Monday, October 23, 2017

Boot Camp Homework Assignment

Did you miss a boot camp session? Try this workout video at home! All you need is a set of dumbbells!

 

5 Desk Exercises

The average American is inactive nearly eleven hours per day, independent of sleep, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Despite the human body being designed as a perpetual motion machine, modern life has allocated our daytime hours to sitting in cars, on couches and in front of computers, which has left many of us hunched over and in constant pain.
You might be wondering, “How can doing NOTHING actually cause problems?”
The human body is extremely efficient. The form and function of muscles adapt almost immediately to the demands placed on them. When you are perpetually active, your muscles improve their neuromuscular, biomechanical and metabolic machinery to accommodate your activity. Oxygen and glucose are transported to the cells more and more efficiently. Muscles contract and relax as they were designed to do.
When you’re not active, however, your muscles adapt to inactivity. Metabolism of lipids slows down, oxygen and glucose transport to the cells becomes less robust and efficient. Sitting for hours at a time convinces your muscles to accommodate this “scrunched” position. Hip flexors shorten, the neck and upper spine protrude forward, and the glutes and hamstrings weaken. Over time, this creates tension, compression and other pain-inducing joint pathologies.
The good news is that with short, efficient movement breaks throughout the day, you can help your body and decrease the health risks of inactivity.
Perform these five movements every 60-90 minutes throughout the day. There’s no need to even leave your desk. In addition, try to stand up every 20-45 minutes and always be looking for ways to move more throughout your day.

 “6 O’clock Fingers” Stretch

Computer keyboards require your hands to be in a near “forced pronation” position most of the day. In this case, the fascia of your anterior forearm muscles shorten and eventually give way to elbow and wrist pain.
  • Stand at the edge of a desk or counter.
  • Place your hands on the surface.
  • Externally rotate your hands so that the fingers are facing your body, as close to the “6 o’clock” position as possible.
  • Without causing pain or extreme discomfort, lean forward and bring your palms toward the surface of the desk or counter.
  • Attempt to straighten the arms at the elbow.
  • Keeping your palms on the surface, lean back, feeling a stretch of your forearm muscles.
  • Hold for 30 seconds.

Lateral Lean Lat Stretch

The “hunched” position so many people assume while sitting at a desk creates a tightening of the muscle and fascia system associated with the lat muscles. Because the lat muscle integrates throughout the entire upper body, this can cause poor posture and pain.
  • Standing upright, clasp your fingers behind your head without straining the neck.
  • Keeping both feet on the floor, turn your head to look at the left elbow.
  • Maintaining this position, lean your torso to the right without bending forward or extending backward.
  • Hold the stretch for 30 seconds.
  • Repeat on the opposite side.

Standing Hip Flexor Stretch

When you sit in a chair for extended periods of time, the muscles that help you elevate your hips against gravity become tight and short. Because these powerful muscles have origins and insertions involving the spine, pelvis and leg bones, improper function can create pathology, pain and poor posture.
  • Place your left hand on the surface of a desk or chair for balance.
  • Bend the right knee and grip the right ankle, slowly bringing the right heel toward the right glute muscle.
  • While doing this, tighten both glute muscles to avoid an excessive arc in the lower back.
  • Bring the right knee toward the left knee while keeping the glutes tight and spine upright; try to straighten the left leg.
  • Hold the stretch for 30 seconds.
  • Repeat on the opposite side.

Standing Figure-4 Stretch

While sitting creates a shortening of the hip flexor muscles, the hip-extending, externally rotating glute muscles often lose strength and functionality. This is because sitting holds the hips in a “flexed” position. Without proper glute strength and functionality, the lumbar spine is put under greater stress.
  • Place your hands on a desk or chair for balance.
  • Place the outside of your right ankle above the kneecap of your left knee (this forms a “4” position with your legs).
  • Keeping the chest upright and the hips facing forward, bend the left knee and lean back slightly.
  • To increase the stretch in the right glute muscles, place a hand on the inside of the right knee and push gently toward the floor.
  • Hold the stretch for 30 seconds.
  • Repeat on the other side.

