Posture Perfect

9 Oct Posture Perfect

Did you know that back pain costs the economy billions of dollars a years? Low back problems account for more lost work hours than any other occupational injury.

The spine or vertebral column is make up of 33 individual bones and looks like an S-curve. This curve makes it 16 times stronger than if it were straight. The spine has a high degree of flexibility forward and to the sides, with a limited amount backward. The neck and lower back can rotate. Dense ligaments and strong muscles groups surround it and strengthen it, however the abdominal muscles may account for up to 40 percent of torso support.

Of the more than 30 million Americans who have low back pain, 80 percent probably have improper posture, weak muscles, and inadequate flexibility. Researchers call low back pain a hypokinetic disease: one that results from a lack of movement. Sedentary individuals are very susceptible to back problems.

Obesity, which a sedentary lifestyle produces, causes more weight to be carried in the abdominal muscles, resulting in greater pressure on the back. The lordosis, or swayback, is an observer’s clue to identifying someone who probably has back pain.

Maintaining proper segmental alignment of the body in all activity is of utmost importance for preventing and treating back pain. In other words, GOOD POSTURE is the key. Optimal posture puts the least amount of strain on the ligaments and joints in the spine, pelvis, and legs. Proper body posture while walking, sitting and lifting are essential in preventing and controlling low back pain.

proper segmental alignment

Here’s how to find a good posture balance for yourself: Stand with your pelvis titled in a neutral position. This means you pull in your abdominal muscles and slightly tighten your buttocks. This distributes your weight evenly and protects your lower back. Shoulders should be relaxed, down and back slightly. Keep your knees slightly flexed, not locked.

Here’s a quick way to correct your posture if you notice you are slumping: Place your elbows against the side of your waist with the arms bent 90 degrees and your hands in front of you. Keeping your elbows in place, rotate your hand and forearms to the sides. Your shoulder blades will move toward each other and lift your chest, correcting your posture. Then lower your forearms and maintain the improved posture! Walk with your head, trunk and thighs aligned, shoulders held back yet relaxed, chest high, and your stomach tucked in.

To help you maintain good posture when sitting, your chair should support your back with your knees lower than the hips. When lifting heavy objects, focus the lifting action in the hips, pulling with the upper hamstrings in combination with the buttocks. Contract the spinal muscles to maintain a straight back and tighten your abdominal muscles. Lift with an upward movement. Try to keep the object you are lifting close to you body. Don’t lift any object when your trunk is twisted.

Many people don’t have the body mechanics or strength to assume desirable posture, however, help is available. It’s exercise. Exercises for abdominal muscles, back strengthening and stretching, and pelvic training done gradually can correct posture and relieve back pain.

Here are a few exercises that may be used in a program to prevent or alleviate low back problems. Beginning exercisers should consult a doctor before starting any exercise program.

Pelvic Tilt: Lie with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor. Tighten your buttocks, pull in your stomach and flatten your lower back against the floor. Hold 5-20 seconds, relax, and repeat several times.

Curl-ups: Lie on your back, knees bent, feet flat on the floor. Keep your back against the floor and your abdominal muscles tightened. Lift only your shoulders and head, with your hands either across your chest or lightly behind your head. Move slowly. Do 10-25 curl-ups per set, working up to 3 sets. Avoid full sit-ups or double leg lifts which can cause more back pain.

Low Bach Stretch: Lie on you back and draw you knees toward your chest. Clasp them with your hands keeping your shoulders flat on the floor. Pull the knees closer to your chest and hold several seconds.

Low Back and Hamstring Stretch: Lie on your back, knees bent. Bring one thigh toward your chest, knee bent and hold the stretch for 15 seconds. Then straighten that leg toward the ceiling to stretch down the back of the leg. Support the leg with your hands and hold for 15-30 seconds. Bend the knee, lower the foot to the floor keeping the knee bent, and repeat with the other leg.

A posture program can have a positive effect on the health of you back and if you are sedentary it may give you the incentive to add even more fitness activities to your life.

