A Lil About Me!

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ACE Certified Personal Trainer; NSCA Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist; CSEP Certified Personal Fitness & Lifestyle Advisor; MaddDogg Spinning Instructor; NCCP SwimCoach; NLSC Aquafit Instructor; Wellness & Weight-Loss Consultant.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Straight- Legged Deadlifts...

...or Stiff-Legged Deadlifts, are Great for back of Leg Cellulite smoothing!

Cellulite ::
Trapped fat that develops subcutaneously (right under the skin) and creates a lumpy or dimpled appearance. If you suffer from this (non life-threatening disorder) you need to focus on weight loss and weight lifting exercises. Beyond cardio & smart (clean) eating, Building muscle can help increase your metabolism and give your body, and yes your legs, better definition.

Deadlifts ::
To do stiff legged deadlifts, hold a barbell in front of your thighs, & standing with your feet shoulder width apart and grab the bar with a hip or shoulder-width, overhand grip. (*You can use a mixed over/under-handed grip, if you're lifting Very Heavy, to maximize the time you can maintain your grip)
Bend at the hips and Lower the bar - your arms and Torso - towards the ground, keeping the arms parallel to the thighs. Feel the contraction through your hamstrings & glutes, stand back up contracting the core as you exhale.
In order to avoid strain of the lower back, ensure that you are keeping the abs contracted, and choose a challenging but manageable weight, in order to hold proper form.

#workoutwednesday - Me Going HEAVY (for ME) last week!

While you don't need to go for a MAXIMUM lift everytime, you DO however need to pick a weight that will challenge your leg muscles through the ENTIRE range of the Deadlift movement.
Try it!!
Mia - xo


Just a little someting I did today...

My warmUp exercise for the chest & back burner from this morning :)

Full Burpee to Wall Grip PullUps

Enjoy the vid, and if you're feeling *springy* Try em!!

Mia - xo

Put your BEST foot FORWARD...

Other than Squats, LUNGES are probably my favorite (and the most effective) Leg & Butt strengthening, building & all-around (re)shapting exercise you can do.
While, we ALL know that this may be for different ends (different goals esthetically as well as where strength/power are concerned) BOTH  Men & Women benefit from working the Quadriceps, Hamstrings & Gluteal groups.

According to the Dictionary, a LUNGE (*the noun) is defined as "Any sudden, or purposeful, forceful, Forward movement."  I'm going to take it a few steps further.

Where fitness/exercise is concerned:
A Lunge is "any purposeful, forceful movement, in ANY direction" since, as you know, lunges can be done forward, backwards, laterally (*side to side) or Stationary Up & Down. The exercise stance, takes it name from the body position used in the Lunge or Thrust position in Swordplay.
One foot is in front bent at or above a 90degree angle and the other is behind, either bent, also at or above 90degrees. Or it can be behind, but kept straight in an extended line (*as in the case of the crescent & warrior 1&2 stances, in yoga)
The load bearing angle on the front leg, is the reason a stationary lunge is sometimes also called "a split squat".  Although, according to the University of Michigan, while the joint angles are extremely similar, the torque (*the force about an axis) is where the difference lies, and this is how we get a difference in effect apart from the two-legged ("regular") squat.

Ok all science aside...
Here are some Benefits to Lunges for BOTH Males & Females ::

According to the American Council on Exercise, this single exercise works the abs, glutes, hips and both the quadriceps & hamstrings groups, fairly equally, all at once. In this way, the lunge is unique. Squats, Presses & Curls typically work one more than the other, and don't always allow you to achieve the needed ranges for total muscle group activation. Also, Lunges have more options for variation than these other exercises.
Apart from the Strength gains & size growth, the flexibility gained from performing the Lunge will improve not only your daily functional movement, but also your athletic performance. For example: The increased flexibility enables you to develop a more efficient running motion because you can increase the time your feet spend on the ground. This in turn allowing you to achieve more power from the push off. In addition to this, the lunge will help you with balance & stability and with any of the basic functional movements for any sporting activity requiring fast reaching/lunging movements, or quick changes in direction. (*Dance, Tennis, Hockey, Football - yes, BOTH kinds). This improvement in functional movement makes lunges benficial for everyday living & movement.
Beyond this, they just downright make the legs (*and butt) look GOOOOOOD!

Some Tips ::
  • Maintaining neutral spinal alignment throughout the range of motion is important.
    • During movement, the plane of the shoulders should remain parallel to the floor and the back should be straight. Keeping the chest up ensures the back remains straight and keep the core girdle tight.
  • Tilting to either side in the descent or ascent can lead to injury
  • Keep your lead knee at a 90-degree angle or higher. The knee should be in line with the toes from start to finish.
  • Do not go too far forward or downward, stop at a depth where you can keep the knee over the lead foot's toes
    • Lunge as deep as you want, as long as you can maintain the 90degree flexion at the knee; the deeper you go, the more challenging it is to get back to the start position.

Here are the Basics ::
Forward Lunge - To perform the perfect lunge, start with both feet together, stepping one leg forward and keeping the other back.  You must step far enough forward that you are able tolower your body until both knees are at 90-degree angles. In perfect alignment,  your front thigh becomes parallel with the floor. Pause for a moment before slowly pushing your back leg forward. You can either do all the repetitions with the same foot & THEN switch, OR you can alternate sides for the total number of reps.

Stationary Lunge - Start with one leg forward, one leg back, ensuring the lead foot is an adequate distance ahead of the body so that as you lower, you can maintain proper form (*same as the end position of the forward lunge)

Lateral (side) Lunge - Step out sideways from centre, the anchor foot stays sideways (*like Yoga Warrior), & butt drops as you sit BACK, not over the outside leg. Lower yourself until you get your Knee at or above 90degrees, & the anchor leg stays straight. To return to start position, push from the outside foot; This move also enlists the adductors and abductors (*leg's close & open muscles)
Rotational Lateral Lunge - Similar to the lateral lunge, except the hips & toes turn out (*like in fencing); Rear leg stays straight.

Reverse - The effects on the muscle are the same, but the reverse Lunge places less stress on the knees because the knees cannot extend beyond the toes; After reaching the most comfortable bottom position, shift your balance forward and then push off with your rear foot while straitening your forward leg.

After you can master impeccable form with only body weight - Step it up >> weighted (Barbell on top of shoulders, Dumbbell carrying), walking lunges/ weighted walking lunges, jumping (single-sided or switching feet), balanced (bench/swiss ball), incline (lead foot on an elevation), decline (rear foot on an elevation), Lunge with Core twist (at end position rotate the body over the lead thigh)

*WHEW* Long-Winded, but I really do recommend LUNGES!! I love them! And they WORK!