Book Yourself in for an MOT

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After years of smashing HIIT classes and pounding pavements, is it finally time to take your beaten up banger to the garage? Yes, an MOT service for the body actually exists and you might want to take it down a gear…

I’ll never forget my exchange with a top yoga guru who likened my frame to a “beaten up banger” that was in need of a serious trip to the garage. After years of subjecting my knees to punishing HIIT classes and marathons, while spending my days hunched over a laptop, I guess you could say he had a point. But it was only after spotting a regular pattern of holes in my shoes and a recurring niggle in my left IT band that prompted me to take action.

It was time to book myself in for an MOT. Yes, a garage for beaten up bangers actually exists but here steering and suspension checks come in the form of functional movement training and gait analysis.

I pull up to Ten Health & Fitness Notting Hill on Exmoor Street where I meet with Cheyne Voss, Head of Physiotherapy at Ten and the go-to physio of top athletes, actors and models from household names to Hollywood stars.

I bet they wouldn’t turn up to a gait analysis appointment with stinky, hole ridden trainers. Little did I know, not only would I would be taking them off but that Cheyne would be manhandling them to assess the issue. I’m horrified as I see him fighting the urge to open a window as we reach the even more glamorous topic of bunions. Thank god I at least managed a pedicure.

After an in-depth examination (testament to his dedication), Cheyne pops me on a treadmill to analyse my running style. He sets the speed at 174 BPM and takes a slow motion video on his iPhone to analyse my posture and form. At this speed we can see that I’m stooping slightly, my feet are rolling inwards and as a result, scuffing. But when we ramp up to 180 BPM my posture is more upright and my feet face forwards.

His advice? Run shorter distances at this speed and use Spotify playlists to stick to a beat. This sends me on a trip down memory lane, rediscovering old tracks like Christina Aguilera’s Fighter.

As for the ITB Friction syndrome (or “runner’s knee” to you and I), this is down to the weakness of my gluteus medius that can be counteracted with hip and glute strengthening exercises like “the Clam” using resistance band work and Glute Med Wall squats. A game changer.

We finish with some foam rolling but contrary to what i’d been told in the past, Cheyne advises that I do not roll directly on the IT band but on the front corner, bottom of thigh (lateral quads) and front corner and top of thigh (TFL).

As one of only five McKenzie Credentialed Therapists in London, a highly regarded and scientifically established spinal assessment and treatment technique, it’s no wonder this man is in such demand.

Having tried almost every sport going from running and cycling to triathlons, golf, cricket and tennis, he’s in a good position to understand the demands placed on the body under almost all conditions, as well as the pressures and importance of recovering to full fitness as soon as possible. The reason why he’s now become my go-to physio for every ache and strain. I practically have him on speed dial.

Ten’s Body MOT service is great for anyone who has a recurring injury or niggle, or is thinking of taking up a new sport. It’s also a good way to check for any underlying issues or predisposition to injury, whether as part of your lifestyle, your work set-up, or from some underlying postural or imbalance.

Think of it like a prehabiltative approach to fitness. Preventative maintenance for your body to keep you stronger, healthier, moving better, and pain and injury-free for longer.

A standard Body MOT lasts 90 minutes and costs £120. You can also book a 60 minute Body MOT when you purchase a Move Better Block, which also gets you a block of 5 classes and a 60 minute Sports Massage for £245. Book here.

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