Foot Strike in Running

Foot Strike Types








As anyone that’s been on a FitFarms course will know I like a good stretch and often focus on an area generally neglected -feet; as I’ve also been on a bit of a running kick I decided to combine the two and discuss foot strike in running. I mentioned a while back about how running technique varies from person to person and foot strike essentially is a part of an individuals technique.

When we talk about foot strike there are three types – rear foot, midfoot and forefoot. Each is pretty much as they sound, rear foot is where the foot strikes the ground with the heel or rear third of the foot, mid where the metatarsal heads or middle third of the foot strike first and fore where again the metatarsal heads strike first but where the heel does not lower to the ground (with that said there are a few different methods for deciding foot strike including one that suggests ankle position should be considered as well, but for simplicity consider the foot in thirds!).

It has been believed that forefoot strike is the more natural way to strike, and when I say natural I mean how you would strike if unshod, however the majority of people seem to rear foot strike; this has been assumed
due to the creation of footwear however studies have shown from barefoot runners in Africa a majority also rear foot strike.

Some people have changed how they strike through practice believing it less injurious to fore or mid foot strike despite it being noted that there is little research wise to show any benefit long term (though I think it’s partly that there’s little research on the matter full stop). Forefoot running is shown to lower the impact and ground reaction force (the force return, if you like) compared to rear foot and it is demonstrated that top rank participants at different distance events were often fore or mid foot strikers; it has been suggested that foot strike may be specific to the task, with fore foot strike apt for increased speed and rear foot better for conserving energy with reduced oxygen uptake by running at submaximal speed, though as you can probably glean from the theme running through, this also is not definitive!

Health and Fitness exercise tip by the FitFarms team. FitFarms specialises in Fitness and Weight Loss Holidays for people of all different fitness levels, shapes and sizes. Check out our next courses here.

Foot strike image source by Ronnie Station

Andy Baker Day 4 at the London Weight Loss Boot Camp



Day 4 in the fitfarms weight loss boot camp house in London

As always we begin with our morning mobiliser but as it’s such a lovely morning we have decided to do it outside on the grass, it’s a beautiful morning at half past 7 it’s already warm enough to sit in the sunshine or shade and not get cold and there is something fantastic about the whole experience of this mornings weight loss boot camp session outside, so come breakfast everyone is feeling good and ready for another day.

After breakfast we have the 2nd section of our nutrition talk and something a little more intensive in terms of exercise, it’s a legs bums and tums session with a half hour stretch after.. you know it’s been a good class when people are still sweating after half an hour stretch .

We always like to change the weeks up as much as we can make every site different to some degree and still manage the approach the same. So although some of our classes maybe more intensive or more aerobic or more resistance based than you’d usually go for we try to ensure that everyone gets benefit and all levels are catered for in the group environment. The afternoon is the program workshop.. an usual one in all honesty it looks at planning and progressing towards your goals and there is just a teeny tiny incy wincy bit of exercise as well .

The workshop itself will be based on the idea that if we are more adaptive and flexible with our lifestyles then we can make them stick a lot easier and we are then able to make it a lifestyle and not just a means to an end. 

After dinner as always our final class is one of relaxation and de-stress usually either yoga Pilates stretching or something along those lines this evening it is facilitated stretching a really good way of releasing proprioceptive tension it always goes down well as a class and we usually get some great results from it. Please have a check of the NHS website on destressing. Another steady day has come to an end but with lots to soak up and think about and a big day ahead tomorrow it’s an early night for the group now well into the 2nd half of the week.

Andy Baker’s Blog On FitFarms London

FitFarms Fitness Retreat Kickstart Healthy Living



Day 3 in the Fitfarms holistic weight loss boot camp house

Today is Monday at the FitFarms London weight loss boot camp and we start again with some key mobility movement before breakfast. I find it’s easier to get clients to buy into the aerobic classes, the resistance classes and the hiit classes than it is the mobility ones sometimes.

So driven are we to sweat to prove we are burning calories and to burn calories to prove we are losing weight and to lose weight to prove we are achieving any of our goals that the most important bits are often not considered enough.. anyway that’s a point for another blog.

