Monday, March 1, 2021

Importance of Activating the Transverse Abdominis Muscle - Here is what Ken at Tonicity Fit in West Chester has to say




The core is an extremely important area in the body that is used throughout virtually every movement or exercise. Focusing on core engagement can help reduce strain in other areas of the body.

A very important muscle that people tend to forget to activate is the transverse abdominis. The transverse abdominis works to help keep your spine stabilized. The main function of this muscle is to help reduce lower back pain from core weakness. 

One important technique that you can utilize to improve your transverse abdominis muscle is the draw in maneuver. To perform this maneuver, you would simply draw in your belly and squeeze your core area while performing exercises such as squats, overhead dumbbell press, bicep curls, etc. This will not only improve your stability and strength in your core but will also tone your midsection and help your posture.

Give this exercise a try on your own!



About Ken England:  


Ken England is a certified personal trainer at Tonicity Fit Personal Training Studio in West Chester. He has 19 years of experience in the fitness industry. He holds several certifications in the field- NASM Certified Personal Trainer, NESTA Biomechanics Movement Specialist, and NESTA MMA Strength and Conditioning Coach. He has a Master’s Degree in Sports and Health Sciences. He also continues to stay current in the industry by taking courses through the Brookbush Institute and is currently working towards his Human Movement Specialist Certification.


To learn more about Ken, Click Here.

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Best Free Fitness Apps - See What Lexi at Tonicity Fit Has to Say



“What should I be doing outside the gym?” 

“How do I even start cardio training on my own?” 

“I’m not motivated without a trainer” 

“I like the competition aspect of being in a gym, where else can I get that feeling?”

“I need to track what I eat and I always forget to do it on paper.” 


As trainers, we get these comments and questions A LOT. Here at Tonicity Fit, we want to motivate you to be your best self inside and outside of the gym. We provide strength training exercises tailored specifically to your goals. 


But what about cardio? What about stretching? What about motivation when you leave? We help encourage this outside of your membership. Every membership at Tonicity has a free cardio membership included. Didn’t know that? Let me explain. On Zenplanner, you can reserve a cardio time where you can come in and use any of our cardio machines. This is a GREAT way to incorporate new exercises into your current workouts. However, I know it can be hard to find motivation, and there are so many apps and pages to follow it can be overwhelming. So in my experience and opinion, these apps are a great way to stick to your goals outside of a physical session with us. Here are some of my favorite apps:




  1. My fitness pal

This is my favorite app to track food. It's FREE! It tracks everything you eat, it can scan food with a label, and it sends push notifications to remind you to track your food. It also syncs with whatever device you use to track your workout. It also tracks macro and micro nutrients. So if you’re specifically trying to up your protein intake you can track just protein! Amazing app to add. 


  1. Vizer

This app tracks your workouts and once you finish the goals it sets for you, you can donate a meal to someone in need. I don’t know about you but one of my goals for 2021 was to give back to others. This app combines my two biggest passions, giving back and fitness! It's completely free and highly motivating. 


  1. Map my run or Map my ride

If you are looking for an app to track your cardio on trails or random rides you take in places where there aren't set mile markers, this app is great. It shows you the path you took when you are done, and it has everything you need to have a great run or ride. At the end of each mile, it will tell you your pace and mile you are at without having to look at your phone! 


  1. All Trails

If you love the outdoors and want to find the perfect hike, this is the app for you. This app provides all hikes available to you. If you type in a town or a zip code and set the radius of how far you are willing to travel, it will give you all hikes around the area. It tells you the level of difficulty, how far the hike is, if it's pet friendly and kid friendly, and how far it is from your current location. Great app. 


  1. Nike Running Club

This is my last and favorite app ever. I don’t know about you, but I was not a natural born runner. Last year I ran my first ever marathon and it took me 5 years to work up to that point. Nike running club has preset runs, and a coach in your ear telling you what to do next. It can be anything from learning to run a half mile or learning to run a full marathon. It doesn’t matter your level of fitness or running experience. Best part? It's totally free. A great app to add to your days off at tonicity. 


I hope these apps help and inspire you to keep up with your fitness and health goals! Keep going!





 About Lexi Heckman:  



Lexi Heckman is a certified personal trainer at  Tonicity Fit Personal training Studio in West Chester.  Lexi has a strong love for health and wellness as well as helping others. She has worked within the fitness industry for 5+ years. Working as a recreation attendant, teaching fitness classes and later becoming a facilities supervisor and team leader. She found her love for fitness while working at the recreation center at West Chester University. There she changed her major to reflect that passion and recently completed her undergraduate degree.

