Movement is more important than ever in this time of lockdown so we reached out to one of our favourite island based personal trainers Rob Hanrahan to get some inspiration.

How long have you been a personal trainer? 

I have been working as a personal trainer for almost 5 years now. I qualified in London and was working at Gymbox…until I decided to move my life to the sunshine! A background in competitive sports; including athletics (100m), rugby, American football & tennis, has allowed me to build up a comprehensive training style, adapted from a variety of different disciplines.

What do you believe are the main differences between what you do and a client simply going to a gym? 

In my opinion, working with a personal trainer (PT) provides an incredible opportunity to learn. I enjoy helping my clients feel comfortable and confident in what they are doing. Building up strength & control from simple through to more complex movements. I like to include elements of “play” into my training sessions too, which allows us to have some fun along the way. For some people, one of the main barriers to exercise can be motivation. I have clients who are completely competent in a gym and know exactly what they are doing, but they prefer the accountability aspect of having training sessions booked in.

Actually making it to the gym, or starting whatever form of exercise is it you enjoy is one thing. But using that time in the most productive & structured way, is where a personal trainer can really help. We’ve all done it, gone to workout and have spent more time sitting down, scrolling on our phones and daydreaming, than we have actually moving our bodies! Trainers will help to keep you on track, stay motivated and make sure you’re working towards your goals in a structured and safe way.

Ibiza has been under lockdown now for many weeks – how has this affected your day to day business and how have you adapted to the temporary lifestyle? 

In the past, I’d never been especially keen on the idea of training clients online or becoming an online coach, as I really enjoy the physical communication & interaction that my job requires. But we currently find ourselves in a completely unprecedented situation, and as humans, we need to adapt to our environment. Like so many other people around the world, the current lockdown has had a huge impact on how I work.

I’m usually outside all day, training clients in various beautiful places around the island, so it is a huge contrast to now be spending all of my day inside. I count myself incredibly lucky however, that I’ve been able to adapt my business and keep training some of my clients online. A massive positive I have taken away from this experience so far, has been the opportunity to connect and reconnect with clients online.

Maybe now during lockdown more than ever; how important is it that people make changes to their daily routines to include exercise? 

Once we’re born, we spend years learning how to move. Crawling, walking, running, learning to play sports etc. At some point throughout our lives, this desire to explore our movement capabilities as humans becomes lost for many of us. ‘Life’ takes over and we begin to prioritise our time differently. I feel that lockdown is an incredible opportunity for us to re-evaluate how we prioritise our time and maybe make some changes to include more things that are good for our bodies & minds. Many people use ‘lack of time’ as a reason not to exercise or move more, NOW is that perfect opportunity you’ve been waiting for!!

It is so easy to start a habit of fitness but to get out of the flow after a week, what can we do to keep a healthy habit? 

I feel that lockdown is such an incredible opportunity for people to try new things. Starting something new can be incredibly easy, but actually forming a new habit can be incredibly challenging. It is important to set goals and make sure you’re working towards something. Anyone can go online and jump around their living room doing a fitness class for an hour. But you need to focus on WHY you’re doing this in the first place. Ask yourself two questions, “how will I feel if I do this” and  “how will I feel if I don’t do this”. Set yourself goals, stay accountable and reward yourself for your achievements! 

Nutrition and mental health as well as fitness play key roles in maintaining our overall health at the moment, do you have any tips on how to balance all of these elements particularly during quarantine? 

Take this opportunity that lockdown has provided to learn how to meditate. Meditation is one of the best self-care practices that we can adopt for our mental health, there are plenty of apps that can help you get started; Headspace and Calm are really good options. Helping to manage the stress and anxiety that many of us suffer due to the pressures of our modern society. This can be done in as little as 5-15 minutes per day and is one of the healthiest and most beneficial habits you can build into your daily routine. Nobody can use the excuse that they don’t have time at the moment!

Lockdown will be an incredibly testing time for many people. Especially when boredom sets in, the tendency will be to head to the kitchen and eat or snack. Making healthy food choices is incredibly important, not just during lockdown. I often ask new clients to record a food diary; detailing what & when they have eaten or drunk over a 7 day period. This can easily be done at home during lockdown. It is a really useful tool, but if nothing else, it should highlight a few small changes that can be made, to create significant long-term benefits. The brain functions at its best when we’re eating a nutritious and balanced diet. So nutrition and mental health go hand in hand. Add a regular exercise routine into the mix and your body and your mind will thank you forever. 

Good nutrition, investment in your mental health and regular movement are equally important. On my retreats (Move With Us Retreats), we prioritise each of these elements equally and aim to provide our guests with knowledge on how  they can form all of this into long lasting habits.

If we are doing a lot of fitness how important is it to do stretches/yoga to stretch our muscles and the body?  

Having a regular stretching & mobility routine is equally as important as having a regular fitness routine. Yoga allows for a really strong connection between the mind & the body. As this connection increases, we become ‘in tune’ with our physical body. Practicing yoga regularly helps to highlight any imbalances within our bodies. This will be useful to know, because we can then direct our training to strengthen areas that have been highlighted as being weak or inactive. Yoga can help to realign the posture and regular stretching & mobility drills will help to increase muscle control, flexibility and range of motion.

What are your favourite stretches and yoga positions for this?  

I have named a few of my favourites below, which are great to do on their own, or to incorporate as post exercise stretches.

1) Downward facing dog (Amazing full body stretch) 

2) Low lunge (Hip flexors, helps to un-do the damage of so much sitting)

3) Reclined pigeon (Great for the glutes and hips and especially good if you are quite tight or restricted in this area)

4) Cobra (A great spine, chest and abdomen stretch)

5) Thread the needle (Opens the shoulders and stretches the spine)

Is there anything else you want to share here that may support people needing the motivation to get moving? 

I think the main thing is to stay consistent. When it comes to exercise, if you are consistent, you will see results and this will motivate you even more. Try falling in love with the process instead of simply the result. Once we enjoy and start to love the process, the results will come naturally. Also, if you struggle with motivation, go back to the start and remind yourself WHY you’re doing this! Set yourself realistic and achievable targets & goals and reward yourself for every one of your successes! The human body is nothing short of incredible and we as humans are capable of amazing things. Challenge yourself!

Can you advise some simple exercise routines we can do at home? 

Rather than suggesting an exercise routine, I would recommend for people to spend some time during lockdown getting familiar with some basic, fundamental movement patterns. I have listed 4 movement patterns below, which will stimulate all of the major muscle groups in your body. Allow your body time to build confidence & strength in the basics, slow & steady wins the race!

1) Push (Pushup)

2) Pull (Pullup or row)

3) Squat

4) Hinge (Glute bridge)

For more information on Rob’s retreats or to get started with a personal trainer this summer please contact us.