Category Archives: Fitness

Don’t Be A Light Weight!

Why You Should Be Lifting Heavy

Why you should be lifting heavy

Insanity is often described as doing the same thing over and over, yet expecting different results. This definition could apply to many traditional fitness enthusiasts, who have followed the same workout program for years and wonder why they have stopped experiencing results.

The general adaptation syndrome describes how the human body responds to an exercise stimulus. There is the shock phase, when the exercise stimulus is first applied. This is followed by an adaptation phase of approximately eight to 12 weeks, where the body experiences its greatest response to the exercise stimulus. This leads to the exhaustion phase, when the exercise program stops having the desired effect. This is the basic science behind periodization, which is the practice of adjusting workout intensity on a regular, systematic basis to avoid plateaus.

One sure way to break through a plateau is to change some or all of the variables in the workout program. These variables include: exercise selection, intensity, repetitions, sets, rest interval, tempo (speed of movement) and frequency (the number of exercise sessions in a specific period of time). To stimulate almost immediate changes in your body, increase the amount of weight (thereby increasing the intensity) you use in your workouts. If you find yourself not making any gains or simply want a different exercise program, here are six ways using heavy weights can help you make the changes you want to see in your body.

Why you should be lifting heavy

1. Lifting heavy can cause muscles to grow.

Heavy resistance can recruit and engage more of the type II muscle fibers responsible for generating muscle force. When you lift a heavy weight, you may feel your muscles shaking. This is because your nervous system is working to engage more motor units and muscle fibers to produce the force required to move a weight. Type II muscle fibers are generally responsible for the size and definition of a muscle, so activating more of these fibers can lead help provide immediate results.

2. Lifting heavy improves intramuscular coordination, which is important for improving overall strength.

Intermuscular coordination is the ability of a number of different sections of muscle to work together to produce a movement. Intramuscular coordination is the ability of the fibers that comprise a particular muscle to work together to generate a force. Because it requires more force to contract a muscle, using a heavy resistance can improve the intramuscular coordination in a specific section of muscle, which will also help you become more efficient at generating strength.

3. Lifting heavy can help muscles get stronger without getting bigger.

Sarcoplasmic hypertrophy describes how the sarcoplasm of a muscle increases in size as a result of lifting weights at a moderate to high intensity for a higher number of repetitions (e.g., 10 to 15). Myofibrillar hypertrophy describes how muscle fibers become thicker and denser in response to strength training. Using heavy weights focuses on myofibrillar hypertrophy, resulting in muscle that is thicker and stronger, but not necessarily larger. When lifting an optimal amount of heavy resistance, you should only be able to perform five or fewer repetitions while maintaining good form.

4. Lifting heavy weights can help reduce your biological age.

If you’re over the age of 35, you should definitely be using extremely heavy resistance two to four times a week for periods of four to eight weeks at a time. When adult males hit their mid-30s, they will naturally produce less testosterone unless there is a stimulus that causes the body to produce it. Testosterone is a steroid hormone and is responsible for repairing damaged muscle fibers, which can increase the size and strength output of a muscle. Heavy resistance training is one type of stimulus that can cause males to produce testosterone and help increase bone density, both of which are important markers of biological age. Heavy resistance training can also help women over the age of 35 increase their levels of growth hormone, which is important for developing lean muscle and burning fat.

5. Lifting heavy can help increase your resting metabolism.

One pound of skeletal muscle expends approximately 5 to 7 calories a day at rest. Adding 5 to 7 pounds of muscle can increase your resting metabolism (how efficiently your body produces and uses energy) up to 50 calories a day. This might not sound like a lot, but over the course of a year that is a difference of approximately two-thirds of a pound of fat that you can burn while doing absolutely nothing.

6. Lifting heavy stuff makes you look really cool.

Which gives you bragging rights amongst your friends. The downside is that you will have more requests to help friends or family move furniture, but that’s just the price you have to pay for being ridiculously strong.

Why you should be lifting heavy

Using heavier resistance can be intimidating, because it is a lot harder and the applied force will cause muscle damage.  One side effect of lifting heavy is delayed onset muscle soreness, or DOMS. If you have ever felt DOMS, you know how uncomfortable it can be. While it seems counterintuitive to perform light activity when you’re sore, it can help you recover quicker, which will enable you to do the higher volume of exercise necessary for building muscle and making changes in the body.

