What is Sports Therapy

sports therapy

A question I’ve been asked on several occasions, often followed by ‘is that like massage and stuff!’ In all honesty it’s quite a difficult question to answer for several reasons. Unlike most mainstream healthcare professions it is not regulated by the HCPC but instead comes under complimentary therapies, this means the title is not protected and essentially anyone with a sports massage qualification can use the title Sports Therapist (ST), that said many will preferentially use ‘Massage Therapist’, as many with a degree will use ‘Graduate Sports Therapist’ to differentiate.

That’s not to dismiss massage therapists as there are many who have spent years developing their skill and understanding, and are not necessarily any less knowledgeable than those flaunting a degree. With the availability of CPD courses sometimes those who trained initially as massage therapists will have added other treatment modalities to their skill set and be equipped to offer more than just massage – further adding to the confusion! An explanation I read that made the most sense to me was along the lines that with a degree the expectation is there that the practitioner should be better able to understand research to choose what to integrate into their practice.

Going back to the initial question, yes a Sports Therapist will often massage – amongst other things! Adding to the difficulty with the question is the various settings and teams that ST’s can work in, unsurprisingly many work in sports -some will work at events on an as and when basis, some work for teams/clubs either part time such as on match days providing pre-event work like massage, stretching and taping, as well as potentially pitch side first aid; some will work on training days too assessing injuries and designing rehabilitation plans; and some will work full time incorporating screening to prevent injuries as well as strength and conditioning. ST’s often work in gyms as availability of equipment to use for rehabilitative exercise is a huge benefit, and there’s many whose interest and additional qualifications lie in fitness. There are others who work equally as well in clinics, often alongside other healthcare practitioners. Some incorporate other additional qualifications such as nutrition or sports psychology into their roles too. The title itself can be a bit misleading as although it has ‘sports’ in it, the basis of what a ST predominantly does clinically is assess musculoskeletal injuries – not always sustained from sport! It is little wonder then that many go on to further education often studying aligned subjects such as Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy.

To conclude and try to answer the question ‘what is Sports Therapy?’ succinctly I think the simplest answer is ‘a many and varied thing’.

Editorial by FitFarms Health and Fitness Team

Image credit: HFE.co.uk

Inspirations: Getting to know FitFarms’ Sports Therapist

Jennie HebbIn the words of Julie Andrews ‘Lets start at the very beginning’, this is my first time writing a blog so it does indeed seem like a very good place to start!

As a child, when asked what I wanted to be when I grew up I always replied ‘a dancer’, that changed the day I met the school careers advisor whose advice went: ‘it’s a very hard career to get into, think of something else!’ It had never occurred to me to be anything else, and so I ended up like many not knowing what I wanted to do, and eventually working in retail.

I took up yoga as a hobby at twenty two which I found I loved, there’s lots of schools of yoga and the one I found (or which found me) focused a lot on correcting and adapting postures which I found really interesting. Now career wise I progressed to management but always felt I’d fell into it rather than chose it and scoured prospectuses hoping to find what I’d ‘feel’ I should be doing, while filling my spare time with yoga and exercise classes.

I can and I will QuoteI met my partner when I was thirty and we moved away; it was one of those strange times in life where it felt like everything was coming together and falling apart at the same time. I realised I’d been searching for what I ‘should’ be doing and not looking under my nose at what I had been doing, and so I began looking into courses to teach exercise classes; I then ventured off (as I tend to when googling) to looking at university courses and found Sports Therapy a course that really resonated with me. I was apprehensive as I’d never thought of myself as particularly clever, but I’m fortunate to have a supportive partner who encouraged me to go to the college open day. I think there’s a lot to be said for support, as well as for effort and determination.

Today I now have a BSC (Hons) Sports Therapy, ITEC Level 4 Sports Massage and CYQ Level 2 in Exercise to music and gym based instruction, unsurprisingly I’m also aiming to add yoga in the future.

It’s been quite a journey this far but it’s taught me that anything is possible if you’re brave enough to try!

