Thursday, January 28, 2010

Weekly Strength Routine

Check it out! If you look at the side column of my blog, you will see a "Workout of the Week". It will be updated with a different routine to try on your own. This first workout is pretty basic, but they will vary in diffuculty in the future. With each workout chose your own weights, challenge yourself, but remember to do only what you feel comfortable doing. Keep checking each week for a new routine!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

What is Muscle Activation Techniques?

If you workout on regular basis or are an athlete, chances are you have been injured. We've all been there at least once. Usually, we push through to complete the activity without listening to our bodies. As you continue to workout the body continues to develop compensation patterns that allow you to accomplish the movement without putting strain on the injured area, but sometimes this can make the situation worse. Taking a break can sometimes help, but usually the pain is back once regular activity is resumed. So how can you return to regular activity? And how do you identify what the problem is?

An evaluation method that I often use with my clients is Muscle Activation Techniques. It allows me to identify and correct muscular imbalances in the body that can eventually lead to injury and/or pain. The goal of MAT is to correct the problem before it occurs. Muscle Activation Technique examines the body’s limitations in range of motion and potential muscular weaknesses. Once asymmetries in the body are identified, isometrics and exercises can be prescribed to correct imbalances.

MAT not only helps athletes to recover from injuries quickly, but also helps them prevent injuries. It prepares the body to be more efficient in training and athletic performance. MAT can speed up the rehabilitation process by balancing the muscular system. It provides an improved environment for healing, allowing the athlete to return to participation faster. The end result is improved athletic capabilities.

To see more about Muscle Activiation Techniques go to

Monday, January 18, 2010

How to be Time Efficient with Your Weight Training Routine

Does your weight training routine often get cut short as a result of time? Many people go to the gym and do their cardio first, then if they have time, they do their weights. For some, the extra time it takes to go through a weight routine means that it gets eliminated all together. However, what many don't realize is that a weight training routine can get your heart rate up just as much as cardio if you do it right. Here are some pointers to help get your weight training routine in:

  • If you are not training for anything specific, start out your workout with weights and not cardio. You can use your weight training routine as a warm up for your cardio. Using those muscles before you start your cardio will help you burn more calories.

  • Try setting up a circuit. Do each exercise for 45 seconds with 15 seconds rest time. If you can alternate upper body, lower body and abdominals in a circuit, then you can do exercises back to back with minimal rest time. That way you can get more accomplished in a shorter time period.

  • Stick to the major muscle groups. Back, chest, and shoulders for the upper body. For example: seated row, dumbell chest press, and lateral raise. Quads, hamstrings, and glutes for the lower body. Examples include leg extension, leg curl, leg presses, and squats. If you have time, then add in smaller muscles like biceps and triceps. You will be working your biceps and triceps too when you do the larger muscle groups.

  • If you have the workout space, in between sets try jumping rope or doing side shuffles for 30-60 seconds. This will keep your heart rate up and make the workout more challenging.

Remember to listen to your body. It is important to push yourself, but if you are extremely short of breath, you should back off. If you are new to working out, gradually increasing your intensity over multiple workouts is a good idea.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Shake Up Your Cardio Routine

Do you often walk into the gym and get on the same piece of cardio equipment? Maybe even get on the same machine? Do you notice that initally you were seeing results and now you have plateaued? Then it's time to shake things up with a new routine! The key to acheiving those fitness goals it to have variety in your routine. Here are some different ways to make cardio more interesting and fun:
  • If you spend most of your time on one piece of cardio equipment, try breaking it up into 2-3 shorter workouts. For example: 15 min. stepmill, 10 min. bike, 20 min. treadmill.
  • Be creative with using different programs on each machine. So if you do the elliptical on manual every time, try the hill program or interval training. Many machines have about 10 different programs to chose from.
  • Get out of your comfort zone and try a different sport each month. Sports like tennis, racquetball, and squash are always fun to try! If you are in a cold climate, try skiing or even ice skating.
  • Workout like a track star for a day. Find a track or stay on the treadmill and do speed work. Or pretend you are running a race and time yourself for a 3 mile run.
  • Take a class. Many people are shy when it comes to taking classes. Most health clubs offer a variety of classes (spin, kickboxing, rock climbing, etc). If you don't belong to a health club and have a Lululemon store in your area, check out their class schedule. Each Lululemon store has free classes each weekend!

The biggest goal should be to have fun while you're working out!