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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Workout for 31 Days! Help Conquer Cancer

In a complete and utterly shameless attempt to tug at your heartstrings, I wanted to share why conquering cancer is something that has increasingly grown closer to my heart, in the hope that you’ll accept and join me for this challenge.

Being a carrier of a gene mutation called BRCA1 I’m facing a much higher-than-average risk of Breast and Ovarian Cancer, and as a result, I’ve become quite familiar with the Vancouver Centre of the BC Cancer Agency over the last few years. More specifically so their Hereditary Cancer Program.

Vancouver Personal Trainer Jenny Soderman

With the hope of preventing me from ending up a patient, I have for the last seven years been part of an enhanced screening program, meaning mammograms and MRIs on a regular basis. What makes the biggest difference in the fight against cancer is risk-reducing surgery, I’ve learned more about “boob jobs” and “tube jobs” than I could ever imagine. In my quarterly check ups at the BC Cancer Agency, consultations revolve around when, (more so than “whether”), I’d like to discard of my female attributes, which are currently giving me pretty shitty odds for staying cancer-free for life. My best chances of doing so is a bilateral mastectomy and removing the ovaries and fallopian tubes.

Now, not being one with a glass half empty I’m looking at this on the bright side and realizing that I’ve finally made it in the same league with Angelina Jolie, a fellow BRCA1 carrier. While some people would cough up their hard earned chicken feed to get a rack like Jolie, I’m practically being ushered to order the chicken fillets, with full control over how my “shelf would be built’, and it’s all for free!

Image result for conquer cancer So, this is how you get on the team:

  • Register here
  • Click “Join Team”
  • Pick your Fundraising goal and then click “Next Step” to fill in all your details
  • There’s a registration fee of $10, which of course goes to a great cause!
  • Boom! You’re on the team! Start sharing the news with your peers, get working out!

Jokes aside, though these visits are a real killjoy and often leave me gloomy and reflective, I can’t sing the praises of the staff over there enough. The support, compassion, and patience I’ve encountered in everyone I see at the BC Cancer Agency is amazing, and to a point, I haven’t experienced anywhere else dealing with these circumstances.

In an attempt to help raise funds and advance cancer care, the BC Cancer Foundation is organizing “Workout to Conquer Cancer” in aid of furthering groundbreaking research at the BC Cancer Agency. This year’s fitness challenge is a month long, and encouraging you British Columbians to sweat-it-out for 31 days. I’ve never been one to turn down a challenge, let alone one I have high interested in winning, so I’ve gone ahead and registered a Momentum Team.

Sadly, I’m pretty certain we all know someone who has been closely affected by Cancer in one way or another. This challenge isn’t just a great way for us to raise funds for the BC Cancer Agency, but also focus on our own health by staying active and fit. Just in case any of you missed that memo, there is endless research and substantial evidence that physical activity is linked to lower risks of several cancers!

Apart from Momentum Fitness, Workout to Conquer Cancer has various other fitness facilities joining the challenge. As a part of this, you’ll also have access to a wide range of fitness drop-in classes offered by the other Workout Partners in Vancouver, a great way to try something new outside your personal training schedule. Add to that all the awesome free outdoors stuff that we so love, hiking, running, biking, and it should be a lot of fun to reach your 31 days of workouts in May.

Posted by  Jenny Soderman
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Friday, April 14, 2017

From Personal Trainer to Divemaster

Why would two personal trainers from Vancouver want to become Dive Masters and Dive Instructors? I know for myself it is about the challenge and adventure of learning new things. As a personal trainer, the art of teaching has always compelled me to learn more and improve my knowledge of human performance and fitness. I see my dive education very much an extension of that desire for knowledge. For me learning the safety protocols and skills needed to be a Dive Instructor enhances the absorption of information and provides additional skills that I can then pass on to others

diveTurtle

When it comes to my dive training, I have been to several local places starting with Ocean Quest Dive Center in Burnaby. Nikki has been a diver since she was a child and she wanted to share the underwater world with me, she purchased my Open Water training as a gift. For years we traveled and dove in a variety of warm water locations like Mexico, Australia, and Florida. Together Nikki and I decided that doing some local diving may be a good thing to do since BC is listed as one of the top ten places to scuba dive. Cold weather is not Nikki’s favourite thing, the thought of cold water diving was a huge stretch for her. This led to us to our Dry Suit certification which allowed us to manage in the local waters and then onto our Advanced Open Water Dive certification with other skills such as Deep Water Diver and Wreck Diver. We did all of these with a local company International Diving Center which is on Arbutus.

