The perfect squat is not something we do everyday. However, squatting is something we do everyday. It is a movement that does not require a lot of thought. You probably did it this morning when you went to the bathroom, lol! However, when it comes to squatting in the gym that can be another ball game. Here are some basic tips to master the "perfect" gym squat.
The Perfect Squat
Depending on what fitness professional you talk to, you might get five different answers of what they think is the perfect squat. Here is my definition of a perfect squat.: a perfect squat is a squat that your body can do according to your make up. What this means is that everyone does not squat the same. Things such as limb length, flexibility and past or current injuries can dictate how you squat. Now, there is such a thing as an ideal squat. An ideal squat, according to the National Academy of Sports Medicine is:
- Start with feet about shoulder-width apart.
- Toes pointing forward, back straight.
- Squeeze the butt and pull the shoulder blades toward the spine.
- Keep eyes forward and a neutral head posture.
- Push the feet apart as if trying to spread the floor, and descend as though you’re sitting into a chair; knees should track in line with toes.
- Descend for about four seconds, with a one-second contraction back to standing. Repeat for desired reps.
Like I said, this is the ideal squat. However, if you don’t have the flexibility or strength to do so, your body may compensate. Typical squat compensations include (see pictures below): your knees moving toward each other, feet turning out, excessive forward lean of your upper body or your lower back arching or rounding.
Stretch the Calf & Hips
These two muscles are super important when it comes to the proper squat. They are responsible for helping your butt muscles move in and out of the squat. If they are not flexible, your squat form could be on shaky ground, which could lead to injuries. I recommend the following stretches to make sure these muscles are flexible.
Start With a Stability Ball
Using a stability ball or exercise ball can help keep your body in proper position. In order to do this, you would position the ball in the middle of your back against a wall. Make sure your feet are hip to shoulder distance apart. Place your hands on your hips. Slowly descend into the squat, keeping your eyes forward, as if you are sitting in a chair. Once your thighs break parallel to the floor, ascend back to the starting position and repeat for desired number of reps. I recommend 2-3 sets of 12-15 reps.
Medicine Ball Squat
As an advanced version to the wall squat, the medicine ball squat will challenge your upper body in addition to your lower body. The set up remains the same as the stability ball wall squat, except you will hold a medicine ball in your hands at your chest to help your upper body stay upright. I also recommend 2-3 sets of 12-15 reps for this exercise. The medicine ball should most likely not exceed 8-10 lbs.
While the perfect squat may not be something one can accomplish, there is certainly an ideal squat and ways to achieve it. By following the exercises and stretches mentioned in this article, you can certainly get very close to a perfect squat! If you would like help with achieving the perfect squat, please CONTACT US today!
Foam Rolling has become very popular. It has become popular because we are not as active as we once were. Our lifestyles today do not require as much movement as it once did. A perfect example of this is the grocery store Giant’s Peapod delivery service! Not moving our bodies wrecks them.
For those that are active, injuries may still occur. When a person is not active, does a lot of sitting, sleeps in awkward positions or when a person is active and gets injured, their body responds by putting their muscle tissues into overdrive. In other words, they end up working harder than they should which leads to knots in the connective tissue found throughout our entire body. This is where foam rolling in Bethesda can be very helpful.
What is Foam Rolling?
Foam rolling is applying gentle, consistent pressure to a sore or tender muscle through a device like the one picture above. That pressure will send a signal from your muscle to your brain telling it to relax. If you are familiar with a massage, then, you can think of foam rolling as a self-massage.
Why Foam Rolling?
According to the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), foam rolling is beneficial to help alleviate discomfort. For example, if a person does a lot of sitting, then most likely their hip muscles will be working too much. Foam rolling in Bethesda will help the hip muscles to return to a normal state of work. Also, since overworking muscles causes your body to compensate and have poor posture, foam rolling can help to correct bad posture too.
How Do You Foam Roll?