Machine training can be the safest approach for using extremely heavy weights. For best results, plan on using weights that make five repetitions incredibly challenging (you should not be able to do a sixth rep) and change your program after 10 or 12 weeks so that you’re changing the stimulus to your body.

(Article acquired from ACE FIT)

Please check out my FB Fitness Page for Daily Exercises, Recipes and Fit Tips.  I also do Customized Workouts and Nutrition Plans.  Please contact me!

Bodies By Krissy

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Post Workout Refueling

 

shake

DO YOU KNOW….?

The importance of having a post-workout snack?
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Don’t be tempted to skip refueling after a grueling workout. Your body needs to replenish its depleted stores of glycogen, electrolytes, and fluids. It also needs to repair damaged muscle tissue and build new tissue for a toned, strong body.
So EAT!
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Replenishing your body’s energy stores will allow a faster recovery and build more metabolism-boosting muscle. More muscle equals more calories burned! Feel the BURN!
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You’ll need to be mindful about your post-workout snack especially if you’re exercising to lose weight. Choosing a high-calorie food or a sports drink (I am not an advocate) only adds unwanted calories.
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Consuming a healthy snack within 15 minutes after exercise is most optimal.
Pick one that’s under 150 calories, provides 10 to 20 grams of protein and 30 to 40 grams of carbohydrates (if the workout was an hour or more).
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(Keep in mind if your workout was under 20 minutes, it is still wise to refuel but with a snack that is under 150 calories).

MY GO TO SNACK is typically my dense nutrition shake which has everything in it that I need for proper post workout recovery. Mixed with unsweetened almond milk and water, I may also add a 1/2 banana and PB2; depending on the intensity of my workout.
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OTHER IDEAS—
Half a medium apple with two ounces of vanilla Greek yogurt, 1 t. of peanut butter, topped with sliced grapes
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Four ounces low-fat cottage cheese mixed with 1/2 C cup fresh blueberries or strawberries
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20 baby carrots with two tablespoons hummus
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One small banana or 1/2 a large one with eight raw almonds
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DO YOU HAVE A FAV POST-WORKOUT SNACK?
Please share below!

Please visit me at Bodies By Krissy

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Warm Up and Cool Down

WARM UP

DON’T SKIP the Warm Up or Cool Down for Exercising!
WHY you ask?

*A good warm-up

*Dilates your blood vessels so your muscles are well supplied with oxygen.

*Raises your muscles’ temperature for optimal flexibility and efficiency.

*Slowly raises your heart rate, which helps minimize stress on your heart.

When I workout first thing after waking, a warm up is crucial so that I don’t injure myself! These days, I can wake up pretty stiff and have hurt my neck when I’ve skipped a warm up. So now I am adamant about incorporating this into my routine.

TIPS
—-Warm up for 5 to 10 minutes depending on the intensity of the activity.

—Warm up your entire body—
Perform shoulder rolls, neck stretches, quads and hamstrings stretches, even a few calf raises and jumping jacks.

*A good cool down/Stretch

*Keeps the blood flowing throughout the body which can reduce the chances of heart rate and blood pressure dropping rapidly, possibly causing light-headedness.

*Slows down the heart rate and lowers your body temperature to normal.

*Is beneficial because your limbs, muscles and joints are still warm; therefore allowing you greater range of motion and less stress on the joints and tendons.

*Can help reduce the buildup of lactic acid, which can lead to muscles cramping and stiffness.

This is one of the best parts for me. 🙂
When my muscles and body are warm, I truly feel an increase in my flexibility and mobility when I stretch.

TIPS
—Walk 5 minutes, or until your heart rate gets below 120 beats per minute.

—Hold each stretch 10 to 30 seconds. (Do not bounce). Perform side to side neck holds, quads and hamstrings holds, across the body arm stretches for back, shoulders and triceps.

—Remember to breathe while you’re stretching. Exhale as you begin the stretch, inhale while holding the stretch.

A Warm Up and Cool Down is important for all forms of exercising—cardio, strength training, HIIT workouts, hiking etc.
So DON’T SKIP them!

Please visit me at Bodies By Krissy

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No More Excuses!

A Workout You Can Do Anywhere

The most common reason people give for not exercising is lack of time, but physical activity doesn’t have to be performed in one long session. You can get many of the same benefits by squeezing in short periods of activity throughout the day. As long as you prepare your body by warming up and cooling down before you crank your heart rate, you can do a workout just about anywhere, anytime.

