Physical Exercise To Increase Bone Mass – by Emily Smyth

Many of you may have heard of Osteoporosis, some of you may even have it. But what exactly is it?

Osteoporosis is a loss in bone density (qualified as a bone density below 2.5 SD). After menopause women can lose up to 20% of their bone density in the first 5-7 years. This loss of bone density weakens your bones and makes you more susceptible to breaking bones. While many people think osteoporosis is something to deal with in later life, research is now suggesting that what we do currently has a direct effect in later life. Young people tend to reach their peak bone mass in late teens and early twenties, with a gradual decrease after menopause.

Unfortunately, in modern society research has shown that the number of adults who are presenting with osteoporosis is on the rise. Around the world osteoporosis is responsible for 8.9 milllion fractures a year which is equivalent to an osteoporotic fracture every 3 seconds. Physical exercise is the only intervention which has been shown to increase bone mass. Research shows that young girls and boys who exercise regularly have a higher bone mass than their inactive counterparts. Reaching a high peak bone mass at a younger age and maintain this throughout life can reduce your chances of osteoporosis when you are older. So how does exercise improve bone density? Weight bearing exercises stress the bone causing them to increase bone density. While walking is classified as a weight baring exercise, research has shown that exercises such as Pilates and weight lifting are a more effective and global form of strengthening for your bones and muscles.

Below are my top three tips

  • Maximise your bone density before menopause– Stay active and include weight bearing exercises such as weights or Pilates into your weekly workout routine.
  • Minimise loss of bone density after menopause. Increase your weight bearing exercise and calcium and vitamin D intake. Pilates is a safe and effective method of building bone density
  • Reduce your risk of falls- If you already have low bone density it is important to reduce the chances you have of falling and therefore fractures. Specific strengthening and balance exercises such as Pilates can significantly reduce your risk of falling.

All of our Physiotherapists are extremely experienced in exercise prescription, especially Clinical Pilates. Why not speak to our Physiotherapists today about what can help you?

Call us on 8555 4099 or BOOK ONLINE.


Clinical Pilates for Chronic Back Pain

Research suggests that both Clinical Pilates and general exercise programs delivered by Physiotherapists are both safe and effective in managing chronic back pain (1).

Clinical Pilates offers a tailored exercise program, which is designed and monitored by your physiotherapist.

In addition to Clinical Pilates, regular exercise is a very important part of back pain management. Here are some tips:

1. Choose an exercise that you enjoy, and that you can participate in pain free. Running, swimming, cycling, yoga and dancing are all great activities that you may choose to do.

2. Work exercise into your daily routine e.g. riding to work, or walking home from the station.

3. Being active has numerous other benefits including cardiovascular and mental health. Strength and balance training is also important for bone health and preventing falls, especially in people over 60 years old.

Physiotherapists stay up to date with the latest research in order to provide high quality care to patients. They also consider their clinical experience and the patient’s wishes when deciding on a treatment regimen.

To learn more about Clinical Pilates, or to book a class, call InnerStrength of Bayside on 8555 4099 today or CLICK HERE  to book online!

(1) Wajswelner, H., Metcalf, B., Bennel, K. (2012) Clinical pilates versus general exercise for low back pain: randomized trial. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. 44(7): 1197-1205

What is Foam Rolling? by Emily Smyth

Foam rolling is soft tissue release technique that is great and easy to do at home. It works to release muscle tightness and knots which may have formed in muscles. By releasing these knots you help to re-establish muscle movement patterns and encourage pain free movement. In recent years the popularity of foam rolling for athletes and physically active people has sky rocketed. Personally, as a physio, foam rollers are one of my favourite pieces of equipment. They offer so much more than just soft tissue release and can be incorporated into core strengthening and balance exercises.

Often when speaking to my patients about rehabilitation and at home programmes, I discover that a significant amount of them have a foam roller however are not sure how to use it. As they are such an effective and versatile piece of equipment there are many different techniques and ways to use the roller. At times you may find it can be overwhelming and people may avoid using them. To try and help you with a few different ways it can be used I have outlined my top three foam roller exercises you can do.

Emily’s top three foam roller exercises: 

  1. Thoracic (upper) Back Rolling.
  • This is one of my favourite techniques with the foam roller. It is a great way to open up the chest and release muscle tension after a long day at work.
  • Begin with placing the foam roller on your back at the bottom of your rib cage, with your bottom on the ground.
  • Support your head with your hands keeping your elbows wide and your knees bent.
  • Once you are feeling confident begin by lifting your bottom up and pushing the foam roller up your back towards your shoulders. You may be able to focus more on one side by leaning your weight over towards either the right or left hand side.
  • Continue until you feel the muscles begin to release, approx. 30-60 seconds.

2. Iliotibial Band Rolling (ITB).

  • Rolling your ITB is a great way to reduce the possibility of causing injury to your knees and keeping the legs nice and flexible. Unfortunately rolling your ITB can be quite painful, however the pain reduces the more consistent you are with your rolling.
  • Begin rolling by placing the roller on the side of your leg right under where you can feel your hip. You should be right on the side of the leg.
  • If pain levels are high you can reduce the pressure by placing your opposite foot on the ground in front of you.
  • Roll your leg along the roller until right above the knee joint.