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Warm-up/Cool-Down

6 Oct Warm-up

During the years I have been a fitness instructor and personal trainer, I’ve noticed the tendency in many exercisers to skip two very important parts of a workout. Some students race into a fitness class 5 to 10 minutes late and begin with the “serious exercise,” and/or they grab their gear right after the aerobic section and race out, their hearts still pounding. The solitary exerciser often minimizes the time spent on the warm-up and cool-down when not under the watchful eye of his or her personal trainer.

“Serious exercise” starts with a warm-up and ends with a cool-down. The first step in helping students and clients to include warm-ups and cool-downs in their workouts is educating them about the benefits:

  1. Warming up raises the temperature of the body. For each degree of temperature elevation, the metabolic rate of the cells increases by about 13 percent.
  2. The blood supply to the muscles increases, permitting a greater release of oxygen to feed them.
  3. The speed and force of muscle contractions improve, along with a faster nerve impulse transmission.
  4. Warming up helps prevent injuries. Muscle elasticity and the flexibility of the tendons and ligaments are increased. Synovial fluid, which lubricates the joints, is released during easy activity.
  5. Heart function is improved and ready for the increased demand of intense exercise.

Warm-up activities are movement activities. Stretching is not a warm-up exercise because it does not raise the body temperature. In fact, an exerciser can tear cold muscles by stretching them.

To warm-up, use large movements at an easy pace to heat the entire body. Gradually increase the intensity. Some examples of warm-up are slow jogging or walking, easy biking, slow jump roping, and slow aerobic dance patterns. If you are warming up for a sport, do the movements for the sport but at a slow pace. This will produce a rehearsal effect and your muscles will remember the movement and respond faster during the sports play.

The warm-up should produce light perspiration. When this occurs, you can do some light pre-exercise stretching. However, deep stretching should be performed after the workout is over.

pre-exercise stretching

After heavy exercise it is time to taper off with a good cool-down, which is just as important as the warm-up.

  1. Respiration, body temperature, and heart rate are gradually returned to normal, preventing an irregular heart beat that may be life threatening.
  2. The cool-down assists the return of blood to your heart. Suddenly stopping aerobic activity causes blood to pool in the legs instead of circulating to the brain. This can cause dizziness or light-headedness.
  3. Skeletal muscles are shielded from injured by gentle stretching.
  4. Cool-downs relax you emotionally and physically.
  5. Your flexibility is increased.

There are two parts to a complete cool-down. The first follows the cardiovascular exercise and allows the heart to return to 120 beats per minute or less. Activities for this resemble warm-up activities – large movements at a slow pace.

The second part of cooling down is the stretching. This increases flexibility and range of motion, and allows you to relax. Static stretching is recommended. Stretch the muscle until it feels tight, not painful, and hold it for about 30 seconds. Never bounce the stretch.

After stretching, many exercisers use progressive relaxation and deep breathing to enhance the feeling of well-being. This activity helps return the body to normal function.

Besides education, how can fitness instructors increase the number of students who include the warm-up and cool-down in their fitness routines?

  1. Use a heart rate monitor or monitor the pulse manually every 60 seconds to demonstrate to the student how the heart rate gradually increases during the warm-up.
  2. Make the warm-up fun and interesting.Group exercise:   Use great music.
    Teach “new” steps slowly – to warm up and whet the interest for the faster version
    Play warm-up games – to acquaint the participants with each other

    One-to-one:    Teach your clients to view the warm-up as an opportunity to set small goals about what they will accomplish during the workout
    Use equipment and “toys” – play catch, easy kick a soccer ball

  3. Regularly assess your students’ and clients’ flexibility to demonstrate the improvements in stretching ability.

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The Importance of Water

3 Oct Importance of Water

If you have read any amount of my writing, you may be well aware of the fact that I want everybody to drink plenty of water. I always suggest at least 1 gallon each day. I am not the only one either. There are several reliable sources that say the same thing. The reason is that water is one of the most important things in your diet. It is great because it has no calories. You can drink as much as you want, and you will not get fat from it. So really, you have nothing to lose by increasing your intake of water. These are the reasons water is sooooo important.