One of the best ways to integrate a workout into your schedule is to make it a consistent part of your routine so you don’t have to think twice about not having time or the “right place” to do it. Whether you’re at work, home or watching your child’s soccer practice at the park, this fun and challenging workout will get your body moving and your heart pumping.

Start by performing each exercise for 15 seconds for the first round and then increase the time by 15 seconds for each subsequent round (i.e., 30, 45 and 60 seconds); rest for one minute between each round. You can complete this challenge in just 24 minutes, but you can extend your workout by completing three additional rounds in reverse order (of 45, 30 and 15 seconds, respectively) for a total of 39 minutes. Finish up with a cool-down and some stretches and you’re done!

Superman Twists

Staggered Spiderman Push-ups

Plank Sways

Bird Dog

Plank Jacks

Half Burpees

Mountain Climber Twists

Frog Hop Squats

(Acquired from ACE Fit Life>

YOGA FOR STRENGTH TRAINERS

7 POSES FOR INCREASED RANGE OF MOTION

Yoga for Weightlifters: 7 Poses for Increased Range of Motion | Jessica Matthews | Expert Articles | 9/15/2015

I have very little flexibility and as I continue to grow up 🙂 I have really focused on incorporating stretching into my weekly workout routine.  Muscle recovery improves at a quicker rate than if I skip this important step.  And—it just FEELS GOOD!
The following yoga poses focus on stretching the major muscle groups typically used when performing ADLs (calves, thighs, hip flexors, back, chest and shoulders) while enhancing mobility in the hips, ankles, shoulders and thoracic spine.

DOWNWARD FACING DOG

Begin in hands-and-knees position with knees below hips and hands positioned slightly forward of shoulders. As you inhale, spread fingers wide, rooting both palms firmly into the mat while simultaneously tucking toes under. As you exhale, begin to extend legs, drawing hips and tailbone toward t ceiling, creating an inverted V-shape with the body as the heels move toward floor. The head and neck should be positioned between the upper arms with feet situated hip-width distance apart. Focus on maintaining length in the spine in this pose, releasing shoulders away from the ears and keeping knees as softly or deeply bent as needed, while continuing to root firmly and equally through both hands and feet. Maintain this position, breathing comfortably for three to five complete breath cycles. 

UPWARD FACING DOG

Lie on stomach with legs fully extended along the mat, with the tops of feet on floor. Place palms on the mat directly alongside the ribs, keeping elbows bent. As you inhale, press palms into the floor, extending arms while simultaneously lifting the torso and thighs off the mat. Allow hips to soften slightly toward the ground while at the same time lifting through the sternum. Soften shoulders away from the ears and maintain neutral alignment in the neck. If accessible, look upward only with the eyes. Maintain this position, breathing comfortably for three to five complete breath cycles. 

MODIFIED REVOLVED CRESCENT

From downward facing dog, step right foot between hands, coming into a low lunge position. Immediately release left knee, shin and top of left foot to rest on mat. As you inhale, sweep both arms toward the ceiling coming into crescent lunge, shifting weight forward slightly to allow right thigh to draw parallel to floor. As you exhale, draw left arm across the body resting left hand to outside of right thigh while drawing right hand to right hip. Inhale to lean torso forward slightly while maintaining length in spine, then exhale to rotate torso toward the right side of the mat while drawing right shoulder back. Gaze toward the right side wall, maintaining this twisting position for three to five complete cycles of breath before switching sides and repeating.

EXTENDED TRIANGLE POSE

Stand at top of mat with feet together, placing a block at the tallest setting outside of the right foot. Step left foot back 3-4 feet, turning left toes toward left side of mat at almost a 90-degree angle with chest facing left side of the room. Align the heel of the front right foot with either the arch or the heel of the back left foot, depending on what is most comfortable for you. With legs extended, outstretch arms wide in opposition, reaching toward the front and back edges of the mat. As you inhale, reach right fingertips forward toward front of room. As you exhale, release the right hand to rest atop the block, drawing left fingertips toward the ceiling with arm in line with shoulder. Hold this position for three to five complete cycles of breath before switching sides and repeating.

SUPPORTED LIZARD POSE

From downward facing dog, step right foot between the hands coming into a low lunge position, shifting weight forward slightly to allow right thigh to draw parallel to floor while remaining on the ball of the back left foot. Draw both hands atop a block positioned inside of the right foot, drawing foot slightly out toward the right side of the mat. Keeping hips and shoulders squared to the floor, release both elbows and forearms to rest on top of the block, continuing to press back slightly through the left heel. Maintain this position, breathing comfortably for three to five complete breath cycles before switching sides and repeating.

