exercise of the week: side lunge

Muscles worked: quadriceps, hamstring, glutes, inner & outer thighs

Purpose: Strengthen

Form: To perform the side lunge, begin standing with your feet together. Slowly take a large step sideways with your right leg. Keeping your left leg straight, your right knee bends in line with your ankle. Hold for 2-3 seconds. Push off your right leg bringing it back together with the left. Repeat on the left side. Keep your transverse abdominis activates, ribs to hips, and clasp your hands together to keep your shoulders back.

Note: You can also add resistance to this exercise by holding a medicine ball.

exercise of the week: split squats with bench

Purpose: Strengthen and Stabilize

Muscles Worked: Quads, Gluteus, Hamstrings, and Core

Form: Place one foot on a weight bench. Ensure your legs are hip width apart. Your front leg should be about 3 feet away from the bench. Place your hands on your hips. Slowly squat down until your knee is bent about 90 degrees. Be sure to keep your upper body straight as you squat with your ribs to hips and abs contracted. Return to the starting point.

Perform for several repetitions, then repeat the exercise on the opposite leg.

Exercise of the week: Assisted Pull-ups

Assisted pull-up with heavy resistance band

Muscles Worked: Latissimus Dorsi (back), and Biceps

Purpose: Strengthen

Form: Secure bands under one foot or knee. Place hands slightly wider than shoulder width. Grasp pull-up bar. Pull up until chin reaches bar, keeping proper posture. Slowly lower yourself to the starting position, repeat.

Special Considerations: Reach to grasp the pull-up bar with pronated grip. Place your hands shoulder-width apart.
Don’t lock your elbows and keep your shoulders back.

Stability Ball Classes

Stability Ball Classes have started!

A strong core is essential to well rounded fitness and decreased overall pain cause my muscle imbalances. Focusing on all the core components; shoulder stability, trunk stability, hip stability; including glute control and strength, balance and muscle control through movement.

To keep the class fresh and interesting we use a variety of techniques and equipment such as stability balls, BOSU balls, foam rollers, balance boards, etc. Including all components of fitness from cardiovascular endurance to more traditional strength training exercises to flexibility and range of motion work tone your entire body while building functional strength. This class is appropriate for  for all levels of fitness.

Drop in or sign up for our 6 or 8 week series.

Wednesday night at 6:30pm – 7:30pm

Hope to see you there 🙂

What comprises core strength

Your core is more than just your abdominal muscles. Indeed your abdominal makes up the majority of the core; with the rectus abdominus, external and internal obliques and the transverse abdominus. Your lower back and glutes; maximus, medius and minimus also contribute to your core stability. DO not forget that the top of your quads and hamstrings also play a part.

There is a difference between core exercises and ab exercises. The former works these muscles in unison strengthening them as they work together (more functionally driven strength), the latter works the ab muscles itself, which is necessary to be able to maintain form in core exercises. Both are important in overall stability and strength.

And example of a core exercises is a plank, where as an ab exercise is a crunch.

 

Heart Health

We are what we eat, thus what we put in our bodies inevitable become part of its structure, and like I said before structure determine function.

Did you know that fat is absorbed into the body differently than proteins and carbohydrates (CHO)? When CHO and proteins are broken down and absorbed in the small intestine they are carried through the heptatic circulatory system to the liver to filter out unnecessary by-products. Fat however due to its water phobic nature is absorbed into your lymphatic system (mirrors your circulatory system, used in immunity, lymph: the clear part of blood). The lymphatic system drains into the circulatory system at the superior vena cava. If you perused the anatomy of the heart you would know that the superior vena cava is where de-oxygenated blood from the upper body enters the heart to be pumped to the lungs. The implications of that are: THE FIRST PLACE FAT GOES IN THE BODY IS YOU HEART!!!!! And since our cells take what they need to repair, and build form circulating CHO, proteins, and fats, it means your heart is getting first pick of unhealthy fats. Terrifying.

It also explains why eating processed food, which are high in fat (the bad and terrible kind) impacts immunity. Your lymph is a drainage system for your  immune system and unwanted thing circulation in your blood. if it is saturated with fat, it increase the work of your lymph nodes, deceases their effectiveness at fighting off disease.

Next time you reach for that chip, chicken wing, or cookie… think about what it would look like in your heart… you may reconsider.

 

Sometimes laughter is all you need….

WARNING: the following link is crass, but funny none the less. View at your own risk.

Awkward workouts

 

Stretching: new research

A new study (Batista LH, Vilar AC, Ferreira JJA, Rebelatto JR & Salvini TF) has be published on the effect of stretching and it impact on fitness, specifically in application to older adults. Here is a brief overview of the important factors:

Deficits in muscle strength and range of motion are common in older adults but not to exclusive to, due to a decrease in overall flexibility. Reduced flexibility is generally caused by shortening and increased rigidity of muscles. These viscoelastic changes in muscle fibers have deleterious functional consequences, such as aberrant gait patterns, and hampered ability to rise from a seated position, leading to a greater incidence of falls and loss of independence.

Stretching is an exercise performed in clinical settings and physical fitness facilities used to increase range of motion. Research has shown that stretching can cause morphologic change in muscle fibers and connective tissue, ultimately leading to an increase in overall muscle strength.

Previous studies have shown that similar results can occur after a stretching intervention implemented every day for 6 weeks straight. This study showed that flexibility training twice a week for 4 weeks is as efficient as a 6 week training protocol

According to this group of researchers, it is conceivable that stretched muscles are stronger because both passive and active forces add to strength production. Previous research concluded that the increase in stored energy and ranges of motion after stretching is important because it can increase the elastic recoil capacity of a muscle. However, this notion is not completely agreed upon in the fitness industry.

Regardless, stretching is a vital component of fitness, equally so as cardiovascular endurance and muscular strength, which not only has benefits in its own right but improves all component of fitness.