Being in a drysuit did not make Nikki fall in love with cold water diving it was a start, but we were still doing more warm water dives then cold water dives. Our next big adventure was a Dive trip to Cozumel, Mexico; we knew we were going to be doing a lot of dives, so we added our Nitrox certification from The Dive Locker on 4th Ave, since that is the company that was organizing the trip. Here we met Paul Quiggle the head instructor for The Dive Locker, and after 20 dives in Cozumel, he encouraged us to look at the Divemaster training. After much discussion and dreaming, we decided it would be fun to do someday. Paul had done his dive training in Roatan Honduras and raved about the area and the diving.

DiveFish

Fast forward to today, two years later, and we are planning to jump into
intensive studies and training to complete our Divemaster training.

Why Utila?

Why not stay local with one of the companies that we have already done courses through. First, it came down to Nikki and the cold water. Yes, the drysuit is helping, but doing multiple dives on consecutive days in cold water was not going work for her, and honestly, I was on board with this.

Utila is on the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef system which is the second largest reef in the world after the Australian Great Barrier Reef.

Warm water, exquisite diving conditions, a friend’s review, a professional review, a top notch 5 star PADI dive center that runs underwater conservation courses as well and you have a winner in Utila. We depart Vancouver on April 21st, will be in the beautiful waters of Honduras by the 22nd and our dive training starts on Monday, April 24th.

We are looking forward to fun in the sun and warm waters of Utila. A much welcome break from our cold winter and spring here in Vancouver. Stay tuned for blogs about our training and adventures on Utila.

Posted by  Nikki
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Wednesday, March 15, 2017

March Nutrition Challenge | Keep it Simple

March is Nutrition Month and as such millions of Canadians will be participating in nutritional challenges. Some will be doing this to get back on track from New Year’s resolution gone awry for some it is an annual event, and for others, it is the first try into nutrition challenges. Here at Momentum Fitness, we do an annual March Nutrition Challenge with our personal training clients. These have ranged from following meal plans like the Whole30 or Paleo to the complete opposite and try going vegetarian for the month. But for our clients that do not want to turn their eating world upside down, we also have the very simple Nutritional Goal Post.

Nutrition Month Vancouver Personal Trainer The Nutritional Goal Post is a post in our gym where our personal training clients can write down a simple singular goal for the month of either adding something of nutritional value to their regular eating or subtracting a vice that they know has no nutrient value. Over the past 17 years of running this challenge at Momentum Fitness, we have found it to be one of the challenges at which our personal training clients have the most success. It is a matter of how simple changes can make a huge difference in how people look at what they consume and how that simple change can have long lasting results. I had a client who decided that they would stop eating potato chips, a simple thing to do. What happened was to avoid potato chips they avoided convenience stores, the grocery aisles that have chips and sodas because of this they did ended up cutting out other foods and beverages that had no nutritional value. They also decide that french fries were the equivalent of a potato chip. As a result they changed the sides dishes restaurants to salad. Not only did this client lose weight but they also made a change that after 31 days has stuck two years later. A simple elimination of a food changed not only what they ate but also how the shopped and ate at restaurants.    

The point is that a simple change can have an amazing effect on our health and wellness so this year we at Momentum Fitness encourage all of you to make a simple change for Nutrition Month post your goal on our Facebook page or stop in and slip it on our Nutrition Goal Post.

Some common and successful Nutrition Month Goal Postings:

  • Eat more Fruit and Veggies
  • No alcohol
  • No candy
  • No chocolate
  • Drink more water
  • Add breakfast
  • Pack a healthy lunch
  • Go vegetarian

Pick a goal and make a simple change work for you.

Posted by  Barry
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Saturday, February 04, 2017

Row Your Way to Personal Fitness!

