Posture and Form

Bad posture can make you look shorter, hump-backed, and put a strain on your joints, especially the knee joint.  Take a look in the mirror, if you find your hands in the front of your body, then you may have internal rotation of the shoulders.

Ask a personal trainer to evaluate your posture and recommend some exercises to improve it.  In addition, stretch your chest muscles.  Tight chest muscles tend to pull the shoulders forward.  Remember, proper form is the foundation of strength training.  A workout injury doesn’t always occur suddenly.  Soft tissue injury can build up over time.  Again, ask a personal trainer to help you with your form while you’re executing an exercise.  It will save your body from injury and help improve your posture!

The Squat

To safely perform the squat, place feet a little wider than hips, toes turned slightly outward.  Brace the abs, push hips back and down, until thighs are parallel to the floor, weight in the heels, chest lifted, and knees staying behind the toes.  Slowly rise to return to the starting position, again keeping weight in the heels.

DID YOU KNOW?  While squatting, you are enabling three joints.  The hip joint flexes to eccentrically contract the gluteus maximus and hamstrings; the knee joint flexes to engage the quadriceps; and the ankle joint dorsi flexes to engage the gastrocnemius and soleus.  That’s just the lowering phase…and on the lifting phase the opposite joint action occurs, your hip joint extends to contract the gluteus maximus and hamstrings; the knee joint extends to contract the quadriceps; and the ankle joint is at plantar flexion to contract the gastrocnemius and soleus.

The squat is an effective and productive exercise.  When done correctly, the squat can burn many calories and build lean muscle tissue.  It’s functional, as well, because daily we squat to get in and out of a chair, on and off a toilet, and in and out of a vehicle.  So don’t be afraid — grab a barbell or dumbbells, and squat away!

 

Burn Calories!


Yes, that’s what one pound of fat looks like.

The moral of this story?  Burn calories.  In other words,  move, move, move.  Take the stairs, walk the dogs, walk the kids, the cats, whatever.   Dance, love, laugh, get on the treadmill, ride the bike, dust off the elliptical, jump rope, sprint for 20 seconds while jogging or walking, do plyometrics, try an aerobics class, or lift heavier weights.  Make it a goal to do over 10,000 steps a day, and give yourself a chance.  You can do this.

 

Write it Down!

Research published from the Journal of Nutrition and Dietetics and summarized here, http://abcnews.go.com/Health/weight-loss-techniques-work/story?id=16762211#.UEOAJEJ5lSU, proved that those in their study who completed food journals lost six more pounds than those who did not note their food intake.  This research shows that it’s all about accountability.  Know what you’re eating, how much and write it down.  It will be much easier to find the patterns that are harming your ability to stay on track with your weight loss goals.

I find using the fitbook by fitlosophy (www.getfitbook.com and also at Amazon), is a great tool for writing down my foods, workouts, water intake, and how I’m feeling during all of it (as most of you know, emotions play a huge role in weight loss as well).  In addition, there are many weight loss applications for your smart phones such as caloriecount, loseit, and mynetdiary.

Be honest with yourself, take control of your eating, and most importantly, write it down!  Let me know how it goes.