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Fitness Tip of the Day: Flexibility Training to Improve Squats

If you are unable to perform a squat, one of our body’s primal moves; flexibility may be the problem not strength. A properly performed squat requires flexibility through the kinetic chain from the ankles, up to the legs, hips and shoulders. If range of motion is limited, squat technique will be poor. The body will compensate with dysfunctional movement patterns such as the rounding of the back, head and chest may drop forward, and heels may lift off the floor. These patterns can result in injury.

As a fitness trainer, I first recommend developing flexibility through a progressive stretching program. I recommend stretching the same amount of time that you spend exercising. If you worked out for an hour, stretch for an hour.

Never stretch upon waking when muscles are cold. Optimally, stretch after a workout or before bed. Always go in to a stretch slow and controlled; no bouncing or jerking movements. Stretch each muscle 3 times holding each stretch for 30 to 90 seconds.

The better your flexibility, the better the squat.

Author: Sharon’s Personal Training
Female Fitness Trainer of Tucson

HOW TO BREAK A PLATEAU

Have you stopped losing weight after being so successful at first? Or have you stopped gaining muscle mass? Have you reached a plateau? I have one question for you – how long have you been doing the same workout routine?

 

Our bodies have built-in survival mechanisms which cause them to adjust to the exercises we regularly perform. If you have been doing the same routine for more than 8 weeks, and you are no longer seeing results, there is a good chance your body has acclimated. Depending on your fitness level and body type, it can take as little as 3 weeks for your body to adapt.

 

So how to you break the plateau? Simple – change your workout! If you’ve only been walking for exercise, add strength training; i.e. lift weights. For bodybuilding, change the number of sets and reps. If you’ve been lifting heavy with low reps for a while, change to high reps with lower loads.

 

If you are not sure how to adjust your exercise program, consult with a Certified Personal Trainer. They can analyze your current program and make adjustments to keep you moving towards your fitness goals.

By:  Sharon Powell

Copyright ©2011

How a Personal Trainer Can Help During Cancer Treatment

By: Jackie Clark

A cancer diagnosis can be one of the most challenging experiences in many peoples’ lives. While an exercise program is not a substitute for chemotherapy and cancer treatment under a healthcare provider, it does offer valuable benefits for anyone fighting cancer.

Chemotherapy works by preventing some cells in the body from reproducing. It works predominantly on rapidly producing cells, but can have negative impacts on the entire body. Cancer consists of normal human body cells that reproduce very rapidly, outside of the control of the body. When chemotherapy attacks these rapidly reproducing cells, it also impacts other cells in the body that reproduce rapidly. These include cells that produce hair, blood, muscle, and other parts of the body.

Chemotherapy often results in a feeling of lethargy, a dull aching pain, loss of appetite, and depression. Mesothelioma patients often may experience pain on the surface of the body, as chemotherapy works to eliminate cancer cells. For many individuals, exercise can help reduce several of the symptoms of chemotherapy.

A personal trainer can guide a cancer patient through a variety of different exercises, which offer many health benefits. Exercise boosts levels of endorphins in the brain, which can help fight depression and pain. Endorphins are the natural equivalent of pain medicine, and can offer relief for up to several hours after exercise. Exercise also boosts appetite, which can be lowered during cancer therapy.

By using a personal trainer, a cancer patient will be able to concentrate on exercises that are the most beneficial to him or her. For some types of cancer, certain exercises may exacerbate symptoms or increase pain. By working around these areas, a certified trainer can help an individual design an exercise plan best suited to his or her condition.

For many patients, a mesothelioma prognosis can be a life-changing experience, but with the right care and emotional support, it’s possible to recover. Many cancer patients feel a sense of despair and uncertainty with a cancer prognosis, but the right diet, exercise, and cancer therapy can allow an individual to maintain a high quality of life while undergoing treatment. Odds of successful recovery can be improved for many patients with the right exercise plan, so following a comprehensive recovery strategy can have one back to their normal life very soon.

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