November 20, 2017

Increase your weights!

Get Fit Quick Tip:

Increase your weights!

Have you been lifting the same weights for months on end, or for even longer? Increase your weights to challenge your muscles! If the muscles are not stimulated or overloaded, there will not be a strength gain. Do a rep check during your next workout. If your goal is strength improvements and you’re regularly and easily cranking out 12 reps, increase your weight on the next set. Go to the next weight available and begin with 8 reps in good form. And remember, you can lift a different amount of weight on each set. Your muscles want to be challenged!

 

Practice Your Form

Get Fit Quick Tip:

Practice Form!

If you’ve been at the weight lifting game for awhile, doing a quality-control check of your form is always productive. It’s easy to pick up bad habits here and there, or to crank out a sloppy set every so often. Check your alignment, check your posture, check your speed, check your range of motion, check your stability. Here’s how to begin:

Perform your exercise without weight, or with half the weight you usually do. How’s your form?

Don’t want to waste time? Quality-control your exercises as a range of motion warm-up without weights. Stand in front of the mirror and check your form points. A few minutes of quality control every few months is time and effort well spent! You’ll improve your results, and decrease risk of injury through logging a high-quality workout!

 

Slow Down Your Weight Training

Get Fit Quick Tip:

SLOW DOWN your weight training!

Completing your strength training exercises at a slow, controlled pace makes sure the goal muscle is working to the max. Here’s how to know:

Lift the weight for a 2-3 second count, pause, and then lower the weight for a 3-4 second count, pause. Performing your strength exercise at a slower pace means your muscles are under tension for a longer time. You’ll also break momentum, prevent sloppy form and increase the work all of your stabilizing muscles do, not just the muscle targeted in the exercise.

 

Take your leg strength to the next level…

Get Fit Quick Tip:

Do a Single Leg Squat for leg strength.

Once you’ve mastered the Squat, try a Single Leg Squat to take your leg training to the next level. Here’s how:

Stand on your right leg only. Bend from your right knee and hips, and sit back lowering your body down about six inches. Keep your right knee lined up over your right foot. Maintain proper spinal alignment with your hips level. Now stand up straight again to complete one rep. Do 8-12 times. Repeat, standing on your left leg only. For better balance, extend both arms straight out in front of you. Progress to placing both arms across your chest. For even more of a challenge, reach forward and touch a point such as a chair or cone with your hand while maintaining proper form.

 

*Consult your physician before beginning exercise.

Combo Exercises

Get Fit Quick Tip:

Combine moves for function!

Combine traditional strength training exercises to improve function. For example, perform a Squat immediately into a Bicep Curl, following the strength pattern needed to pick something up off the floor and carry. Perform a Squat with Shoulder Press, which mimics the pattern of picking an item up off of the floor and placing on a shelf overhead. Look at the movement patterns you’re required to perform during the day and then train for those patterns in the gym.

 

*Consult your physician before beginning exercise.

 

Weight Training Works!

Get Fit Quick Tip:

Weight Training Works!

You lift weights every week in the form of groceries, your children, your dining room chair, the bag of dog food, various items in and out of your car. Want to make your daily tasks easier? Start a weight training program. Lifting and carrying are required daily actions that can be completed with less effort by logging a strength workout as little as 2 days each week. Consult a Fitness Professional to outline a program specifically for you, as well as learn proper form and technique. Here are few other benefits of a weight training program you may not have thought of:

Shape your muscles. Muscles give your body shape and contour. You’ll look fit.

Builds independence and confidence. You’ll easily be able to lift and carry what you need, when you need without having to wait for assistance.

Decrease stress. If you’ve had a long stressful day, you’ll leave the muscle and mind tension in every repetitions and set. The result is a relaxed and total-body tension free you.

Improves body awareness. General awareness of posture and alignment will improve, especially if you’re working with free-weights, as you have to stabilize your body on every set.

 

*Consult your physician before beginning exercise.

 

Are you lifting too heavy?

Get Fit Quick Tip:

Effective exercise is more important than load of exercise.

How heavy is too heavy? Regardless of the number of reps you’re logging or particular move you’re attempting, sometimes the weight is simply not safe or appropriate for you.

Are you lifting too heavy? Here’s how to know:

Unable to load and unload the weight properly. You should be able to lift the weights off the rack and move, with proper mechanics, into your starting position. The same applies to racking the weight after your set is complete.

Unable to maintain proper form. You should be able to stabilize your body against the weight throughout the entire range of motion.

Unable to control the speed of the exercise. You should be able to stop the move at any time during your range of motion. Controlling the weight, rather than using momentum, is key.

 

5 Must-Try Exercises at the Gym by Gen Levrant

One of the biggest challenges with a gym workout is not having a plan. Wandering around aimlessly between machines, doing a few reps here and there, resting for a bit and then maybe spending remaining time on whatever cardio machine is available is not an effective workout!

What’s the solution?
Here are my five must-try exercises to try at your next visit to the gym. They require little or no equipment, recruit every major muscle group and will give you a short, sharp effective workout without having to wait for any machine! (As always, be sure to obtain clearance from your physician before beginning this or any exercise regime.)

1: Pivot Clock Lunge
Alternative to: regular cardio warm up
Good for: warming up entire body three-dimensionally
Keeping one foot static, pivot the other foot forwards and backwards into a lunge. Repeat in every direction (as if you were lunging to each opposite number on a clock face) before swapping feet.

2: 3D Press Ups
Alternative to: regular press ups/chest press machine
Good for: core, chest, arms
Perform a regular press up (either full or on knees) but keep changing your hand position on each rep: wide, narrow, one hand forward, one hand behind…

3: Wide to Narrow Squats (with/without dumbbells)
Alternative to: leg press, squat rack
Good for: lower body, core, cardio
Perform a regular squat and jump your feet together as you straighten up. Squat again before jumping your feet to wide again.

4: One-legged shoulder press (with/without dumbbells)
Alternative to: shoulder press machine, sit ups
Good for: shoulders, core, balance/proprioception
Set your core and balance on one foot. Reach one arm at a time up. To hit all muscles of your shoulder and challenge your core further, keep changing the direction in which you are reaching: out to the side, across the body…

5: Air Jack Burpees
Alternative to: a long time on any cardio machine!
Good for: fat-burning cardio
Perform a regular burpee but once your feet have jumped towards your chest, perform an air jack: a star jump but off the ground. If this is too intense, try a regular star jump!

You are now armed with a new gym plan that means: no waiting around for machines, every minute spent in the gym will be effective, a fat-burning workout that can be done in minute intervals or a circuit (try 3 rounds of 15 reps of exercises 2-4), and a happier and less frustrated you!

Gen Levrant is a Faster Health and Fitness certified Personal Trainer and Advanced Functional Training Specialist. She operates out of a private studio in Southampton, UK. For more info please visit http://www.fasterpt.com/personaltrainer/personal-training-south-west/faster-personal-training-southampton/southampton-gen-levrant/. You can reach Gen via email at Gen@fasterpt.com visit her Facebook page or follow her on Twitter @PTGen