SUPPORTED PYRAMID POSE

Stand at top of mat with feet together, placing a block on each side of the feet at the tallest setting. With hands on hips, step left foot back 3-4 feet, turning left toes out slightly, to approximately a 45- to 60-degree angle. Align the heel of the front right foot with the heel of the back left foot. Keeping legs extended, inhale to lift the chest slight. Maintaining an elongated spine exhale fold forward, hinging at the hips to release hands to the blocks. Square chest in line with right thigh then fold forward, deepening the stretch in the hamstrings. Maintain this position for three to five complete breath cycles before slowly rising and repeating on the opposite side.

DANCER’S POSE

Stand at top mat with feet together, arms extended alongside the body. As you inhale, sweep both arms up toward ceiling, palms facing one another. With left arm extended bend right arm, drawing elbow in to touch right hip with palm facing up. Shift weight to left foot and bend right knee, drawing right heel toward right glute with knees close together. Keeping right thumb pointed toward back of mat, reach right hand back to capture inside of right foot. Inhale and extend the spine, reaching toward ceiling with left finger tips. On the exhalation, begin to press right foot into hand and right hand into foot, drawing right heel toward ceiling and right thigh parallel to floor. Continue lifting right leg as much as accessible while keeping hips and shoulders squared with chest lifted. Hold for three to five complete cycles of breath before repeating on the opposite side.

COW FACE POSE

Begin in a seated position on mat with knees bent and feet flat on floor. Slide right heel toward left glute with toes pointing toward left side of the mat while aligning right knee to point forward toward front of mat in line with navel. Cross left leg over the right, stacking knees atop one another, allowing left toes to point toward right side of mat while rooting both sitting bones into the mat. Holding a yoga strap or towel in the right hand extend right arm up with palm facing forward then bend elbow, drawing right hand behind the neck with strap in line with spine. Extend left arm out toward left side wall with palm facing backward, thumb pointed down. Bend left elbow and draw hand behind the back to grasp the strap wherever is accessible. Work the hands as close together as possible while continuing to lift the chest, avoiding rounding shoulders forward. Maintain this position, breathing comfortable for five cycles of breath before releasing arms and uncrossing legs and repeating on the opposite side with arms and legs in reversed position.

<Acquired from ACE Fit Tips>

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Quick Workout to get those Sexy Shoulders!

Guys too!!!

When you only have a few minutes to spare, hit these shoulder-burning exercises!

10-minute Shoulder Workout

Strong shoulders make everyday activities much easier. Moving the arms to the front, side and behind the body, as well as overhead, is accomplished with the main shoulder muscle—the deltoid. This important muscle wraps around the shoulder joint, making a “cap” that acts to move the arm in various directions. Repeat this circuit two to three times to fully engage all of the muscles of the shoulders. 

Equipment

  • Dumbbells
  • Resistance band

Shoulder Press

10–15 repetitions

With a dumbbell in each hand, stand with the feet underneath the hips, knees slightly bent, glutes tight and the abs engaged. Position the dumbbells in front of the shoulders with the elbows bent and pointing downward. Press both weights overhead, coming into full elbow extension at the top with the arms by the ears. Be careful to keep the spine neutral (do not arch the back). Pause and then slowly reverse the movement. The weights should stay in front of the body during the movement, not out to the side.

Plank Side Walk

4 steps to the right and 4 steps to the left, repeat twice

Assume a plank position with the hands under the shoulders and the toes on the ground. Keeping the torso rigid, step the right hand and foot out to the right, just outside shoulder-width, and then step the left hand and foot toward the midline of the body. Perform 4 steps to the right and then 4 steps to the left (leading with the left hand and foot to return to the starting location).

Side Arm Raise

10–15 repetitions

With a light dumbbell in each hand, stand with the feet underneath the hips, knees slightly bent and the abs engaged. Hold the arms slightly in front of the hips, palms toward the hips. With a very slight bend in the elbow, slowly raise the weights out to the sides until the arms are parallel to the floor. Keep the arms slightly in front of the body as you lift out to the side to provide more room in the shoulder joint for this movement. Pause and then slowly reverse the movement.

Banded Pull-apart

10–15 repetitions

Hold a resistance band with the hands out in front of the shoulders with the palms facing upward. Stand with the feet underneath the hips, knees slightly bent, glutes tight and the abs engaged. Slowly pull the hands apart by squeezing the backs of the shoulders and the muscles surrounding the shoulder blades. Pause and then slowly reverse the movement.

