Stretch to improve shoulder and upper back ache

The Overhead reach stretch is great if you are spending some periods of time feeding and you are feeling and looking like the hunchback of Notre Dame with continual or occasional shoulder and neck pain.

The move will also in turn improve your posture by drawing back your shoulders and upper back and releasing the tightness that develops in those muscles. Hold the position for more than 10 secs in order to improve the endurance of the muscles involved, continuing to breathe throughout.

The Overhead Reach Stretch

Start Position

  • Stand with your head, upper back and buttocks in contact with a wall and your feet 10cm from the skirting.

  • Place your hand behind the small of your back; you should just be able to get your fingers between your back and the wall.

  • Put your arms against the wall with your elbows at 90° and in line with your shoulders.



  • Brace your abdominals (draw your naval inwards) and slide your arms up as far as you can while keeping your hands and elbows in contact with the wall.

  • Hold this position for 10 seconds and then lower slowly.

  • Try to reach a little further each time until your arms are almost overhead. Repeat 12 times.



Get a sexy bottom

Two great exercises to sculpt, lift and tone your bottom.

Mini Band Ankle Walks (all Trimesters and post natal)

  • Start by placing a mini band around your ankles or tie a resistance band around your ankles (with so that your feet are just less than shoulder width apart with the band stretched). Stand with your feet parallel.
  • Keeping your hips level throughout the movement slide your left foot to the left about 6-12 inches or until the resistance is too great and then slide your right foot to a parallel stance again.
  • Repeat this movement for the desired reps or distance.
  • Repeat with the other leg.
  • Make sure you keep your hips level and do not hike your hip to left the lead leg. This will defeat the purpose of the exercise.
  • It does take some time to master the subtle lifting of the lead foot and abducting it out to the side. Start with a light band until you have mastered the technique. Your foot should only raise just enough to slide it to the side which is like 1/4in.

How Many? 2 sets of 10-12

Heel Beats

  • The second is suitable up to 12 weeks pregnancy and post natal
  • Lie on your front with your hands on the floor by the side of your ribcage.
  • Turn your legs out at the hip so that your heels are touching but toes aren’t (forming a v-shape) look down to the floor
  • Extend the upper body and legs off the floor.
  • Open and close the legs to no further than hip-width apart, beating the heels together at a quick pace


How many? 20 reps





Pregnancy Fitness and Yoga Fix

Discovering you are pregnant is one of the most exciting moments of your life. However, maintaining your fitness and health routine and preparing your body for birth can be a little confusing. People tell you to ‘put your feet up’  and ‘take it easy’. Others tell you to swim and do yoga or pilates.  But what about when you come to have the baby? Your baby may be 4kgs and you have to lift, bend and carry your baby around with you all day long on not very much sleep.  So being mentally and physically prepared and fit to do your new job as a Mummy helps get through those first months (trust me I know, I had my second baby 7 months ago!).

We have the solution to help you prepare in pregnancy and feel fitter during and after the birth. We’ve teamed up with Yoga West, London’s leading private yoga and pilates provider, to offer an exclusive pregnancy fitness and yoga course designed to support a Mums to be fitness and birth preparation.  The course consists of 1 x week yoga class and 1 x week fitness with core conditioning class over six weeks. The best of both worlds – yoga to relax , release tension and improve suppleness.  Fitness with core conditioning to tone your whole body, strengthen your core and avoid excess weight gain. It aims to give mums to be the confidence to keep fit and maintain a healthy routine. It strengthens  pelvic floor, improves hip flexibility, helps maintain tone and cardio-vascular fitness and teaches breathing techniques to help through labour and birth.

The course it taught at two locations in Chiswick, West London. Pregnancy yoga is taught at yoga west from 11-1215 on Thursdays. Fitness and core conditioning  is taught with TheBeezKneez at The Arts Educational School on Tuesdays at 7.35pm.

More about the classes….

Pregnancy yoga works to release deep tensions in the body and help you feel your best as your baby grows and your body changes, building your strength and suppleness. It is suitable for beginners or mothers with a developed practice, from 14 weeks until your baby arrives.  It weaves powerful breath work into the classes in preparation for labour, practice postures that are useful during labour and birth and end with a deep relaxation. The atmosphere is very welcoming, supportive and light hearted approach. The Yogabirth style has been developed over 30 years and is a safe and effective mix of Scaravelli style yoga and birth education.

The class is taken by Lulu Winfield. Lulu has been working around childbirth since the late 90’s.  She is a doula, reflexologist, childbirth educator and yoga birth teacher and trained for two years under Lolly Stirk and Yvonne Moore  – founder members of The Active Birth Centre and Movement. She has trained as a hypno-birthing teacher in the Marie Mongan method and currently mentors trainee Yogabirth teachers and doulas. Lulu infuses her classes with powerful breath work to draw the attention deeper within and uses cleverly adapted poses to reveal both the softness and strength in the mind and the body, essential in preparation for birth. She is a hugely popular teacher with a unique and joyful touch and is passionate about sharing the transformative power of yoga.

