A Simple Question: How can I continue to exercise and reduce my risk of pain and injury?

This is the question I started asking myself when, at the tender age of 27, I realised that squash and other exercise was doing some real damage to my body.  

I was a decent standard, not professional but knocking on the door, playing semi-professionally with the odd paid match and some coaching.  I had represented my club at national league level and played a lot of squash, starting at the age of 7, and trained with some great players of the game at my club in England.

As early on as my mid-twenties, it was clear that I had reduced hip mobility and this was turning into pain doing simple movements, which eventually went away after a few rallies on court, but would come back to haunt me later as sciatic pain drifted down my leg. My ankle was also becoming a problem.

I was fortunate really, circumstances meant that I started playing less, and even stopped playing for months, even as long as a year at a time.  I always came back to the sport that I loved though and that I had a fair amount of competence and experience in. The breaks gave my body a chance to rest, however.

Things were far from perfect, though.  Squash had left me with some postural issues and continued aches and pains in certain areas.  As I entered my mid-thirties, it was clear that these problems could easily cause me some serious issues in my old age.

Ever since I was young, I have always been involved in sport and exercise; my bachelors degree was in Sports Science and I have worked in the fitness industry for about 15 years in total.  It is, however, a frustrating industry to be a part of, full of fads, quick fixes that don't work, and a surprising lack of knowledge, especially in terms of human movement.

As part of obtaining my personal training license in Australia, I was introduced to 2 key influences; the work of Thomas Myers at Anatomy Trains, and Functional Patterns, founded by Naudi Aguilar.  It has taken some time, but after years of study and work on myself, practicing techniques of functional human biomechanics, I now feel like I have some valuable knowledge to give.

On this website I will show you how certain forms of exercise hurt you and how to mitigate this, prolong your career in any sport (whether professional, amateur, or casual), reduce pain, discomfort, and move more efficiently in everyday life.

Why "The Free Trainer"? Well, that's because I enjoy my freedom, especially through travel and exercise. If you can keep your body in near perfect working order, then the world is your oyster. The ability to move freely opens up experiences you never thought possible and this is all part of the rationale behind this site (not to mention all the free information on this site). Indeed the picture above is from Cape Levique in the Kimberly in Australia after the end of a 11 000Km cycling trip from Melbourne.


Based now in Cairns in Tropical North Queensland, Australia, I focus on first improving posture then working on gait mechanics to help people move more efficiently and therefore placing less stress and strain on their bodies.



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Christopher Smith


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