What is Let’s Move with Leon?
Let’s Move with Leon is a 12 week programme of 30-minute movement sessions, presented by fitness expert Leon Wormley.
The Let’s Move with Leon classes are a holistic, full-body programme that will improve strength, flexibility and cardiovascular fitness. You don’t need any special gear, and there’s no cost. Leon specialises in working with people with arthritis and related conditions and has a fun, motivational and inclusive approach.
The programme has been created for people with Musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions who want more movement in their lives. Created by Versus Arthritis and funded by Sport England.
First, meet Leon in this video, where he goes over some very important tips on how to stay safe during exercise and what you need to get started.
In this video Leon goes over some tips on how to stay safe during exercise and what you need to get started.
Getting started video
Getting down and off the floor
In this video, fitness expert Leon and his mum Janet show you how to safely get up from and down on the floor, in a simple step-by-step guide.
Getting down and off the floor video
It’s especially important to check out the tracker booklet before you start the course. The activity tracker is your guide to the Let’s Move with Leon programme. Use it to plan your activity, record your goals and note any obstacles to achieving them.
You can use it to keep track of your goals and progress, it can be printed out and stuck to your fridge as a reminder, but it’s also interactive – meaning you can complete it on your computer, tablet or smartphone.
The activity tracker may open in a new tab, so make sure you click the Save As icon or File >> Save As, usually at the top of the page, and save it to your device. This will mean you can fill the tracker in and save it on your device as you go.
Download the activity tracker (PDF, 1 MB).
Session 1: Mobility
This session will help you boost your range of movement, your independence and your quality of life.
You’ll learn what good-quality movement looks like and feels like. You can also monitor your pain levels and start gently improving your mobility with Leon’s full-body approach.
You can identify your physical strengths and weaknesses and discover how joint mobility and good muscle health can reduce pain.
Session 2: Movement for life
In this session, you’ll reconnect with the foundational movements of life and rediscover the easy and efficient way that your body is designed to move.
You’ll also learn about the idea of ‘movement in three dimensions’, as well as posture, alignment and stability.
The session will help you move in a way that enables you to embrace life.
Note: If you haven’t finished session 1, it’s best to go back and do that first. These sessions are designed to be done in order, with each session building on the one before.
Movement for life video
Session 3: Adaptation and exercise tailoring
In this session, you’ll discover how you can exercise in a way that lets you manage – and potentially reduce – your pain.
You’ll learn what kinds of pain are a problem and which are not – before, during and after exercise.
You’ll also learn how your body responds to exercise and how to know its limitations – including when it’s time to give yourself a break.
Adaptation and exercise tailoring video
Session 4: Strength – lower body
In this session, you’ll boost your lower body strength so you can get about more easily.
You’ll also identify your areas of weakness and use resistance to strengthen your muscles and bones in a way that does not make your symptoms worse.
As your muscles get stronger and absorb the pressure on your joints, your pain levels may fall.
Strength – lower body video
Session 5: Upper body strength
After working your lower body last week, it’s time to bring in your upper body – making it easier to do manual jobs around the home and in the garden.
Again, you’ll be working your joints, ligaments and muscles and using resistance to build your strength.
By making your muscles stronger, you’ll reduce the pressure on your joints and help reduce pain.
Upper body strength video
Session 6: Core strength
Having a strong core and a healthier spine can transform your life.
In this session, you’ll work on your abdominal muscles and your lower back to help you find a renewed sense of stability. You’ll experience better posture and alignment, as well as more movement in your spine.
By strengthening your big muscle groups, you’ll lessen the pressure on your joints and reduce pain.
And you’ll learn about your ‘masses and spaces’ – helping you avoid compressing your joints and spine.
Core strength video
Session 7: Cardiovascular and respiratory fitness
Congratulations – you’re already halfway through the programme!
This week, you’ll be focusing on two of your most important organs – your heart and lungs – with a cardiovascular and respiratory fitness workout.
Using interval training and Leon’s full-body approach, you’ll be moving your large muscle groups to raise your heart rate and oxygen intake.
That, in turn, gets energy to your muscles, helping you live life to the full.
Cardiovascular and respiratory fitness video
Session 8: Balance and coordination
We can keep the crucial connections from the brain to our muscles alive and well by challenging our balance and coordination.
In this session, you’ll learn about ‘dynamic’ and ‘static’ balance, test your ‘equilibrium’ and increase your sense of stability. Leon will challenge your coordination and agility – in a good way!
You’ll also use ‘dynamic balance’ to increase your heart rate, which will boost your cardiovascular health.
Balance and coordination video
Session 9: Posture and stability
Good posture really matters.
It can reduce your pain by taking the stress and pressure off your body and its moving parts.
So this week, you’ll discover what natural posture and movement look like and feel like. You’ll also do Leon’s ‘posture check’.
You’ll work on your alignment, lengthen your spine and learn about ‘full-body stabilisation’.
And you’ll learn how the body moves best: as one unit.
Posture and stability video
Session 10: Principles of training
Now you can start making Leon’s approach your own.
We’ll give you the tools you need to design workouts that suit your needs and goals. We’ll also show you how to keep them fresh and interesting.
You’ll learn how to use Leon’s whole-body approach and the ‘FITT’ principles – frequency, intensity, time, type – to build a training session.
If you want to focus on a particular area of your body or aspect of your fitness, we’ll show you the best movements, exercises and sessions to use.
Leon will explain how you can be more conscious of what you do and how you do it – promoting better movement naturally.
Principles of training video
Session 11: Flexibility
The more flexible you are, the healthier your joints, muscles and all-round movement will be.
Flexibility can reduce physical tension and make your everyday tasks easier – from tying your shoelaces to getting out of the bath.
In this session, you’ll analyse your current range of movement, discover where pain-free movement starts and ends, and identify the exercises most likely to improve your flexibility.
You’ll look at how to stretch, what to stretch and the impact that stretching a muscle has on your movement.
You’ll use breathing techniques to put your body into a state of relaxation – reducing physical tightness and increasing flexibility.
Session 12: Celebrating success
This is it!
We’ve arrived at the finale of your 12 weeks of moving with Leon.
Look back at the progress you’ve made since week 1 and celebrate your success with a full-body workout that covers all aspects of Leon’s programme.
And remember – your journey doesn’t end here. These past 12 weeks can be the start of a new, more active life.