February is Heart month and our theme this year is “Every Minute Counts”. Since Every Minute Counts we should try and make each minute a little harder, oops I meant to say more productive. As a personal trainer, I sometimes confuse the goal :).  One of the hardest types of cardio is the rower (ergometer), this is because you are using both your upper and lower body at the same time. Working more muscles means you need more blood pumping through your body, the result of this need is your heart rate going up. Proper row technique can go a long way to making this type of cardio a little less painful, maybe even enjoyable.

The Rowing Stroke

The rowing stroke is broken into 4 phases, the catch, the drive, the finish, and the recovery. Each of these phases uses your muscles a little differently and if you rush them together your stroke is less productive, both in terms of how far you are traveling with each stroke but also in how much you get out of your workout. There are 2 key numbers on the display of the rower, The Strokes per Minute (SPM) and the Split Time (time per 500 meters). You can row fast or slow, that is your choice, but to achieve the best result with the least amount of effort you want to row at a steady pace that allows you to have a low split time and a low SPM. This means you are using more of your muscle power to row and not just racing back and forth jacking your heart rate up.

Rowing form

The Catch

  • Arms are straight; head is neutral; shoulders are level and not hunched.
  • Upper body is leaning forward from the hips with the shoulders in front of the hips.
  • Shins are vertical, or as close to vertical as is comfortable for you. Shins should not move beyond perpendicular.
  • Heels may lift as needed.

The Drive

  • Start the drive by pressing with your heels down and pushing back with your lower body muscles, then swing the back through the vertical position before finally adding the arm pull.
  • Hands move in a straight line to and from the flywheel.
  • Shoulders remain low and relaxed.

The Finish

  • Upper body is leaning back slightly, using good support from the core muscles.
  • Legs are extended and handle is held slightly below your ribs.
  • Shoulders should be low with wrists and grip relaxed. Wrists should be flat.

The Recovery

  • Extend your arms until they straighten before leaning from the hips towards the flywheel.
  • Once your hands have cleared your knees, allow your knees to bend and gradually slide the seat forward on the monorail.
  • For your next stroke, return to the catch position with shoulders relaxed and shins vertical.

Check out this video for more on rowing technique: click here.

There is lots of time left in February for you to set your goal, get on the rower, and get those minutes in!

Posted by  Nikki
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Thursday, December 15, 2016

Three Words For my Personal Fitness and Well-being in 2017

Every year around this time millions of people in Vancouver make New Year’s resolutions most often the same ones from last year and the year before. Albert Einstein once said “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results” I feel this is very applicable to our annual resolution.

Nikki shared an interesting article with me about using “Three Words” to live by for a given year. This would be instead of setting a resolution to lose weight or be more organized, two of the most popular goals people fail at each year. Instead, you choose three words that you feel will embody the changes that you would like to make in your life, work, and/or health. This is a very interesting concept, and one that I think would be a fantastic way to get rid of the baggage that comes with making a New Year’s resolution. Instead, you have a way to look at your options and decisions and see how they stack up against your Three Words. I have decided to give this a try below are my three words for 2017 and some different ways they will apply to my decision-making process.

Nourishment | Build | Serenityhappy-new-year-2017

Nourishment for me will apply to my mind, body and relationships it is about making decisions that will provide me with substance, fulfillment, and energy. I will apply this in how I eat, what I read and the activities I choose.

Build will be about improvement and taking action in construction of my body, my relationships, as well as my skills. I can apply this to my activities, my friendships, and the new things that I want to learn.

Serenity is going to be the hardest word to instill into my life. For me, this is about acceptance, contentment and the ability to take pause and appreciate what is happening now. It will apply to those moments that I get frustrated, when I feel that more is needed, or the achievement was not high enough. It will also be in reflection throughout the day and taking in the good that happens each day.

So this year when you are surrounded by your friends, family or complete strangers in a bar take a moment and think about what three words you want to exemplify how you will live your life in 2017. For me, it will be a year of nourishment that allows me to build on my future and personal well being as I take time to find my serenity in the world around me.

Share your three words that will define your 2017 here.

