What is Strong For Life........is it for me?

Strength as we age.

 "Strength isn't everything but without it we are nothing" - Werner Kieser.

I am a big fan of this quote as it very clearly describes that whilst our whole world does not revolve around strength and training for it, it is very important to our lives. 

From the moment we are born we consider strength to be important, "are we a good eater, can we hold our head up, look how he can pull himself up, she is already standing on her own now" are all thing parents say and think about when our babies are growing. After physical development has passed a certain point such as the ability to walk we tend to focus our attention on the strength of the mind and it's development into adolescence and school. The mind and it's development should never be ignored however I would argue that equal measure and focus should be placed on developing our physical strength........Why?

One normally considers that physical strength should be encouraged for those wanting to persue a sporting career whether at school or college or beyond. In some societies those capable of unique sporting prowess are held up and heralded as special and that is fine but those who choose or dislike the notion of sport tend to shy away or actively avoid activity because of the associated clique. I believe that if a person is made to understand that taking pride in your physical ability is a matter of maintenance similar to brushing ones teeth, taking a shower or combing your hair it is a crucial part of daily life to which ultimately leads to a better quality of life and well being far and beyond the 3 daily activities mentioned above. 

As a teenager our bodies are very good at recovering from physical stress and it is the best time to actively put it under certain quantities of stress to aid and encourage adaptation and strength development. By stress I mean physical activity like running, playing sport or load bearing activities (weight training). If we start at this age we are setting our selves up for a better quality of life without physical limitation, freedom of expression and a conscious perception of weight gain or loss. 

As we age and take our place in the most common position of modern western society ie in a chair behind a desk, then we begin our slow decline to weakness and pain. It is not that every person will suffer from pain to but it is highly likely that you might particularly if you do not maintain even a slight degree of musculoskeletal stress on the body. 


This graphic shows you the rise and decline of strength as we age and based on gender.

This graphic shows you the rise and decline of strength as we age and based on gender.

The graph above shows you very clearly the decline of strength as we age and is devided by gender.  

Musculoskeletal stress can involve all sorts of different activities including walking, running or rowing. However these are not the most productive methods for developing longevity in the efficiency/adaptations of the bones, muscles and cardiovascular systems. Differentiation or definition between cardio workouts and strength training can help us to better understand what the pros and cons are of these two very different modalities. Modern research is identifying more and more that measured strength training is the key to longevity of life and improved homeostasis both in a rested state and active one, as well as having a significant effect on the reduction of congenital disease. 

Ask yourself how often do you get your heart rate up intentionally, is it every day, every other day or very rarely? Do you focus on just walking a lot of do you incorporate specific movements to improve your range of motion and energy? 


if if you are looking for more advise or information then get in touch and we can devise a safe and suitable programme of exercise to strengthen and prevent degenerative changes in your body as you age , ideally gracefully! 

Why bother stretching? Are you doing it right?

Hello everybody,

very long time, no read. I am really sorry to have been absent from this blog but as you might well know I have relocated my family and myself to southern Spain. As you hopefully also know I have moved abroad but still continue to provide treatment in south west London to my loyal and wonderful clients. 

I am very excited about the coming year and hope to return to my blog more regularly so please enjoy my vlog talking about stretching and how if you aren't doing it right, you might just be setting yourself up for injury. 

Why bother stretching? Will it make any difference to you and how can you perform? The answer is yes but have you been doing right? Did you know that if you do stretches wrong you can increase the risk of injuries. Watch this video to find out how to prevent this from happening.

Thank you for watching my video. please do share and comment if you agree, disagree or just want to know more. I look forward to hearing and seeing you soon.

Kind regards

Marcel Salazar - Physical Therapist

ITB Pain? You might want to Stretch!

ITB (Iliotibial Band Syndrome) is one of the most common aliments of runners. ITB often presents itself as pain on the outside of the knee. Overpronation or underpronation can often be the cause of ITB, but more than not, it's due to inflexibility.


Runners often think ITB is a knee problem. That's because the pain along the outside of the knee is the end result. Actually, the Iliotibial Band is a part of a longer tract which includes the Tensor Fasciae Latae (TFL) that originates at the iliac crest continuing down to the Iliotibial tract and attaching to the tibia in the lower leg just below the knee. This muscle braces the knee when walking. Without the iliotibial band your leg would collapse. Handy muscle, huh?

The real culprit often causing Iliotibial Band Syndrome is the 9 to 5 job desk job. Think about it, if you sit at a desk for 8, 9, 10 hours, your hip flexors aren't living up to their name. They're not flexing. They're stuck in the same bent position, getting tighter and tighter. Then you hop up and go for a run most times without any stretching before or after. A combination that spells Iliotibial Band Syndrome is coming over time for some.

Stretching is one of the best ways to help recover from Iliotibial Band Syndrome as well prevent it from happening in the first place. Click the link for some great stretching and strengthening exercises for Iliotibial Band Syndrome from Knee Pain Explained.


Stretching of course isn't the ITB "cure-all" for everyone, but it is worth talking to your therapist or trainer about it, if you have one. Otherwise strongly consider seeing a specialist about the issue and try to avoid conventional pain killers as these are usually very ineffective. Also, if you haven't experienced ITB problems, starting a regular stretching routine consisting of dynamic stretches before your run (i.e., stretches that are comprised of active movement specific to running such as heel kicks, knee lifts, jump squats, side shuffles, etc.) and static stretches after the run (more traditional stretch-and-hold type movements) will hopefully keep you ITB-problem-free. ITB release techniques provided at Strong For Life might not be the most comfortable to experience but are highly effective at releasing the tension and pain very quickly.

How to stretch effectively

Do an easy warm-up 5-minute jog; then do your pre-run stretch.

