5th March 2018

by Brendan Murphy (Shanti Warrior Yoga)

If your spine’s not healthy, then all the hard work that you’re doing to develop your muscles could be wasted!

So it’s important to consider how your lifestyle is impacting your spine…

Due to the fact that many of us spend a lot of time sitting hunched over a desk, we are putting a lot of pressure on the front part of our intervertebral discs. These discs could be described as the “shock absorbers” between the bones of the spine…

In other words, if you don’t balance out the muscles at the front and the back of the body equally, you can end up doing yourself a mischief! That’s why (in my biased opinion!) Yoga is so great…

If you tend to over-round your back and neck (looking down at your phone for a large portion of your day, for example), you can end up with a prolapsed (or “slipped”) disc in the spine. This is because the intervertebral disc is squished at the front of the spine by the continuous pressure of the vertebrae pressing down at the anterior section, which can cause it to bulge out at the back…

No matter what your passion (Boot Camp, Football, Rugby, or Ballet!), keeping your spine healthy is always going to be important. Since Yoga places a huge emphasis on keeping the spine strong and mobile, then you start to see why so many top-level athletes and sportspeople use this practice as a compliment to their training…

One of the most important sequences in Yoga is the Sun Salutation – a series where you essentially flex and extend the spine by doing forward folds and backbends. This works the muscles in the front and the back of the body equally – which, in turn, makes sure that we balance out the pressure on the front and the back of the intervertebral discs.

This means you’ll end up with better posture (if you’re doing it right!), and that your spine will be better able to deal with whatever gets thrown at it…

Of course, the spine is also the home of the spinal cord, which transfers all the messages from the brain throughout the body – so a healthy spine is also key to stopping you getting things like trapped nerves, which can be debilitating…

So – if you’re the type of person who always focuses on just doing those ab exercises for the washboard stomach, you must make sure to do some lower back strengthening too! Ladies (and gents, I suppose!) – if you’re on the “booty boost” vibe, don’t neglect those lower back stretches too!

Remember that too much of anything is not good for you…It’s all about balance – but then, as a Yoga teacher, I WOULD say that…

About the Author

Brendan Murphy is the Founder of Shanti Warrior Yoga – a form of Yoga that focuses on building strength and flexibility in equal measure, as well as helping with stress relief and relaxation.

Brendan has been practicing Yoga for over a decade, and has been teaching since 2013. He prides himself on being able to teach people of all abilities – whether you’re a professional athlete, or someone who hasn’t done much exercise in years. As Brendan likes to say: “Just do what you can do – and every time you don’t give up, you win!”

You can get in touch with Brendan at Shanti Warrior Yoga by calling 07540 848791, following @ShantiWarriors on Twitter, or searching for Shanti Warrior Yoga on Facebook.

31st August 2017

No no…. we don’t mean the 90’s American boy band but these awesome new Instructors who have join the Fitness Squad family recently.

We thought we’d introduce them to you all so you can get to know them.


Aaron Weatherley
Aaron has a history of sport and fitness, playing football at a professional level with Aston Villa and Northampton. He also trains 5-6 times a week using resistance training and Crossfit to keep in shape. Aaron has previous experience of running boot camp sessions for three years. His attitude has always been to ‘Strive for perfection in all that you do’ and this reflects in his can do attitude in his training. Ask him about his tattoo ?


Kieran Weatherley
Kieran is energetic and has the ultimate ‘can do’ attitude. Currently studying his BSC Nutrition (Hons) his knowledge on diet and nutrition is second to none. He has an arsenal of training techniques which he drawers on from his 7 years of Thai Boxing, transferring this to sessions with his high-intensity boxing drills. Don’t be fooled by his boyish charm, Kieran ‘loves to push the limits, as limits are there to be broken.’

They love the camera and post great videos about form and new challenges every week.

#FormFriday is once again upon us!! This week tackling the plank – often done to death we can sometimes forget to check that we're doing everything correctly! Plus a little advancement option for you #squaddies that like a push, make that your standard plank at sessions!#fitnesssquad #fitness #plank #tgif #technique #form

Posted by Fitness Squad UK – Berkhamstead, Hemel Hempstead, London Colney, St Albans on Friday, 25 August 2017

Aaron and Kieran run the sessions in Berkhamsted, Hemel Hempstead, London Colney and St Albans.

Welcome to the family guys.

31st August 2017

Accountability what is it and how can it help us?

We all know the hardest thing about fitness is that initial, right let’s do this, and even then you have a battle to stayed focused and keep it up. If you’re like most people, you need a reason to do what you’re doing and this is where accountability comes in and can help you.

Accountability gives you a reason. Not only to say you’ll do something but to actually follow it through. You can make yourself accountable by sharing with someone you trust or a family member or partner by just telling them your health or fitness goals.

I’ll give you an example and I actually have done this so I know it works.

A couple of years ago I told all my friends and family that I was going to compete in a triathlon. Now at the time, I was nowhere near ready to do a triathlon, but I needed to motivate myself. I had 12 weeks to train and get myself into shape for what was going to be a big test for me and all my closest friends and family knew that. By sharing my goals with them, I was waking up early doing my swim training, then doing my sessions, then going either for bike rides or runs. My weekends were taken up by training but at the time all that I was focused on, was not letting anybody down. Now, this would’ve been the same if I wanted to lose weight, run a marathon or complete an OCR.

