Blog Archives

If all else fails…use your body weight!!πŸ’ͺ

Some people only do body weight exercises because they are afraid of “bulking up” from lifting too much weight.  Others don’t do body weight exercises because “it doesn’t do anything.”

Unfortunately both side are WRONG! 

Everyone should incorporate body weight exercises into their health routine in my opinion.

Body weight exercises allow you to check in with your form and make sure you are using correct posture during movements. It also brings you back to basics. As you move through your health journey you change physically, mentally and emotionally. Every small adaptation that happens on a cellular level changes how you sit, stand, carry your weight, etc.  coming back to basics regularly, allows your new body to move through proper body functions and reduces the potential for bad, injury causing habits to form.
Body weight exercises are also travel conducive. If you can’t get to the gym, or are out of town and the hotel “gym” is less than ideal, you can bust these out and know you’re getting a quality workout without any hassle.

Here are 5 of my go-to body weight exercises:

At first sight these can seem real basic and simple, but they are the building blocks for many other things and can always be leveled up. I’ve added some videos to show some progressions, the possibilities are endless!

Plank/Push-up

Squats
https://youtu.be/d-cvk4IomuI

Lunges

https://youtu.be/iDQW4bXlvyM

Marches

Flexibility

As always use your head if you plan on starting or changing your workout lifestyle. If you have a lot of health concerns check with your doctor first, if something hurts STOP! πŸ›‘ Make sure you are hydrated and getting in plenty of nutrient dense foods!!

I’ll see you on the other side!!!πŸ‘Š

Some Healthy Motivation

New year, new you! How many time have you heard that so far this year?!?

Many of us get gung-ho at the beginning of each year either with fitness, nutrition or both. For some it works, for others the motivation fizzles out around February😬

I think the biggest thing is remembering to meet your body where it’s at, with all of the cravings and weakness. Develop habits one at a time and make a life long change so health doesn’t have to be your resolution each year.

This is a great video showing that the best way to get started is to get started! Make the choice to move each day, put one new healthy thing in your body each day and watch the transformation.

The process can be slow, which sometimes is the cause for becoming disenchanted with the effort. But, remember this, you didn’t get to your level of unhealthy quickly. It took time and effort and habit to get you to where you are and it will take the same things to change. The only difference is the time is being spent moving,stretching, strengthening your body. The effort will move you closer to your goal each day. The habits are positive ones that allow your body to operate at maximum level.

If you want some help getting started let me know. You can also begin your journey at home. Click the link for more information on how to get yourself started, and then let me know you’re ready to begin. Sometimes accountability (and a swift kick in the virtual pants πŸ‘– ) is what is needed to stay on track.πŸ˜‰

Workout and Nutrition Basics for Teen Fitness

This post gives great tips for teens who workout or are looking to start working out.  Just remember that fitness and nutrition go hand in hand for all athletes, but are especially important for teens because they are still growing.  Getting good sources of plant proteins and plant based calcium is crucial for strength and recovery, they are also easier to digest than animal sources.  I’ll put a list of great sources at the end of the article. 

5 Tips for Fitness Minded Teens 

1. Don’t do chest exercises everyday.  Or any single large muscle group exercise everyday for that matter.

2. Learn muscle balance.  Train all muscle groups, this will allow your body to work effectively on and off the field.

3. Focus on breathing.  Breathing on the exertion part of the exercise helps with effective movement.

4. Follow great biomechanics.   POSTURE MATTERS!  Unless you are training with a trainer with a sport specific exercise, use the 90 degree rule.

5. Don’t go super heavy on weights.  Sport specific exercises might require heavier weights, but work with a trainer if you are going to lift heavy. Body work exercises can be very effective training too.

 For a Full article on these 5 tips visit www.activekids.com .  

Some great sources for plant protein are:

  • Lentils
  • Nuts/Seeds
  • Chia Seeds
  • Quinoa
  • Hemp seeds
  • Spirulina

There is a great article from Www.NutritionStripped.com giving details on these and more plant based proteins. 

Here are some great Plant based calcium sources:

  • Sesame Seeds
  • Chia Seeds
  • Chickpeas
  • Kale
  • Book Choy
  • Full Fat Coconut Milk
  • Almonds
  • Sea Vegetables
  • Quinoa

Check out the details of these foods from www.youngandraw.com

 I also want to clarify why I talk so much about plant proteins and plant based calcium versus animal proteins and calcium, before anyone has a 😫 hissy fit πŸ˜‰. I assume that, unless you are living a vegan/vegetarian lifestyle you are getting plenty of animal protein/calcium sources.  I believe that as a society we get too many animal products in our diets in general.  (that is coming from someone who eats a fairly “paleo” styled diet) We need to get more plants in anyway so we might as well get in the most nutrient dense ones.  I’m all about getting the most bang for your buck!πŸ€‘

Teen Fitness – Weight Lifting

Being a coach and working with lots of kids and teens I get questions about fitness training for that age group.  There have been beliefs that types of training are unsafe for kids and teens because they are still growing and could do damage to their bodies.  There is some truth to that for all people.  If you train incorrectly you can damage your body, no matter what your age or where you are at in your growth cycle.

More and more studies are showing that it is safe for teens and even young adolecants to lift weights, if done properly and under supervision of someone who knows what they are doing.  Many of us who coach today still use techniques we were taught as we were young athletes, that is unfortunately part of the problem.  As long as we stay up-to-date on training techniques we can help our students, athletes and kids use weightlifting as a safe and effective way to stay healthy and improve body mechanics for the sport they choose to be involved with.

I will go more in depth in future articles with references to research that I have found, so you can make the best decision for your kid as to the best training method.  For now, let’s start with the basics.

Yes, growing teens should be aware that lifting too much weight can do damage.  So Cross Fit is out until you are done growing!  Each kid is different so I’m not going to throw out numbers, but technique needs to be the first priority for all weight lifters.  If you lift wrong you are setting yourself up for failure.  So my suggestion is to always start light and really figure out the proper stance.  Know where your feet should be, where your knees and hips should be, your abs should always be drawn in toward the spine, shoulders are down and rotated backward.  These are fairly generic, but with a few exceptions most exercises have these requirements for each major joint in your body.  By placing the focus on joint placement you allow the body to get the most effective workout, and avoid compensation injuries.

The best way to figure out if you are lifting the right amount of weight is by trial and error.  Generically, you want to be able to do 3 sets of 10-12 reps and struggle on the last set, but be able to complete it.  I’m also a big fan of not taking a rest in between sets, I recommend alternating exercises like doing a bicep set then a quad set and once those sets are done doing triceps and hamstrings.  This way you get a full body workout and by keeping your heart rate up you are also improving your cardiovascular system as well.

Remember to take a rest day, while lifting weights is recommended for teens, it is only recommended 3-4 times per week max.  If you follow a plan like I have stated above you will get a full body workout in each time you lift so there is no need to do it every day.  HOWEVER, that does not mean sit on your butt the other 3-4 days.  Use the time off to stretch and build your flexibility or improve your cardio.  All three aspects are needed if you want to become the best athlete you can be.