If you learn to move well and understand your body, the effects can be dramatic and life-enhancing. Susan Harker explains…
Specialising in corrective exercise and Pilates, Brook Green resident Susan Harker has developed a thriving practice based at Hammersmith’s Novotel London West Hotel. Susan passionately believes that movement is integral to good health – posture, core strength, toning, flexibility – and achieving a better quality of life.
Whether for daily aches and pains or to treat a specific injury or problem, Susan tailors her scientifically-based training programmes to the individual needs of each client. Here she describes
the positive impact of corrective exercise on the lives of two of her ‘regulars’, Betsy and Victoria.
Case Study No. 1: Betsy
‘When I met Betsy, she was suffering from lower back and hip pain, sciatica and had undergone a partial knee replacement. Betsy is the primary carer for her partner; she has to assist him with all sorts of tasks and this puts great demands on her body and, in particular, her back.
I created a practical programme that used corrective movement patterns to strengthen Betsy’s core and enhance her posture and flexibility. This, in turn, made her feel more confident about her balance and coordination when helping her partner.
As a result of our work Betsy has become ‘body aware’; she knows how to manage her weaknesses and which exercises to use to fix any niggles. She has trained with me for 12 years and, aged 76,
she says that she ‘jumps out of bed without hesitation’ and ‘feels strong and physically well.’ The transformation has been amazing.’
Case Study No. 2: Victoria
‘Getting fit is never easy but with a baby to look after, it can seem a distant goal. When I met Victoria her son was just eight months old and she was about to resume her highpressure City career.
Victoria was feeling stiff and suffering from back pain. She had clearly defined goals which were, in essence, to get back to moving freely and doing all the things she loved. With limited free time, we trained at her home. Firstly, using my holistic training, I assessed Victoria’s lifestyle; this was essential if I was to understand the full picture and design an effective training regime.
The programme I devised was straightforward and used Pilates core strengthening exercises to relieve Victoria’s back pain and then, with time and consistent work, to improve her flexibility, toning, strength, posture and allround fitness. She says that she is now ‘back in the game’ and relishing challenging herself further.’
Movement For Life
Novotel West London Hotel
1 Shortlands, W6 8DR