Posted by  Nikki
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Wednesday, October 19, 2016

5 Steps to Master the Turkish Get Up

At Momentum Fitness a lot of our Personal Training clients want to learn new exercises, part of working with a personal trainer is being able to learn new, and exciting, exercises in a safe way. This month we wanted to talk about the Turkish Get Up. This exercise is an advanced movement that is often done incorrectly and even taught incorrectly by most people. The first mistake that people make is thinking this is an easy exercise to do, they think I have been getting up out of bed, or off the floor my entire life surely I can do an exercise called the Get Up! We hate to be the bearer of bad news but this is an advanced exercise and you need to break it down into segments and learn a few key moves before trying to put it all together into one fluid movement.

turkish-get-up


Key Moves to Master:

For the Turkish Get Up the most popular equipment that people currently use is the kettlebell however it can be done with dumbbells and even barbells and on YouTube I found a video of guy lifting a girl wrapped around his arm. For the purpose of our lesson we will assume that you are using kettlebells, and not other gym goers.

  1. Shoulder Packing – this is key to prevent shoulder injuries and to maintain kettlebell control during the Get Up
  2. Single Leg Glute Bridges – glute stability and strength is required to ensure that your back does take too much of the load
  3. Reverse Lunges – the need to be able to stand and lower to and from one knee is critical to the success of your Get Up
  4. Shoulder Press – Even though you never do an actual shoulder press during the Get Up you will need to have the range of motion to move the kettlebell to an overhead position

Phase One: The Roll – Getting from your back to sitting

  1. Lay down with your kettlebell next to your shoulder. Always treat the bell as if it is very heavy even if it is really light.
  2. Roll onto your side and grab the kettlebell with both hands then roll onto your back
  3. Punch both hands to the sky then lower one arm to your side at a 45-degree angle to the shoulder.
  4. Pack the shoulder of the arm holding the kettlebell above your chest, by pretending you are squeezing a lemon in your armpit. This will sink your shoulder back and keep your elbow straight.
  5. The leg on the same side as your free hand should also go to a 45-degree angle from the hip and the bell side leg will be bent at the knee with the foot planted outside of the hip.
  6. The goal is to keep the hand and arm pointed at the sky as you roll up from supine to sitting.
  7. Using your abs to roll up to seated by placing weight on your free arm and elbow.
  8. Once seated keep your back flat and your free arm straight with the loaded arm still packed at the shoulder and the hand pointed to the sky.

Phase two: The Hip Bridge – From sitting to bridge

  1. You are now in the seated position with your kettlebell held above your head and shoulder packed.
  2. Your free arm needs to be behind your back and about 10-12 inches from your hips at a 45-degree angle pointing up and away from your body.
  3. It is important your planted foot and free arm are in the proper position because it will allow you to perform the hip bridge without feeling jammed up.
  4. You should be able to lift your hips up and holding the kettlebell towards the sky and keeping your free leg out straight and still at the 45 degree angle from the hips.

Phase Three: Stack Hips and Shoulder – From hip bridge to stacking

  1. You will now have the kettlebell held towards the sky and be in a hip bridge on that side with and your additional weight on your straight arm planted firmly on the ground.
  2. You will have your shoulder stacked and at 90 degrees to the ground with the bell towards the sky and your opposite hand planted on the group your free leg will be out straight from your body
  3. From the hip bridge take your free leg and bring it under your hips placing the knee right under your hip.
  4. This will stack your hips directly under your shoulders, make sure to keep the kettlebell pointed to the sky

Phase Four: The Windmill and Windshield Wiper

  1. You should be in the stacked position, one foot forward in a lunge position and one knee on the ground stacked under your hip, your shoulders should be 90-degrees to the ground with the kettlebell held towards the sky.
  2. The windmill is the repositioning of your shoulders to be above your hips while keeping the kettlebell up towards the sky
  3. This will un stack the shoulder from the ground and place the kettlebell in a over head position and it will unstack your hips and you will end up in a one knee position.
  4. The windshield wiper is the pivot on your knee of your lower leg and foot from the 45 degree angle it will be in from the windshield wiper to a more inline position with the knee
  5. You will finish in the half lunge kneeling position, with the back knee on the ground and the opposite arm holding the bell above your head keeping the shoulder packed. Both knees should be at 90 degree bends.