Jennie Hebb
FitFarms Sports Therapist
BSc (Hons) Sports Therapy



Image credit: Picturequotes.com

FitFarms Roast Cod with Ratatouille

Roasted Cod Ratatouille









  • 2 x 170g fillet cod
  • 1 cloves of garlic
  • 150g aubergine
  • 1 onion
  • 150g courgets
  • 1 pepper each ( red, yellow, green)
  • 4 TSP rich home made tomato sauce
  • 4 TSP olive oil
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • Salt , pepper
  • Rosemary, thyme


  • In a big pan start to put olive oil garlic and onion and herbs that have already been finely chopped.
  • Panfry for 10 minutes slowly until brown.
  • Then add the rest of ingredients.
  • When the Ratatouille is ready, put the cod in a baking tray with oil and salt and pepper for twenty minutes at 220C.
  • Then add the oil, garlic, parsley and smoked paprika. Put back into the oven and cook for 3 or 4 minutes.


Roasted Cod preparation photo above by Great British Chefs.  Check out the ingredients and method of preparation here.

Visit our blog’s recipe section for more amazing and healthy food preparation and ideas.

FitFarms for Families at London Fitness Boot Camp

Fitness FamiliesOne of our most popular courses is the FitFarms for Families programme. They run during the school holidays and have become very popular. The next available one is at FitFarms London Fitness Boot Camp which is in easy driving distance from the M25 and is already 50% occupied.

On the latest spring half term course we had 8 children and 9 adults from England and Ireland. These style of fitness camps are important to be experienced by both the child and parent so when they go home to their normal lifestyle they can support each other towards their weight loss and fitness goals.

Kim the FitFarms holistic weight loss boot camp dance instructor was in charge of the majority of children’s sessions. She did some simple dance step classes, agility using cones and some games style exercises using balls.

The children were all fantastic and one day even went walking in the snow. It was absolutely freezing but they dressed up well in hats and gloves and off they went into the snowy distance.

The next FitFarms For Families course is on May 25th and is at our London holistic weight loss boot camp. It’s easy for driving and if you do decide to drive we have plenty of free parking at the weight loss and fitness camp.

FitFarms Pearl Barley Risotto

Pearl Barley Risotto








Preparing a delicious Pearl Barley Risotto serve for 2 people.


  • 150g pearl barley
  • 350 ml hot water
  • 1/2 onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 branch of celery
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 red pepper
  • 2 grated tomatoes
  • 1/2 aubergine
  • 1 courget
  • 4 flowers of cauliflower
  • 4 flowers of broccoli
  • 3TSP olive oil
  • 20 g butter
  • 40 g cheese ( cottage)
  • Salt pepper 2 TSP smoke paprika


  • Put the barley in the water the day before
  • Finely chop the onion, garlic, celery, carrot, and pepper and pan fry with oil until browned.
  • Add the paprika and the tomatoes, then the barley, aubergine and the courget.
  • Stir slowly similar to a risotto
  • When the barley has cooked (approx 25 minutes) add the butter and the cheese
  • Steam the cauliflower and broccoli separate and use for decoration



Check out more FitFarms Recipes here.

Image Credit: The Cheerful Kitchen




FitFarms Curry Fish Recipe

Fish Curry Recipe







Prepare an amazingly delicious Curry Fish Recipe.

This preparation will serve for 2 people.


  • 350g mixed fish
  • 400g cauliflower
  • 1 TSP curry powder or paste
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger
  • 3 TSP chopped coriander
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1/3 fresh chilli
  • 1/2 lime zest and juice
  • 6 TSP coconut milk
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Boil the cauliflower and over cook to make pure
  • Drain and add the rest of the ingredients and blend until it’s a paste.
  • Mix with the fish and cook for 5 to 6 minutes.

You can serve with purple broccoli and sugar snaps.

Image example from Barnali’s Kitchen https://youtu.be/KmUzZNHDWdM


FitFarms Chairobics Exercise Routine

Addicted to Exercise QuotePerformed using music at 128 bpm (beats per minute) movements can be performed either on the beat (1:1) or slowed to every other (1:2) if timing to music.

Seated (sitting towards front of chair /perched on buttock bones)

1. Cx flexion, Cx rotation (R/L), Cx lateral flexion (R/L), Shoulder shrugs x4 double, x4 single R/L, Shoulder rolls x4 forward/ x4 backward. Repeat.