Front Arm Raise

10–15 repetitions

With a light dumbbell in each hand, stand with the feet underneath the hips, knees slightly bent and the abs engaged. Hold the arms at the sides, palms toward the hips. With a very slight bend in the elbow, slowly raise the weights out in front until the arms are parallel to the floor. Pause and then slowly reverse the movement.

(Article acquired from ACE Fit/Fit Life)

Wanna Play Ball?

STABILITY AND MOBILITY TRAINING WITH THE STABILITY BALL

My clients love the variety of training using the stability ball.  Not only are you getting the benefits of strength training, you are also strengthening your core and improving your balance.

Give these exercises a try!  Have FUN!

 

Single-leg Around the World

Focus: Foot stability

Stand on one leg with the ball positioned in front of the body. Use the fingertips to slowly move the ball in a circle around the body, first clockwise and then counter clockwise. Switch legs and repeat. This move challenges the balance of the entire body, which begins in the feet.

Wall Calf Raises

Focus: Ankle mobility

Using the ball to support the  back, lean back against a wall so the body is at a 60- to 75-degree angle. Complete three calf raises: with toes pointed forward, with toes turned inward slightly, and with heels in and toes turned outward. Then turn around and complete the same calf raises with the belly on the ball. The multiple angles achieved by changing the position of the feet and then facing the wall, forces the ankle into mobility from a variety of directions. Facing the wall also allows for the muscles of the lower leg (gastrocnemius and perineals) to be stretched on the downward part of the movement.

Supine Leg Extensions

Focus: Knee stability

Lying face up on the floor, squeeze the stability ball between both ankles with legs extended at 90 degrees above the hips. Keep the knees in line over the hips and bend and extend the knees while squeezing the ankles together, maintaining the position of the stability ball between the feet. Using the quadriceps as well as the adductors, both of which attach around the knee and hip joints, will strengthen the knee and provide stability to this hinge joint without additional impact on the joint and its structures.

3-way Single-leg Squat

Focus: Hip mobility

Extend one leg out in front of the body and place the ball under that foot, elevating it off the ground. On the standing leg, sit down and back slightly until a stretch is felt in the hamstring of the leg on top of the ball. Next, while standing on the same leg, move the ball to the side of the body and rest the inside of the knee on top of the ball. Perform a small squat on the standing leg, allowing the ball to roll sideways from the body, until a stretch is felt in the adductors. Return to standing and turn so the ball is under the same leg, but the knee and ball are behind the body. Perform a small squat again, until a stretch is felt in the hip flexor of the leg that is on top of the ball. Repeat all three movements with the opposite leg on top of the ball. With the ball supporting the leg in all three directions of this movement, the muscles of the leg and hip are relaxed and mobility is enhanced. By moving through all three directions, the hip joints on both sides are forced to move through multiple planes, which creates mobility in the elevated leg and improved hip stability in the standing leg.

Supported Bird Dog

Focus: Lumbar spine stability

Position the ball under the hips and begin with the toes and fingertips in contact with the floor. Maintain this position of the ball and slowly lift one foot and the opposite hand off the ground. Reach the hand and foot away from the center of the body, creating a straight line parallel to the floor before lowering back down. Switch sides. By engaging the posterior chain and lifting the arm and leg, the muscles of the trunk, particularly around the lumbar spine are engaged and are forced into creating a stable environment on top of an unstable surface.

Seated Crunch With Twist

Focus: Thoracic spine mobility

Sit on top of the ball with the knees are bent at 90 degrees. Place the hands behind the head and maintain an erect spine. Bring one knee up and rotate the upper body, moving the opposite elbow across toward the knee. It is important to not flex the spine forward; rather, rotate as far as possible and keep the chest tall. Return to the starting position and repeat on the other side. This move challenges the rectus abdominis and, by rotating the shoulders, mobility in the thoriacic spine is enhanced while the lumbar spine stays stationary to balance on the ball.

Prone I, T, Y, W

Focus: Scapulothoracic stability

With the stability ball under the hips, leave the toes on the ground and lift the upper body until a straight line is formed from head to feet. Engage the legs, glutes and back while pulling the shoulder blades downward. Begin with the arms extended below the chest, fingertips on the ground, palms facing inward. Lock the shoulder blades into place and raise the arms upward, forming each of the following letters: I, T, Y, W. The neck should stay long and the upper trapezius muscles relaxed. Performing these isolated movements with the shoulder blades “packed” helps to build stability in the scapulothoracic joint and increase overall trunk strength.