  1. It cleanses your system. You need it to help reduce the buildup of harmful impurities in your system. Your liver and kidneys filter your blood and remove waste and bacteria among other things. When you urinate, and notice it is brightly colored, you know that you are not getting enough water. A better gauge than one gallon a day is the clarity of your urine. You want it to be crystal clear.
  2. It makes up most of your muscle mass. A majority of your muscle mass is composed of water. If you want the largest possible muscles, drink plenty of water.
  3. It helps to distribute nutrients. It is proven that when you drink carbonated beverages, the carbonation bonds with the blood cells, and subtracts from the available surface area for carrying needed things like oxygen. The same is true with smoking and other things. Drinking water gets rid of these things, and helps create more surface area for oxygen.

bodybuilding Water

Well, that about wraps it up for this issue.

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Endomorph Training Tips

30 Sep Endomorph Training Tips

Endomorphs have a generally larger body structure. It may seem that no matter how hard they try, they just can’t attain an idea weight and bodyfat %. They may start to starve themselves eating very little, and not getting the nutrition they need. As you know, this is not the right thing to do. Here are some guidelines to follow.

  1. Eat normally or slightly less. 1500 to 2500 calories is a good area. Don’t go less or you will have difficulty getting enough nutrients.
  2. Get your heart pumping. I don’t want to sound like Richard Simmons, and trust me, I don’t wear those daisy dukes, but cardio is important to losing weight. If you want to lose weight, the key is not to eat less, but to exercise more. You will want to do lots of aerobic exercises. While there are ways to lift aerobically, such as circuit training, weightlifting is usually not aerobic. Try to get 20 to 30 minutes of aerobic activity 5 times a week. More is better.
  3. Lift less weight for more reps. Try to use a weight on all your sets that will allow you to do 15 reps. This will help tone your muscles. Generally, endos don’t have much trouble building muscle, but it is difficult to tone. Avoid lower numbers of reps, at least when you are cutting.
  4. Drink lots of water. Water as you may read later in the newsletter, helps filter impurities out of your system, and gives you more energy for your workouts. You should drink 1-2 gallons a day.
  5. Take your vitamins. The same applies for endos as ectos. Vitamins are inexpensive, and are important when you lift. Vitamins C and E should do it. Take about 1000mg of vitamin C and 800iu of Vitamin E every day. They help get rid of free radicals, which have been known to cause cancer, and degrade health in general. Don’t eat or drink anything with caffeine in it for an hour before and after you take vitamin C, or it will be counteracted.
  6. Set goals! Have a clear plan of where you want to be at with your weight training, and how you want to look. Don’t try to lift without a plan. If you go into your training blind you will get nowhere. Have an idea of what you want to accomplish on a monthly, weekly, and daily basis, not just for lifting, but for your life.
  7. Focus. Don’t get distracted while you are lifting. Don’t pay too much attention to the clowns who go to the gym for social hour. There is no need to be rude, but they shouldn’t get you off track either. Your time in the gym should be spent lifting. Concentrate on what you are going to do on the next set. Imagine doing the exercise in your head.
  8. Stay away from most of the supplements out there. If you are really an endo, you don’t need supplements to improve. Whey protein is the only beneficial supplement. Things like andro and creatine are designed to help you gain weight. There is no benefit to taking these if you are trying to lose weight.

Nutrition:

Nutrition

Here are the guidelines for endomorph nutrition. Use a 30/50/20 carbs/protein/fat diet. It is important not to take in lots of carbs in order to decrease the amount of easily burnable calories. Carbohydrates are burned first and fastest. In order to burn the fat, you have to reduce the amount of carbs you eat. An easy way to do this is to avoid bread. Keep fat down, but not too low. Some vitamins like E for example are fat soluble, and need fat to be used. A typical day might look like this:

Breakfast– Any combination of the following: Egg white omelet, bacon, small bowl of cereal, orange juice, skim or 1% milk.