2. a) Lateral raise x8, b) Bicep curl x 8, c) Pec dec x8, d) Horizontal bicep curl x 8. Repeat.

3. Forward row x8, Lateral sway x8, Tx/Lx Rotation (R/L) x8, Lean back x 8 (holding onto side of chair). Repeat.

4. Toe taps, Heel taps, Toe outs, Heel outs. Repeat.
(Mix up between alternate feet, both feet, single & double taps.)

5. March, Heel digs, Tap backs, Knee lift & hip rot. Repeat.
(Mix up between alternate feet, both feet, single & double taps.)

Standing (use chair back for stability if needed)

6. March x16, *Heel digs x16, *1/2 Jacks x16, *Push backs x16. Repeat.
(*Mix up between single -R/L/R/L & double R/R/L/L.)

7. March x16, *Knee lift x16, *Knee lift & hip rot. x16, *Leg curl x16. Repeat.
(*Mix up between single -R/L/R/L & double R/R/L/L.)

8. Knee lift -hold 30 secs (R/L), Leg curl -hold 30 secs (R/L), Lunge -hold 30 secs (R/L). Heel-Toe walk.

Seated (sitting towards front of chair /perched on buttock bones) + Resistance band

9. *Single leg march x16 (R/L), *Knee extension (straighten) x16 (R/L), ^Knee lift & hip rot. x16 (R/L) Repeat. (*Resistance band under heel, ^Resistance band around thighs)

10. a)Shoulder external rotation x16, b)Horizontal external rotation x16, c)Internal rotation x16, d)Chest press x16. Repeat.

11. a)Bicep curl x16, b)Hammer curl x16, c)Tricep extension x16, d)Underhand Row x16. Repeat.

12. Double clap on lap bring one hand to touch ear & one to nose x4 (R/L), Bicep stretch, Tricep stretch, Chest stretch, Upper back stretch, Heel-Toe walk in/out, Cross legs, Extend (straighten) knee (holding onto leg), Lateral stretch (sideways reach towards floor), Rotational stretch (sitting sideways on chair turning body towards chair placing hands on the back of it to assist turning).

Cx, Tx, Lx: Cervical (neck), Thoracic (upper back), Lumbar (lower back) spine

1. Flexion: chin to chest, Rotation: turning to look over shoulder, Lateral flexion: bringing ear to shoulder

2. a) Palms down, lift both arms horizontally to shoulder height & lower.
b) Palms facing forward bend elbows to bring hands up to shoulders.
c) Arms lifted horizontal to shoulder, elbows bent into a right angle, palms facing each
other bring forearms together
d) Arms lifted horizontal to shoulder, palms turned up, flex (bend) elbows for hands to
touch shoulders

5., 7.& 9. Knee lift & hip rot.: lift thigh, turn knee out & lower to the side.

a) Keep elbows into sides of body, hold band with an underhand grip, pull band apart.
b) Stand/sit on one end of the band, hold the other end, lift the arm horizontally level with the shoulder, bend elbow into a right angle palm facing the floor, lift the hand (rotating the shoulder) so the palm faces forward.
c) Starting in the end position of b) reposition the band to be behind the arm/shoulder, lower the hand (keeping the elbow lifted/in line with the shoulder) so palm faces the floor.
d) Place band around the upper back (under the shoulder blades) & under (R & L) axilla (underarm), hold onto both ends of the band, place both arms as with start position of b), push arms away together, keeping elbows lifted. (May also be performed alternately in a punching fashion).

a) Stand on the middle of the band, hold both ends, keep elbows into sides of body, palms facing up bend elbows to bring hands up to shoulders.
b) As with a) only with palms facing each other.
c) Stand on the middle of the band, hold both ends, elbows flexed (bent), keep elbows into sides of body, alternately (R/L) extend (straighten) the elbow & shoulder (pushing the hand & arm backwards).
d) Stand on the middle of the band, hold both ends with an underhand grip (palms facing up), keep elbows into sides of body, lean forward slightly, push elbows backwards to bring hands closer to torso. Note: motion is from the shoulder NOT the elbow.