First, you must determine what muscles on your body are working overtime. To find this out, I recommend you talk to your local corrective exercise specialist (like me). This could be a physical therapist, personal trainer (who is at least certified as a NASM-CES) or massage therapist , to name a few. They can watch your posture and how you move to determine which muscles might need foam rolling. Typical muscles that need foam rolling include one’s: calves, hips, lateral to mid-back, thighs and chest. For example, if one determines their calf muscles are working overtime, the protocol would be to sit down on their butt with the foam roller placed directly underneath their calf muscles. The person would apply gentle pressure by pushing one of their calf muscles into the foam roller. If they feel any discomfort (discomfort should not be higher than a 7 on a scale of 1-10), they would hold that spot of discomfort for at least 30 seconds to allow the calf to relax. If a person does foam rolling in Bethesda on a regular basis (I recommend 3-5 times/week for four weeks), they could accomplish significant improvement to their tight muscle and posture, which means less discomfort to their body.
Foam rolling is a proven technique that allows overactive muscles throughout our bodies to return to a state of normalcy. If you have muscles on your body that do not feel normal, foam rolling may be the solution. If you are interested in learning more about foam rolling and feel that it could help you, please contact us today for a free movement analysis & foam rolling session TODAY!
Is exercise for busy professionals possible? From our professional careers, to family and technology, we are all busy. When busy happens, we seem to forget the things that really matter, like our health. Ouch! However, exercise does not have to be a chore or an event. Here are three tips that will help make exercise for busy professionals doable.
Exercise During Commercial Breaks
Tip #1 for exercise for busy professionals is to exercise while while watching TV. Why not take advantage of this time during the commercial breaks, to exercise? It will not take long and after watching TV for one hour, you would have completed 20-25 minutes of exercise. I recommend the following exercises: jumping jacks, planks, squats, lunges and pull-ups. These are all exercises that use your body weight and do not require a lot of space. Try these Exercises You Can Do At Home. Let us move on to tip #2.
Tip #2 for exercise for busy professionals is to play! I’m sure we all remember the game Twister right? It was fun and we did not even realize that it was exercise too. I recommend you bring that game back or make up a game similar to it. I also suggest video game exercising, particularly Wii boxing, tennis and or bowling as a great way to get the family involved in exercise with you. Top Five Wii Games
Tip #3 for exercise for busy professionals is to do household chores. Although it may not be fun, doing household chores together is a great way to exercise. Turn on some upbeat music and make it fun! Mopping, dusting, vacuuming, washing dishes, folding clothes, etc. all require certain muscles to work! If you focus on them as exercise, it can turn into a workout. Try these out for measure: House Bingo & Household Chores Into Exercise.
Exercise for busy professionals can be challenging to fit in. I hope I have made it easy for you to start exercising with the three tips I gave. So, get to moving! Contact us for a FREE diagnostic consultation so we can show you how to exercise as a busy professional!
How to stay motivated to keep fit can be hard. We are living in a different world where everything is fast paced and ever-changing. We are not loyal to each other nor our jobs. Technology has made things really easy for us. Oftentimes, this mindset can carry over into our fitness too. It seems as if we think our bodies are going to get and stay in shape without us doing anything (the magic pill syndrome). As a fitness professional, I must admit that I sometimes fall into this category too. I have found myself being lazy and saying to myself: "I still “look” fit, so I am good." Well, we can overcome this together by these three simple ways of how to stay motivated to keep fit.
Have you noticed that when we write things down and put them in a place where we can see them consistently, we tend to get those things done? This is no different with our fitness. Suggestion #1 for how to stay motivated to keep fit is to put it on your schedule. That is right; schedule your fitness into your calendar. However, do not just put it down and leave it there. Write down the exact days and times you will do it each day and give yourself reminders.
Do Fitness Events
Suggestion #2 for how to stay motivated to keep fit is to do fitness events. There are tons of fitness competitions that are fun, competitive and require you to be in shape. How about a five or 10 K? Not interested in that, how about something like Tough Mudder or The Spartan Race? Not interested in those, well, how about an event that raises money for a cause that interests you like the Susan G. Komen or the Congenital Heart Walk? I am positive you can find something that will fit your personality or philanthropy.
Suggestion #3 for how to stay motivated to keep fit is to exercise with someone. Most of us do not like letting people down. We typically will get things done when someone else is depending on us to do so. As a result, finding a workout partner could be the missing key to you staying motivated to keep fit. Statistics show that having an accountability partner improves one chance of success!
