as the sunrise is to all those mental fitness-nut earlybirds.  The dark of night is exciting and otherworldly.  And yes, I stick to the tourist spots around the beach where there’s tons of people around, so I’m not worried about my safety.

I’ve found my sweet spot, and I had no trouble doing my first 10 kilometre training run last Saturday.  It wasn’t that hard.  It can only get better from here.

Next issue:  Who Wants To See a Photo of my Thigh Chafe? 

See more of the marathon journey here