Open and Close Upper-body Stretch

Sitting continuously forces your lumbar spine (lower back) into flexion. It also elevates and protracts your shoulder blades, while internally rotating at the shoulders. In a nutshell, everything is held forward. In this case, the muscles that help your spine to extend, your shoulder blades depress and retract, and your shoulders to externally rotate lose strength and functionality. A whole host of pain and pathology are the result.
  • Standing upright, flex forward at the waist without bending at the spine. Your hips should shift backward and the arms should hang naturally in front of the body.
  • After three deep breaths, return to an upright position while simultaneously moving the arms away from the body laterally, approaching a position just below parallel to the floor.
  • While raising the arms, rotate the thumbs backward, facing the palms of your hands toward the sky.
  • As your arms raise in this position, picture the thumbs moving toward one another behind your back.
  • Once upright, continue to extend the spine, without pain, to a position where your chest is facing upright, your arms are slightly below parallel to the floor, your palms are facing upward, and your thumbs are moving toward one another.
  • Hold this position for three breaths and repeat five to 10 times.

Monday, October 16, 2017

10 Minute At-Home Core Workout

This is a quick workout for your core that you can do at home without any equipment. All you need is 10 minutes to target your abs and obliques!


Tuesday, October 10, 2017

5 Minute Lower Body Workout

You don't need any equipment to do this strength training workout for your lower body. It is only 5 minutes, but you will feel the burn in your legs!

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Keebs Studio Progress

Sneak peak of our new workout space. We just finished the walls, floor, and barn door. Excited to bring in the rest of the equipment.









Sunday, March 12, 2017

5 BODY-WEIGHT EXERCISES TO COMBAT LOWER BACK PAIN


While many conditions can lead to low-back pain (LBP), inadequate core strength is a common causal factor. Increased sitting time can lead to muscle imbalances and weak core musculature, putting the low-back at increased risk of injury. Here are five effective body-weight exercises you can do anywhere to ward off LBP.

PLANK



Tried and true, nothing enhances core stability like a plank. Start with your elbows positioned directly below your shoulders and walk the feet back one at a time until the body is in a straight line. Engage the quads, glutes and core, while pushing the floor away through the toes and forearms. Perform one to three sets for 30-60 seconds, or as long as you can maintain proper form.

SIDE PLANK



While the standard plank is helpful for reducing the risk of LBP, the side plank may be even more beneficial because it requires activation of the internal and external obliques. It’s imperative to strengthen these muscles, as they help control rotational movements of the spine. Start with your elbow positioned directly below your shoulder. With the feet stacked or staggered, drive up through the lower obliques until the body is in a straight line. Keep the shoulders and hips stacked. Perform one to three sets for 30-60 seconds, or as long as you can maintain proper form.


BACK EXTENSION



Think of the core as a box. To prevent LBP, all sides of the box need to be strong and stable. Back extensions help strengthen the often-overlooked posterior side. With your lower body supported on a table or tall bench, let the upper body hang toward the floor (you will need a partner or strap to anchor your legs to the table). Engage your entire core and extend your upper body until it’s in line with your legs. Be sure to avoid extending past 180 degrees (where the upper body is higher than the legs) to limit compressive forces on the lumbar spine. Lower slowly and repeat for one to three sets of 10-15 repetitions.

SUPINE GLUTEAL BRIDGE



Weak gluteal muscles contribute to LBP by passing their work to the low back. The powerful gluteal muscles support activities like walking, running, squatting and deadlifting, but when they lack sufficient strength, the back bares the brunt of the load. Start in a sit-up position with your arms down by your sides. Press firmly through your feet and engage your glutes to lift up the hips, creating a straight line from the heels to the shoulders. Hold for two seconds and lower slowly. Perform one to three sets of 10-15 repetitions.

BIRD DOG



You’ve likely seen this exercise performed at the gym. And it’s probably been done incorrectly. To perform properly, the trunk should remain stable, while the arms and legs move.

Begin in a quadruped position with your core engaged. Slowly raise one arm and the opposite leg to torso height. Your hips and shoulders should continue facing the floor. Slowly lower and repeat for 10-15 repetitions or hold the top position for 15-30 seconds. Repeat one to three times on each side.

Low-back pain is a common and debilitating condition. With a proper routine, you can strengthen your core and gluteal muscles and reduce your injury risk. This workout can be performed with nothing but your body weight—at home, in the gym or at the office. To further protect your low-back, maintain an upright, engaged posture and avoid staying in any one position for too long.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Fantastic Medicine Ball Exercises

A crowded gym can be a catch-22. You’ve made time for exercise but the gym can be so crowded that it can be difficult to get in a good workout. Your favorite equipment may not be available, or your favorite class may be too crowded or you got there too late to join. Do not despair! No matter how crowded a gym may be, you can always find a little bit of space and a medicine ball—everything you need for an awesome workout.

