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With Jemma Donald at Absolute Physiotherapy

How did first become aware of StickMobility?

In 2017 I attended Therapy expo and stumbled across a demonstration at the RockTape stand. Stood at the sides watching willing participants moving with these big orange sticks I knew instantly I wanted to know more.

What stick Mobility courses have you done?

In a bid to learn more I attended the one day workshop where I got to learn the fundamentals and start my journey of stick obsession! Once home with my three sticks I set to work on exploring the endless possibilities of exercises that can be utilised with StickMobility and I was quickly using them with Clients in our Private physiotherapy clinic. Other Physiotherapists within the clinic could also see the benefits of these Sticks and when  the certified instructors course came out, myself and another colleague Helen quickly booked on to gain greater depth of knowledge on how to teach this mobility training system.

In general how do you balance your working week as a Physiotherapist and how do Sticks fit into this?

We run a busy Sports Physiotherapy clinic where we see a huge variety of musculoskeletal conditions from sporting injuries in the professional and amateur athletes to general degenerative conditions in the older populations. We have found Stick mobility to be of huge benefit to all of what we see. Most conditions require exercises to help increase range of motion or build control and strength through movement patterns and the Sticks do all this and are importantly fun to do with patients feeling the instant effects of core activation. For those patients wanting to progress further with their StickMobility we offer Physiotherapy led StickMobility classes of which we have 10 running weekly.

To help others wishing to do the same, how did you set up you first StickMobility Class and can you remember how it went?

After I did the StickMobility workshop and gained increased confidence with the Stick, I bought 10 sticks and set up my first class. At that time there was no Certified instructors’ course so I literally jumped straight in using my knowledge base from being a Pilates instructor. Due to my lack of experience I asked for willing volunteers to participate in a 5 week block of free StickMobility in return for constructive feedback. In an attempt to get as much constructive feedback as possible  I targeted a variety of participants from personal trainers, Yoga instructors to clients from the physio clinic. The first class went amazingly well and feedback was much like it is today with people saying “ it wasn’t what I expected!” “ its harder than I expected!” “ I love it!” The class structure is much like it is now with a warm up, strength section, partner work and deep fascial stretching to finish.  I like to have a particular target area to focus on each week and use mobility screening to occasionally assess progress. Since starting classes we have done over 100 classes and none have been the same and I think this is why it is such fun to teach. Your imagination is literally your limitation as the possibilities are endless with these Sticks!

Your stick Mobility classes are growing in popularity in your local area, what feedback do you get regarding the classes what do people like about them?

The feedback is super positive. This is some of the feedback we have got from our clients:

“ its like having a weekly Physiotherapy session”

“ really enjoy it, love doing something different every week”

“ I really enjoy learning about each movement and how it helps improve my mobility”

“ the partner work  is good fun and I’m feeling muscles I never knew I had”

“ I have increased drive and power in my racket arm”

“ I feel generally stronger and more stable when I’m running”

“ I have had no sciatica since starting StickMobility…thank you so much!”

In general we get  a lot of feedback saying how they can feel the core activating without even thinking about it through using the Stick to irradiate the tissues. We also see people that struggle to move because of pain finding they can move better whilst using the stick through the act of the stick providing stability from which to control the body’s movement.

Can you give readers any further advice on setting up and promoting StickMobility classes?

Stickmobility is still unknown to a lot of the general population and because of this it does take time and effort to build it up. Word of mouth is your most effective way of marketing your class. Try get involved in fitness festivals in your local area or offer to do a few Free taster sessions. Target Free tasters with other fitness professionals or therapists so that they  can potentially recommend your class.  Be sure to take plenty of videos and pictures and use these to generate interest on social media. Stickmobility is visually very interesting and because its so different there is a natural curiosity about it.

We set the class up in a circle with the instructor in the middle.  We find that this way they can all see the instructor and we can see them. A maximum of 10-12 is in each class so that we can make sure that everyone gets the most from their session.  The Over 60s Class has a maximum of 6 as these often require more time and scaling due to co-morbidities.

What is your favourite StickMobility move and why?

This so difficult to answer as there are so many favourites!! However, if I was forced to name one then it would have to be the Ninja Lunge. The reason for this is it can be broken down into lots of parts to either focus on strengthening and mobilising just the shoulder complex and thoracic spine or you can take it further to strengthen and mobilise the ankles, hips, legs and core too.