Phase Five: Standing Tall – From one knee to standing

  1. You should be in the half lunge kneeling position with the kettlebell held overhead towards the sky.
  2. Your free arm can be held out to your side for balance in this position and as you stand.
  3. To stand you must shift the weight from being evenly spread between knee and opposite foot to all your weight being on your foot.
  4. From there you will use your glutes and stand up using your forward leg
  5. Plant your opposite leg under your hips and evenly distribute your weight between each foot
  6. You should now be in a standing position weight equal on both feet, abs and glutes tight and contracted with your arm overhead holding the bell and your shoulder still packed.

And that my friends is a Turkish Get up. Of course the harder part is now that you are standing you will need to reverse each step in each phase and get all the way back to lying on the ground and then do you opposite side.

It is highly recommended that you start by master each phase before you progress to the next phase. Also work on the other four exercises as you progress through each phase of the Get Up. This will help you with controlling each movement and staying tall with the shoulder remaining packed as you move.

Have fun and let one of the Personal Trainers at Momentum Fitness help you in mastering the Turkish Get Up

Book a Free Fitness Assessment, learn where you are tight or weak and what you need to focus on to master the Turkish Get Up

 

Posted by  Barry
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Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Self Sabotaging Your Fitness

I Have a Confession to Make: I Am a Self-Sabotager…

… and my symptom (a nice word for “excuse”) is procrastination. Whew! I’ve said it now, it is out there for all to read. The thing is all self-sabotagers know their symptoms; be it procrastination, time management, punctuality, or willpower, we all have our default behaviors. People who procrastinate working on a project are no different than the person who overeats, but wants to lose weight; or the person who avoids exercise, yet knows they should be doing it. We all fall into the same traps, and we always seem to self-sabotage any efforts that we or others make to avoid the traps. The big question is why? And, is there a way to correct this behavior?

Now, if you are like me and have a partner who is the exact opposite of you, in my case, uber organized and a list-oriented person that has been given the nickname “The Get’er Done Girl” by her work colleagues; then, you may constantly be reminded of how much you self-sabotage. I will give you the perfect example, this blog. I have been putting off writing it for a week now, and I have finally just run out of any remotely legitimate excuses to not write it. Plus, a prompt from my significant other asking if it was done yet also helped. I think she set an alert to pop up and remind her to ask me about this blog. It does not matter, the whole thing is that I self-sabotaged every chance I get to avoid doing what I knew needed to be done.

The same goes for people, and their fitness; in fact, procrastination is way up at the top of the list for why people do not exercise. The number one reason – err.. I mean, symptom – people use to not exercise is time, or more specifically lack of time. Followed closely by the number two reason being, I will start tomorrow. We are all given the same amount of time every day, it is just a matter of how we decide to spend it, not the lack of time; we all know that tomorrow is always a day away. But, here is the big question: why do we self-sabotage? Be it our health and fitness, work projects, or for some, their relationships.

Recent studies show that this trait is linked to a form of self-preservation. Essentially, we do things that are the exact opposite of what we want or should be doing to provide an excuse for any inevitable failure that will come. By taking your energy and focusing it on something different, it allows you to say that the failure is not a result of your incompetence, but more of a choice, and if you really wanted to you could do it. Everyone knows that having ice cream is not a good idea if you want to lose weight, even if you have been working out hard. But, by having it and any other treats or rewards, it just sets you up to say that all the dieting and exercise did not work for you so why do it?

Alright Now, How Do We Fix It?

Shorter Periods of Time
By taking all your effort and concentrating it on shorter periods with definitive end dates can assist with adherence to a plan. Instead of thinking about having to give up ice cream forever, change the timeline and go without it for a month. For your exercise, hit the gym for only 20 to 30 mins then leave.

Change Your Environment
I will also take this one step further, and change your patterns as well. Your environment is critical, get out of your house, go to a gym or better yet, see a personal trainer, they really do work. Patterns are something that we all develop, and they limit us in our choices and narrow the decisions we make. For example, if you tend to hit a fast food joint on your way home from work, then change how you drive home from work. Let’s face it, the fast food joint is not going anywhere.