Exercising with a medicine ball can help elevate your heart rate and engage a number of core muscles, providing both cardiorespiratory and strength training benefits that can be difficult to achieve with traditional strength training machines. In order to boost cardiorespiratory benefits this workout is designed to be done in an As Many Rounds As Possible (AMRAP) format—repeating the exercises in the circuit as many times as possible in a given period of time.

HIP HINGE

Stand with your feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent and holding the medicine ball in front of your chest. Keep your spine long as you push your hips back to lean forward; lower yourself until you feel a slight tension in the back of your legs; press your feet into the ground and your hips forward to return to standing. Complete 12 to 15 reps.

SQUAT WITH STAGGERED FEET

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your right foot forward so that the heel of your right foot is even with the toes of your left foot. Keep your spine straight as you push your hips back and allow your knees to slide forward as you hold the medicine ball in front of your chest and complete 6 to 8 repetitions; switch your feet to move the left foot forward and do the same number of reps with your feet in the new position. Complete 12 to 16 reps total (6 to 8 reps with each leg forward).

LIFT

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold the ball in front of your waist; sink into a squat by pushing your hips back and allowing your knees to slide forward while keeping your spine long; as you lower yourself the medicine ball should move between your legs, press your feet into the ground to return to standing as you keep your arms straight and swing the medicine ball to an overhead position. Repeat for 12 to 15 reps.

LIFT WITH ROTATION

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your right foot forward so that the heel of your right foot is even with the toes of your left foot. Hold the medicine ball in your hands by your left hip; sink back into your hips to squat down; as you return to standing push into your left foot as you rotate your left hip and move the medicine ball from your left hip to above your right shoulder. As you lower the medicine ball sink back into the squat. Complete 10 to 12 reps with the right foot forward and the same number of reps with your left foot forward.

LATERAL LUNGE TO OVERHEAD PRESS

Stand with your feet hip-width apart holding the medicine ball in front of your waist. Step directly to your right; keep your right foot parallel to the left as you place it on the ground; keep your left leg straight as your sink back into your right hip while you reach for the ground inside of your right foot with the medicine ball. Push your right foot into the ground to return to standing. When both feet are together in the middle press the ball overhead in a shoulder press. When you bring the ball down, step to your left. Alternate legs for a total of 12 to 16 reps (6 to 8 reps on each leg).

TRANSVERSE PLANE LUNGE WITH LIFT

Stand with your feet hip-width apart holding the medicine ball in front of your waist. Keep your left foot pointed straight ahead (toward 12 o’clock) as you step back and to the right with your right foot (to the 4 o’clock position); as your right foot hits the ground sink back into your hips while swinging the ball straight overhead. Lower the medicine ball and return to the starting position before stepping with your left foot toward the 8 o’clock position. Alternate legs; each time you sink back into your hips raise the medicine ball overhead. Complete 8 to 10 reps on each leg.

REVERSE LUNGE WITH ROTATION

Stand with your feet hip-width apart holding the medicine ball in front of your chest with both hands. Step back with your right leg and sink into your left hip; at the bottom of the movement keep your spine long as you rotate to your left (over the left leg); return back to facing forward before returning back to the standing position. Alternate legs to complete a total of 10 to 12 reps (5 to 6 on each leg). To increase the level of difficulty, hold your arms straight in front of your body.

PULLOVER TO CRUNCH


Lie on the ground with your feet flat on the floor and knees pointed toward the ceiling; hold your arms straight overhead (so they’re lying on the ground) with the medicine ball between your hands so that your palms face each other. Pull the medicine ball from overhead to over your chest; as the medicine ball is over your chest draw your belly button in toward your spine and roll up into a crunch (think about pulling your rib cage down toward your pelvis). Lower your body back to the ground before lowering the medicine ball. Complete 10 to 12 reps.
Try to complete as least two full circuits in 10 minutes. As you become more experienced, try to complete at least three circuits in 15 minutes. Ultimately try to complete five circuits in 20 minutes. Start with a light medicine ball and gradually progress to a medicine ball that is heavy enough to make completing the assigned number of repetitions difficult.
No matter how busy the gym gets, this workout will allow you to get your sweat on. It’s also a great option for getting an effective workout when you’re traveling. You can also do this in the comfort of your own home.