Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Four Basic Exercises to Strengthen Your Upper Body

Exercise 1.  Lat Pulldown

The lat pulldown is a great exercise for strengthening and developing the upper back muscles that are critical for good posture.  People whose shoulders are slumped forward most likely have underdeveloped upper back muscles.

First, sit down and adjust the thigh pad to a position that firmly fits over your thighs.  Then select a resistance with which the last three repetitions are difficult to complete.  If this is your first time doing this exercise, it may take experimenting at several weights before you find the right resistance.  Next, grip the bar a little wider than shoulder width, sit down on the seat and place your knees firmly under the pad.  Start with your arms fully extended and your chest held high.  This is your start position. Now, pull the bar slowly down to the base of your neck while squeezing your shoulder blades back and together.   Slowly return the bar to the starting position.  (It should take about three seconds to pull the bar down and about two seconds to return the bar to its starting position). Proper breathing is very important, so remember to exhale as you pull the bar down and inhale as you return the bar to the starting position. Please click here to read more...

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Three Stretches to Help Alleviate Lower Back Stiffness

Waking-up in the morning with a stiff lower back can be very annoying. Below are three of my favorite exercises to help alleviate lower back stiffness.  I recommend that you go for a five minute walk to warm-up your muscles before performing these exercises.


Lie on your back, and fully extend your body.   Bend your knees, and bring them in front of you to a position where you can reach them with your hands.  Firmly grasp your knees, and gently pull them toward your chest until you feel the stretch in your lower back.  Hold that position for 30 seconds.  Breathe deeply.  Click here to read the entire article

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Seated Ball Twist and Planks, Two Great Exercises to Help Prevent Low Back Pain

Low back pain is a common ailment that can be very disruptive to simply performing the everyday activities of your life.  According to the American Chiropractic Association:
  • Low back pain is the single leading cause of disability worldwide, according to the Global Burden of Disease 2010.
  • Back pain is one of the most common reasons for missed work.  In fact, back pain is the second most common reason for visits to the doctor’s office, outnumbered only by upper-respiratory infections.
  • One-half of all working Americans admit to having back pain symptoms each year.
  • Experts estimate that as much as 80% of the population will experience a back problem at some time in their lives.
  • Most cases of back pain are mechanical or non-organic—meaning they are not caused by serious conditions, such as inflammatory arthritis, infection, fracture or cancer.
  • Americans spend at least $50 billion each year on back pain—and that’s just for the more easily identified costs.

However, the good news is that most back pain can be prevented through exercise.  Exercises that develop and strengthen your lower back and abdominal muscles are the best weapons for the treatment and prevention of low back pain and below are two of my favorites.  Please click here to see the entire article...

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Too Little Protein Plus Too Little Strength Training Equals Muscle Loss

Lots of people seem to think that once they reach the age of 40 they become weaker, less toned, and less fit.  They blame these conditions on "old age".  As a personal trainer I hear all about the aches and pains of old age.  Most people think there is very little they can do to avoid the physical degeneration that is associate with aging. On the contrary, there are two things you can do that are very effective in combating the aging process, and they are increasing the amount of protein you consume daily, and strength training weekly

Most of the physical decline you associate with aging is caused by muscle loss.  Muscle loss that is associated with aging is called sacopenia and it can begin as early as your 30s and it accelerates with time if you don't do anything about it.  Fortunately, increasing the amount of protein you consume daily combined with participating in a weekly strength training program has been proven to be the best approach to curbing, and even reversing the effects of sacopenia.  Please click here to read the entire post...

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Are You Doing Too Much Cardio and Not Enough Strength Training?

As a personal trainer I’m always curious to see what people do for their exercise programs.  Most often I see people come into the gym and head straight to the treadmill, or some other piece of cardio equipment for 30 to 45 minutes.  Then they breeze through the strength training equipment in about 10 to 15 minutes, doing lots of repetitions with very light resistance.  And after a period of time doing this type of routine they eventually come to me questioning why they seem to be getting fatter while exercising more and eating less.  To which I reply, "you are doing too much cardio and not enough strength training".  Please click here to see the entire post...