Suzi morrow is a Certified Personal Trainer and Group Exercise Instructor here at Mountain Life Fitness. As many of you may know, Suzi recently underwent complete knee replacement surgery.  Prior to her surgery, Suzi struggled with Osteoarthritis in her knees and was diagnosed as having a knee condition of bone on bone.  She regularly suffered pain while doing routine exercises that are fundamental to the classes she teaches.

Prior to her surgery, Suzi opted to work directly with Jackie Wright personal training on the Pilates Reformer.  Suzi has had previous experience on the Reformer and felt it was the right format to support her in strengthening all of the muscles around the knee as well as her core. She felt that this was critical to her pre-surgery regimen in order to assure that she would have the quickest and least painful post-surgery healing.  The work on the Reformer not only strengthens the entire body but helps to keep the muscles stretched and nimble.

One might ask if Suzi was already suffering pain from her regular exercise routine, how is the Reformer different?  One of the primary differences is that while on the Reformer, the body is supine (on your back) and therefore, you are not supporting your own body weight. You are not fighting gravity and therefore it is easier on the knees and joints in general. She personally likes the way it feels on the body due to being fully supported and thus reducing the stress. 

Due to other limiting issues, Suzi was only able to train for a month prior to surgery, she would have preferred and strongly suggests a minimum of 3 months prior to a scheduled surgery in order to maximize the pre-surgery strengthening benefits and post-surgery recovery benefits.

Suzi explained that personal training on the Reformer with Jackie is a custom designed program focused upon your goals and the specific issue (such as a knee replacement) that you have. Your progression is personally based upon your circumstances and takes into account any soreness, strength or other factors.  While Jackie offers small group training on the Reformer, Suzi believes that one-one training is much better under these circumstances unless all three small group members are in the same situation (such as a scheduled knee replacement surgery). Suzi highlights that her PT with Jackie did focus upon strength in the knee/leg but nonetheless she experienced a whole body workout that helped her feel stronger from head to toe!

When I asked Suzi why she, a certified personal trainer, would seek training from another trainer? she said “doctors don’t treat themselves!” She went on to explain that the knowledge and inspiration that Jackie provides is something she believes is important to keep oneself challenged more than you might challenge yourself. She shared that Jackie was able to push her and to see things and make adjustments in alignment, tracking and body position that caused her to get more out of the workouts.

Suzi has not yet had the opportunity to work with Jackie post-surgery (we conducted our interview shortly before the circumstances of Covid19 required closure of the facility). At that time, she shared that her goal for post-surgery training would be to increase range of motion, improve knee flexion and to strengthen the muscles immediately around the knee as well expand her whole body fitness.

Summing up the key reasons why she would recommend pre and post-surgery personal training on the reformer with Jackie, Suzi highlighted the following points:

If you are fit before you have surgery you will go through the surgery and recover faster.

Jackie has incredible knowledge and is outstanding! She pushes you and gets out of you what you need to do in order to prepare.

When going through major surgery it’s amazing how fast you lose your fitness therefore good preparation and recovery training gets it back quicker!

Jackie talks with doctors, reviews your diagnosis and consults with your physical therapist and picks up where the physical therapy left off so your recovery is seamless.

We are pleased to have Suzi back in class coaching our members and providing inspiration for your wellness!

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