Those that attend the morning sessions talk over breakfast about how much better they feel and looser than they did when they first woke up, which I smugly point out is the whole aim of the holistic weight loss boot camp exercise.

After breakfast we have quite a busy morning planned with a local walk and then our second boxing session (the first one went down so well everyone was keen for a second) and then lunch comes around before we know it.

The local walk was great, it was lovely weather fresh air and countryside and it makes such a difference to mood when it all comes together like that, then boxing is great for the endorphins and releasing a little stress so much so the clients don’t realise how hard they’re working then by the time lunch came around spirits were riding high but energy levels low.

Not to worry thou as after lunch we have our first nutrition workshop and and a movement and agility based circuit class both of which were more mentally engaging than physically challenging.

In the nutrition workshop Lesley Harper lays the foundations, explains in a very complete way how and why we need certain foods and the effects of stress on the body and she also starts to unpick a few myths and misrepresentations. Lesley has been a long serving member of BANT and her workshops are extremely informative.

In the other room Jen breaks down movement, co-ordination, posture and balance and all things fundamental about movement. All in all a great day, well rounded, informative, de-stressful  after dinner there is one last stretch class to end the day and the evening snack and then we are officially half way through the week.

July 2018 FitFarms Norfolk Camp – Day 2 Review

walking exercise

It’s Sunday and the first workout of the day starts at 7:30am it’s the morning mobiliser, an hour of movement and articulation based exercises to get the body loose and nimble, straight after is breakfast and after that a personal favourite kettlebells! Followed by a class involving fitballs sliders and body weight exercises combined into mini circuits each one lasting 6 minutes and then we change the exercise but keep the equipment the same it flows really well and gets the group hot and sweaty, it’s never boring and easy to adapt so it works really well. Before we know it lunch has arrived and it’s time for a break.

We always try to give around 15-30 mins off before meals and half an hour after to allow food to settle etc but today it’s not so much of an issue as after lunch it is our 1st workshop of the week so it’s a sit down session for an hour and a half. In the workshop we talk about balance and variety as well as the importance of a more stress considered approach.

After the workshop along with a little “homework” we have a local walk to stretch our legs before dinner.. our first walk is always a short one just enough for us to assess the different paces and abilities in the group and for the group to get a little off site time.

After a nice quiet (ish) afternoon we have dinner and finish again with a stretch all be it slightly more active this evening.

It’s a lovely end to the Sunday and the weather has really been in our favour for the weekend so spirits are high and with the nutrition workshop tomorrow no day is ever the same for the group so although tired and happy with what they’ve accomplished so far they are powering on excited for the coming days activities all over again.

Health and Fitness exercise review by the FitFarms team. FitFarms specialises in Fitness and Weight Loss Holidays for people of all different fitness levels, shapes and sizes. Check out our next courses here.

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July 2018 FitFarms Norfolk Camp – Day 1 Review

fitness exercise

After measurements and breakfast the exercise begins, first off we have an intro to exercise a basic movement class where we cover adaptions and alternatives people may need to use throughout the week and this session is usually capped off with an 8 minute fitness test. Haha the clients are usually really happy at the end of those 8 minutes!

After this we had a yoga session with Rosie, it’s a great introduction if you’ve never done it before and Rosie really understands not everyone is there for the yoga so makes it a very well rounded session.

Next on the agenda is lunch, it’s chicken on the bone and cous cous salad today which sounds really straight forward but looks like something special even after 7 years of working at fitfarms the mealtime is still my favourite!

After lunch it was time for 1 and a half hours of boxing, that’ll get em’ sweating! People are always surprised if they haven’t done boxing or boxercise before for how much they enjoy it and how much they get from it, it really is great fun and I can honestly say I have t had a single course where the majority wouldn’t want to do it more than once in a week.

Next up is an intro to aerobics, we find people enjoy aerobics and dance type classes if they can at least follow the moves so we do an intro that teaches the basics and timing etc that way everyone gets involved, Jen has made this class into a really good progression so throughout the week everyone can see either base improvement and/or get a workout from it.

