Motoko Gollent: “I train to rehab my shoulder injury”
Name: Motoko Gollent
Occupation: Commercial Real Estate Agent
Trainer: John Cheah
In 2019, Motoko suffered a shoulder injury as the result of a miscalculated adjustment whilst practising yoga. The shoulder injury required surgery and in the time she took to recover, she noticed a significant loss in her full body strength.
“I wanted to regain my upper body strength and do the yoga poses that I could do before.”
“After attending Lorne’s Handstand classes post-surgery, I realised that I needed more guidance on basic endurance and strength, so I decided to shift to personal training.”
One of the benefits of personal training involves the aspect of individual design – a term that signifies programming that fits not just the client’s goals, but their starting point.
Motoko was initially wary as one of her friends got injured after her personal trainer pushed beyond her limits. With this in mind, Motoko was only willing to give personal training a try only if she was convinced that her trainer could recognise her limitations and was willing to meet her where she’s at.
“Personal training is good when you have a specific goal in mind, but you don’t quite know how to reach it effectively. That’s when you need the guidance of an experienced coach.”
“After witnessing my friend suffer an injury from her training, I knew I needed to work with a knowledgeable coach, like John.”
“Motoko, like most yoga practitioners, was very flexible and knew very effectively how to brace using her anterior chain.” said John.
“Unfortunately, like many yoga practitioners, she had very poor posterior chain awareness and very poor pulling strength,” says John. “This imbalance led to her shoulder injury, because she ended up using her neck and traps to do what her lats should be doing.”
When it comes to lifting with the shoulder joint, most people rely too much on their trapezius to assist with horizontal or vertical movements. This tends to be one of the many reasons why individuals face shoulder, trapezius, or even neck pain when performing shoulder exercises.
Awareness of how to recruit the lats as an antagonist muscle plays a big part in not only maintaining good form, but in allowing more control over the movement and where the torque sits on the joint.
John incorporated a significant amount of weighted hinge movements as priority, to teach her how to connect load to different parts of the posterior chain with exercises like suitcase deadlifts, barbell good mornings and the farmer’s carry.
“Motoko needed to learn to utilise her entire chain instead of just the muscles surrounding the load. As her awareness in her lats grew, she learnt how to rely on them more, bypassing the neck and trapezius muscles that she was used to activating first”, said John
Since training at Level, together with Effi and Sheranne, Motoko has seen significant improvement. Not only has she filled out the strength deficit she lost during the injury, she has now surpassed it. She has never been stronger, and looks to continue with strength training to complement her yoga.
“Even with stretching, you still need strength to prevent injury. Strength training is essential if you want to push for more advanced levels of yoga.”
When asked about her training at Level, Motoko says “it’s fun, especially when you are training with friends, you know who you’re going to meet at the gym. It definitely contributes to the motivation to come.
“Personal training can be intimidating, but I know that I cannot cheat with a trainer watching me.”
“John is hilarious, he is very experienced and also has a good sense of humour. He’s very fun to work with! Strength sessions as a result don’t feel as challenging!”
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As someone with scoliosis and SI joint issues, Shu Ting wanted to engage in strength training to help prevent injury and let her maintain a pain-free yoga practice in the long haul.
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