Although we are busier now than ever… Even though we are not as consistent with things in our lives as we use to be… We cannot let those excuses keep us from doing what we know is good. So, how about you schedule your workouts, find a competition or get an exercise buddy for your solutions of how to stay motivated to keep fit! If you would like help with how to stay motivated to keep fit, please contact us today!
Belly Fat, that awful dreaded thing hanging over your hips… You know, that stuff that you have to pull in really tight to fit into those favorite jeans of yours. That part of your body that you hate looking at in the mirror. Yes, I went there! Let us face, belly fat is frustrating and typically hard to get rid of right? Well, if you follow the three tips below, you might be surprised to see your belly fat (and fat in other places on your body) gone “bye, bye” in the next 30-45 days!
Drink More Water
Drinking more water helps to get rid of belly fat. Oftentimes, the extra fat we have on our bodies is a result of toxins being held onto. Water is a great way to flush those toxins out. You should try to drink at least half your body weight in ounces, if not more, each day.
Cut Out the Booze
Yes, you heard me right. Drinking alcohol really has no health benefit that you cannot get from something that is not intoxicating. One of the major downfalls of drinking wine (or beer) is all of the empty calories it has. I understand that it is relaxing, but look at the expense you get instead. That expense is weight gain, particularly as belly fat! Some alcoholic beverages contain as much as 200-300 calories/glass or container. Ouch! That might be the calorie deficit you need to help you lose one to two pounds/week, particularly from your belly fat.
Add-In or Increase Your Resistance Training
Oftentimes, people turn to tons of cardio to help them lose belly fat. While cardio exercise can certainly help and is recommended, please do not neglect the benefits of resistance training. Resistance training helps to develop muscle. Our muscles are great in helping our metabolism (the calories we burn each day) stay active throughout the entire day in burning fat. If you are not weight lifting, you should be!
Belly fat is not necessary and you should not feel that you will never get rid of it. If you incorporate the three tips above, I am confident your belly fat will start to melt away! If you would like more help with helping your body shed fat away, then please contact me HERE for your free consultation!
Yes, you can lose weight after 50 yrs old! Although exercise may not be as easy as it once was, there is still hope. Below, are five ways that you can lose weight after 50!
Weight Train More.
People over 50 tend to focus more on cardio exercise. Weight training allows your body to burn calories through out the day, all day, every day. Cardio exercise may allow calorie burning for several hours only after the activity. You can lose weight after 50 by adding at least two days of weight training to your exercise. Here is a sample workout.
Eliminate the Wine
I know, your doctor has said that drinking a glass of wine each day reduces your chance of heart issues. Well, one thing they failed to mention was that wine has empty calories in it, so, you can get the benefit of the grapes elsewhere. Yep, those 200-300 empty calories you get from drinking a glass every day could be the reason why you have not lost any weight! So, you can lose weight after 50 if you put down that glass of wine. :)
Increase Your Water Intake
A lot of us simply do not drink enough water. As a start, you should be drinking at least half you body weight in ounces so you can lose weight after 50. As a side note, drinking water is important, as it is a major part of our body's natural detox system and helps our organs to function properly.
Develop Better Sleep Habits/Sleep Routine
Without enough sleep, you don’t achieve your goals. I say this because it is where everything that you have done in the gym and ate takes place. No REM sleep=no weight loss! One of the best ways to ensure REM (deep sleep) is to develop a sleep routine. This can be something like going to bed at the same time every night after having powered off all electronics, done some meditation and a drank a cup of relaxing chamomile tea. You can lose weight after 50 if you sleep more and better.
Don't diet, eat fruits/veggies/protein
Diets simply do not work for most people because they are too restrictive. Here is a simple way to change the way you eat: a consistent eating plan of unlimited veggies/fruits and moderate protein does wonders for the body. For example, a fist full of salmon, two hand full of broccoli and a fist full of blueberries will do wonders for your body (not to mention the ease in preparing it), so you can lose weight after 50.
Yes, you can lose weight after 50 by following the steps listed above consistently. Let us help you by scheduling a free consultation with us today!
