Thursday, May 2, 2013

Revamping Old Classics
I know we've all seen the guys in the gym (yes, in my opinion is the guys...sorry!) who can't get enough of the bench press or squat machine. Even worse they wear the old school leather belts walking around the gym claiming it still gives them "great lumbar support" when lifting those gigantic weights followed by the dreaded loud grunt! We love to mock them, but some of those classic exercises are beneficial and they just need some modification. Remember with these exercises that it's not how much weight we lift, but how we perform the exercise controlling the range of motion. 
Here are some classic exercises with a modern twist: 
1. Pushups With Side Plank: Such a challenging move for the core! Doing regular pushups with an alternating side plank in between repetitions. Try to keep the hips elevated with core tight and quads contracted. Do 8-15 reps.
pushup side plank   
2. Airplane Bent Over Row: Begin in an airplane position, maintaining thoracic extension with one arm pull the shoulder blades in toward the spine for a row. Do 3 sets of 12 reps on each side with opposite leg down.  
row row2  
3. Dumbbell Chest Fly on Bosu: With weights above your head, keeping arms slightly bent, alternate one arm down at a time keeping hips up and stabilizing abdominals as you lower the weights. Do 20 repetitions.  
fly1 fly2   
4. Dumbbell Cleans: Starting in a squat position with dumbbells to your side, squat down and then power with a hop up lifting the dumbbells to your shoulder. Do 10-15 repetitions 
  cleans                                    clean2
If The Shoe Fits

Let's talk heel to toe drop...what, haven't heard of it? I have to admit I haven't really been taking it into consideration when choosing new running shoes. I've been running in the same Brooks Ravennas for the past 4 years. They've kept my feet comfy for long and short runs. However, it was interesting to find out that they had a 10mm heel to toe drop.  The latest trend in running shoes is to minimize heel to toe drop.  A few years ago, most running shoes had a 8-10mm drop, now they are trying to get that number down to about 4mm. I know the difference doesn't seem that much, but you can actually feel it. The reason that it's important is that the lower the differential, the easier it is to land on your midfoot and forefoot while running. 

A few weeks ago, I went into Running Away Multisport to get more information and try on some shoes with a lower heel toe drop. I thought that maybe the lower heel toe drop might be better for my feet and was willing to give it a try. Here are 2 different versions of shoes with a 4mm drop: 

Hoka Bondi Speed
They're beautiful, aren't they? Ok, not the best looking shoes on the road but this is an interesting shoe. Only one store in Chicago sells them and they are quickly becoming all the rage with marathoners. What people love about them is that they have a minimal heel toe drop and the cushioning is still there making those long runs comfortable. These are one of the only shoes on the market that you don't have to sacrifice cushion for a minimalist shoe. Price $170.

Saucony Mirage 3
These were my choice for a minimal drop shoe. With a little less cushion, the Sauconys are better for shorter for runs. Super light shoes for the road weighing in at 7.5 ounces. However, if you're used to a cushion shoethe Mirage may not be enough for you. Price $110.

1 comment:

  1. Great post! You’ve explained the exercises very well. I am planning to join the gym after few months, so I’m working out at my home for now. I will try out the exercises that you have mentioned too. I’ll just need to buy some good work out leggings before I get started though.