April 21, 2024

Aching Feet?

Get Fit Quick Tip:

Aching feet? Range of Motion Exercise yields huge benefits to decrease stiffness and soreness. Simply move a joint through its range of motion to increase circulation and decrease tension. Begin with:


Ankle circles. 5-8 times.

Lift your heels. 5-8 times.

Lift your toes. 5-8 times.

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Beginners Guide to Weight Training by Tera Busker

Recently decide to start strength or weight-lifting program, but don’t know where to start? Do you walk in to the gym and you’re not sure what machines do what? Everyone has been in this position at least once before; we were all once new at the gym, and you didn’t know where to go or what to lift or how to use the machines. Well, have no fear – your beginners guide to lifting is here! (As always, consult your physician before beginning every exercise program. The following exercises are for those without injury.) A basic understand of neutral posture and stabilization mechanics should be mastered before beginning a weight training program. If you’re unsure, ask a Fitness Professional for guidance.

First off – you have to get your body warmed up before you start working your muscles. Doing a short, low to moderate intensity warm up on any cardio machine for 5-10 will increase the blood flow and warm up the muscles preparing them for the workout.Now that you are warmed up and ready to go, it’s time to do work.

Leg Press - Sit on the machine, feet shoulder width apart and heels flat on the platform. Release the safety handle(s) and lower the knees towards the chest, keeping your low back and hips flat on the pad. Once your legs are at a 90 degree angle, return to the starting position. Repeat for 12-15 reps, 2-3 sets.

Assisted Pull up Machine - This machine will allow you to do a perfect pullup by helping you pull up your own body weight. Grasp the handles slightly wider that shoulder width, pull yourself up to the bar and slowly lower yourself down until your arms are straight. Repeat for 12-15 reps, 2-3 sets.

Chest Press Machine - This machine is a great way to help beginners perfect the chest press/bench press movement. Set the machine so the handles are right at chest level. Push the weight out, keeping your back on the pad, and as you bring the handles back towards your body, stop before your hands are in line with the chest. Repeat for 12-15 reps, 2-3 sets.

Dumbbell Curl and Press - This exercise is great for the biceps and shoulders. Hold a pair of dumbbells at arm’s length and sit on a bench. Without moving your upper arms, curl the dumbbells up to your shoulders. Rotate your palms so they face away from your body, and press the weights above your head. Return to the starting position and repeat. Repeat for 12-15 reps, 2-3 sets.

Tricep Pressdown - This exercise strengthen the back of your arms and posture muscles. Attach a straight bar to the high pulley of a cable station. Bend your arms and grab the bar with each hand, your palms facing the floor. Keep your elbows locked to your sides and bend your elbows so your arms are in a 90 degree angle. This is your starting point. Keep abs tight and without moving your upper arms or leaning forward or back, push the bar down until the arms are fully extended. Slowly return to the starting position. Repeat for 12-15 reps, 2-3 sets.

Plank – The best exercise for the core! To get into the plank position, start on elbows and knees, locking hands together. Straighten legs and raise your body so that you’re supported by the balls of your feet, with feet hip-distance apart. Face the ground, being careful not to arch your back or raise your hips up. Hold for 15-60 seconds, 2-3 sets.

Tera Busker is an ACE Certified Personal Trainer and owner of Fitness To Go, an exclusive In Home & Private Studio Personal Training Service based out of Roberts, WI. www.fitnesstogo.net

Top Exercise Question Answered! By Tera Busker

Planks Vs. Crunches

Which is better?

In the battle between which ab exercise is better, the plank wins hands down! Not only are planks more effective, they are safer and work multiple muscles in one move.

20 vs. 6

The main reason the plank is superior to the crunch, is that it works more muscles. Planks not only strengthen the core, they also work up to 20 other muscles which include the shoulders, arms, chest, back, legs and glutes. Planks also engage the a very important muscle, the transverse abdominis, which is like your “internal girdle” and holds your core tight. When done correctly, crunches only solicit 6 muscles including the hip flexors, rectus abdominis and obliques.

Brace Vs. Bend

Planks strengthen the muscles that brace the core, crunches strengthen the muscles to bend the core.  In order to have a strong, healthy core, you need to have all of the muscles in that area strong. Crunches only focus on the muscles on the front of the body that contract the body forward. Planks target the muscles of the core that stabilize, rotate, support and flex the spine.

Safe Vs. Safer

Even if you perform the “perfect crunch” (hands behind the head, elbows out to the side,  neutral neck and spine, crunching from the core, no pulling on the neck), there is still a chance of injury. Crunching puts pressure on the discs in the spine and neck. Abs, which are only a part of core muscles, are meant to stabilize your body and keep your spine straight.  Crunches involve the exact opposite movement, whereby you flex your spine and “crunch” at your back’s weakest point.  This puts more strain on your lower back and your posture suffers. Planks train your core to keep your spine in a long, lean position.

Both exercises can be safe and effective if done correctly and they also can be a great addition in a workout program. You have a lot of muscles that make up the core region and if your goal is to get a strong, long, healthy core, why not pick the exercise that works the most muscles in one move?

Tera Busker is an ACE Certified Personal Trainer and owner of Fitness To Go, an exclusive In Home & Private Studio Personal Training Service based out of Roberts, WI. www.fitnesstogo.net