3. Top Taps on the roller.

  • This exercise is an example of how to use the roller for a balance and core strengthening exercise.
  • Begin by lying down on the roller ensuring that your head and bum are supported on the roller. Support yourself using your hands (the wider the arms the greater the level of support).
  • Depending on your core strength float one or two legs into a 90/90 position, aka Table Top (90 degrees at the hip and knee). Try to keep your spine stable.
  • Ensuring that you experience no pain in your lower back slowly lower one leg and tap your toe off the ground then return it to 90/90. Repeat this on both legs 12 times.

Please contact us on 8555 4099 or BOOK ONLINE for one of our Physiotherapists to create your own personalised Foam Roller program!

5 Reasons why Clinical Pilates is Important Post Child Birth by Emily Smyth

1)  Clinical Pilates is a safe form of exercise and is easily modifiable. Your Physio can vary each exercise, to still allow you a good workout, despite sore wrists, stretched tummy muscles or other common aches and pains.

2) Clinical Pilates assists the recovery of your body by strengthening your abdominals, back and pelvic floor and assisting in maternal weight loss.

3) Clinical Pilates helps to prevent incontinence and prolapse.

4) Clinical Pilates is a convenient way to exercise – we have Mums and Bubs classes, suitable from 6 weeks post child birth as well as morning, evening and weekend Clinical Pilates classes for you to join.

5) Clinical Pilates is low impact, but still provides an opportunity to strengthen your muscles, this will raise your metabolic rate and allow your body to burn more energy.

Call us on 8555 4099 or BOOK ONLINE now!

Acute low back pain: What to do before you see your Physio – by Luci Minogue

An episode of acute low back pain can come on at any time, without warning. It can be as simple as reaching forward to open the kitchen drawer and you suddenly experience intense pain in your lower back and possibly down your leg also.

We know that seeing a Physio as soon as possible is important to our patient’s recovery. Therefore, at InnerStrength of Bayside, we leave emergency appointments most days to allow for this. Treatment will be multifaceted and will consist of advise in ways to to minimise your pain, hands on treatment if indicated, stretching and strengthening exercises to do and possibly taping of your lower back.

Here are some things you can do whilst waiting for your physiotherapy appointment.

  1. Listen to your body – if a movement, position or activity increases your back pain or particularly your leg pain, avoid it. You may not be able to move around as easily as normal, but try to rest in positions or do movements which do not increase your symptoms, such as slow short episodes of walking, stretching your back into extension (standing and leaning backwards through your lower back or lying on your stomach and pushing up through your arms with your hips on the ground, or stretching into flexion (lying down and hugging your knees into your chest).
  2. Stay active and avoid complete rest – the old advice to rest in bed when you have back pain is now outdated and has been shown to lengthen your recovery time as you are likely to stiffen up and your muscles become weaker. There will be times that you need to rest, but otherwise try to do short walks or activities that either relieve or do not increase your symptoms.
  3. Heat – try lying down in the most comfortable position you can find, this could be lying on your back, stomach or on your side, putting a heat pack or hot water bottle over the area of pain for approximately 20 minutes. It should be a comfortable warmth, not too hot. Repeat this every 2 hours. If this does not help or increases your pain, you can try ice.
  4. Stay positive – up to 70% of people will experience low back pain at some stage of their lives. With appropriate treatment you are extremely likely to overcome this episode of pain and return to your normal activities and lifestyle. Our Physiotherapists will be able to advise you on ways to prevent this episode from happening again.

Please call us on 8555 4099 or BOOK ONLINE to make a Physiotherapy consultation.

Meet Meg!


At InnerStrength we know that our business’s strength is our exceptional and unique employees. Without them we would have no InnerStrength! So we have decided to write a regular feature about each of our employees, celebrating their uniqueness.

Meet Meg! At the moment Meg runs our popular Monday evening and Saturday morning Pilates Classes.  Meg is very creative with her exercise prescription. She listens to patients’ needs and devises perfectly individualised programs.


What do you do to stay strong?

I play netball, I experiment with yoga poses and inversions, and I do Pilates of course!

If you were a flower, which would you be?

A sunflower!

Favourite season?

Summer! I love being out in the sunshine.

What are you reading at the moment?

“Bored and Brilliant” – Manoush Zomorodi

What’s your favourite movie?

I always find this to be a tough question to answer, but I did thoroughly enjoy a movie I watched earlier in the year, “Into the Wild”. 

What cheers you up?

Anything with an element of play! Also exploring movement, being outdoors and watching my favourite TV show, “Friends”!

If you could have a room to hang out in, full of one thing which couldn’t be removed from the room, what would that thing be?

Bean bags!


Please call InnerStrength of Bayside on 8555 4099 to make an appointment with Meg.

What is HIIT and why should I do it? – By Emily Smyth

The American Heart Association advises that 30 minutes of HIIT is equivalent to achieving 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise!

