Can you please tell me a little about yourself and how your passion for fitness developed?
Ah a bit about myself, where do I start…ok, well I started very young with Olympic Lifting. My dad was a big weightlifter back in the day and I guess he wanted me to be like him! He started me in Gymnastics when I was 7 years old and Olympic Lifting at 9. The two sports go hand in hand when it comes to explosiveness, balance and of course, mobility.
But as a kid, I can’t say I really enjoyed it much at that age and really all I wanted to do was play football. By the time high school started I had stopped olympic lifting and gymnastics and was really getting into martial arts and basketball. In fact I’m still playing basketball to this day.
You’re very experienced in rehab. How has your experience with past injuries helped you to share this knowledge with others?
I’ve definitely had my fair share of injuries so have consequently been seeing sports doctors, chiros, physios and remedial massage therapists for over 20 years. I’ve suffered broken bones in my foot, smashed radius head in my elbow, torn labrum in my shoulder, and bulging discs in my lower back.
I have recovered from all these injuries and along the way collected valuable knowledge about rehab/recovery exercises, core stability and injury prevention, and of course which I’ve found to be the best/worst massage therapists/chiros/physios and other services out there.
It would also be fair to say that a good part of my rehab knowledge has stemmed from my deep love of watching sports on TV together with a keen interest in the human anatomy and how/why our bodies respond in different ways.
I pretty much watch every NRL game during the season and all the big Rugby games. Then in the off season its all about the English Premier League and the NBA. There isn’t a week that goes by without players sustaining injuries and I’ve always had an interest in following their rehab progress and their post injury performances. I’m always reading up on the new sports science and rehab surgeries that improve week in and week out, its all completely different to 10 years ago.
What is your biggest accomplishment to date?
I guess my biggest success was ditching a 14 year IT career and becoming a PT here at Titan. I haven’t looked back. I love coming in everyday and working with my awesome clients.
They work so hard and its a brilliant feeling to know that I’m able to make a positive contribution in their lives. One of my clients who came to me a couple of years ago had multiple tears in his shoulder and couldn’t even lift the 20 kg bar without weights.
After pre-hab for a few months he got the much needed operation and we then started whole body strength training. He’s now one of my star clients, at 68 years old he can dead lift 160 kg and squat 140 kg.
If someone is experiencing lower back pain, what are the top exercises/mobility routines you’d prescribe to a client to help them alleviate and prevent this pain?
Firstly, everyone is unique and it’s a case by case basis. There is not one right answer for all. I really would need to find out exactly what’s going on with the rest of their body.
Knowing their injury history is the first thing, and knowing their sporting history and work place history is paramount. Basic hyper-extension movement is the best place to start as these strengthen the lower back and glutes/stabilizers.
An example exercise here is the “Superman” exercise, performed while lying on the floor or using the “Glute and Ham” machine.
If someone has knee pain, what exercises are important to do to strengthen the knee?
Again, everyone is unique and its always a case by case basis. It’s often the oldest injuries which are to blame for new symptoms. For example, an ankle injury as a teenager can create an imbalance over time, causing either the left and right side to take on more of the load, without a person even knowing it.
Years later, when the person is complaining about pain in their knee or lower back, neither of which has ever had an accident or incident, when we dig a little deeper it becomes clear that it is in fact the ankle which was injured years before which is causing the opposite side of their body to overwork and tighten up, eventually causing pain.
Some knee strengthening exercises are “Lunges” as these will team up your quad, hamstring and glutes, balance left and right sides, and expose weaknesses that need to be strengthened if one side is weaker than the other.
Let’s end on a fun one: if you could only perform one Olympic lift for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?
Definitely the snatch. It’s the ultimate advanced move to test your strength, explosiveness and whole body mobility.
Where can people go to follow you and find out more about you?
Facebook “Paul Con PT”, Insta “paulcon_PT_Olylifter”, and of course come and say hi anytime in the gym.
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