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What better way to get to get to know our trainers; the way we think, train, train our clients and conduct exercises, than to see the way we operate through these easy to follow tips on diet and exercise. This is a regularly updated forum, so stay tuned for more great tips to off the couch, in the gym and out of hospital!
Doesn't breathing seem like a silly thing to talk about?! What most people tend to forget however, is that breathing determines whether we are in fact able to lift the weight, without passing out in the process.
The recommended breathing patterns during exercise, particularly for weight lifting, is through your diaphragm - the muscle at the bottom of your rib cage that helps you to breathe. The process begins by inhaling through the nose and ends by exhaling through a semi closed mouth. Try not to expel too much air through an exercise nor inhale too little either. Avoid taking rapid breaths and don't breathe in and out too deeply. Breathing too deeply will expel too much oxygen and leave you feeling light headed. Always ensure you have enough air to last throughout the movement as well. Always try to exhale through the exertion element of the exercise e.g. in a squat - as you return your body back to a standing position (see below for further instructions on squatting).
The Perfect Squat...
Squatting is one of the oldest forms of movement. We use them everyday - half the time it's without even knowing! Think about all the times during the day that you sit down, stand up, lift something and so on. The movement of lowering your upper body mass through your lower body combines three prime movers: the hips, knees and ankles. Providing enough balanced resistance throughout the exercise is essential, not only for optimal results but to ensure you prevent injury as well.
Start (down phase): Stand tall, with correct posture (neutral spine) - never arch or hunch your back by slouching your shoulders. Arching or hunching will increase pressure to the spine, particularly the lumbar region, thus creating or causing further damage. Don't lock in your knees, and ensure you have slightly bent hips. With your arms in a comfortable, balanced position you can now begin to lower your body into a 'squatting' position. While lowering your body down, ensure your knees are in line with your toes and not falling inwards or pushing outwards laterally. Also ensure your knees are not falling too far over your toes during the movement, or you could develop a chronic to acute knee injury - so be wary of their position throughout the entire range of motion! Further note: ensure when bending through the hips that you do not bend too far through your back, as this will also create extra pressure to the lower spine.
Middle position: Ensure you lower yourself to just past knee level (unless advised otherwise). The intensity of any exercise is increased as you perform the movement until you reach the middle and return to the start. The best thing to do in any exercise is to try and keep moving and focus your resistance through the middle position. However never neglect going through the full range of an exercise, as completing the full range will help to increase further strength and flexibility. Always ensure once reaching the lowest part of the exercise (or the middle position) that your posture is still 100% straight. Keep your abs tight and BREATHE throughout the exercise. (Refer to the above information for recommended breathing).
Finish (up phase): Returning to the starting position is your finish position.
Overall: Go slow and breathe!!!
Kettle Bells. Kettle bells are a fantastic way to exercise your entire body or focus on a particular area (isolation). In fact, kettle bells are one of the oldest methods of exercise, perfected over time to give you greater and safer results! Kettle bells are here at Hurl's Fitness and there are many, many ways to use them. So inquire with one our qualified trainers - they will teach you how to use them safely and get the best results.
Diet and Nutrition
Calorie control does not mean you count every calorie and stress when you’re stepping in and out of the boundaries. Obsessive calorie counting can cause harm to your mental health. Instead, observe and take note of the food you’re eating and the amount of calories in the product. Remember that calories are not a bad thing - we need them, we just don’t need more than our daily intake. Calories can’t be avoided - they’re in all our foods!
It’s really quite simple if you think about it. There is a certain amount of calories everybody requires depending on their height, weight, and age. Anything more than a person's daily calorie requirement will increase their size and anything less than their daily requirement will reduce their size. Calories only get technical when it comes to choosing the right amount of calories i.e. the food itself.
So if you're thinking; 'oh OK - so as long as I just eat below my calorie intake I'll lose weight' - think again! The foods you eat affects more than just your waistline. Different foods affect you in different ways internally, and can increase the risks of cholesterol (regardless of weight and appearance), blood pressure, heart disease and much more. The foods you eat can also affect your mood, stress and energy levels and of course, your overall fitness result.
- If you reqiure further assistance understanding the amount of calories that you should consume per day for your age, weight and height; speak to one of our helpful Trainers.
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More Trainers Tips coming soon...