“I can play golf pain free despite two slipped disks on my lower back and one on my neck!”
I needed someone with true knowlege of golf and rehab for my problematic back. I have two slipped disks in my lower back and one on my neck and wanted to keep playing golf pain free. I used to train on my own (with instructions from my physio) and thought I was doing pretty good job (!), but she can push me so much further safely, so it’s a no-brainer! Riikka’s training has improved my core stability and flexibility dramatically, and I’m not worried of another episode with my back anymore. I feel fresh after golf round and can carry on my weekend with the family, is a added bonus too!
Mike, Financial Manager – London
“I had shoulder issues and never managed to get my swing on plane – NOT anymore!!”
I truly saw my progress with Riikka after club fitting session for my new irons. My old habits of coming outside in had dramatically changed to lovely inside out and my ball striking is completely changed within 6 months time, the club fitting guy couldn’t believe it! I have gained 15 yards (without changing my driver) and can hit one club less on my irons too! The knowledge is unbeatable and she truly knows her stuff when it comes to training golfers!
Dave, Communication Services – London
” I have a much more aggressive position over the ball at impact! “
My training used to be mostly cardio focused, ie. football, running and cardio group classes in gym. I had never particularly trained for golf and I felt like my upper body strength and back were fairly weak to start with.
Training with Riikka has helped me tremendously to improve my address position for my golf and I also have a much more aggressive position over the ball at impact. I also been able to have loads more rotation on my backswing again, which had been shortening progressively in recent years. The stronger back also allows me to practice for longer without feeling fatigued. I’m very happy that I made decision to fit two training sessions a week even if I have busy schedule with work.
I now feel good and strong every day! The recovery phase following sports activity has improved and become shorter even after a football match!
Filippo, Financial Sector – London
“She’s a Lifesaver!”
I have trained with various personal trainers over the years, but she beats all of them and “fixes me” weekly! I don’t play golf, but I have serious back issues and Pilates is essential for me. She truly is a lifesaver!
Jon, CEO of Financial Investements – London
“I can now hit same distance as I used to without trying to swing so hard – the result being more consistent ball striking and better ball flight!”
I have taken up golf again after a 20 year break and was determined to go about things correctly this time. I’d been working with a swing coach for a while taking lessons every week but just couldn’t seem to stop myself releasing the club early and coming over the top despite countless drills and range sessions. Finally I worked out that the problem was that I just wasn’t physically able to get myself into a good position to hit a consistent golf shot – 20 years sitting at a desk wasn’t the ideal preparation for being a good golfer.
The best players on the men’s golf tour are also the fittest and most consistent, so to ensure I worked with someone who was a golf specialist in terms of training and assessment – so the chance to work with an ex tour player and winner like Riikka was very exciting.
Having avoided going to the gym I was nervous that there would be a lot of cardiovascular work that would be very tiresome so was pleasantly surprised that a lot of my training is based around Pilates and core strength conditioning rather than being encouraged to hit a treadmill or a rowing machine for an hour.
Having identified my specific flexibility and posture issues we’ve been working over the last 6 months twice a week to improve my balance, flexibility and core strength through mixed sessions of stretching and strength training. We’ve been working hard on my legs and hamstrings to improve strength and flexibility to allow me to create more power in the back swing and control the downswing. We have also worked on core stability and to improve shoulder turn, swing plane and explosive power. All has been at my own pace as we’ve built up the intensity slowly so whilst always stretched I’ve never felt like I’ve been overworked.
I can now consistently and easily make an “on plane” golf swing for the first time without coming over the top and can easily get a full shoulder turn whilst resisting with my hips and flexed back leg to improve stability and power. I can also keep my downswing sequence in order to get a good weight transfer, hip turn and arm swing to create lag and a clean strike – something I really struggled with in the past with my hybrids and woods. From a personal preference however, I can now hit balls without trying to swing so hard – the result being more consistent ball striking, a better ball flight and less chunks, tops and duffs.