Is exercise done in 30 minutes or less effective? I say yes because of the time factor we all face. Time is of the essence says the real estate world. We are simply too busy of a people! We do not have time to go to the grocery store, so, we have it delivered. We do not have time to go to the cleaners, so, we have it picked up and returned to us. What about our exercise? If there was a way we could pay someone to do it for us and get the benefit ourselves, I am sure we would, lol! Until someone figures out how to do that, we have to settle for the alternative. One of the best alternatives is exercise done in 30 minutes or less!
One of the most effective ways of exercise done in 30 minutes or less is circuit training. Circuit training is simple performing a group of exercises one after the other, with minimal to no rest between each exercise. If you have limited time, but want to change your body composition for the better, then this type of training is for you! Its helps burn off fat, increase your muscle and helps you look great! An example of circuit training could include the following: Dumbbell (DB) Steps followed by Push-ups followed by DB Squats followed by Pull-Ups. There is no set order of exercises to circuit training, so, feel free to experiment with the order of the exercises. Typically, you would do 1-3 sets, 8-20 reps with a 15-60 second rest b/w the exercises, 3x/week. Try this circuit workout!
Peripheral Heart Action (PHA) Training
PHA training is a version of circuit training exercise done in 30 minutes or less that has the same benefit. However, unlike regular circuit training, PHA is done in a certain order & that order is to alternate the lower body, with the upper body. By doing this, you can improve your blood circulation, get your cardio in and alter body composition. An example of PHA training could include: ball squats followed by cable rows followed by DB lunges followed by ball chest press. The advantage of this form or exercise done in 30 minutes or less over the normal one is that it is more specific to one’s desired goals. For example, if your goal is to add muscle size & definition, then you would do 3-4 sets, of 8-12 reps with a 60 second rest after you have completed your first round of exercises. You would do this kind of workout 3-4x/week. Try this version of the circuit training workout!
Yes, we are all busy people nowadays. However, we should not use that excuse to let our health go to waste. Our bodies were made to move, so let us make sure we doing that by incorporating exercise done in 30 minutes or less into your weekly routines. Trust me, they work! If you need help, please let us know by clicking here!
Skipping jumping rope is what we did as kids for fun. However, they are still great for us as adults to do today. Here are three reasons why they are still not only effective and great exercises, but also fun!
Skipping jumping rope fits into interval training. Because skipping jumping rope both involve short, repeated bouts of high intensity activity (i.e. interval training), they are great to improve fat and weight loss. You can burn more calories in a shorter period of time doing these exercises instead of the elliptical or treadmill.
Helps to Prevent Bone Diseases
Skipping jumping rope involves stress to our bone density because of the speed and force produced with each skip and jump. As a result, they can help prevent or slow down the bone diseases known as osteopenia and osteoporosis. Skipping jumping rope will allow our bones to receive good stress to it, which helps make it stronger!
Muscle Definition in Legs
While muscle definition may not be a goal of everyone, it is nice to see some muscle on your body right? Because of the high intensity and power involved in skipping jumping rope, you will develop some nice muscles, particularly in the legs. If you don’t believe me, look at a boxer’s body. Boxers include a lot of skipping jumping rope in their workouts.
Suggested Beginner’s Program for Skipping Jumping Rope:
Surface: grass or rubbering flooring preferably
Reps: 5-8 (skipping) 20-30 seconds (Jumping rope)
Tempo: controlled to moderately fast
Rest: 0-90 seconds
Skipping jumping rope are usually kids and athlete activities. However, they should be done as adults because they help with fat loss, prevention of bone disease and they are just fun activities that will keep you laughing! If you would like to learn how to include them in your workout, then please schedule a free consultation with us today!
Functional Fitness is a buzzword that gained its popularity in the late 1990’s/early 2000’s. At that time, the introduction of non-traditional pieces of equipment started becoming more popular in the gym. Things such as stability balls, bands, Bosu balls, wobble boards and bands/tubes to name a few, were being used more in the gym compared to traditional machine and free weights. With more and more people trying those pieces of equipment and inventing new exercises, the term functional fitness gained its popularity.
