Case study 1 – Agni Vaitheesswaran - A Journey 'back' to Fitness

Case study 1 – Agni Vaitheesswaran

A Journey ‘Back’ to Fitness

About Agni

Agni is a recreational CrossFit athlete who in late 2015 injured her lower back. After months of rest Agni was motivated to exercise again however was fearful of a re-occurrence of her injury. Agni had continuous pain in her lower back and wasn’t sure if getting back to regular exercise was possible.

Athletic screening and physiotherapy assessment
An athletic screening was done on Agni and the following impairments were identified:

  • Flexibility score 62/90
    • Hip flexor tightness on the right leg
    • Rectus femoris (quadriceps muscle) muscle tightness – right and left leg
    • Reduced hip internal rotation – right and left leg
    • Ankle dorsi flexion (ankle movement) tightness – right and left leg
    • Reduced shoulder internal rotation on the right arm
  • Movement score 29/40
    • Poor trunk alignment during a body weight squat
    • Poor single leg squat mechanics
  • Other physiotherapy findings
    • Stiffness of lower lumbar (lower back) spinal segments
    • Tenderness and pain through the left and right gluteal muscles

Prescription and rehab
Agni was given a corrective exercise program to improve the range of motion in the joints and muscles mentioned above – these included specific and effective stretches for her hip and quadriceps. She was also prescribed several single leg neuromuscular control and pelvic control exercises to help improve her hip and trunk stability. Agni was initially seen once per week for ongoing physiotherapy and sports rehabilitation. This included a range of exercises including but not limited to:

  • Retraining of functional movements such as deadlift, squats, pressing
  • Specific activation and functional retraining focussing on spinal control and proper lifting mechanics
  • Single leg squatting, lunging and stability exercises
  • Core and trunk exercises with emphasis on proper back positioning and safety
  • Specific mobility exercises to improve her range of motion
  • Hands on physiotherapy as required


Physiotherapy Essendon



Agni has now returned to full function and no longer has pain in her lower back! She has increased her ability to perform exercises such as squats, push ups and is back to deadlifting over 75kg completely pain free. She continues to train regularly at Driving Fitness and now has ambitions to return to professional table tennis playing and represent Australia at the Commonwealth Games.












Case Study 2 - Christine Grace - A Journey to Europe and Wellness

Case Study 2 – Christine Grace

About Christine

Christine Joined Driving Fitness at the beginning of 2016 and had the goal to become fitter and “toned” before she left for Europe. On initial assessment Christine had a relatively good level of fitness however was at a plateau and lacked the knowledge around diet and exercise to overcome this. It was also clear that Christine had underlying gut and gastrointestinal issues from a previous surgery to remove her gall bladder. These issues caused her to experience daily fatigue, bloating and general discomfort. She felt that she continued to experience these issues when she ate what is considered “healthy food” such as breads and cereals.

Christine’s Beginnings

With Mark’s dietary recommendations and group training sessions I began to see almost immediate results”

“Before I joined Driving Fitness I was feeling extremely frustrated with my weight loss plateau but also extremely apprehensive about changing my fitness regime. I was afraid that lifting even light weights would make me bulky. After trusting in Mark’s advice I saw that this was far from the truth. With Mark’s dietary recommendations and group training sessions I began to see immediate results. I lost the last 8 kilos that I had struggled for months to lose, increased my fitness levels to heights I never thought imaginable and achieved smaller goals such as doing unassisted pull-ups and handstands!”

Christine’s Journey

“I lost the last 8 kilos that I had struggled for months to lose, increased my fitness levels to heights I never thought imaginable”

Christine initially undertook a gut protocol to improve the health of her gastrointestinal tract. This was done with the use of a specific diet using foods rich in prebiotics and with the help of a naturopath for nutritional and herbal supplements.

“Change of diet is never easy and I must admit, I felt apprehensive when mark suggested that I lowered my consumption of refined carbohydrates and replace them with whole foods and good fats. I believed that I needed carbohydrates for energy. As someone who has always struggled with heavy bloating after meals I was pleasantly surprised that Mark’s advice not only assisted in lowering my body fat levels but also in eliminating the heavy bloated feeling I would get after meals.”

Christine’s training gradually increased to 3-4 sessions per week and this consisted of cardiovascular work, strength training and body weight exercises based on functional movements and high intensity training.

End Result

Christine managed to reach her goal weight and loose her last 8kg of body fat, right in time for Europe! “I came to Mark a few months ago wanting to “tone” up before I left for Europe. Since then he has helped me achieved goals I didn’t think we’re possible – handstands, pull-ups and lifting heavy without getting bulky”

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