Finally as an added bonus I’m 7 kilos (14 pounds) lighter and have dropped a waist size.
I certainly feel more optimistic around the golf course and happier as I feel more in control of my game – and am more energetic as a result. Also as more core stability and flexibility has improved dramatically I’ve seen an improvement in all sports (my tennis serve is definitely faster too) and general day to day activities seem easier and less likely to leave me out of breath or fatigued
David, Managing Director Communicational Services – London
“I was able to play golf pain free first time in over a year with only 2 months of training!”
To pick up some speedy progress on my golfing I wrote four years ago a column “Failed Human Test” for one of the biggest golfing magazines in Finland. I made a promise to shave off five shots from my handicap. I started to add more core based training to my winter passion of floor ball. Group training sessions of various types of core & back training, body balance, body combat and zumba became my daily routine on a local gym. On those brutal sessions I noticed my poor flexibility compared to my fellow sports enthusiasts. I failed to shave off those five shots as well as really badly damage my body with wrong type of exercise and that’s why my last summer was full of hip pain after only nine holes of golf and I basically couldn’t walk.
I contacted many fitness and health professionals and got many diagnostics. Chiropractor told me that I lost at least 30 meters from my drives just purely because my back wasn’t flexible enough but after few treatments with him my walking became even more unbearable. My GP send me off to Orthopaedist Doctor and to an MRI imaging which showed disk degeneration on my lumbar spine.
I kept searching answers and found out about the Ladies European Tour star and golf specific training expert Riikka’s Golf Performance training in Helsinki in October. Flexibility, muscle balance and the postural assessments were based on CHEK and TPI Institutes training methods so my individual training program was really specific and tailor made for me! It made me take huge steps forwards with my back rehab and made wonders for my flexibility as well as my strength! Now my winter passion couple hour floor ball sessions are like Sunday walks in a local park and the best part is that on my recent golfing trip to Tenerife just before Christmas was a huge success! I was able to play pain free first time in over a year just with little over 2 months training!
Mika, Research Professor, National Consumer Reserch Centre – Helsinki, Finland.
“I feel fitter and ready to jump and go – without injuring myself all the time! I feel I have a long life ahead, as opposed to life that was quickly wasting away”
I had trained regularly for 2 – 3 years before linking up with Riikka – my first real, regular, exercise in thirty years. I was getting weight into some sort of control, but I started getting injured during training sessions, and my old injuries (medial and lateral ligaments of the knee) were not healing as quickly as they should have. Emphasis on ever heavier weights was not producing results and the training being followed was not addressing identified fitness issues – breathlessness and injuries, two major issues.
Riikka revised training regime to three times a week and it’s based more on rehab, improved mobility and increased flexibility preventing continual injury and allowed my old injuries to heal! Carefully developed training programme that reflected, at first, my more limited abilities and then was regularly tweaked, following careful observation in every session, to deliver continuous improvement in mobility, strength, and overall fitness without injuries.
Whilst making the training enjoyable – the benefits were self-evident! Food and diet has completely changed and I eat significantly more healthy (after a false start).
I have seen continual trend of improvement in my mobility, strengthened upper and lower body, ability to jump up from the floor as opposed to having to part pull myself up, improved balance, and recently improved diaphragm movement and opening up of the chest, resulting in less breathlessness! My main goal of getting the blood pressure down close to normal range is also almost achieved too!
I feel fitter, ready to jump up and go! I feel that I have a long life ahead as opposed to a life that was quickly wasting away.
Mike, Financial Manager – London
“After 9 months of training with Riikka I was able to ski again without any knee issue which was a huge relief as I thought I would have to give up skiing altogether!”
I had been using several personal trainers in the past to try and maintain flexibility, general fitness and lose weight. I was still getting injured fairly regularly and dealing with numerous niggles that were slowing my progress. In particular, I had been trying to cure a specific injury (patellar tendonitis) for several years.
Shortly before starting with Riikka I also had a slight tear in my knee cartilage that required very careful training and programming to rebuild my knee so I could ski again and get strong to prevent further injuries.