HIIT, also known as high intensity interval training, is a method of exercise which involves a period of time of high intensity exercise, followed by a rest period of lower intensity exercise.

HIIT has been shown to be an effective tool in 
 – Increasing cardiovascular fitness,
 – Increasing endurance,
 – Burning abdominal fat,
 – Building muscle and
 – Reducing blood pressure.

It is a time efficient and effective form of exercise which can be carried out in as little as 20-30 minutes 2-3 times a week. As we all know, free time is often a limiting factor when it comes to achieving the recommended 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week. So why not achieve the same health goals in a reduced time?

InnerStrength of Bayside offers a fun and dynamic 30 minute HIIT Pilates reformer class. CLICK HERE to view our class timetable or for more information. To book, call us on 8555 4099 or BOOK ONLINE!


Cabrini Hospital Brightways Lunch by Emily Smyth

I have always had a strong interest in helping women who are suffering with breast cancer. My interest was further realised in New Zealand where I worked hand in hand with women who provided rehabilitation and care to women with a recent cancer diagnosis. I saw the benefits of the Pinc and Steel Programs and decided it was an area of Physiotherapy which I wanted to focus on. I was delighted when I moved to Melbourne and started working with Luci Minogue who was the first Pinc and Steel Physio in Melbourne.

Last month we were delighted to be invited to be part of the Brightways Breast Cancer Luncheon. The Lunch was held in the beautiful Sandringham Yacht Club. We greeted the guests and let them know about ways that InnerStrength of Bayside helps those affected by Cancer. It was a great way to meet the different people involved in ensuring a high quality of life for women after a diagnosis. It really highlighted for me that ensuring high quality of life is not just a job for the multi-disciplinary teams but also for those who provide bras for women who have had mastectomies, those who sell sports clothes that allow easy prosthetic breast usage and those who provide wigs after hair loss from the chemotherapy. These seemingly small things give women the confidence to return to doing the sports and hobbies they love doing.

The lunch was held upstairs looking out over the sea. It was a fabulous room filled with people all coming together to support one cause. The day began with a very interesting talk from Dr Michelle White about debunking the myths associated with Cancer. It was fascinating to learn about the different theories on the internet about curing cancer. It was also an eye opening experience to learn that when you are feeling vulnerable it is better not to turn to ‘Dr Google’ or you may end up eating mounds of asparagus (one of the myths which Dr White debunked as a cure for Cancer). At the end of her speech Dr White spent some time discussing what lifestyle factors we know can help with recovery. Exercise was the number one lifestyle factor Dr White spoke about. She discussed how more and more Doctors and Nurses are encouraging their patients to exercise before, during and after a cancer diagnosis. Dr White discussed recent research that shows a reduction in mortality and re-occurrence rates by up to 40% with exercise. It is so great to see a shift in thinking from rest to activity as an aid in recovery.

After lunch there was a Q and A with Psychologist Jane Fletcher and two Cancer patients who discussed their experiences. It was inspiring to hear their stories and how they managed their symptoms. One of the ladies spoke about her love of exercise and how it is helping her through her treatment. She spoke about how she feels it is reducing her side effects from the Chemotherapy but also as a management for her stress. Cancer can be very stressful with days full of medical appointments and tests. Exercise gave her an outlet which she could control and manage.

Overall the day was a great day full of delicious food and inspirational people. It was wonderful to meet so many people who feel so passionately about helping women. It was definitely a worthwhile experience and I look forward to the next Brightways event.

Don’t forget to register for our Move Beyond Cancer 2 hour Pilates/Yoga Challenge and Wellness Seminar on November 18th to help fund someone with financial through the Pinc and Steel Cancer Rehabilitation Programs. Tickets are $35 each. For more information or to register, please email Luci at


InnerStrength of Bayside invites you to register for our


to raise money for The Pinc and Steel Cancer Rehabilitation Foundation

 This event aims to increase awareness of Cancer Rehabilitation in Melbourne and to ensure that more cancer patients get access to our much needed Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation programs.



followed by a

 Wellness Seminar

Featuring talks by the following

Robyn Vincent, Personal Trainer – “The Benefits of Targeted Exercise”

Romy Norich, Balance View Trainer –  “Effortless Meditation”

Georgie Collinson, Naturopath and Nutritionist– “Nourishing Your Body for Happy, Healthy Living”

Date: Saturday 18th November

Time: Pilates/Yoga class – 1.15pm

Wellness Seminar – 4-6pm

Location: Prest Room, Wesley College, 5 Gladstone Pde, Elsternwick

Cost: $35

Light refreshments provided.

We are hoping to do the Pilates & Yoga class outside so please remember to bring along sunscreen and a drink bottle.

We also ask for all of our Pilates/Yoga class participants to fundraise through our Everyday Hero page.

All proceeds will help to fund women or men through the Pinc and Steel Cancer Rehabilitation Programs.

There will be raffles and a silent auction throughout the afternoon.

Spaces are limited! To register please email Luci at






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