Tracy Sisson is pretty sure she can help you feel better.
A personal trainer with more than 30 years of fitness industry experience, Sisson is the owner of Body Shoppe Fitness near Westlake Corner. When her family moved to the lake area four years ago, she brought her expertise to a new fitness home. With a bright, comfortable space clients can work, privately or in a small group setting, toward their personal fitness goals.
In the past year, Sisson has added a new element to studio’s offerings with the purchase of an AllCore360 machine, which allows her clients to concentrate on the muscles at the very core of their bodies.
“Your core is everything,” Sisson said, “your abdominals, your low back, your side muscles and all the little muscles that support your spine.” Core muscles start directly under our chins and extend all the way to the end of our torsos, she said. They are responsible for posture and balance, as well as strength, and a stronger core has benefits for a whole range of activities.
The AllCore360 machine was developed by a chiropractor, Dr. Scott Bertrand, following his own painful rehabilitation from a spinal cord injury. It is designed to offer clients, at any level of fitness, the chance to engage and strengthen more than 50 different core muscles through isometric contractions. When Sisson learned about the AllCore360 machine, she said she knew that it would be a good fit for the population at Smith Mountain Lake.
“I thought we had the right people,” Sisson said. “Adults who are super active: they’re still playing tennis, playing pickleball. They like to play golf, they’re paddle boarding, they kayak, they bike, and they want to continue to do those things.” Core strength, she said, makes all of these activities easier and more enjoyable.
“All movement either starts in your core or passes through it,” Sisson added. “If your core is more stable and more balanced, then your movements are more effortless while producing the same outcome.”
Another benefit is that the machine works for all fitness levels. “You don’t even have to be a regular exerciser to use it and reap the benefits,” Sisson said. “Because the workout is customized for each individual, the AllCore360 has a positive impact on the fitness levels of everyone from sedentary individuals to professional athletes.”
Altogether, a workout session on the AllCore360 takes just minutes to complete. “It’s so non-invasive in your life,” Sisson said. “It takes 10 minutes. You can do it in your street clothes. People come in, they do their 10-minute session, and they’re out.”
Atlanta’s Shepherd Center was the first to get the AllCore360. There, the machine helps with the rehabilitation of patients recovering from severe spinal injuries. Clemson University has also installed an AllCore360 as part of its training regimen for athletes. Two other machines are in Virginia — one in Charlottesville and another in Harrisonburg.
To get an idea of how the machine works and what it can offer, Sisson offers three free sessions to clients. As a follow-up after that, she recommends that clients come in three times a week for the initial three-month program.
Many of Sisson’s clients have recently made their 100th ride on the machine. In the year that Body Shoppe Fitness has offered the AllCore360, more than 3,000 rides have been completed, she said, with many regulars using it as much as three times per week.
This attests to the versatility of the workout, as well as its efficacy. “Everybody’s a little bit different,” Sisson said. “They’re all here for a different reason. We have some folks who have had multiple back surgeries, spinal fusions, and traditional core training is painful, it’s prohibitive, they just can’t do it. It just becomes a perpetual, ‘I have pain so I can’t move, I don’t move because I have pain,’ and it gets worse.”
The benefit for Sisson is hearing clients talk about how diminished their pain is. “It’s wonderful when somebody can perform a little bit better or hit the golf ball a little bit further, but when somebody comes in and hasn’t been sleeping well for a couple of years because they have pain? And now that’s gone? That’s pretty serious,” she said. “That’s the good stuff right there.”