Updated: Jul 10
Farming can have quite an effect on the body both good and bad. With many long days of physical activity outdoors, many would see it as a perfect representation of the human body. But as with many things in life these jobs are acted out repetitively in the same position, add in some heavy animals/equipment etc. and things can get painful. We hav'nt even mentioned the missed recovery time you would expect from such physicalities!
Long hours of physical farming
Pain caused year on year when sheering.
The aims increase energy- feel fitter- be able to sheer pain free, so that the rest of the summer wasnt in pain.
Move More and Group PT
Natural and functional movement builds up strength, creates awareness in the body and frees up "blockages" to help reduce or even eradicate pain.
First of all a group PT was arranged all members of varying ability and goals, but in a small number of 4 it was easy to make sure all where seeing benefit, and early on it was very much to move better so that more could be accomplished.
1st looking at quality,
3rd intensity either through weight or complexity for strength or speed/reps/time for fitness, weight loss etc.
This developed into coming to a MoveMore class as well increasing from PT and take home exercises into now 2 sessions both including varying intesities and the skills to recover from the dailly physicalities of farming.
MoveMore is a group exercise class, the main function is to perform natural and functional movements at varying intensities. It also includes warm ups to mobilise and engage the body. Some skill work to switch on the connections between the body and brain, then definitly some time to stretch and return into a state of rest and digest (recovery).
So with these things in action for 3 months Thomas succeeded in his mission to complete a pain free sheering season, feeling much stronger as he sheered through a surprising amount of sheep/day (from a laymans perspective).
Thomas carried on with the classes after the season feeling fitter and stronger in his farming life.
Why Not Just Stretching
Although stretching after a hard day of physical work should definitly be advised stacked with some simple 4sec in 6sec out breathing if for no other reason than to start the body to relax (Chronic stress of any kind creates problems). To farm you need to be strong and resilient, and yes I agree the best way to become anything is to do the thing, to farm stronger, you need to farm stronger. But any athlete, professional, amateur or a person in a physical job needs to make sure the body can cope with that, and balance the repetitive positions. Building Glute (butt) and hamstring strength to support the back. Upper back and postural strength to be able to go in and out of different positions pain free. Twisting and reactive strength to 1. perform better and 2. cope with unexpected happenings from animals that naturally twist, kick and jump.
I believe we where born to......
Run, Jump, climb, throw, carry.....
and we are but not without some help. As we age we need to make sure we keep getting that help and sometimes more, but anything you hav'nt done for a while you need to make sure you prepare the best you can for it, this goes extra if you have had any pain.
Check out the page www.bowlandfitness.com/farmingstrongerforlonger
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLOA-YRxfsSE7lzBY3tRK2x1gibbwCSxfj for video exercises
www.bowlandfitness.com/classes for classes
And look out for the Farming Stronger For Longer Leaflet at the Field Nurses stands at this years Shows, and at various Auctions in Pennine Lancs and Yorkshire