Sunday, January 22, 2012

Can Yoga Increase Your Risk of Injury?

If you didn't see the New York Times article about injuries from yoga, you should check it out. It has been a big controversy in the fitness community over the past few weeks. In a nutshell, the article presents the reader with the risks associated with yoga. Including but not limited to spine, knee and shoulder injuries, as well as certain positions putting students at risk for potential strokes.

Since I have been practicing yoga myself for 1-2 times per week, my clients have asked me for my opinion on the content of the article. I have to say I agree that there is significant risk when you take a yoga class, let alone a group exercise class. My position is that you are in fact in a GROUP exercise class. The instructors don't really know your body individually, so they shouldn't be adjusting you past your range of motion that you may or may not be able to achieve. We all have our limitations and usually we know what they are. For example, when I have trained someone, I know what they can and can't do. I understand what their limitations are because I have looked at their body using MAT (muscle activation techniques) and I am always keeping that in mind as we go through our workouts. However, we need to remember that is an individualized session (one on one), so it should be catered towards your personal needs.

So when my clients and friends ask me about taking a yoga (even pilates) classes, I tell them this: it is your responsibility when you take yoga (or any other classes) to say no or raise your hand at the beginning of class if you do not want to be adjusted. When you chose to take classes like that, you need to remember the one thing that it's about...leave your ego at the door! It's not what you do, but how you feel when you do it. Ask it making you stronger? Is it helping your balance? Are you challenged or are you overwhelmed with the thought of even getting into a pose? If you feel overwhelmed, then you should know what to do...try to come to terms with your physical limitations. If you feel like something is going to hurt or injure you, then it may be possible. You know your body the best!

And once again...leave your ego at the door. I do, and that's why I will keep doing yoga.


Monday, January 9, 2012

Getting Ready for Ski Season

Here's hoping that they actually get some snow out in Colorado before I hit the slopes next month! With that said, I have started my core and leg training for the trip. Nothing trains you better than being out in the mountains, but there are some great moves you can do in the gym to improve your performance for skiing and snowboarding.

1) Ski Slide Lateral Lunges: Stand with one leg on the ground and the other leg on the slide (you can also use the Val-slides for this move). No weights needed here until you get used to the range of motion. Keeping most of your weight through the foot on the ground, slowly slide your leg out to a comfortable position, then using the leg on the ground, pushing through your heel, work your way back up to a standing position. Do 3 sets of 12-15 reps on each side.

slide1 slide2

2) Lateral Bosu Jumps: Start with one leg on the bosu and one leg off the ground. Push off and jump laterally to the other side. Use the bosu to push off and get more height in your jumps. Do 3 sets of 20-30 reps.

Lateral Bosu Jumps
Lateral Bosu Jumps

3) Pushup Push-offs: One of my favorite moves! If you tend to fall snowboarding, this will prepare your upper body. You will need a stable bench or Smith Press for this exercise. If you have any issues with your shoulder, you should skip this one. You can do this exercise on one leg or two (two legs is actually tougher). Start on one leg with the bar set to the second lowest setting. Let yourself fall to the bar catching yourself with your arms and pushing yourself back up to your starting position. Do 3 sets of 8-10 each side.

Pushup PushOff on Smith Press
Pushup PushOff on Smith Press

4) Single Leg Squats: Yes, I know you've seen these before on my newsletter, but they are the best! Stand tall and bend from the knees and hips keeping the foot flat, reach for the ground with both hands and then return to your starting position. Do 3 sets of 12-15 reps on each side.

ssquat1 ssquat2

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Fit Up 2012 Personal Training Deals

Are you ready to make some changes for 2012? We've got the perfect personal training packages to make sure you commit to fitness for 2012!

To sign up call 312.523.3131 or go to

Redefine Yourself

3 times a week $715 for one month ($55/hour)

3 times a week $1378 for 2 months ($53/hour)

3 times a week $1450 for 3 months ($50/hour)

Lose It Tone It

2 times a week $540 for one month ($60/hour)

2 times a week for 2 months ($57/hour)

2 times a week for 3 months ($55/hour)

Jump Start

1 time a week $260 for a month ($65/hour)

1 time a week $496 for 2 months ($62/hour)

1 time a week for $720 3 months ($60/hour)