Pregnancy Fitness and Core Conditioning with TheBeezKneez.  Featuring modified pilates, cardiovascular bursts and pregnancy body sculpting exercises in a circuit style format. All exercises are specifically for pregnancy to effectively target those areas which get weak and flabby, strengthen the core and address the postural changes that can cause pain and stress.  Ideal for getting you fit for pregnancy, avoiding excessive weight gain, improving your core and strengthening pelvic floor and postural muscles to alleviate back ache.  The class is fun to upbeat music and shows you how you exercise safely and effectively. Suitable for trimester two and three and if you are carrying twins or more.

The class is instructed by Joanne Martin, who has over 12 years experience at teaching group fitness classes. She has specialist qualification in Active IQ Level 3 Award in Designing Pre and Post Natal Exercise Programmes and also instructs Post Natal classes both outdoors and indoors.  She instructs not only at The Beez Kneez but with other health clubs in West London and is a very popular well known instructor for inspiring Mums and Mums to be to exercise during pregnancy and beyond. A mum of two herself, she has first hand experience of pregnancy and childbirth.  In her classes she shows top conditioning moves which are a fantastic way of maintaining fitness and giving energy a boost prior to the arrival of your baby.  Her experience and The Beez Kneez specialist programmes created by founder Vicky Warr with Jo’s input show you the many benefits, ultimately helping you to maintain body shape and tone throughout your pregnancy.


Yoga West: 02073811673
The Beez Kneez: 020 8 354 1583 or

Searching Fit Pregnant Ladies for magazine shoot

Any pregnant ladies feel they like their bodies more since being pregnant than before?
Do you feel healthier since becoming pregnant with following an exercise programme or nutrition?
Have you been coming to BeezKneez classes and found they gave you more energy?  

Let me know, one of the magazines are asking me as they want to find some fit pregnant ladies and have a chat with them, you’d be featured in the magazine too so you just need to be available for a photo on 12th January – email:

Banana pancakes for the family

pancakes7Pancake Day – I love it!  Feeling the need for a healthier version to adding chocolate and sugar, I sought Stephanie Ridley’s advice on how to make my pancakes healthier!

Nutritional  Therapist Stephanie says “These are great because the banana adds a sweetness which means you can get away without adding extra sugar on top – and you get the added nutrition from the banana (vitamin B6 for energy, vitamin C for healthy skin and combating stress and manganese for healthy bones) that you don’t get from sugar. Instead, serve with a dollop of plain, probiotic yoghurt on top (to up the protein content) and a handful of fresh blueberries or blackberries, if you want.  You could also add a teaspoon of cinnamon to the mixture. Cinnamon has been shown to improve blood sugar control, so it may be particularly beneficial if you have a family history of type 2 diabetes or you suffered with gestational diabetes yourself”

Here is the recipe from Food Republic:


For Meal Plans for Post Baby and top ten tasty snacks, check out our facebook page


Beat the barriers that stop you from exercising!

“I haven’t got Time”

  • First thing in the morning can be one of the best times. As soon as your day starts, other activities, shopping for the baby, social engagements and workload get in the way. Keep fitness sessions short but of good quality and more frequent.
  • If you are still working go for a short, brisk walk, with deep breathing during your lunch break.
  • Get off the tube or bus stop or park further away, combining your commute with exercise.
  • Have “walking meetings” with business colleagues. Cycling to work not only helps to save the planet but also gives you a toned bottom! The Cycle to Work Scheme allows everyone a tax free bicycle to travel to work on. Mums to be consider: If you’re more than sixteen weeks pregnant, the risk of abdominal bumps and bruises is higher plus as your progress your pregnancy your balance worsens. There is the risk of road accidents, (whether you are pregnant or not) so stationary cycling is a safer more practical option, you can do this at home.
  • Delegate some of the jobs around the house to your other half and children so your workload is shared. Show them that teamwork makes light work!
  • Exercise makes you more productive. Prioritize – avoid letting errands and workloads sidetrack you.

“I’m too Tired”

  • Find a time to suit you – exercising early in the day gives you energy and sets you up for the day, when later mental fatigue takes over and makes it easier to talk yourself out of it! However early mornings might not be suitable for some, so consider early evenings which also means you sleep well!
  • Get an exercise buddy or join a fitness group. It’s more motivating in many ways, first it holds you accountable – you simply have to show up. Second there is nothing like a bit of friendly competition to really get you going! Third, with a friend you can take turns putting each other through your own variety of workouts.
  • Avoid staying up and “zone out” during late night TV, it stimulates you and your sleep won’t be the best quality!
  • Modify your intake of high sugar foods or ‘white’ carbs. They give you a quick ‘pick up’ high, followed by a ‘crash’, making you lethargic and zapped out.
  • If you’re planning on exercising after work, have a late afternoon snack to give you energy.
  • Find activities you enjoy and give you a stress release, stimulation or ‘me’ social time you need. Then, you won’t put off the exercise – You’ll look forward to it!