Documentation
I ask everyone I meet to log exercise and food for one week. When I see them again, and they tell me why they stopped or could not do it, I know right away that they will not succeed at this time. They are most likely lying to themselves about their actual habits. It is estimated that the average person spends up to 7 hours a day staring at a screen outside of work hours; this includes tablets, TVs, smart phones, and laptops. So there is not any person that I meet that can honestly not log food and exercise, if they really want to make a lifestyle change, they are staring at the tools every day.

Use Notifications
This could be as simple as Google Calendar or an app on your phone that reminds you what you are working on today and what your goal is. Wearables have all kinds of fun, interactive tools from tracking to alerts to motivational badges that tell you when you’ve accomplished a tremendous feat. If you cannot rely on yourself to remind you, then use technology.

Recognition and Action
OK, this really is the number one thing that any self-sabotager should do: admit that you have a problem. Recognise that what you are telling yourself may be a lie, you really will not exercise tomorrow. Then, take action on your lie and go to the gym.

Don’t wait. Don’t put it off. Get started RIGHT NOW!

MFit Self Sabotaging Your Fitness
 

 

Posted by  Barry
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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Barry’s Run Program | Week 1 Update

They say the hardest part is getting started, I am glad to have had that done! First week is in the bag and week number two is almost done. Quick Update: I have started to run again after injuries – feet and knees – led to my stopping in 2011 after I ran Ironman Florida. The goal to get out and run pain free anywhere for 30 to 45 min would make me happy. The stretch goal would be another triathlon, not a full Ironman, but at least an Olympic distance. I am a long way off from this, but hopefully I can get things on track and keep building up.

As a personal trainer, I would tell anyone starting out or getting back into running that going slow is highly encouraged. Now normally, like most trainers, I would be an exception to this rule or at least I would think I should be. However, my injuries were severe enough that they not only prevented me from running, but also limited walking, hiking, and quite often work was painful with every step. So I am approaching this new goal with extreme caution, and will attempt to hold myself back from being my own worst enemy.

MFit Zorro

The program that I have put together is a three-day-a-week run, starting with a walk-run interval of 4 min to 1 min for the first two weeks. Each session is 45 min in length starting with a 10 min walk and finishing with a 5 min walk; this gives me 6 run intervals. If I am on a treadmill, it will be set at a 2% incline walking at 3.0 mph and running at 6.0 mph. I am avoiding pavement runs, but have already done one trail run with Zorro, which will be covered in a moment.

My first three runs were all on a treadmill at Momentum Fitness and they were fantastic. I had very minimal stiffness in the feet and no knee pain the next day so I will chalk this up as a success. Now week two started on Monday and coming off the success of week one, I decided to hit the UBC Endowment Lands with Zorro; got him out for some exercise and got my run in. I learned very quickly that this was not the best idea; Zorro is not a great training partner for a guy just starting out. I ended up doing much longer intervals and less walking during this run.

I want to blame Zorro, say that he was looking at me and calling me a wimp, and telling me to suck it up and just run. He was very disappointed every time we stopped and would just look at me with a “is that all?” stare. Reality is, he does not care; he was outside in the trails with things to sniff, and he would run ahead and come running back. It was my ego that made me run longer and harder, and not stop when I should have. As a result and pay close attention to this, it is now Thursday and I still have foot pain; a mix of pushing my run intervals and the uneven trails has lead to half a week of no runs.

Good news is I am going to run – right now actually – and I will get back on the interval. Bad news is I will need another week of building before I am off my 4:1 ratio.

Take Away

Always listen to your personal trainer, but never train like they do, and perhaps a 2.5 year old Lab is not the best running partner when you are just getting back into it.

MFit Barry’s Run Program - Week 1 Update CTA

Posted by  Barry
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Monday, June 20, 2016

Using Ladder Drills to Avoid Injury

You will often see images of very fit and athletic people running ladder drills, but it is important to note that this exercise is not limited to just athletes. In fact, most agility and dynamic exercise you see the uber fit doing can be adapted for the unfit, elderly, beginner, or average gym goer. For several of these people, doing agility work should be mandatory.

