5 Stretches to “Un-Desk” your body

The average person spends about 10 hours a day being inactive. We sit in our cars, in front of our computer, and on the couch. This leaves us hunched over and in pain. The human body is extremely efficient. Muscle function adapts immediately to the demands placed on them. When you are active your muscles improve their neuromuscular, biomechanical and metabolic functions to accommodate your activity. When you're not active your muscles adapt to inactivity. Hip flexors shorten, your neck and upper spine protrude forward and your glutes and hamstrings weaken. Below are some examples you can do throughout the day to “un-desk” your body. Perform these exercises every 60-90 minutes throug

Warm Up to Lift Heavier, Safer

Prevent injury and get stronger more effectively. Most of us know that warming up before a workout is generally a good idea - perhaps a quick walk on the treadmill and some preliminary stretching. It gets our bodies loosened up and primed for more strenuous exercise. However, a more methodical approach to warming up becomes increasingly important as the weights get heavier, especially with our primary compound lifts. If your goals involve progressively getting stronger and preventing injury, a proper warm up protocol is crucial. You can see in the video how I warm up for bench press to prepare myself for my first work set. The key takeaway is to start light and progressively increase the wei

Motivational Goal Setting For Daily Exercise and Injury Rehabilitation

Goal setting is a powerful tool that research has shown can be highly effective in helping people going through post injury rehab to stay motivated in performing their exercises. However this is only the case if the goals are set up in a proper manner. It is easy to get bored with many of the exercises that are given to you by a Physical Therapist or Athletic Trainer. Many of them seem tedious and boring, but all of them are important to perform in order to have a full recovery of an injury. Realizing that every exercise serves a purpose in your over-all goal is going to play a pivotal role in motivation. Now let's discuss how to properly set up goals. The key to every good goal setting pr

"The Best" Exercise, No Such Thing

Many people ask "What is the best exercise that I should be doing?" The answer is there is no such thing as "the best" exercise. People need to shift away from an "all or nothing" mentality when it comes to exercise. Keep in mind these factors as to why there's no such thing as "the best" exercise. 1. Enjoyment Factor - It's important that people enjoy the exercise they are doing. The more you enjoy exercise the more likely you will be to continue. 2. Unique Needs of Individuals - There is no "one size fits all" approach to exercise. Each person has unique factors that affect their physical ability to exercise. These may include muscle imbalances, limited joint range of motion or pa

The Benefits of Eccentric Muscle Contraction

The action of an eccentric muscle contraction occurs when muscles are firing while elongating simultaneously. An example of this is when you're straightening your arms back out after doing a bicep curl. This form of contraction is constantly ignored by many people in the gym but focusing on this movement has actually shown to create even greater results for muscle building and overall strength of muscles. Eccentric contractions are already the strongest form of contraction that your muscles can perform; it is also the form that will have minimal risk for injury. With this in mind this is also a great way for people suffering from injuries to reduce muscle loss in the area involved. So how

The Importance Of Rest

Rest days are critical for fitness success. Working out causes microscopic tears in your muscle fibers. Rest days allow these muscles to heal, which allows them to grow. Leaving them out can lead to overtraining, burnout, and injuries. Rest days don't have to be lounging on the couch. You can enjoy an active, productive rest day. You can make the most of your rest day by doing exercises that boost your heart rate and relieve your muscles, but you aren't fatiguing them. Try some low-impact exercises such as walking, swimming, bike riding or using a rowing machine. You can also choose exercises that boost your mental health such as yoga, hiking or dancing. Foam rolling is another grea

Postural Corrective Exercise: Scapular Retraction

Do you have neck pain? Neck pain is a very common complaint of people of varying ages. There are a lot of factors that can lead to neck pain but one of the most common is not having proper strength and control of the scapular musculature. Many people have overdeveloped upper trapezius muscles causing tension in their necks, resulting in pain or discomfort. With an increased strength in the other muscles surrounding the scapula, there will be a reduction in stress put on the upper traps allowing them to relax and thus reducing neck pain. Scapular retraction exercises can also be great to improve one's posture by reducing excessive forward slump and correct or prevent forward shoulder issu

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