Midmorning snack– something like: piece of fruit, or vegetable like carrots, protein shake, juice

Lunch– any combination: cold cut sandwich, chicken soup, salad, or chicken, fish

Afternoon snack: fruit, vegetables,

Dinner: (should be smaller than breakfast)- Steak, potatoes, salad, pasta, chicken

Workout:

Your workout should include the major lifts done in 4 sets of about 15 reps. This will help tone the muscle giving them more definition. It is not going to help you get bigger, so don’t do it if you want more mass.

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Discover the Pro’s Diet Plan to Gain Muscle and Lose Body Fat

27 Sep Pro's Diet Plan

Everybody wants to get bigger and leaner at the same time. This can be a challenging task as usually one must sacrifice either definition or gains in muscle.

To gain muscle a person has to consume more protein, carbs, fats, nutrients, and vitamins than they need to get bigger. Less overall calories if they wish to get leaner.

This of course is the main reason bodybuilders tend to “Bulk Up” in the off season. This means the individual will eat loads of calories in the hopes of gaining more muscle mass. The extra muscle gain is achievable but the individual also will experience a significant gain in of fat in the process, often times more than the muscle gains.

After the “Bulking Up” period the individual will usually want to “rip up” for summer or for a contest. Then they usually have to subject themselves to a rigorous training and restrictive diet for 3-6 months to get there body fat levels where their muscles are clearly defined.

The continual up and down Yo-Yo in weight gain plays havoc with the physical body not too mention the psyche of the individual. This generally accepted practice in bodybuilding has also led to the widespread use of drugs used by many athletes to bulk up or to get ripped.

This abuse of drugs has led to the overall malfunction of the bodybuilding community both mentally, physically and psychologically. Certainly not the ideals for which bodybuilding has been founded upon which are good healthy food, rigorous training of the mind and body, and an overall expression of health and vitality.

Fortunately, there is a better way to gain muscle and to lose body fat at the same time. It’s called the “Cycle Diet” and it is fast becoming the most popular way to stay lean year round while continually gaining muscle. Let’s examine first how the cycle diet works and then how you can incorporate it into your training routine.

Every bodybuilder who maintains there body fat levels below 7 percent knows as soon as they start eating the first few days of high calories their body explodes with new growth before any body fat gains occur.

The reason for this is the body is in a super-compensation state and initially stores the extra calories as glycogen in organs such as the liver as well as intramuscularly. Fats are also stored intramuscularly as well as protein is utilized for the growth and repair of muscles.

This super compensatory state only lasts for maybe 24 hours before the body starts to shuttle the extra calories into fat cells. But before that occurs there is a window of explosive growth available waiting to be tapped into and here is how you can do it.

The entire process was initially developed and coined the Cycle Diet by legendary trainer Scott Abel.

This protocol allows you to build muscle while losing body fat as well as keeping your body free of toxic buildup. Here is how it works.

First, you need to get your body fat levels below 7 percent for the maximum benefit of the protocol. The cool thing is once you get down to this level you can maintain this body fat level year round.

Second you need to get training a minimum of 5 days per week. In other words you need to be an intermediate or advanced trainee capable of handling significant volume and intensity in your training.

Third you need to keep your calorie intake about 500-1000 calories below expenditure daily.

Now for the first 3 days of your training you will keep your caloric intake in the calculated range on all training days. On your first rest day which usually will occur on the 4th day you will perform one of the juice fasts for the whole day.

Consume as much juice as you like on the fast day and be sure to take some fiber to help remove accumulated mucoid plaque in the digestive tract. There are many herbs that can aid in the process as well.

Keep in mind that only natural juices, preferably organic are used on the juice fast day free of sugars, additives, preservatives, sweeteners or anything else.

On the 5th and 6th days of the week you will resume your training and diet schedule, with the concurrent calorie deficit. On the 7th day which should be an off day from training as well, “EAT WHATEVER YOU WANT”.

That’s right all the things that you would like load up on them. It’s a good idea to schedule social occasions or interactions on that day, so you can eat Grandma’s apple pie, or have some pizza and ice cream with the guys during the big game. However you want to schedule the day be sure to consume as many calories as you can.

Keep in mind that you start in the morning of your rest day and you stop in the evening. So you keep the time frame down to about 18 hours to ensure no fat will be gained.

