Tag Archives: rehabilitation


As I reflect on 2017, I am overwhelmed from the growth and opportunities.  This past year I found myself growing with not just one team, but multiple teams.  The mission is still the same, but it’s a lot more fun and moves a lot faster together!

—» 2017 HIGHLIGHTS «—

FEBRUARY – Release of my first Pilates DVD → also available for digital download ashleybensonfitness.vhx.tv ← find them here!  I’m closing out the year with 6 videos and will be adding more in 2018.

workouts VHX videos

APRIL – I was contacted by Pilates Style Magazine for an interview.. my story was published in the May/June issue

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“Hamstring strain injuries are very common in sports.  They can become chronic, nagging injuries due to scar tissue formation with up to a 63% chance of re-injury.”  Dynamic Physical Therapy & Sports Enhancement

In high school – long, long ago – I injured my hamstring playing sports and have re-injured it many times since.  IT’S SO FRUSTURATING.  

Five months ago I developed a pinched bursa in my left hip → which led to spasms in my gluteus medius  – a TRUE pain in the butt! → and then the problem trickled down into my hamstring… because it will take any opportunity to cause me grief.


First, I got K-Laser Therapy from Laser Therapy & Chiropractic Center for my hip.  This started helping immediately and paired with icing for a few weeks, inflammation was reduced without any medication.  Then I started doing pressure point therapy for my butt muscle – basically I would sit on a tennis ball holding for intervals of 3 minutes while crying from all the pain until the spasm released. Thank you Results Physiotherapy, Murfreesboro Tn for the torturous, yet effective instruction you gave me 🙂  And finally I started using a foam roller and Tye4® to rehab that stubborn hamstring.  


My BFF.  Her name is Foam Roller

The Tye4 has been HUGE in helping me maintain/regain flexibility and maintain/build strength during this time.  Over the past weeks, when my hamstring is being a nerd and causing aches and pains, I have consistently found relieve after using Tye4!  

 I also kicked my nutrition into high gear by supplementing with a few products that the pros use when they are recovering from injuries.  I figure, if it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for me!  I’ve added Advocare BioTools and Post-Workout Recovery Drink to my daily intake.  This, along with my basic core nutrition, has done wonders for my recovery.  

Here’s one extra tip…
Tennis ball + wall + back tension = much relief!!!
Give it a try!
When dealing with muscle injuries, we need to have patience, proper resources and common sense while recovering.  I just thought I’d share what’s been going on with me.  It’s easy to get discouraged, but we gotta hang in there and keep going!  
There is too much life to live to quit. 

A Little Anatomy

I am currently studying for my PhysicalMind Institute Tye4® Pilates Certification… the reason for no resent posts lately!  Well, I have been reminded – through my studying – how perfectly complex the human body is.  I am fascinated by this intricate system i.e. the reason I work in fitness!  I love that we have so much knowledge about the body, yet it is totally vulnerable and mysterious.  All the parts are arranged  in such a way as to work together for perfect function.  When one part does not work properly,  other areas WILL be effected.  Every part depends on another.


Simply put:
  • Bones support our body against gravity. We are a lot prettier this way 🙂  Hehehe
  • Muscles move the bones
  • Tendons connect the muscle to the bone
  • Ligaments connect bone to bone and helps stabilize our joints

Now let’s talk ARMS for a minute.
We are able to raise them above our head, easy (considering a healthy shoulder joint).  No big deal- not much thought, right?  Welllll, let’s take an inward look to see HOW we are able to perform that “simple movement”:
Think about the shoulder blade, or scapula, for now.  It stabilizes our shoulder both at rest and in motion.  As the arm raises upward, the scapula is responsible for range of motion and support for the arm.  It holds the arm to the body so the arm does not dangle!!!

The scapula is an ANCHOR!

As you raise your arm out to the side,
the first 30 degrees is accomplished by the arm alone- moved by the deltoid muscle.
The remaining movement is possible because of the scapula bone.
The muscle that moves this bone is the trapezius in the back.
Raise your arms out to the side and all the way up to your ears.
Now lower them.
Think about the back work that is involved.
Now do the same thing but bring the arms in front of you.
Can you feel your scapula move?
 — — — STORY TIME — — —  
College days at Houston Baptist University
Starting back to practice after volleyball season 
had ended.

So, we were back in the gym after a good Christmas break,
gearing up for training during the off season. We were lifting weight to find our max.  This means that we had to lift as much weight as possible, in one lift, for different muscle groups, to find the maximum amount of weight we could lift.
 This would allow us to find 60% of our max weight to perform  3 sets, doing 10 repetitions or we could lift 40% of our max weight for 3 sets of 15 repetitions.
Ok, so back to the gym.  I was doing the Military Press exercise with a straight bar to find my max.

Military Press Exercise

WEll, it didn’t take long to learn that the weight I was lifting was OVER my max when my shoulder dislocated while holding the weight above my head!!! OOOUUUCCCHHHH! That was too much demand for my trapezius, levator scapulae, and serratus anterior.  When they gave way, my shoulder joint lost its support.  The  rotators in my shoulder clearly couldn’t handle that load and resulted in dislocation.  Good news for me: I didn’t tear anything, but I did stretch and strain the tendons and ligaments of my rotator cuff muscles in my shoulder.  They were stretched good!  For a number of days, I had to support my injured arm with my other hand while I sneezed, coughed, or hick-upped.  If I didn’t add that extra support, my shoulder would slide out of joint, and then slide back in.  Yes, that was weird!  I rehabbed my shoulder with focus – determined to fix it and get back in the gym.  After a few weeks and a much stronger shoulder, I dislocated it again 🙁
The doctor said that if it happened again, I would require surgery.  Well, let’s not tell the doctor, BUT I dislocated it 5 more times.  BOOOO  I didn’t want the surgery and decided to live with my limitations.
Fast forward 6 years…
At this time I had earned my degree in Kineseology and was working as a Fitness Specialist and Group Fitness Instructor at the Memorial Hermann Wellness Center in Houston, Tx.
My boss and mentor Joetta Dickerson (owner of The Pilates Studio Houston and Pilates Instructor to the Houston Rockets Basketball team) started teaching me the art of Pilates.  I began studying and practicing TheMethod Pilates. Unknowingly, I rehabbed my shoulder to full range of motion and strength while using the Reformer!  Needless to say this kinda hooked me onto Pilates!

Now in 2013:  PhysicalMind Institute has created the most inventive Pilates system – TYE4® that functions as a reformer!  Reformer classes are expensive and hard to find.  Great news:  now everyone can take advantage of the benefits that come from balanced, flexibility, joint mobility, core strength, long lean muscle and coordination from the large Pilates apparatus.   

Be thankful today for your scapula 🙂
Pay attention to your movement and enjoy the fact that you have such a cool, complex “earth suit” to wear!