Core Session
After this it’s our first core session and again the basics are covered in the session it’s enough of a workout in itself but it’s focus is on correct technique. It’s a different enough approach that even the well trained will feel the benefits the day after. At this point a few of the more hardened and well conditioned clients may think it’s not a strenuous enough start to the course but it is exactly that and funnily enough the ones that usually ask on the first day are the ones suffering the most on the 2nd and 3rd day.

After dinner is the final class, a stretch session possibly one of the most important sessions of the day but typically the most underrated let’s face it “NO ONES EVER GOING TO BURN CALORIES OR GET FIT BY STRETCHING!” But we aren’t interested.

Health and Fitness exercise review by the FitFarms team. FitFarms specialises in Fitness and Weight Loss Holidays for people of all different fitness levels, shapes and sizes. Check out our next courses here.

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Do You Think You Need To Exercise?

fitness exercise

A healthy life is a balanced life! But unfortunately a lot of us are so confused as to what a healthy or balanced life actually is we end up following or striving for goals that aren’t our own! A healthy person has balance and a balanced person has health.. not knowing where our own balance lies is I believe the reason we look for the evidence in terms of visual change. We need to see weight loss or improvements in physical fitness to assure us that what we are doing is working. When in reality anything we do to improve our health will have an immediate impact as well as play a part in the larger picture. We need to think health first!

Everyday we hear about a new study on obesity, health factors, illness and mental and physical disease. In a way our constant self analysis, comparison and judgement in all our self awareness can be a tool of our own evolution and development but it can also be a major component in our decline of health and wellness. The added stress and fatigue that sets in from this awareness is generally not considered a factor when trying to “be healthier” but think about it when might exercise and calorific restriction have a negative affect? When our bodies and minds are already too fatigued to respond well to it.

And what is the general response to being told our health is at risk because of weight or diet..? Personally I don’t think it’s coincidence that the worlds health appears to be in steady decline and we appear to be struggling with more issues now than we should be. I think it’s in the nature of how we cope how we survive. We are expecting too much of ourselves and not accounting for it in the right way. Many people would say to get fit, be healthy, to lose weight for whatever reason or see whatever results you are aiming for it is 70/80% diet 20/30% exercise but I think before that it is 100% mental health.

When I’m a good state of mind, a stress managed state the instinctive decisions we make and the conscious decisions will be what’s best for longevity but when stressed fatigued or emotional we rely on decisions for survival of the moment or current threat. So when looking to be healthy look to find balance and you can then trust in your own decisions.

Health and Fitness exercise tip by the FitFarms team. FitFarms specialises in Fitness and Weight Loss Holidays for people of all different fitness levels, shapes and sizes. Check out our next courses here.

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FitFarms Spain – June 2018 Fitness Camp Review 2

FitFarms Spain

It’s Saturday and it’s arrival day for the FitFarms Fitness Boot Camp Spain guests. We offer two pick ups at 12.30pm and 5.15pm. There is one more collection from the airport this time at 8.15pm which we are doing for a lady coming from Norway. We are under an hour from the airport which is a real advantage for making the course run smoothly.

In the morning we had chance to go into the weight loss retreat villa and set up the rooms and store foods and do the standard health and hygiene checks in the Kitchen and exercise hall. The exercise are here at the Spain weight loss camp is rather impressive. It’s a huge ball room with wooden sprung floors which is great for aerobics and other high impact classes which we run throughout the holistic weight loss boot camp.

Malaga airport was extremely busy with holiday makers coming from all different areas. We managed to meet our first group of guests without any problems though at the Hertz rental car office. Then the short trip up the mountain to settle everyone in to the accommodation. We provide s quick healthy snack for everyone as most people have been travelling since the early hours and are feeling a little hungry.

One more airport trip to go later today and then the weight loss and fitness retreat course will be underway.

Fitness camp review by the FitFarms team. FitFarms specialises in Fitness and Weight Loss Holidays for people of all different fitness levels, shapes and sizes. Check out our next courses here.