It is a good idea to start with fats in the morning first so that you don’t experience to much digestive discomfort. It’s also a good idea to double or triple your enzyme intake for the high calorie day as well as on the juice fast day for maximum absorption of nutrients.

Because of the short time frame of high calorie consumption as well as the caloric deficient state, combined with the rigorous training schedule it’s pretty much impossible for your body to add body fat. The cascade of anabolic hormones during the brief high calorie intake will be used to fill up energy stores and build more muscle. This is the ideal condition for growth of muscle tissues to occur.

You will need to fine tune the process over time but it’s pretty simple once you get the routine down. Best of all you don’t have to restrict calories for long periods of time. Once every week you get a break and the juice fast day helps clear out any plaque built up form the high calorie day.

Most athletes find the cycle diet much easier and more a more fun way to stay in shape all year. Not only that you can building mass while staying lean year round.

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Burn Fat Using These Simple Strategies

24 Sep Burn Fat

How do you know if you need to lose fat? The best way is by finding out what percentage of your total body mass is fatty tissue. Be wary of the tables that provide ideal weights for men and women of various heights. Rarely do these tables take body types or age into account.

Here are different routines for muscle building and fat burning for you to build muscle mass and burn fat effectively.

1. Exercise as soon as you wake up

What works well are exercise routines every morning. It is best to start fat burning by exercising first thing in the morning.

Of course, the body naturally sheds fat from the areas of greater excess. But it can shed off more when done in the morning. This is because fats are the only things being burned in the morning. The energy from carbohydrates eaten from last night’s meal have already been used up during sleep.

Usually, 30 minutes of exercise in the morning can burn fats by as much as 600 calories. That is almost losing the fats you have accumulated by drinking milk shake and hamburger from last night’s meal.

2. Eat small meals at frequent intervals

Rats trained to eat their entire daily ration in one to two hours gained more weight than rats that nibbled at their food whenever they were hungry. Eating just one giant meal increases the rate at which food is converted into fat by twenty-five times.

eat small meals

Experts say that this applies to humans as well. In fact, they contend that when you eat might be as important as what you eat.

3. Add pleasurable activities to your schedule

Just an extra half-hour of walking, for example, can burn off five pounds a year. Try to think in terms of the long haul and develop eating and exercise habits that can keep you in shape for months, years, and decades to come. This perspective can help you get over one of the very common disappointments of the first weeks of dieting.

These are just some of the routines for muscle building and fat burning. You can count on them if you really want to build muscle mass and shed off excess fats.

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For Physical Fitness, Online Training Workouts Work Like Crazy

21 Sep Online Training Workouts

Exercises can bring you good health and physical fitness, which will enhance your quality of life. It’s a known fact that exercises reduce anxiety, ease depression, and give you a general feeling of wellness. Exercises are very important to quality of life and longevity.

The fitness scene has changed tremendously, gone are the days when you could spend an hour in the Gym. Now you can switch on the computer at breakfast time to join in with online fitness workouts and you can build your muscle with simple bodyweight exercises. With a little dedication to this home workout you can begin a simple and effective workout routine. So, you can forget the fancy machines, expensive gym memberships, or sharing equipment with sweaty strangers.

Online fitness workouts are for those of you who have very limited time to devote for exercise, but are serious about getting or staying in shape. Here client signs up for online personal training, the trainer develop a workout and nutrition program, the client is getting taught the exercises through videos and live chat.
online personal training
There are two different kind of online personal training websites. The first one, film their own exercise videos which enables them to customize exercises for their client’s personal need. The second kind of online training websites use computer animated exercise videos and/or picture sequences which are easy to understand. The rates for online personal training are ranging from $40.00 to $200.00 per month.

The advantages of online training are cheaper rates than a regular personal fitness trainer would charge, can be as effective as regular personal training. Most online training websites offer 24 hours e-mail / live chat support.