After 8 months of training with Riikka I was able to ski again without any knee issue which was a huge relief as I thought I would have to give up skiing altogether!
This also means that I can step up training and continue to lose weight. I have lost over a stone this year! I also feel much better overall, more flexible, less stressed, healthier and stronger!
Daniel, Managing Director in Global Banking – London
“I now feel better than I ever! It has had such a knock on effect in every aspect of my life that I will never go back to my old ways!”
Although I did not consider myself to be an unhealthy person when I started personal training with Riikka, I knew that I needed to do something about my lifestyle, as I had recently put on some weight, so wanted some expert input to help me lose this and change my lifestyle long term. I knew it would be a big commitment to reach my goals, I was under no illusion that it would take a lot of hard work on my part, I worried that I did not have the will power to achieve this. With Riikka’s help and encouragement I stayed focussed and it changed not only my shape but also my diet choices. Training with Riikka was a real turning point for me, it has changed my life for the better!
I feel stronger and healthier then I have ever felt, my muscles, particularly my core muscles are now very strong, the niggly back pain that I used to get on occasion has now disappeared completely. My energy levels have also gone up because of my exercise and diet regime and I no longer feel tired all the time!
The change in the way I exercise and eat will stay with me forever! It has had such a knock on effect in every aspect of my life that I will never go back to my old ways!
Nicola, Customer Care Manager – London
“Top of everything – I’m now hitting my irons 15 meters longer than I used to!!”
I used to play a lot of golf while living in the United States. However, during the past 5 years living in UK I had not played much and let my golf game deteriorate. I desperately needed a true pro to look at my swing and fitness aspects to improve. I was looking for someone who would really know what would be needed for a good golf swing and to do changes in terms of my fitness and strength as well.
Riikka started working with me in May 2012 and we did her Golf Performance Assessment. My results weren’t particularly good. I lacked certain muscle strength and could not stretch my body as it is required by a proper golf swing even thou I’m over flexible in general. My individual exercise programme Riikka tailored for me is targeted to improve both my muscle balance and weaknesses and I do it twice a week in a gym. It has definitely improved my general body condition and top of everything I’m now hitting my irons 15 meters longer than I used to!!
I should do this programme even without my golf hobby, because it is about balance between muscles and stretching. Most importantly, my golf game is better than ever and I am constantly improving! – Tapio, Senior Investment Analyst – London
“I feel stronger, have more balance and there are places on my body that I never thought I would ever see toned!”
About a year before I started training with Riikka I had a very invasive and complicated operation on my lower abdomen. It took a long time to repair, but even after i healed I was scared to exercise. I was putting on weight and started to look and feel doughy. I felt unfit.
With a demanding job with erratic hours I could never find classes that fit with my schedule, this often meant it was easy to find reasons not to exercise.
I took the decision to trial some personal training companies. They either didn’t listen to my concerns post-operation, or recommended faddy diet plans for quicker short term goals. Riikka offered a holistic approach to personal training that made sense and offered a more long-lasting plan in a positive and maintainable way.
I had concerns about my core strength and my fitness levels in general. I was almost embarrassed to exercise as I knew my cardio was poor. I got out of breath easily because I smoked.
Working with Riikka has definitely shown me that investing in my health and fitness was a great decision. I find one-on-one sessions with Riikka I get the most out of all the exercises. I am driven to push myself more than I would do in a large fitness class. The sessions fit around my schedule and although I am not a morning person I look forward to my a.m. sessions. Riikka’s great to work with and the sessions are not only professional and get results, they are also fun!
I feel stronger, have more balance and there are places on my body that I never thought I would ever see toned! I have better posture and I’m generally feel better about myself. It’s great when I catch myself off guard and see or feel that I have changed shape over the last 3 months!
Not exercising over Christmas really showed me how much I need and benefit from the regular sessions with Riikka. I’m even more motivated to get fitter and find I want to push myself more now! Here’s to seeing where I get to in 2013 with her help!
Bree, Film Industry – London