Image credit: https://quotefancy.com/exercise-quotes

Balance in Health and Fitness

Balance and fitnessBalance is what we teach at the FitFarms Weight Loss Retreat

And I don’t mean the kind that allows you to stand on one foot whilst catching a ball!

Balance in life is something that seems to be slipping away in most areas of our lives and society these days. It seems to be our nature to want to be one end or the other but never happily balanced in the middle.

If your thinking of choosing a healthier lifestyle or making some major changes to improve your quality of life, try not to think of the extreme or most direct path in a hope to achieve your goals the quickest. In my experience at the FitFarms weight loss retreat it doesn’t last instead think of the most scenic route the most enjoyable approach the pace and path that allows you to enjoy your efforts and allows you to learn about the world and the people around you rather than brushing it all to the side whilst trying to hit the finish point first.

Obviously, I can’t speak from experience in all walks of life or career choices etc but from a health and well-being point of view I think thanks to the thousands of clients at the weight loss retreat that I’ve had the pleasure to meet through FitFarms and the successes a realistic amount have had it seems to be the most manageable and maintainable approach. If it is a lifestyle change you are wanting to make and not a quick fix then consider balance before anything else.

Image credit: https://www.pinterest.com.au/pin/240450067577959749/

2018 Weight Loss and Fitness Retreats in the UK and Spain

Spain FitFarms Fitness Boot Camp

FitFarms Boot Camp Spain, situated in Altea, a beautiful town within the northern part of Costa Blanca.

Every year FitFarms likes to do something different to keep everything exciting and fresh. Three years ago we opened a camping weight loss and fitness retreat in Worcestershire which was a great success. It opened up a new market with a lower retreat price and surprisingly to us camping enthusiast who just wanted a more exciting camping experience.

2018 is already upon us and this year we are launching FitFarms London and FitFarms Norfolk. FitFarms London has already proven to be very popular and we are still 6 months from the start date. The venue is absolutely fantastic with a wonderful converted barn with en suite bedrooms and one large penthouse with a Victorian free standing bath. The London fitness retreat has the added benefit of a beautiful country paddock where we will be erecting our British Bell Tents.

FitFarms Norfolk launchers on 23rd March and we are already 50% occupied. I’m not sure if this is because we are just 90 minutes from central London or 9 minutes from the beach! What we do know though is that we will be carrying out some exhilarating back workouts and scenic coastal walks.

Over the years we have had some real classic locations which all our guests love being Derbyshire and Dorset. These will be staying with us and because of this FitFarms will be offering more course dates than we ever have in 2018.

How to do simple Aerobic Moves

aerobics exerciseIf anyone has joined in with a aerobics class they can be quiet intimidating if everyone else in the class has either been going to that class for some time or they are a regular aerobics class goer. It can be very off putting and sometimes can be scary for people to.

Any good instructor should know that they have new people joining in their class and should give easier options etc.

I’m just going to give you a few pointers how to do a few of the basic steps you will find in most Aerobic Classes.

Step Touch

Simply step to the right with your right leg and bring your left leg to meet the right leg. Then simply step your left leg out to the left and bring your right let to meet it. Always keep the knees soft as this will take the impact off your knees and back.

If you want to increase the intensity then start to move your arms either out to the side, in front or over head. Simple..!!


One of the most used steps in any aerobics class and will be for sometime.

Start with doing a double step touch like above but do double it, I.e right leg out then bring left leg to join in but the repeat the same steps again to the right. Do exactly the same on the left side and this is called a ‘double step touch’.

To change this into a grapevine simple step out to the right but…. Heel first the with the right foot as you glade through with your left leg moving behind the right leg and bring the left let together with the right leg. Repeat on other side.

Same again if you want to increase the intensity move the arms like explained above.

Box Step/Easy Walk

Another very common steps in aerobics is the Box Step or called the Easy Walk.

Simply step forward with the right leg then the left leg keeping the feet hip or shoulder width apart the step back with the right leg then left leg but this time bring the feet more or less together then step out again with the right leg.

Repeat on the side starting with the right leg etc.

Same a before increase the intensity but using arm lines or step wider, longer or lower to increase the intensity much more.

These are the three most common steps you will find in ANY Aerobics class but made simple.