FitFarms Cardiovascular Mixed Intensity Exercise Challenge

FitFarms Cardiovascular ExerciseTime for another FitFarms challenge.. this time we are giving you 10 exercises of mixed intensity/difficulty but all more cardio-vascularly focused..

It’s a minute per exercise and it’s a pyramid so it will look like so


  • A
  • A+B
  • A+B+C
  • Etc all the way through to a full 10 exercises in a row

It would take around 1:00hr to complete all the way through with out rest however if you wish to start a bit steadier at the completion of each round you could schedule a rest ideally 10-30 seconds nothing more and the rest would stay the same all the way through but obviously this could add a few extra minutes to the total routine time.

It’s a long session this time and one of the points of a challenge is for it to push your limits so it’s not something you would do 2-3x a week as a normal routine.. it’s a one off session as a challenge see how far you get, make a note of your result and then try again in a few weeks or a month to see how it’s going. Below is a list of the 10 exercises not sure what they are look them up or get in touch with us, or the Facebook page the FitFarms club and we will be able to help you.

Or if you need alternatives you can replace the ones you can’t do with ones you can or as above get in touch and we will be able to give you some options..

  • Lateral speed step
  • Spotty dogs
  • Squat front kick
  • High knees
  • Skaters
  • Floor to ceiling
  • Running in the spot
  • Jumping jacks
  • Squat thrusts
  • Burpees

Health and Fitness exercise tip by the FitFarms team. FitFarms specialises in Fitness and Weight Loss Holidays for people of all different fitness levels, shapes and sizes. Check out our next courses here.

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The Scenic Walk Experience at FitFarms Spain – June 2018 Fitness Camp Review

Fitness Camp Spain Scenic WalkThe walks which we have planned on the Spain holistic weight loss and fitness boot camp are very scenic. The lake is a vast open area with many people taking part in water sports like kayaking and paddle boarding. The lake is also a great area to relax and swim as the water and beach area is very clean.

The Spain weight loss retreat is excellently situated as we are just 1 hour from Granada and also under an hour from Seville. The Granada walk really is breathtaking and having the ancient city as a backdrop is fantastic.

The villa we have chosen to run the retreats is very impressive. It has 3 apartments and 7 rooms all being en suite. The accommodation sits around the swimming pool and the backdrop is the wonderful Andalucia hillside.

We are virtually all set up now and ready to go. Water bootles, journals etc are all prepared for the guests and food preparation has already begun.

The science behind the FitFarms Weight Loss retreat menu is balancing blood sugar levels and portion control. We know the amount of calories that go into each and every dish but we tend not to put too much emphasis on it as calorie counting can become a little obsessive to some guests.

Fitness camp review by the FitFarms team. FitFarms specialises in Fitness and Weight Loss Holidays for people of all different fitness levels, shapes and sizes. Check out our next courses here.

FitFarms Spain – June 2018 Fitness Camp Review

people running exerciseIt’s Thursday early morning and we’re on our way to the Spain fitness camp and weight loss retreat.

This year we have changed the way we are running the weight loss and fitness retreat as we have lowered the number of guests to 12. The main reason for this is to improve the one to one attention we give the guests at the retreat. However we will be running more retreats so the intake of guests over the year will actually be more just a better standard of course.

One of the best things about the Spain weight loss retreat is the standard of food that can be bought in the supermarkets and local wholesalers. There is a fresh fish and meat market in the local town which is just 10 minutes away from the Villa. I’m cheffing this week and am already looking forward to seeing the variety of food types with all the different Mediterranean colours. There will be some videos coming up in the next couple of days of the food and the markets.

When we arrive in Malaga we will jump in a car and drive to a huge natural lake in Andalucia to do the first walk risk assessment. It’s going to be very hot so I’m not really looking forward to the run. Then we are driving down to the ancient city of Granada for the second risk assessment walk. Finally we will go back to Malaga to meet some food wholesalers and buy some more sports equipment for the FitFarms fitness camp and weight loss week ahead.

Fitness camp review by the FitFarms team. FitFarms specialises in Fitness and Weight Loss Holidays for people of all different fitness levels, shapes and sizes. Check out our next courses here.


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