Monday, September 21, 2020

The Importance Of Posture

During quarantine, most people have not given their bodies the correct movement and care. Staying inside for prolonged periods of time can effect your body! Today we are going to be talking about posture. Posture affects us more than we realize. Breathing, fatigue, headaches, wear and tear on the shoulder joint, low back pain, stiffness... I could go on! Having good posture can make or break a Monday (or a quarantine!). The more we consciously adjust our alignment, the more automatic it will eventually become.

Some tips to help you with better posture:

1. Lift your ribcage up and out. While we sit for prolonged periods, our ribcage starts to collapse downward, bringing the upper back into a rounded shape and allowing the shoulders to droop forward. Expand your ribcage, take a deep breath, and feel your shoulders naturally roll back!

2. Draw your chin backward and lengthen the back of your neck. This is a quick way to relieve a headache instantly! Pretend you have a little string attached to the top of your head and it's gently lengthening your spine upward. Staring at screens all day causes us to jut our head forward which reduces the space that our nerves have in the spinal column (not to mention it flattens the cervical curve of the neck that can eventually wear on the spinal joints). By bringing the neck back into alignment, we allow the nerves and blood vessels the room they need to play! 

3. Stretch. Your. Chest! Before you begin your workday (and maybe a few times throughout), try the doorway chest stretch. This will help open up the front of your torso that typically gets tight when we slump over our keyboards for hours on end. Watch this YouTube tutorial

The corny pictures I've attached are from my book, Imagery for Personal Trainers, which you can find here: This Link  Although it is geared towards trainers and teachers, anyone who moves their body can benefit from the practical images throughout the book! Feel free to share it with the gym-goers in your life.

Monday, September 7, 2020

The importance of changing your workout routine

    Oftentimes people who regularly workout will get frustrated because the results they saw in the beginning have come to a halt. The common mistake following this scenario is that the individual will think, “well it worked before, I just have to do the same thing more often.” They may see little to no results from this new strategy, getting more and more frustrated as they go along. They will eventually burn out with no motivation, end up quitting, and say they "tried everything" and that "it’s impossible."

    Being impossible is far from the truth. Think of your body like an adapting machine; your body will adapt accordingly to the stress levels that are placed upon it. The idea of working out is to make your movements challenging and difficult, thus forcing your body to adapt to that movement. When adaptation occurs from your workout periodization, your body will become stronger and more advanced than before. However, as your body adapts, you will eventually find that your workouts are becoming too easy-- so it’s time to switch up and change things!

    If you were to continue to do the same easy workout, your body will plateau and you will cease to see anymore results due to adaptation. A good rule of thumb is every 2-4 weeks you should switch up your workouts by changing the weights, reps, sets, tempo of the rep (time under tension), duration of your workout, or even your exercise selection/groupings. Even when you switch up the weight, reps and sets, the body will still adapt. This is why switching up different exercise selections and muscle groupings is really important! Not only is it important for muscle tissue adaptations, but also to have a positive neurological stimuluses for correct and efficient biomechanical movement patterns. 

    Remember the only way to truly see results and achieve your goals is to challenge yourself safely, get out of your comfort zone, and change things up. This will not only save you time and money, but it will also keep your motivation high through your fitness journey.