Let’s go through some more benefits that can be attained using online fitness workout:

  • No matter where you are located around the globe, you can access fitness workouts.
  • Save money on travel expenses and expensive personal trainers
  • You can exercise at any time you want.
  • No need to workout at a specific place designated by the trainer.
  • Sit in the comfort of your own home to receive coaching and advice.
  • Have your training questions and problems answered with educated responses, promptly via email.
  • Allows for tremendous flexibility, especially for those who travel.
  • Allows privacy for those who are intimidated by “public” personal training, such as people who don’t feel comfortable with their appearance.

Exercises are only productive when you take quality food. Be careful about what you eat. Try to avoid consuming too much butter or cheese and stay away from greasy and fatty foods. Eat nutritious and balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables, enough proteins and lots of fibre to keep organs running smoothly.

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5 Tips For Women To Get Amazing Legs

18 Sep Women legs

Women want toned slim legs. I think that I can say that is a true statement for 99.99% of women. Even if our legs already look great we always want to try and get better. So with all the exercises and myths out what are the best ways to get the perfect pair of legs?

  1. Do not be choosey with fat. Unfortunately you can not pick where you want fat to disappear from. It is impossible to say you want to lose weight just in the thighs and keep the rest of your body the same. When you lose weight your body will decide. So keep in mind that when you are getting your legs into shape not only do you need to do exercises designed for the legs but it will be highly beneficial to do workouts that challenge the other major muscle groups in the body.
  2. Good bye to machines. While the squat machine and the other leg machines are better then nothing, they are not going to provide the most obvious results for getting the most beautiful legs. These machines are called single joint exercises and target only specific muscles. To get the most out of a workout do exercises that utilize not only the large muscle but also assisting muscle groups and possibly even other parts of the body. These are referred to as multi-joint exercises and examples include: squats, lunges (while doing bicep curls), power jumps, power squats, etc.
  3. Choose cardio wisely. Cardio is an important part of a workout but make sure you do the cardio accordingly. If you are wanted to gain some leg definition A.K.A. muscle keep cardio workouts to a minimal. Do not exceed 25 minutes because after this your body will start to break down the hard earned muscle. Also stick to routines that are going to really use your leg muscles. One great form is the stair stepper. Or try doing interval training on inclines.
  4. Eat all the right things. With any type of fitness, exercise and nutrition go hand in hand. If you are serious about looking great it is vital to eat a balanced healthy diet high in protein and whole-wheat carbs, but low in fats and sugars. Say good-bye to cokes and processed sugars. I would even suggest taking out diet sodas or at least minimizing them. Stick to water. No only will you feel hydrated but your energy will sore and you will also feel fuller longer. YAY.
  5. Do not let a little rain or clouds keep you from the gym. The gym should be as much a priority as your business meeting. Schedule a time on your calender when you know it is time to hit the weights. Getting a great body takes work and work means hitting the gym on a regular basis. It does not matter the time of day for maximal benefits, it only matters that you go. Keep your gym shoes by the front door or lay out your workout clothes the day before so you know you should go.

Women bodybuilding

Dying to wear that little skirt for New Years or the little black dress for the company Christmas party? Women wanting toned legs only have to take the leap to get serious. With the workouts do 3 sets of 10-13 reps per exercise. And use a weight that makes you feel a little burn. This is your workout and women should never be afraid to push themselves!

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The Importance of Physical Therapy

13 Sep Physical Therapy

Physical therapy is an exercise treatment methodology aimed at the treatment and curing of certain physical ailments, through exercise and stretching. While at the same time preventing the chances of any re-occurrences further on down the road. Its primary aim is to bring back the patient to his/her normal self, free from pain or suffering, so that he/she can then lead a normal life; performing all of their daily activities with minimal or no difficulty. Physical therapy deals with cardiopulmonary and neurological conditions as well.

Physical therapy is generally required for those with permanent disabilities, those who have had a major injury or accident and are in a recuperation phase, or for those who are suffering from crippling diseases such as arthritis, lower back pain, or cerebral palsy. In certain instances, some diseases or medical conditions impair the patient so much that it becomes necessary to teach them how to function within the limitations of their condition, by building upon the residual capabilities left.

With prolonged treatment under the supervision of an expert physiatrist, it is possible for the patient to regain a major share of the mobility of his/her joints, achieve flexibility, and acquire better balance and coordination. Apart from this, physical therapy also helps in significantly improving the overall fitness and health of the patient.