What Is It?
Simple put, functional fitness is exercising your body specifically for the demands that it will face on a daily basis. In our daily lives, we do the following without most of us thinking about it: lower and raise our center of mass, push and pull, locomote and rotate. Functional fitness is making sure when we exercise, that we do exercises that mimic our daily activities of life. This can be different from what a lot of people do in the gym. A lot of people in the gym simple train body parts for aesthetics. Functional fitness is not really concerned about aesthetics, but is more focused on function.
What Are the Benefits?
There are several benefits to functional fitness. The first benefit is that the body gets trained as one unit. Have ever paid attention to yourself when you are doing things such as walking, running or bending down on the ground to pick up something? I so, you may have noticed how several bones, joints and muscles all work together to allow you to move. The body is designed to do this. Another benefit to functional fitness is balance. Since there are times in our lives where we are forced to balance (i.e. misjudging your step off of a curb, slipping on ice or wet pavement), it would be smart to work on your balance. Functional fitness says that balance should be a part of your exercise program. Lastly, if you play recreational sports, then functional fitness can be very beneficial for you. By mimicking the movements your sport requires when you are exercising, your body will be prepared for that sport and reduce risk of injury.
How Do I Do It?
There are several ways to incorporate functional fitness into your exercise program. Examine the daily activities you do in your life. Do you sit and rise a lot during the day? If so, squats would be appropriate for you. I would vary the type of squats you do to include squats such as single leg, split stance and balancing squats (i.e. Bosu ball squats). Do you do a lot of lifting? If so, exercises such as deadlifts would be appropriate for you. Once again, I would vary the deadlifts to include single leg, split stance and balancing deadlifts (i.e. Bosu ball deadlifts). How about lifting things over your head? If you do this, then exercises such as medicine ball and dumbbell shoulder presses are what you should be doing. Here is a list of some great functional exercises: Functional Exercises
Functional fitness has been mistaken for exercises that only use certain pieces of equipment such as wobble boards, Bosu balls and tubes. However, functional fitness is any exercise that allows your body to mimic its daily activities of life. As a result, any age group can do functional fitness. Sign up with us today to find out the best way to do functional fitness for your exercise!
Have you noticed that summertime weight loss is easier? Why is this? Maybe it is because everyone looks forward to the summer. Whether you have plans to hit the beach, pool, mountain climbing, or vacationing, everyone wants to look and feel their best during the summer. Here are five reasons why people find summertime weight loss easier.
Who does not like a 75 degree day with the wind blowing and the sun shining? Days like this heighten our mood and make us want to move! If you do not believe me, the next time it is a beautiful day see if you do more moving. Summertime weight loss in Bethesda is easier because of the weather.
Have you noticed that most summertime foods are just plain “lighter”. I do not know about you, but I find myself eating more salads, fruits and drinking more water in the summertime. Typically, this equates to less calories in my body. If we are consuming less calories and moving our bodies more, then, we are less likely to gain weight. As a matter of fact, we lose it! Summertime weight loss in Bethesda is easier because of the foods we eat.
One of the best parts about summertime weight loss is that we can wear really light clothing and less of them too. I do not mean skimpy clothing, but, rather less layers. We tend to feel more free and when this happens, we are happier. If we are happier, this means we have less stress. Less stress means our bodies are more prone to weight loss (yep, it is a trickle down effect).
The summertime is made for outdoor activities. Hiking, swimming, kayaking, jet skiing, rock climbing, etc., are all forms of summertime exercise, even though it does not feel like it since we are having fun doing them. There is nothing better than moving our bodies for fun and burning calories without even thinking about it!
Overall, More Active
Lastly, we just move more in the summertime. In our country, where we are moving less than ever due to technology, the summertime sort of forces us to be more active. We take family vacations that usually require a lot of walking and more activity everyday. Our kids are in summer camps and they are more active too. So, summertime weight loss in Bethesda is easier because we are overall more active.
Summertime is weight loss is easier. It is easier because the weather is better. Our food and clothes are lighter. We spend more time outdoors and we overall just move more! If you have a goal of weight loss, then, the summertime is a great time to conquer that goal!