Child’s Pose With Reach

Focus: Glenohumeral mobility

Kneel behind the ball and, with arms outstretched, place both hands flat on top of the ball. While sitting the hips back toward the feet, stretch the arms forward, moving the ball away from the body. Return to a kneeling position and bring the palms off the ball, pointing the thumbs upward. Repeat the movement. Return again to kneeling and flip the palms again so the backs of the hands are flat on the ball. Repeat the movement. For the last rep, flip the hands yet again so the backs of the hands face each other and thumbs are down toward the ball. By changing the position of the hands each time, the hips sit back, all aspects of the rotator cuff are reached and mobility can increase over the entire joint rather than in a single plane of motion.


(Acquired from ACE Pro Source)

 

 

eccentric exercise benefits

An important rule of thumb when exercising is to change up your exercise routine every 4-6 weeks to avoid plateauing, and therefore, no longer seeing those results from your hard effort.

One way I like to train myself and my clients is by dedicating 4 weeks to Eccentric Exercise.  Below is an article from IDEA Mind-Body  Wellness explaining the benefits and effectiveness of this type of training style. <this article is geared towards a personal trainer but it offers some good insight to those of you unfamiliar with this training :)>

 Five Benefits of Eccentric Exercise

by Maggie Downie on Apr 20, 2015

Not everyone likes to focus on eccentric contractions, but this style of training deserves more attention because it may be a “secret weapon” for creating healthier joints and a long, lean body. Research reveals the perks for newcomers and well-trained athletes.

An eccentric muscle action occurs as an opposition force in response to a concentric (shortening) action, in order to protect joint structures from damage (Bubbico & Kravitz 2010). It’s our braking system—how we decelerate (think of lowering the dumbbell during a biceps curl). Here are five ways clients can benefit from including eccentric contractions in workouts.

1. Alternative to Stretching

If a client loves or swears by stretching, they don’t have to stop, but some research is showing that stretching may not be all it’s cracked up to be (Kolata 2008). That’s good news for people who hate stretching; for example, some men and avid runners. Anne Tierney, cocreator of Ki-Hara Resistance Stretching, helped to develop a practice that involves stretching against resistance. Stretching may create weaknesses in the targeted muscle and perhaps the joint, tendons and ligaments (Shrier 2005). However, if you activate the muscle when it’s long and work against resistance to lengthen the muscle, you can increase range of motion and maintain strength at the same time (Nelson & Bandy 2004). To practice resistance stretching on your hamstring, place your straightened leg on a chair in front of you at a comfortable height. Instead of bending forward or reaching for your toes, press down through the back of your leg to engage the hamstring.

2. Faster Strength Gains

Muscles are stronger eccentrically than concentrically, which means you can theoretically work through plateaus (Bubbico & Kravitz 2010). For example, if clients can’t yet do a pull-up or a push-up, progress them eccentrically. Have them start at the top of the pull-up and lower down with control. The same goes for the push-up. Cue them to slowly lower the body closer to the floor or wall. They will be making progress, because eccentric contractions will actually make them stronger concentrically (Doan et al. 2002). If a client can’t do a full roll-up, cue the exercise in reverse. Many people who can’t roll up can roll down with control. Knowing they can do the move eccentrically helps break down the mental block of a seemingly unconquerable exercise while also prepping the muscles to do it. This doesn’t mean you should completely forgo concentric contractions. You can see even more gains by combiningcontractions.

3. Joint Health and Safety

Have you ever had a client complain about knee pain after downhill skiing or squats? Tierney explains that this is a sign of being weak eccentrically. To hold a squat position, especially when downhill momentum is added, an individual needs strong, long quads. Get “long and strong” and joints will ache less when challenged in this way. Pilates is great for this because it incorporates very few held stretches. Pilates also puts the body under load when a muscle is lengthened. If your clients are scared to do squats because of knee pain, help them build up to doing squats safely so they can maintain lifelong mobility. If they can’t do a squat, they can’t get up and down out of a chair or in and out of a car. Squats are practical; focusing on the eccentric portion is a functional way to build strength and joint stability.

4. Reduced Risk of Injury

Some fitness professionals don’t teach nonathletes moves that focus on eccentric contraction because they increase delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS), but studies show that DOMS increases only at first (Hackney, Engles & Gretebeck 2008). With regular eccentric movements, individuals become less sore and even recover faster from a workout. Jules Mitchell, MS, ERYT 500, who has extensively researched the effects of stretching, recommends that fitness and wellness professionals progress slowly, and perhaps even start with isometric contractions at a client’s current end range of motion.

