September 30, 2020

Get Functional with Your Fitness

Get Fit Quick Tip:

Get Functional with Squats!

If your fitness goal is to complete your activities of daily living with greater ease and less effort, consider adding functional exercises like Squats into your workout routine.

Squats: An effective exercise that strengthens the entire muscle chain of your body. Although you’ll feel the lower body working the most, your internal stabilizing muscles are also working to maintain proper form, posture and control.

Here’s how to get started:

Consult a Fit Pro to learn proper form based on your ability. Every body is different, and therefore approach to a specific exercise may slightly differ as well.

Maintaining posture is paramount. Maintaining proper alignment is a prerequisite to performing an effective squat.

Master form before adding the load of weights. Adding load without controlling the motion increases risk of injury. Technique matters!

Choose free-weights if appropriate. Free weights require stabilization, instead of relying on the tracking of machine.

Progressions are endless. Varying the mode of the load creates an increased challenge for intermediate and advanced exercisers. For example utilize an exercise band, hold one or two dumbbells, incorporate a stability ball, stand on a balance disk, add a simultaneous upper body exercise, vary pace or vary the range of motion.

 

*Consult your doctor before beginning exercise.

 

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