FitFarms Flow Exercise

Flow exerciseSo here at FitFarms fitness and weight loss retreat we like to try new things and this week we have been playing around with some exercise flows so below is a warm up routine that we used during our recent week at our Derbyshire site, in the beautiful surroundings of Matlock.

A flow, in terms of an exercise routine is a combination of different movements put together to make one big complex movement or flow. Below is a short flow routine for a warm up or mobility exercise and a dumbbell full body flow as the main exercise.. in this routine both exercises are supposed completed slowly and continuously for the sets and reps suggested. Increasing the time under tension (tut) makes the exercise more challenging and controlled as well as making it a fuller workout for each muscle and muscle chain involved so we have also added a tempo suggestion for the exercises…


Start standing upright pelvic floor engaged.. core muscles braced and glutes taught balanced through the heels without locking the knees

Firstly, roll up onto the balls of the feet in a heel raise movement and hold for 2-3 secs whilst lifting the arms up above the head in a straight arm extension hold in this full stretch for a further 2-3 seconds, from there roll back onto the heels with the knees in a soft position hinging at the hips lean forward keeping the back straight and the arms extended over head this is sometimes referred to as a good morning (be sure to roll back onto the heels and push the hips back over the heels as you hinge to support the back) once you have leant as far forward as possible keeping your back straight and your arms extended over head pause here for 2-3 seconds embracing the stretch through the muscles at the back of your legs (hamstrings) allow your arms to fall down in front of you.

Wrap them around the back of your lower leg (this also supports movement through this position and takes the strain off your back) then round your back off and pull your head in towards your knees pause in this position for 2-3 seconds and then reach your hands to the floor (adjust your leg position to accommodate if necessary but you must be able to touch the floor) from there walk forward until in a full press up position from there lift your hips high into the downward dog position (or an extremely bad press up position) pause here for 2-3 seconds.

From there project your hips down and lift one knee up and out to the side of your body position so that you are resting with one leg extended out on the full press up position and resting on the inside thigh of the other leg at a bent 90 degree position pushing your hip down into the ground and backwards slightly to increase stretch through hip joint whilst extending the back and looking up towards the ceiling pause here for 2-3 seconds then take the arm opposite the bent leg over the top and off to a slightly forward angle ( for example if your right leg was bent forward then your left arm would come up over your head towards the right side of your body whilst coming slightly forward at a 2 0 clock angle) pause here for 2-3 seconds then slowly return through each piece of the movement slowly back to the start and repeat again using the opposite sides the above counts as one repetition repeat for 5 repetitions each time trying to push the stretch in each pause position.

For the main exercise we are going to use 2 dumbbells in a swing and static routine to combine momentum and control it is a full body complex..

Complete 1 rep of each exercise to make a full complex at normal pace if the movement has swing written in brackets it requires momentum so must be done at a usual pace however if not the slower the tempo the harder the movement.

  • Stiff leg deadlift
  • Dumbbells raise over head (swing)
  • Overhead squat/lunge (if you struggle with mobility of the over head squat replace it with the lunge)
  • Hammer press
  • Over head extension
  • Dumbbells lower to hip level (swing)
  • Into prone (bent over position) triceps kickbacks
  • Straight arm kickbacks
  • Bent over row
  • Upright row
  • Front raise

If your not sure about any of the exercises above check out our YouTube video on mobility and exercise flows and complex

Avocado and Tomatoes Egg Breakfast Recipe by FitFarms Matthew Rankmore

AvocadoBreakfast as they say is the most important meal of the day as they say but many struggle with getting the essential breakfast in for them! Bored of the same old porridge?

Change up your breakfast with one simple ingredient, EGGS! Eggs are such a dynamic ingredient as they can be manipulated into tasting like anything you add to them from spinach and mushroom to satay eggs with nut butter.

Not only dynamic for taste but also variety such as omelette, scrambled egg, poached egg, soufflé, or the possibilities with eggs are endless so when you feel like you can’t stomach another boring breakfast, chop some bacon, add a few mushrooms, a few sprigs of thyme into a pan with 3 eggs and enjoy a delicious omelette that will take no longer than 4 minutes to make.

Here is a good example – 2 eggs, 1/2 avocado and 2 tomatoes, perfect.

By Matthew Rankmore

FitFarms Derbyshire, Matlock Review April 2017 Course – Part 1

IMG_20170416_162652509Its time to get on that A38 to go to the FitFarms Derbyshire Course in Matlock as this will be my third course working for the company and I’m really excited. Not only to be working but, going to Matlock as its been years since I’ve been there.

Traffic isn’t that bad travelling there but….. It will be Easter Sunday when I’m there at the Fitness Camp.