Functional movements of daily life require eccentric control (think walking downstairs or downhill). It may be beneficial to work the hamstrings eccentrically when the hip is flexed and the knee is extended, especially for runners and anyone who kicks a ball (soccer players or people who play in kickball leagues). Since we are stronger eccentrically, these workouts require less effort, produce less cardiovascular strain and create options for beginners.

5. Increased Metabolism

If a client is primarily interested in burning fat, she may want to focus on eccentric contractions. Research shows that this could increase her metabolism for up to 72 hours after a workout (Hackney, Engles & Gretebeck 2008). Simply slow the workout down by emphasizing eccentric control, using a 3-to-1 ratio for enhanced postworkout return. For example, when lifting weights, take 1 second to shorten the muscle and 3 seconds to lengthen it.

Eccentric exercise is a perfect way to enhance existing program design, work around plateaus and boost injury prevention for specific activities.

Here is a brief demonstration 🙂

Eccentric Bicep Curls

Tips for staying injury-free when exercising

Just wanted to share this with you, my friends, family and fans!!  Sometimes just a simple reminder can make all the difference, so here ya go!

5 Exercise Mistakes That Could Get You Hurt

If you’re exercising regularly, you undoubtedly are noticing the benefits—better sleep and moods, maybe a few lost pounds. The last thing you want to do is derail your efforts or, worse, get yourself injured. Here are five of the most common exercise mistakes people make and how you can avoid them.

1. Skipping Your Warm-up and Cool-down

Scenario: You feel you only have time for a short workout so you skip both your warm-up and cool-down.

Consequence: Your body is not adequately prepared for your workout so you underperform and create a greater potential for injury. You also create more soreness by not allowing your body to cool down properly when you’re finished. When it’s time for your next workout, you feel tired, sluggish, sore and ill prepared.

Solution: Instead of skipping the warm-up and cool-down, shorten your workout and increase the intensity. You can get a very effective workout for both muscular strength and cardiovascular health in only just 20 to 30 minutes. Add moderate-to-intense intervals and/or decrease your rest time between sets. But find a way to do five to 10 minutes of mobility (dynamic stretching) work prior to your workout and some static stretching after you’re done.

2. Using Equipment Incorrectly

Scenario: You are unfamiliar with a new piece of equipment in your workout facility, or you want to try out a cool new exercise tool that you have seen others use, but have never tried yourself.

Consequence: It may sound like common sense, but make sure you know how to use the equipment before integrating it into your exercise program. This goes for everything from a treadmill to barbells, a TRX Suspension Trainer to kettlebells. If you have never used a piece of equipment, don’t assume that those that you’ve seen using it are doing it correctly. Injuries can happen quickly and easily when using new, unfamiliar equipment. You also do not want to be responsible for breaking anything because you don’t know how it works.

Solution: Find a fitness professional in your facility to show you how to properly use the equipment and how to incorporate it into your training program.

3. Overestimating Your Fitness Level

Scenario: You feel like you’re ready to conquer a new challenge, such as increasing the amount of weight you lift, decreasing your rest time, or increasing the overall volume of your training program. However, you are not quite able to complete your current workouts and you are still very sore after each one.

Consequence: Moving forward in your training program without being physically ready could be a recipe for disaster and injury.

Solution: When you are able to complete your intended repetitions and/or are no longer experiencing any delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) after your workouts, you may be ready to move on to a new challenge. This could be as small as adding 5 pounds to your deadlift or jogging for an extra five minutes. Which brings me to my next point…

4. Progressing Too Quickly

Scenario: You are ready for a new challenge so you add an additional 20 pounds to your deadlift, or you extend your long run by an extra 30 minutes.

Consequence: Injury is likely to happen. Even if you are able to complete the new challenge, if your heart rate spikes to a new high during endurance training or you experience debilitating DOMS after a resistance-training session, you likely increased your training too much, too quickly.

Solution: Use the 2 x 2 rule for resistance training. If you can do two more reps for two consecutive sessions at your planned weight, then it’s time to move up by either two reps or 2 percent in weight. For endurance training, your overall weekly distance and/or time should not be increased by more than 10 percent each week. For most people, increasing by increments of fewer than five minutes at a time for running, or 5 miles for biking is usually acceptable.