Bad Weather “It’s raining, so I can’t exercise today”

  • Choose the right exercise clothes, that keep you warm and dry in the cold, cool in the heat. Designs and High-tech fabrics have vastly improved with breathable materials that don’t cling to sweat and new garment designs making it more comfortable and easier to handle the wind, rain and heat.
  • Check out indoor options: Invest in a few home exercise pieces of equipment, a mat, swiss ball and dumbbells exercise videos or TV shows.
  • Go swimming!
  • Practise core and abdominal exercises while watching your favourite TV programme

Child Care “There’s no one to look after the kids..”

  • Working mums generally have better success if they exercise during lunch or around the workday when child care is already in place or when they don’t feel so tired. Ditto with expectant mums who may have more energy around this time.
  • Do a babysitting exchange with neighbours or friends that have children. One of you watches the children while the others go for a walk or play tennis and take it in turns.
  • Do exercises with your children! Street games, bicycling, hiking… A childseat for your bike is a great option and then go to your local park with your little one in tow.
  • Swap workout time with your other half.

Pelvic Pain in Pregnancy


You may experience occasional aches in your pelvic region during pregnancy and this is common due to the hormonal changes taking place and the secretion of relaxin, whose job is to soften and widen the joints preparing your body to deliver the baby.

However, with some women pelvic pain can sometimes mean symphysis publis dysfunction (SPD) or Diastasis Symphysis Pubis in it’s more severe form, which is a pelvic joint pain. So it’s essential to monitor the pain and symptoms, which I’ll tell you about further on.

The pelvis is four separate bones joined at the front by the Symphysis pubis. There’s a normal gap of 4-5mm between the two pubic points. During pregnancy, the gap widens by another 2-3mm, as the hormone, relaxin is secreted to allow the pelvis in preparation to aid the baby to pass down the birth canal.

With some women excessive amounts of the hormone or where the pelvis is out of alignment can cause the gap to stretch too far, resulting in pain and discomfort. When this happens there may be pain or swelling over the joint. This can happen at any stage of pregnancy or after the birth – most commonly it is during the second trimester. In severe cases, some women can be incapacitated by the pain and need crutches during later stages of pregnancy.

Symptoms for SPD include:

  • Pain in your pubic area and groin.
  • Pain in the inside and down the thighs.
  • Lower back and hip pain (as the whole pelvis is under strain).
  • Pain when you walk, step, go up and down stairs or get out of bed.
  • A clicking sound that you can hear.
  • A feeling that your bones are grinding together.
  • Difficulty and pain when you try and open your legs.

If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s vital to get this checked with your doctor or midwife. If SPD is confirmed you’ll be referred to an obstetric physiotherapist, who can prescribe exercises for you.
Prior to the birth ensure you tell your midwife so they can help find a position that is comfortable to you.

Exercise considerations:

  • Avoid activities which take the legs apart and also bring them together as these can cause pain. Squatting, Lunging, stepping, walking, yoga, breast stroke can produce pain.
  • Avoid activities on one leg.

The good news is there are exercises you can do to remain strong and fit. I have trained pregnant clients with SPD and by working closely with the client and their physiotherapist the condition has not got worse.

Exercises you can do:

  • Squat with feet and legs together – like a ski squat would avoid the legs being apart.
  • Core exercises (avoid lying on your back after the thirteen to fourteen weeks), side planks and knee planks
  • Pelvic tilts – addressing posture
  • Standing wall press-ups (legs together)
  • Lateral Raises and upright rows with resistance bands – sat on a chair or fitness ball with the feet together (second trimester)
  • Pelvic Floor exercises

!Stop any of these exercises immediately if they do cause you pain and get your condition and pain checked out again!

Test for Diastasis Recti

Here’s a quick easy test you can do yourself to see if you still have separation of the abdominal wall or diastasis.

1. Lie on your back with knees bent and feet flat to floor. Make sure your lower back just brushes the floor underneath you – avoid pressing it too flat into the floor or over-arching it.

2. Take your index finger and third finger together and vertically place them just under the bra strap (breast bone). Then turn them horizontally and pass them, quite firmly, down the cenre of your front (known as the linea alba). It is the line from the breast bone down to the belly button.

3. Breathe in first, then breath out, slightly pull in your abdominal muscles and lift your shoulders and head off the floor. Press your two fingers down your vertical line, keeping gentle pressure. Take the fingers down to the belly button quite quickly.