My point is, it doesn’t matter what it is your training for, by just letting people know you’re training for something gives you that push to do what it is you need to do. For me the more people that know the harder it made me train.

So there you have it, give yourself a goal or a challenge and share it.

Share your goals with us. We are right behind you and will encourage you every step of the way.


3rd August 2017

Hey guys, my name is Joe and I’m a certified personal trainer and an Instructor at Fitness Squad UK. I’m going to give you the low down on flexibility/stretching and the benefits of keeping those muscles flexible/supple and also dispel a few common myths and apparent pros and cons.

1) So first things first, why do we stretch and how does it benefit us? Keeping flexible and stretching is key to ANY fitness program for multiple reasons and for me first and foremost is injury prevention! Guys, have you ever sat and thought about how many reps you smash out or to be more exact how many times your muscles contract during boot camp…. A SHED LOAD 🙂 and for all that muscle contraction (or a cheeky flex in the mirror) that muscle has to be stretched off or we end up with tight muscles that can literally ping and injure with even a slight loss of form on any given exercise, boooooo!!!

2) R.O.M. you may recognise that abbreviation better as ‘range of motion’ when you have an Instructors voice ringing in your ears. Without frequent stretching to keep ourselves flexible we lose our R.O.M. and become so tight that even the simplest of exercises become a problem. Muscles can become so tight that it restricts our movement which in turn can affect our posture which as we all know can lead to all sorts of trouble….. again, boooooo!!!

3) We’ve all woken up after a tough workout the previous day and felt those muscles screaming at us right? Well this can be helped with a good stretch post session. When we train our muscles fill with lactic acid! That’s the burning sensation when you lose the will to live but you still have 5 more reps to go, well stretching off those hard earned muscles after training helps clear the fibres of the acid build up and lets oxygen pour back in to help those muscles recover a lot quicker which hopefully will help soothe those aches at the crack of dawn.



“I’ve heard if you’re really flexible you have more chance of dislocation” Guys weak supporting muscles and ligaments are the root cause of dislocations NOT supple muscles so stretch away, and for you guys that are super flexible don’t panic 🙂


“You should stretch BEFORE you exercise” stretching muscles that have not been warmed up can be a dangerous game although it does have its place in more sport specific training, as a rule of thumb just after training or during exercise is fine.


Now I’ve been in the fitness game along time and can openly admit that flexibility can very much be at the back of my mind especially after a tough session when all I want to do is rest and get some protein in! But as you guys all know we ALWAYS end the session with a good stretch off! As a fitness Instructor, I always take the time to stretch myself as well as my clients after a tough session and aim to keep us as flexible as possible. So to round up the benefits of keeping ourselves flexible and looking after those ever important muscles here are some bullet points to keep you on track if you ever want to escape the post workout stretch off 😉


  • Injury prevention.
  • Increased R.O.M. (Range of motion)
  • Increased recovery time
  • Improved posture
  • Better overall performance


Remember at Fitness Squad UK, we have a certified team of Instructors so if you have any questions regarding your own flexibility and ways to improve it then give us a shout. Keep doing what you do best Squad and stay supple.

13th June 2017

So it’s Father’s Day on Sunday, just in case you’ve missed it. And with Dad’s being notoriously difficult to buy for, we asked a few of our Fitness Squad Dad’s what they would really like for Father’s Day.

What they would like and the reality of what they receive are two very different things. Obviously, they love the paintings, hand print mugs and homemade bowl (I think it’s a bowl) and you’ve already got them a Fitness Squad UK hoodie and a place at Mission24.


Top 5 gifts for Dads this Father’s Day;

Weber Style Grill Pan

Dad’s love to be the king of the BBQ and this great grill pan means you can BBQ your meat and veg.

Made of stainless steel and perfect for baked potatoes, vegetables and fruit.

From Amazon – £22.99

Beer Hawk Beer Box

I know we said no beer but come on it’s what Dad’s love.

The super cool Beer Hawk have a big range of beer box’s from around the world.

What better present than one you can share with him (if you’re over 18 obviously)

From Beer Hawk – £20.00

Trigger Point foam roller

Using a foam roller is known to alleviate post workout aches and pains. How it works? It helps to breakdown the lactic acid build-up in your muscles and also helps to improve posture, mobility and recovery after workouts.

From Wiggle – £27.99 CLICK HERE


Mission Enduracool™ Tech Knit Cooling Towel

This very ‘cool’ towel, will stay cool when the temperature is hot, cool yourself off after a gruelling FSUK session or a Summer challenge or race. This cooling towel is made of proprietary TechKnit performance fabric designed to absorb moisture and perspiration and you keep you cool.

From ProSwim – £11.99


X-Socks Run Performance Socks

If you are going to get your Dad socks, it least get him useful ones!

These socks are lightweight, comfortable, cushioned and well vented all very necessary while Dad continues to train over the Summer.

From Wiggle – £13.99

Just don’t get him a tie!