Agility training is teaching your body how to react to situations both in your control and out of your control. It is critical training for people that perform sports that require adaptive movements, controlled movements, and the ability to change direction quickly. But also for elderly or people recovering from an injury because it can enhance their response times when their balance is off and need to improve their motor control to prevent a fall in the first place.

Ladders come in varying lengths and widths, a standard ladder will be around 15’ x 20” with 12 rungs.

Some Basic Drills

Zig Zag

Start at the base of the ladder

  1. Left foot to the outside left of the ladder
  2. Right foot into the first ladder box
  3. Left foot into the first ladder box, next to the right foot
  4. Right foot outside of the ladder box
  5. Left foot into the second ladder box
  6. Right foot into the second ladder box, next to the left foot
  7. Repeat until you reach the end of the ladder.

 

Out and In

Starting at the base of the ladder

  1. Hop to the outside of the first ladder box with both feet
  2. Hop inside the second ladder box with both feet
  3. Repeat until the end of the ladder

 

Lateral Shuttle

Stand 90 to the base of the ladder

  1. Both feet into the first box
  2. Both feet into the second box
  3. Repeat until the end of the ladder, then return leading with your left foot

Embrace your inner child, start hopping, skipping, and jumping! Not only will you get a great workout, but also improve your agility, react faster to situations, and avoid injury!

Using Ladder Drills to Avoid Injury CTA

 

 

Posted by  Barry
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Sunday, May 29, 2016

T-Spine Rotations

2 Ways to Perform T-Spine Rotations

If you go to the gym or to a personal training studio, or even to physio you will see people doing this exercise. This is usually prescribed or done to increase mobility of your thoracic spine. However, if you make the move too big, as most people do, you will feel it more in your lower back or hip. To make this exercise more of a thoracic mobility, follow this simple progression.

Progression 1: Kneeling T-Spine Rotations

By starting on your knees, you will be able to feel the restriction, and hopefully become more aware of your T-Spine limitation. When you progress to Side Lying Rotations, you will be able to better feel for these limitations and know what adjustments to make.

How to Do Kneeling T-Spine Rotations: Intermediate

  • Start on your hands and knees
  • Keep your hands under your shoulders, and your knees under your hips
  • This is known as the Four Point Position because pressure is being distributed equally between all four points on the floor
  • Now take away your right hand and place it beside your right ear
  • Keep the load equally distributed between the remaining three points of contact on the floor
  • Keep your left hand on the floor and your arm straight
  • Lower your right shoulder and elbow towards your left hand
  • Hold for a 3 second count
  • Then rotate back, trying to point your right elbow towards the ceiling
  • Hold for a 5 second count
  • Repeat for 10 repetitions, then do the same for the left side
  • To make this easier, sit back on your heels and then perform the exercise, keeping your bum on your heels

 

Progression 2: Supine T-Spine Rotations

This can be done with your knees together (refer to the image below). You can also use a ball between your knees or with your bottom leg straight and the top leg on a full foam roller. The goal is to keep the spine stacked as you rotate, this means that your head will stay above your hips during the rotation.

How to Perform Supine T-Spine Rotations:

  • Start lying on your left side, knees bent and arms in front of your chest
  • It is best to have a foam block or rolled towel to support the head
  • Raise your right arm towards the ceiling, and stop when it is 90 degrees to the floor
  • From this position, lower your right shoulder towards the floor, rotating the spine
  • It is important that you do not change the spine angle, and keep your head and spine in alignment with your hips
  • Once your shoulder is down, you can outstretch your arm as shown below
  • If your shoulder cannot touch the floor, do not reach out with your arm, it will only create a chest stretch and move your spine out of alignment
  • Try to keep your hips stacked and your right hip pointing to the ceiling
  • Do not rotate your hips as this will lead to a low back stretch and reduce the T-Spine rotation

 

 

Adding T-Spine Rotations to your gym workouts or your home-based exercise plan is a great way to improve your posture, reduce upper back and neck pain as well as improving your performance in many sports, including golf.

MFit T-Spine Rotation CTA

 

 

 

Posted by  Barry
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