  • Don't bounce. The stretch should be slow and gradual.
  • Hold the stretch for 15 to 30 seconds
  • Do not "push-through" the tightness and never stretch to the point of pain. (Over time, you'll be able to stretch further than you did initially.)
  • Stay relaxed and breathe while you stretch.

Good luck and don't forget to seek support when you need it and ideally before the problem stops you from your running.

Marcel Salazar

Physical Therapist

Strong For Life

What is Electro Muscular Stimulation or EMS?

Electro Muscular Stimulation or EMS has been used in former Communist Bloc countries for sport training since the early 1950s, but Western countries only became aware of its use in 1973, when Dr. Y. Kots of the Central Institute of Physical Culture in the former USSR presented a paper on EMS at Concordia University in Montreal. There he outlined the tremendous potential for strength enhancement beyond that which was possible by traditional (voluntary) training methods.



His claims raised many eyebrows and considerable effort was expended in an attempt to validate Kots' claims. Crude studies that pitted EMS-fired muscles against voluntarily contracted muscles (using Cybex machines for measurement) appeared to show that EMS was not as effective as Kots had claimed. However, the design of these studies was flawed due to a poor understanding of how EMS worked on the neuromuscular system.


Early Conception and Devices

Kots was able to show, using a tensiometric device, that the muscle tension produced in a maximal EMS contraction can be up to 30% higher than a maximal voluntary contraction. This finding was corroborated by independent studies and makes intuitive sense, given the nature of the body's energy conservation system.

EMS works directly on the muscles, bypassing the body's energy conservation system, thus there's no limit to the percentage of fiber that can be activated. The EMS stimulus "spills over" from fully contracted fibre to activate remaining fibre (given sufficient current) allowing the athlete to experience a training stimulus that's unattainable by any other means.


Selection of Muscle Groups

Maximum strength EMS is applied to the quads, hamstrings, glutes, and the erector spinae. These muscle groups play the main role in power development around the hip joint, where, at maximum speed, the power output is seven times higher than around any other joint. 


Equipment today

EMS has grown and been developed in the last 15 years by certain companies, such as Miha Body-Tec, to allow for far more efficient use and application. Practitioners are able to administer preset and bespoke programmes that have been researched to provide weight loss, muscle gain and performance enhancing protocols. 


What does it feel like?

Often people have the misconception it will hurt because it is electrical stimulus. However it is no more painful or should I say uncomfortable then a moderate to intense gym work out but the efficacy is 3x more powerful. The reason is simple. Greater contraction stimulated muscles. This directly translates to greater calorific utilisation and affects your metabolic rate, resulting in greater recovery time required when compared to cardiovascular training. 


Who would benefit, is it just for athletes?

Anyone who has muscles in their body will benefit from EMS. It is especially useful for those who need to tone, lose weight or have been inactive for extended periods and have lost muscle mass. This new technology is becoming the fastest growth sector in the health and fitness industry as it combines safe effective training with efficient time management. It is no longer necessary to carry all the training gear around when one can wear comfortable undergarments and a vest and achieve an equivalent 90 minute workout in just 20 minutes. It does sound too good to be true but never discount something new just because you haven't tried it. The proof is in the trying. 


Where is it available?

Currently it is still a niche product however in Surbiton we are lucky enough to have a facility called The Body Shape Studios which has installed this revolutionary equipment in a fully functioning personal training model. 


For more information on EMS or musculoskeletal strengthening and development contact me. 


Marcel Salazar 

Physical Therapist 

Early devices where not very user friendly.  

Early devices where not very user friendly.  

The Full outfit during a Workout

Miha Body-tec is some of the most advance EMS equipment available.  

Miha Body-tec is some of the most advance EMS equipment available.  

The Vest

The vest allows for full body work out.  

The vest allows for full body work out.  

69 Brighton Road, Surbiton, KT6 5NF

69 Brighton Road, Surbiton, KT6 5NF

Strength Training and Pregnancy, 5 Myths Busted

Dear Reader,

For those of you that have been through pregnancy, whether Male or Female the experience is obviously very different but something that both can be confused or unsure about is how active the mummy to be, should be.

In my latest write up for the Ace Complimentary Health Newsletter I tackle some of the myths that have arisen from mixed and confusing messages from main stream media and even medical practitioners.

Please read and enjoy the article on the double page spread at the back and those written by my fellow colleagues in Ace. Please click the title of this post to see the article.

If you need any further information on this topic or any of my other services please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Happy reading

Marcel Salazar

The latest findings - The Best Stretching......PNF

Do you know how to stretch and what the best method is? My article published in this months Ace Newsletter (November 2014) explains the best way along with other very interesting pieces from my colleagues at Ace Complimentary Health Centre. 

Best sure to read my article through to take advantage of the fantastic offer included. More great articles to come along with very special offers.

Source: http://www.ace-osteopaths.com/newsletters/...

What works?..........Strong For Life and The Maple Works



So the relationship has begun and in full swing. I have to say I am really very pleased with the new location in Surbiton, paralleling the high street and a 5 mins walk from Surbiton Train station. The room itself is looking great and I am ready to provide the best therapy available. 

Strong For Life inside the Maple Works has already had a few willing (and happy) recipients of premium therapuetic treatment and the feedback so far has been really encouraging. Thank you to all those who have supported me so far and please make sure you tell your friends and family about this new location to benefit from excellent treatment you will both receive a discount with every referral.  

I look forward to seeing you soon. I would really appreciate it if you could take a moment to watch this short intro video created by Wellness Works programme within Maple Works. Please enjoy it and offer any and all feedback in the comments below. 


Thank you and I look forward to contributing to this blog again


Physical. Therapy. For the best quality of life. 


Marcel Salazar