Preventative Maintenance

I have been seeing a chiropractor every week for 9 weeks straight. I initially went at my dad’s wishes as he is concerned that the amount of training I am doing will have a long term impact on my health (i.e. I will be debilitated by the time I am his age!). My initial consultant with the chiro was brilliant – he did kinesiology testing, and through simple ‘strength’ tests it was clearly evident I had an issue with my left hip (which had been developing quite a severe pain over the months, but like most triathletes, I hadn’t done anything about it). Tests included, for example, standing on one leg, and with one arm outreached, pushing up against his hand. Standing on the right leg I was strong, standing on the left leg I couldn’t push. We discussed the issue and it became apparent that the bike accident I had in February 2013 had caused damage (as I must have landed on my left hip), but my body had been compensating for it, which it can do for only so long. After about 9 months my body could no longer cover the issue and the pain had developed quite badly. From the testing I saw value in what he had to offer and have been every week since.

The pain has faded but isn’t gone. He has instructed me that during the week I should “stretch, get a massage and do Pilates”. I am yet to receive any help on specific stretches or exercises that will aid my rehabilitation. I am currently paying $65 a week to see him, to add on massage ($90) and Pilates ($40) simply isn’t an option.

Instead, I met with Amber from First Wave Fitness. Amber is a personal trainer who specializes in preventative maintenance, and as a triathlete, particularly understands the muscles I use – and don’t use. She taught me how to stretch properly, which muscles I need to focus on (whilst explaining the who, what, when, where, why of the muscle!) and then showed me some key exercises to engage the supporting muscles that 1) are neglected from the repetitive motion of our three sports and 2) avoid injury. For example, strengthening the outside of the glutes to prevent the knee turning in and having a knee injury, or working the back muscles because the traps are so overused the back muscles are underused and cause injury and poor posture.

Amber is going to issue me with key stretches and exercises that I should focus on. With training for World’s to commence soon, I had a goal of “stretching every day and doing strength work”. This goal was never going to work, plus I have little idea what gym work I should be doing that will help me. With Amber, I can focus on the stretches that will give me the greatest benefit in the minimal time that I have. All triathletes suffer the same excuse of not being able to fit in strength and conditioning sessions. There is enough information out there for us all to know that it is worth the time investment, yet still don’t manage it. (That information really just makes us feel guilty, opposed to helping us!). Something has finally clicked in me* that I can see the real benefit of putting the time and effort in now to see the results later, be it no injuries or quicker times, both are worth it.

I am excited about the plan moving forward and am ready to commit the time over the coming months, because changes like this don’t happen overnight. Huge thank you to Amber for taking me through everything, and I look forward to making her a part of my weekly plan. If you want to contact Amber, see :



*I think the moment was paying another $65 to the chiro, whilst booking another appointment for the following week, whilst seeing no benefit – it just isn’t sustainable.



About Priscilla Barrington

Hi, I am a short course Age Group triathlete in Victoria. I love short course because I have developed a bit of a competitive side and short course enables me to race LOTS! Like most triathletes, I like to talk a lot about triathlon... so have taken to writing down my thoughts opposed to boring my friends with my triathlon trash!

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