To learn more about Lexi, Click Here.

Thursday, February 4, 2021

Cozy Up This Winter With a Healthy Vegan Recipe!

 



Healthy eating doesn't have to be difficult! One of the easiest meals you can make is soup. Especially in the colder months, soup gives us all the comfort we need. This hearty lentil soup recipe is great because it is not only easy, but tasty too! This soup is packed full of vegetables and fibers that will keep you feeling completely satisfied. Pro tip: Add a can of white beans for even more protein! 


Sunday, January 17, 2021

Don't Make Big Changes - Here is What Jules at Tonicity Fit Has to Say



Did you make a New Year's resolution this year? Is it the same resolution you made last year? Maybe you promised yourself you would get in shape, lose a few pounds, eat a pristine diet, never drink again and get 6-pack abs by April.

These are certainly admirable goals. The trainer in me says, "Yes! Go for it!" But the motivation expert in me says, "Woah partner, let's reign it in." 

Stop making big changes! This might sound completely counterintuitive and possibly hypocritical from a personal trainer. But after years of studying lifestyle change and motivation, I can tell you that setting enormous life-altering goals for the near future is a surefire way to burn yourself out and give up altogether. My advice? Pick one small accomplishment that you can complete by the end of today. For example: Do 3 pushups, walk for 10 minutes, eat one vegetable, take 5 deep breaths, go to bed 10 minutes earlier, or drink one more glass of water. These little goals don't sound so intimidating do they? And what if tomorrow you did 3 pushups again? And the day after that you did 4? And the day after that you did 4 again? Still doesn't seem like much right? What if you kept on adding one more pushup after a few days and kept up that trend for three months? You could potentially end up cranking out 30 or 40 pushups in a row in a few months time!

The same concept goes for walking. 10 minutes of walking is not a lot. Neither is 11 minutes. You likely would not be able to jump right in and hike for two hours right away. However, if you slowly build up to it, adding one extra minute every few days could easily help you achieve the hike. Any of the examples above could be completed using a similar schedule. Drink one extra glass of water every day this week. Two extra next week, etc. 

So what is my point? Refrain from making big changes all at once because it can be completely overwhelming. Instead, try to tackle one goal at a time, one step at a time. Take small steps. Set tangible daily goals. Work incrementally toward a larger goal. Be flexible and forgiving of yourself, but don't give up. The slower you ease into it, the more likely you are to stick with it and end up achieving something great! You can do it!





About Jules Baratta:  

Jules Baratta is a Philly area born and raised fitness professional who is in love with movement and passionate about your wellness. She was classically trained in ballet and contemporary dance from toddler through the college level and fell in love with Pilates, yoga, nutrition, and fitness in high school. She began picking up heavy objects in college and immediately fell in love with weight lifting. After college, Jules became a personal trainer in the fitness loving city of Austin, Texas before deciding she liked shoveling snow too much to spend winters down south.


To learn more about Jules, Click Here.

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Cardio and Your Joints: See what Ken at Tonicity Fit in West Chester has to say




With the New Year upon us, many people are diving heavy into cardio for their 2021 fitness goals. A lot of times the general population think that running is the best form of cardio. However, this is far from the truth.

Even though running is a great choice for doing cardio, it also has its cons. When you are running, your joints are taking constant impact each time your foot strikes the ground. Whether outside or on the treadmill, that constant impact on your joints overtime can cause injury and discomfort on your knees, hips, back, ankles or even your shins. A great alternative to running is cardio that is non-impact on your joints while mimicking your gait cycle, such as the elliptical. The elliptical is a perfect piece of equipment that is safe on the joints while giving you a resistance that is upper and lower, making it a very safe and effective cardiovascular workout. 

With that being said, if running is something you enjoy, you should do it! My recommendation is to build different cardio days into your fitness routine to avoid overuse injury. This could include running twice a week, and doing the elliptical once or twice a week. This will also work different muscles over time, thus leading to bigger gains when doing cardio. It is important to change up your workout routine so that you can progress. Save your joints other alternatives for cardio when necessary, but listen to your body, and do what feels best for you! 

About Ken England:  


Ken England is a certified personal trainer at Tonicity Fit Personal Training Studio in West Chester. He has 19 years of experience in the fitness industry. He holds several certifications in the field- NASM Certified Personal Trainer, NESTA Biomechanics Movement Specialist, and NESTA MMA Strength and Conditioning Coach. He has a Master’s Degree in Sports and Health Sciences. He also continues to stay current in the industry by taking courses through the Brookbush Institute and is currently working towards his Human Movement Specialist Certification.


To learn more about Ken, Click Here.