So, I arrived at the Fitness Course Location before any of the Fitness guess arrive looking for the rest of the fitness team. The holiday cottages look beautiful and all made to look like they are years old in the beautiful peak District stone.

I see Jodie a member from the FitFarms Health Team walking to greet me so I know where to meet the rest of the team. Had a good feeling straight away and the fitness team are like a small family and look after each other. We have to with spending so much time together.

Well, work started straight away with setting up the Fitness Boot camp location up for all the Fitness Course Holiday guests to arrive.

It was the first time I’ve been on the FitFarms Derbyshire Course so, Andy gave me a little tour around so I know where most things are kept etc.

Everything’s setup so, its Coffee time and get our own rooms set up and unpacked, well, kind of unpacked anyway. I always pack too much stuff. Anyone would think I’m working away for a year and not just a week!

Its time to pick the first group of the Fitness Course Guests up from the Train station so, me and Andy jump into the car and drive down to the Matlock Train Station. When we get there we can see a large group standing there with their suitcases looking nervous.

Guests jumped into the transport provided and we all went take back to the holiday cottages so everyone can settle in before we kick off the fitness course.

We get back to base and Andy, Jodie, Matt and me start showing the Fitness Guests to their rooms and we are waiting for more clients to arrive throughout the afternoon.

Let the FitFarms Derbyshire Fitness Course Begin.

FitFarms Derbyshire Review April 2017 Course

excuses quoteSo this week we have been enjoying the beautiful countryside of Matlock, Derbyshire, during their stay at the FitFarms weight loss and fitness retreat, the clients can expect a mix of aerobic sessions dance sessions and stretch sessions.

We also do boxing, walking and swimming, plus badminton games on the grass and a program workshop to help prepare your own plan for your return to normality. Whilst the weather hasn’t.

Even the best for us this week it certainly hasn’t dampened the spirits of our clients who have stuck with our full on exercise routine and given it their all. Jason has been on hand to heal their aches and pains and Matt to fill their empty stomached. As always our nutritionist Lesley Harper is a big hit and helps the clients realise that a healthy way of life is a mix of balance variety and knowledge and doesn’t have to come at the cost of their social lives or the comforts.

All in all the week has been super successful and the clients all seem to have gotten a lot from it. So until the next one stay healthy people!

Andy Baker


Image Credit: Top.Me



How to Cook the Perfect Steak

Cooking steak whether it’s so pink it’s still mooing or it’s so cooked you could use it as a belt cooking steak can be quite difficult for a lot of us but I have a few Simple tips and techniques to get a perfect result any way you want it.

  1. Allow the steak to come to room temperature before cooking
  2. Use a griddle pan, preferably non stick
  3. Lightly oil the steak, NOT THE PAN
  4. Season the steak before cooking
  5. Always a low rest time.

Perfect SteakNow for cooking techniques, this method will always give you your perfect steak. Place the stake into the hot pan and cook for 1-2 minutes then flip, now to tell if your steak is cooked correctly or to how you like it put your hand in front of you and gently touch your thumb and index finger together (don’t use any pressure just bring them together so they are just touching) now press the fatty tissue of your hand below the thumb, you will notice it is very squidgy and soft, if you press the steak after 2-3 minutes of cooking you will feel that it is the same as your fatty tissue below your thumb when the index finger and thumb meet.

If you move onto the next finger you will feel that the skin gets tougher below your thumb this continues to the pinkie. As you continue cooking the steak it will also resemble the same feel, so from the index finger to the pinkie is the how long you should cook your steak for the perfect result.

  • Index finger to thumb = medium rare
  • Middle finger to thumb = medium
  • Ring finger to thumb = medium well
  • Pinkie to thumb = well done

Matthew Rankmore
Head Chef FitFarms

Fennel Coleslaw Salad Topper

Salad topperSalad topper I’m all for eating salads for a quick and easy lunch for even on the go or at work. But there is not much worse than a bowl of leaves and chicken, I have a great recipe to excite any salad! Fennel coleslaw!

  • Take 1 head of fennel, 1/2 a red cabbage, 1 onion, a handful of coriander and finely shred them all.
  • Add to a bowl with 2 tbsp of yogurt, 1 lemon squeezed, seasoning and a tap of honey.
  • Mix well and allow to sit in the fridge for 2 hours.

You will be resulted with a fresh, light delicious coleslaw to accompany any salad.


Matthew Rankmore
Head Chef FitFarms

The FitFarms Fitness Holiday Experience in Matlock Derbyshire

Fitfarms holistic weight loss retreat is focused on the belief that…FitFarms holistic weight loss retreat is focused on the belief that your success begins with managing stress, not removing it but dealing with it respecting it if you like. So all our locations have been picked with this in mind, peaceful, restful and tranquil countryside with comfortable and well equipped accommodation, Matlock Derbyshire is no exception.