5. Not Taking the Time to Recover Properly

Scenario: You do an intense workout and try to repeat the same workout, or a similar type of workout, within 24 to 48 hours. This could also include not fueling properly after exercise, which delays recovery.

Consequence: You have opened the door to soreness, fatigue, decreased performance and injury. When this pattern lasts too long, it may lead to overtraining syndrome, which has other long-term effects such as hormonal imbalances, sleep disturbances and mood disorders.

Solution: Take 24 to 48 hours between workouts of a similar nature to rest and recover. This doesn’t mean you have to sit on the couch for two days after running for 30 minutes, but if you do an intense workout that includes heavy weights and running intervals, your body will thank you for taking two days (or more) off before doing that workout again.

<info attained from AC Fit/Fit Life>

 

Skin So Soft

Did you know that the largest organ in your body is your skin?  Yep!!!!   When you drink plenty of water and consume nutrient-dense, whole foods, it also shows on your skin.  Eating fresh, whole foods loaded with vitamins and minerals helps support your skin.

Here’s the Scoop——

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Aqua

Drinking water is one of the best things we can do to keep our skin in shape.  Water keeps our skin moist, and thus makes fine lines and wrinkles less noticeable.  All RIGHT!!!

Water also helps our cells take in nutrients and get rid of toxins.  So drink your aqua!!  I have a water bottle in hand EVERYWHERE I go.  You should too.

shroom

Selenium for Your Skin

This mineral may help protect our skin from cells that gather free radicals. Free radicals cause signs of aging like wrinkles and dry skin, tissue damage, and may also help prevent skin cancer.

Get selenium from Brazil nuts, button mushrooms, shrimp, lamb, snapper, cod, halibut, tuna, and salmon. Also cooked beef, lean turkey, oysters, sardines, crab, and whole-wheat pasta.

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Antioxidants for Healthy Cells

Antioxidants are important in slowing and preventing free-radical damage. You can find them in all kinds of foods, especially colorful fruits and berries and vegetables such as squash, spinach, sweet potatoes, peppers, and beans.

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Fight Those Free Radicals with CoQ10  “POW!” 🙂

Our body makes a key antioxidant called Coenzyme Q10.  But as we age <boo hiss> we produce less of it.  CoQ10 is involved in helping our cells work. 

Find CoQ10 in salmon and tuna, poultry, and whole grains. 

If you use a skin product that has CoQ10, it may help soften wrinkles and other signs of aging.  I’ve been using a product that has CoQ10 from Oil of Olay for years now.  Gotta get all the help I can ha!

egg

Vitamin A for Skin Repair

I don’t want dry, flaky skin.  Do you?  So I like to consume oranges, carrots, or cantaloupe to combat it!  They’re loaded with vitamin A.  You can also find it in leafy greens, eggs, and low-fat dairy foods. When you use a skin product with vitamin A, it potentially helps wrinkles and brown spots look better.  I am also using Vitamin A for skin care and it does significantly lighten brown spots!  So I’m sold.

fruit

Protection from Vitamin C

The sun is damaging to our skin.  Vitamin C offers protection by undoing sun damage to collagen and elastin, which helps keep our skin nice and firm!  Consume red bell peppers, citrus fruits, papayas, kiwis, broccoli, greens, and brussels sprouts to get that Vitamin C boost. <Remember to always use sunblock from the tip of your head to your toes to reduce significant damage from the sun!>

nuts

Vitamin E

Another antioxidant that may help save our skin from sun damage and inflammation is vitamin E.  Find it in vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, olives, spinach, asparagus, olives, and leafy greens.

fats

Consume those Healthy Fats

Omega-3s and Omega-6s are good fats that help make our skin’s natural oil barrier, keeping away dryness and blemishes.  Essential fatty acids help leave our skin smoother and younger-looking.

oils

Oils for Great Skin

Some oils have more than essential fatty acids.  Good-quality ones like extra-virgin olive oil and cold- or expeller-pressed <one step pressed>  are more simply pressed than many other kinds.  These offer more nutrients that are great for your skin.  Olive oil also contains antioxidant polyphenols, which fight damaging free radicals.

Ok, so just ONE more to share!!! ha

tea

Antioxidants in Tea

Green tea is fantastic for your skin.  It helps stop inflammation, slow DNA damage, and can even help prevent the sun from burning your skin.   Sip it daily and reap its benefits!

For more tips, please read my other posts!!  Have a healthy day!