Fitr Training's remote coaching software is so diverse that PT's aren't the only ones discovering that our program delivery is a must for their business. The wider health industry, including areas such as rehab, are finding the features of Fitr Training an essential and simple way to deliver their kind of programming. We catch up with rehab specialist Movement NI to find out how Fitr Training is helping her business succeed.
August 24, 2020
Fitr Training is well known for delivering premium remote fitness programming but did you know that our software is also utilised for delivering a range of health programs?
We caught up with Gail McComiskey from Movement NI who uses the software to deliver all her rehabilitation programs.
Tell us a little bit about yourself?
I am 41, I am married with 2 children, Jack (7) and Molly (4 going on 24!). I am originally from Scotland and I moved to Northern Ireland 12 years ago after travelling for a few years.
I have played some kind of sport pretty much all of my life including Rugby, Swimming, Hockey, CrossFit and more recently Strongwoman. I am fortunate enough to have played rugby for Scotland as well as some regional comps in CrossFit, so I have a pretty good idea of what it takes to succeed in sport.
It's great to have this experience but I only wish that my knowledge about recovery and training smart, knowing when to go hard and when to ease off is something I had when I was younger but I’m certainly able to use it now to help my clients now, so it’s still worth it!
How did you come to set up Movement Matters NI?
I originally trained as a Nurse specialising in A+E with a special interest in Minor injury management. An opportunity arose to work with a sports teams in Glasgow as pitch side support during games and for weekly injury clinics alongside the physios, so this sparked my interest in sports injury treatment and prevention.
Having a short career break around 15 years ago allowed me to gain qualifications in PT and sport massage therapies, initially I did massage here and there, on family and friends mostly, which progressed to working one evening a week when we first moved to Northern Ireland, until I was able to get a Nursing role. This was the first version of my therapy business it was called GM massage therapies, which seems so long ago now!
Eventually I decided to take the plunge and I stopped Nursing as my main career to focus on sports therapy around 7 years ago and boom Movement Matters NI began! Since then I have developed my practice into a sports therapist using manual therapies alongside movement and rehabilitation strategies to help people recover and return to function and performance in life and in sport.
When it comes to sports injuries what is the most common mistake people make?
I think the most common issue is when people don’t do anything, either working through or completely resting pain, it feels better for a while, but pain returns when they go straight back to normal training. This cycle continues until there is a more significant issue, but a lot of injuries can be prevented. Through assessment we can see fundamental movement issues or limitations, but even when there is pain or injury addressing underlying issues and following a structured and progressive rehabilitation programme can help to not only treat the injury but address the underlying issues. Unfortunately a lot of people get impatient and miss steps and get re-injured or end up with compensations leading to further injury in the long term.
You provide hands on treatment as well as movement strengthening plans - how do you deliver these to clients?
In an initial assessment I take a detailed history not only of the presenting issue but of lifestyle, work, sport and I try to build a picture of what the person does on a day to day basis.
Details like how long the pain has been there, even injuries from years ago or sports people played at school can have a bearing on how I will advise them.
I will usually then do an assessment, looking at what causes pain, any imbalances, always thinking not just about the site of the pain but looking at the whole body to address underlying issues.
All of this information will allow me to provide the most appropriate hands on treatment but more importantly will help me build a plan to advise the person on specific exercises to work towards recovery, the homework is the most important aspect of recovery.
Manual therapies can help but an effective recovery plan or specific mobility routine is the most important part of a lasting recovery strategy. I don’t have a magic wand but I guide people through the process, but they need to do most of the work!
Before you discovered Fitr Training how did you deliver your programs?
When I started out I would just show and explain some exercises to people and naively think they would remember how to do them right or do them at all! I soon discovered people would come back and say they had done the exercises and I'd ask them to show me, half would then squirm and admit they actually hadn’t and the others would show me something vaguely resembling what we had done in the previous session.
So there were degrees of success in rehab, at this point I should say that rehab is really about what the athlete does more than the therapist. I can explain and show and write the best programme in the world but if the athlete doesn’t buy into the process and doesn’t do the work, success is going to be limited.
I realised I needed something more tangible, so I tried handouts, which helped with some basic stuff, I had a selection of the most common exercises I would use for the more common complaints I saw, but this was quite limited as I like to be a bit more creative and help people progress their rehab.
I quickly found myself needing more and more handouts as I wanted to make each person’s rehab personal. Don’t get me wrong there are a solid bank of exercises that work well for different injuries but I think rehab can be more interesting so people don’t get bored and progress rather than doing the same thing for 12+ weeks. The best rehab exercise is the one that gets done!
What do you find the most useful feature in Fitr Training?
I think the ability to attach videos to the programmes is amazing, I can use videos I find online for more basic things, but I can also add a video of me talking through a more complex exercise.
I will often take an exercise and video from the most basic version of that through to the more complex version with the aim that each week or every couple of weeks the athlete will progress as they get stronger.
This makes life so much easier especially if I don’t need to see the client face to face every week or if they live far away I can still get the message across. The athlete can also send me back videos so I know they are doing the right thing. I will also attach written instructions to help remind the client of what we went over in our sessions.
How do your clients find the new way to access their rehabilitation programs?
Most clients find using Fitr Training very straight forward, it helps them to remember the exercises we have discussed in the session which means they don’t forget how to do them or how many, how often they should be doing them.
You are also a coach do you blend the two elements together on Fitr Training
Being a coach and a therapist, I feel gives me an ability to both provide rehab treatments and advice as well as being able to provide a program the client can carry out in the gym working around the injury they have.
A lot of coaches are not aware how to rehab injuries and a lot of therapists are not able to programme in the gym. Working with athletes is my passion (athletes to me are anyone who trains, from professionals to those who just enjoy their time in the gym.) I love to help people perform to the best of their ability, and I feel there is a blend of therapy and coaching which allows those with injuries and pain to continue to train. If I use myself as an example, I had surgery just over a year ago on my arm for a ruptured tendon, I was still in the gym training my legs, gradually building up the intensity and complexity as I was able to alongside my rehab plan.
Can you give an example of a program you provide?
Every programme is individualised for the client and their own specific goals with consideration to their injury. I think what I am able to do well is bridge the gap between the rehab process and provide support to facilitate people who wish to continue training through injury.
Rehab is training in the presence of injury, there is usually plenty of work that can be done around an injury, I feel confident I can provide programmes to bridge the gap between injury and return to full capacity where athletes can return to their regular training regime, that could be anything from 2 weeks to 6 months or just however long it takes.
An example of this could be a client who recently had surgery on their arm, I am providing them with rehab for their injury and also giving training to do in the gym that they can safely do with their injury, there is nothing wrong with their legs! So a balanced programme can allow them to maintain a level of conditioning and gradually we will increase the intensity and start to bring in the arm when we can.
What way would you like to see Movement Matters grow in the future and how can Fitr Training help?
I would like to continue to promote my unique position in providing rehab and coaching combined programmes, my aim is to work with coaches to help them get their athletes back to full function as soon as they can and in better condition!
Developing relationships with coaches in Northern Ireland or maybe even beyond we can use Fitr to provide combined programs to ensure an effective rehab and coaching programme is provided. The rehab process is a gradual one which should be adapted to each individual using my expertise along with the skills of the client’s own coach to ensure they get the best programme possible.
Check out Gail on instagram
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