Set in Darley Dales just above Matlock Darwin lakes is only 10 minutes drive away from the tourist and shops area of Matlock and Matlock bath but when your there it feels like you are as far in the wilderness as could be, the cottages are fully furnished and recently refurbished, set around a beautiful man made lake that runs off directly into the Derwent river, we have our own area sometimes used for weddings and conferences throughout the year but for our use exclusively during the course.

It makes the perfect area for workshops and exercise classes with the average sized group and allows for the majority of the course to be held on site which really helps to remove people from the thoughts and worries of day to day life. The local walks can range from a mile up the road to 10 miles across the Dales to Chatsworth house and ground. Fantastic!

Believe it or not in some particular cases the need to de-stress and re-balance is such that we recommend more down time and less exercise which makes our locations perfect for either situation.

On a whole the scenic walks, the accommodation and the local area all add to the success of the course!

Balance, and How Sometimes Life Just Gets in the Way

CLAIRE PHOTO_3We have just completed a very successful week at Fitfarms weight loss camp and fitness retreat in the heart of the beautiful Derbyshire countryside. This week was ladies only and we put our lovely clients through their paces in the onsite studio and opened their minds with a series of helpful workshops. One topic that seemed to arise frequently throughout the duration of this course was how to maintain a positive mindset and in some cases it was evident the pressure these beautiful and determined ladies were putting on themselves. I think it’s important to realise the journey to a healthier and happier you is to find and embrace the things you enjoy in life. For example, if you don’t enjoy the gym, you shouldn’t be in there. Enjoyment leads to sustainability and there are plenty of other ways to obtain a healthy lifestyle and become fitter outside of using a gym.

Unfortunately we live in a society where social media creates a huge platform for comparison. It’s shoved in front of our faces every single day and everyone is harping on about a balanced lifestyle… but what even is balance? Quite often in these situations there is a lack of honesty so we never actually see the real balance. This makes it difficult for people to contextualise their want for certain things, (especially those naughty treats each and every one of us craves) and understand how their levels of ‘balance’ will have an effect on their long term goals. The fact is, the less healthy scale of the balance is never broadcasted by already established people with seemingly perfect lifestyles and this creates a sense of intimidation, resulting in the rest of us placing this unnecessary pressure on ourselves. Different lifestyles will result in different levels of balance, for instance one person may have a fantastic fitness regime and rather than deprive themselves completely, they sneak in the odd treat when they feel like it. For you it may be a case of one week you may have your nutrition and exercise on point and feel great for it, the next week you may be travelling for work, on the road, eating for convenience and not even getting enough sleep to provide you with the energy for a workout. The thing you have to realise is that this is okay! We are all human and the importance lies in looking at the bigger picture. If you can look at the reasons why you had to make those choices and accept them then you can rationalise your balance in a healthy way. Feeling guilty for having an off week, putting unnecessary pressure on yourself and self sabotage all lead to destructive habits and are these are often the start of a negative downward spiral, even if your journey was going great before hand. Some obstacles in life are simply unavoidable, but if you can accept the reasons for these obstacles and conquer them with certainty and mental strength then you’re already half way there!

The Benefits of Training at Home

fitfarms jodie

Editorial by Jodie – FitFarms Personal Trainer

Here at FitFarms weight loss camp and holiday retreat we strive to get you the best possible results. Many of our clients face different barriers, both mentally and physically but a common barrier we see time and time again is idea of using a gym.

So you’ve taken the first step and made the decision to embark on an exciting journey to a healthier and happier you, however when it comes to making lifestyle changes trying to do too much too soon can be daunting. On top of that, the idea of stepping out of your comfort zone and into the gym can be enough of an excuse to never even get started.

Training in a gym is great and under most circumstances would probably be the better choice for most people, after all it houses a far wider variety of equipment than any of us could dream of having in our homes. But, what if getting to the gym is simply impossible? This could be down to a variety of reasons such as confidence, location or family and work commitments simply not allowing you the time to squeeze a gym visit into your already busy schedule. This can be very demotivating, however the alternate is to train at home and this should never be overlooked or underestimated! You don’t have to feel restricted when training at home and there are many ways of training with body weight alone, however resistance bands, Swiss balls and a kettlebell can be great tools to use and are relatively inexpensive. So what are the benefits?

It’s cheap….. Gym memberships are becoming increasingly expensive with many luring you into year long contracts at the appeal of a marginally cheaper rate. Training at home is completely free so is a great option is you face financial pressures. However, if you do have a small amount of money spare, initially investing in some proper guidance can really help to give you the direction you may need and allow you to make the most out of your home workouts.