4. Notice if the gap between the stomach muscles is greater than your two fingers. If so, there is still some separation, which indicates some instability.

If the gap is greater – we would concentrate on pelvic floor exercises/tilts and lower abdominal strengthening. You would avoid any kind of stomach crunches until the gap is smaller than the width of the two fingers.
With care and correct exercises, the gap will reduce and you can perform more advanced stomach exercises.

I run quick tests for Abdominal Separation, just as above, on our Spring Fitness Courses. Book your place and get your free test.

How to get started with your New Year fitness Resolution

This year is going to be different you say to yourself! Whether you are pregnant or just had a baby – it’s still vital you get a fitness programme that works and you do it!

Here’s how to get started (and I’m going to be frank!) No more excuses, no more easy options…

1. Forget going for more walks in the park. Please don’t kid yourself on this one. Jogging or fast paced walking for long periods of time with a buggy is not going to get you results. There are a lot of buggy and pram workouts springing up and whilst they are great for a chat with your mates from the feedback and research we’ve done, the trainers have not updated their workouts for years and the exercises are a little dull and basic! Honestly, the best exercises  are ‘functional’, ones which work your abdominals in all directions standing, turning, on all fours and moving through different ranges of motion get results. Interval cardio sessions are also key to burn as many calories in as short as time as possible.  Plus – upper body and lower body moves to tone and condition all body parts and boost the metabolism so the body burns calories faster. We use exercise bands to lengthen and stretch any tight muscles to avoid bulking up and get a toned, leaned physique.

2. Missing meals, counting points (pro points hello?) and cutting down on calories is NOT going to work in the long run. Be smart with food choices and do prepare your own. Eating plenty of lean protein at each meal choosing organic varieties is vital to boosting metabolism. Include essential fats and cooking with avocado oil or coconut oil at high temperatures for stir fries to really improve your skin tone.

3. Fitness is THE thing to be doing. “I’m going to join a gym!” I’ll start next week (I’ve got a cold this week) “I’m busy at work” are all excuses. Take action and get into the rhythm! Watching the fitness DVD with Gin and tonic in one hand is best after you’ve done it! Get good at exercising and you’ll feel strong,empowered, more confident and look amazing in weeks of getting going.

4. Decide your ‘thing’ and make it realistic. If you’ve not run before, don’t start six weeks after having a baby or enter a half marathon at the end of February. It’s not feasible and you’ll get demotivated. Choose your goal and then a realistic time scale (giving yourself a final end date so you have something to work to.

5. Take care. Condition and strengthen your body and joints first, improve your posture with corrective exercises and dynamically stretch to improve mobility and energy.

6. Ditch the scales and start measuring up. The scales weigh your whole body composition – muscle, water, fat and vital organs so they do not give you a real picture of your size. Muscle weighs more than fat so you’ll appear heavier. Taking your measurements will show you where you are loosing the inches and dropping dress sizes which is far more motivating!

A flatter tummy, more laughs and less leaks?

Photos&Tagline_2logos_V3The Ultimate Pelvic Floor and Core Restore Rescue Exercise Programme for women. And so much more!

This six week programme introduces you to the brilliant new, simple yet effective exercises for:

  • A stronger pelvic floor and a flatter, better looking tummy.
  • A life with more laughs and less leaks.
  • Better Body Confidence to participate in sports or daily activities!

The programme consists of: 

  • Weekly classes (6 weeks) of 45-60 minutes – with time to talk
  • 1-2-1 consultation prior to the course either face to face or by telephone
  • Your own FooFoo FUN box (Band/Ball/Clip/Booklet) worth £30:00 and a clean eating programme to follow
  • A copy of the 3 homework exercises on a DVD and a welcome message from the program creator Jenny Burrell (You will receive this by post)
  • Online support – weekly newsletter and entry to a private FB group.

The first 6 week programme runs from Tuesday 7th May at 12pm until Tuesday 18th June (NO CLASS ON Tuesday 28th MAY (1/2 term).
Other 6 week programmes will run throughout the year, so contact us on to find out when.

All this for only £59 for the 6 weeks.  For less than £10.00 a week you’ll have a better looking tummy, more confidence, more support and more fun!

With Vicky Warr, Foo Foo Fun Club Ambassador for Ealing and Specialist Female Fitness Trainer will take you through the exercises using the FooFooFunBox principles of education-reconnection-movement

This is for females of ANY age and ANY fitness level who want to be reunited with their pelvic floor and have a much better looking belly.

There are only 5 places available on this programme. 
You must BOOK your place by FRIDAY 3rd MAY by MIDNIGHT.

Eventbrite - Pelvic Floor and Core Restore! Foo Foo Fun Club Classes