Archive for May, 2009

A Healthy and Functional YOU!!!

Monday, May 18th, 2009

A few posts ago we talked about how in our East Grand Rapids studio, we were doing lots of functional training with a client. We did treadmill hill climbs with his backpack on in order to get him ready for a hiking trip. Well, he is now on that hiking trip, and in his absence I thought I would offer a few ideas on how the rest of us can incorporate more functional training into our everyday workout routine.

When you isolate body parts, as you sometimes do with traditional strength training, you end up training your muscles but not your movements. One way to change that is to look for ways to make your strength exercises more functional:

  • Incorporate free weights: Machines have a place in strength training, but they offer so much support that the body doesn’t have to work as hard to maintain balance and good form. In real life, we don’t have that kind of support. Using dumbbells, bands or cables forces your body to create it’s own support, which leads to a stronger body overall.
  • Use a stability ball: Doing some exercises on a ball, such as chest presses or pushups involves more stabilizers, the muscles that work to protect joints and maintain alignment.
  • Combine movements: We usually do a combination of motions throughout the day. We lunge forward to open a door and then rotate while stepping through. Combining strength exercises together, like lunging forward with a reach or squatting with an overhead press can mimic this dynamic way of moving.
  • Try unilateral exercises: Doing one-legged squats or using one arm at a time for moves like flies or chest presses forces your core to engage as well as your stabilizers, making these moves more functional and challenging.

Just a few ideas on how you can make your training more effective and funtional for everyday life.

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1 Month to Go!

Friday, May 1st, 2009

Greetings all of you runners. Congratulations on making it this far in your training. The hard and heavy miles are setting in and it’s now time to really take care of your body. Remember here, it’s not when you are running that your are getting stronger, it’s when you are recovering! What I mean is, make sure you are enjoying your cross-training and rest days. At this point we all need to take care of our bodies as the workload is reaching it’s high point and the rest from that is of utmost importance. Are you remembering to take in enough water? Are you spending an extra 10 minutes after every run to stretch? One more tip is to make sure that you are getting high quality nutrients back into your system within 45 minutes of finishing your runs. Your body will need them to recover from the past run and prepare and store energy for your upcoming run. Train hard, listen to what your body is telling you, and have fun. Let me repeat the key concept for this week. “It’s not when your running that your body is getting stronger, it’s when your recovering.”

Here is also a quick update from Mike our runner.

Week of 4/20 running summary – Mike Ritsema:
 
Monday               5 miles in 39 minutes
Tuesday               5 miles in 40 minutes @ 142 bpm & 500 calories
Wednesday        Rest
Thursday             9 miles in 79 minutes @ 136 bpm avg. & 868 calories
Friday                   Rest
Saturday              Rest
Sunday                 9 miles in 80 minutes @ 137 bpm avg. & 952 calories
 
Notes & thoughts:
It was a busy week with a wedding and graduation commitment as well as business travel.
                Therefore, the schedule changed a little.  I felt pretty good on the 9 mile runs.  I am concerned about a 15 mile run though.

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