It saves time….. You instantly eliminate your travel time, changing room time, and chatting time. By the time these are factored around your workout your total gym time can easily end up eating up a substantial chunk of your day. By training at home you are being far more time efficient, reducing your overall workout time and reducing guilt for prioritising in some selfish time to work on yourself.

You are alone….. Confidence is one of the single biggest barriers many people experience when using the gym. Although it is very important to remember every person is using the facility for self improvement. You are all there for the same reason and the majority of gym goers you will find helpful friendly and even supportive. However, training at home allows you to find your feet, focus without interruptions, practice your movements and build your confidence in an environment where you will not feel judged and are free to make mistakes without feeling embarrassed or uncomfortable. Plus it completely eradicates the time wasted on waiting for equipment.

Home workouts are incredibly effective….. Even simple body weight exercises allow you to train every muscle in your body in a way that can be gradually progressed over time as you get stronger. It can be more interesting, and arguably more effective. For example completing a varied bodyweight cardiovascular circuit at home can be both more physically and mentally stimulating than hopping on a cross trainer for half an hour. Home workouts can be customised to challenge you at a level that is achievable, from really intense with a huge calorie burn to moderate and manageable if you are a beginner. You can be as creative as you like with the stuff you have around you. If you don’t have resistance bands or weights you can use water bottles, tin cans, chairs for step ups, the list goes on. Experiment and use your imagination and research different moves for different body parts, remember, there’s nobody there to judge you!

Here at Fitfarms the team are dedicated to making sure you have all the knowledge and experience you need to structure your own home workouts before you leave, in order to continue on your exciting journey into a healthier and fitter lifestyle. We are always on hand, both during and after the course to help guide you through them!

FitFarms Personal Trainer

Morning Mobiliser at FitFarms Matlock, Derbyshire

big25Start in lying down position
In a relaxed position begin by rolling your wrists and ankles clockwise and anti-clockwise for 30-60 seconds breathing in for 4 seconds and out for 7 seconds (try to maintain this breathing method for the most part of this routine).

Next make a fist and clench, squeeze tightly for 3 seconds and relax repeat this 10 times.
Then do the same with curling and stretching toes.
Single leg hamstring and glute stretch..
With one leg stretched straight out in a relaxed position on the floor bring the opposite leg up and in to the chest in a straight enough position to feel a comfortable stretch down into the hamstring but not straight (regardless of how flexible you are).

Hold in the deepest position for 2-3 seconds then without relaxing the stretch completely lie the leg across to the opposite side of the body and lower it towards the floor until you feel the stretch in the lower back and outer thigh (you may wish to change the hand position from behind the thigh or calf to the opposite hand on the outside of the lower leg or thigh) hold this position for 2-3 seconds then return to start, alternate sides and repeat 5 times on each leg.

Lower back hamstrings and glute stretch Bring both legs up into chest as above (except using both legs instead of
one at a time) lift your head as you pull your knees into your chest and squeeze for 2-3 seconds, then grabbing hold of the right foot or ankle lower the left leg back down to the floor in a straight position pull the ankle/foot of the right leg in towards your torso whilst letting the knee fall out to the side and hold for 2-3 seconds return to the start and begin again with both legs coming in towards the chest and holding for 2-3 seconds and then this time repeat the second part only stretching the left leg instead of the right repeat the 2 part movement 10 times in total with 5
individual mobilisers per side..

Thoracic mobiliser
Lying in the position but with the arms extended out in front of you take your topside arm over to your open side as far as possible towards the floor opening the torso towards the ceiling keeping the arms level with the
shoulder joint throughout the movement try and get your topside shoulder to touch the floor without allowing your legs to come into the movement once your arm and shoulder have gone as far over towards the floor (touching) as possible return to the fetal position by taking your arm in a circular motion over your head trying to maintain contact with the floor as long as possible… repeat slowly 10 times each side.

Cobra stretch into angry cat!
(Don’t ask me where these names come from? 😉)
Lying on your front body flat on the floor forehead resting on the floor palms poised down on the floor as if ready to push up off the floor, peel your body off the floor chest and shoulders first until as fully extended as is comfortable for your lower back hold this position and breath in for 4 seconds then slowly lift your hips off the floor and push your body backwards until your hips are over your heels and then continue so that your knees lift off the floor slightly, your weight will be mainly through the balls of your feet and supported by your outstretched hands as you then try to round your back off and push your chest towards the floor take 7 seconds to exhale whilst completing this second part of the movement at this point begin again to inhale for 4 seconds as you return to your starting position and hold there for 7 seconds as you exhale before beginning the movement again repeat 10 times..

This completes our morning mobiliser. Hope this helps you start your day the FitFarms way!