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Children with issues such as developmental delays or muscle and joint weaknesses that happen early in life can also benefit from physical therapy. In such cases, a physiatrist usually depends upon a variety of techniques such as strength training, balance and coordination exercises, stretching exercises, ultrasound therapies, and electrical stimulation of the affected body parts along with massage to help the child build better physical strength. However the exact methods to be used are decided by the physiatrist after diagnosing the child.

For it to be effective, it is important that the patient also respond positively to the treatment, and for that to happen he/she needs to be in a positive frame of mind and not in a saddened mindset. Therefore physical therapy also includes efforts to motivate the patient to make sure that he/she remains in a positive mindset during the session.

In order to receive the full benefits of physical therapy, it is important that the patient follow the instructions of the physiatrist. In many cases, after a few sessions, people think that they know the exercises well enough and can do the rehabilitation quite effectively without any external help. However, such acts generally cause more damage to the existing injury than providing any real benefits.

An injury needs time to heal itself and physical therapy allows this to happen. Equally important are the conditions this is achieved under, and a patient needs to undergo treatment within the most perfect way possible. A physiatrist who monitors the progress can correct a problem if there is an error in the posturing or practice, and he/she periodically redesigns the exercise program accordingly as the patient gets better or improves in health and strength.

None of this would be possible if the patient tries to manage the rehabilitation program him/herself. Remember, the final result or complete recovery through physical therapy is a combination of diligence, compliance, and dedication, and that requires continued interaction and coordination between the patient and the physiatrist.

Physical therapy is hugely effective in treating injured joints, bones, muscle weaknesses, and many neurological ailments, but it must be done in the proper way, under the supervision of an able physiatrist or else, it will not produce the desired results.

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Push Ups: Progression For Greater Strength And Endurance

10 Sep Push Ups Bodybuilding

Push ups are one of the classic bodyweight exercises. Every bodyweight training program I know of uses push ups in one form or another. As a result, the ability to perform a proper push up, for high repetitions is a fitness milestone in bodyweight training.

Push Ups

But there is more to this classic bodyweight exercise than high repetitions and bragging rights. As a matter of fact, some people get so caught up in high repetitions that they forgo proper form, reducing the strength and endurance gains, and increasing the risk of injury. In this article I’ll reveal an alternative to high repetition push ups.

But first, what is a proper push up?

A proper push up is an incredibly demanding full body exercise, requiring both upper body strength and a strong, stable core for proper completion. This is important. It is not just an upper body exercise. It is a full body exercise.

Start by lying on the ground with you feet together and your hands on the ground by your shoulders. Your elbows are flexed and should remain close to your body throughout the entire movement. Don’t flair your elbows!

Perform a push up by pressing with your arms until your entire body leaves the ground. In the up position, only your hands and toes remain on the ground. The body has to remain stiff and straight throughout the entire lowering and raising. The only thing that should move during the movement is the arms.

This is very important. The body should be straight at the top, during and at the bottom of the movement. This is accomplished by using your core stabilizer muscles, butt and legs to make your body as ridged as possible.

As you can see, your whole body is involved in completing a proper push up, not just your upper body. Upper body strength and core strength must be coordinated to do a proper push up. If either your upper body or core is weaker than the other, errors will occur and performance will be lowered.

Ok, once you know how to perform push ups, most people try to go for high numbers. Yes, being able to do 100 push ups is a sign of great strength and endurance. But striving for high numbers is not the only way you improve!

You can also improve push ups by going from easy to difficult. Increasing the difficulty of the push up variation is an excellent way to build incredible strength. This method allows you to keep the repetition number relatively low, reducing the risk of overuse injuries. Plus, it reduces the possibility you will sacrifice quality for quantity, furthering your chance of injury!

Here is an example:

  • Start with incline push ups
  • The increase difficulty by doing the classic push up
  • Increase the difficulty again by doing decline push ups
  • And finally make it harder by doing handstand push ups

You could also throw in one armed push ups to increase difficulty. But the point is this, there are more ways to improve your strength and endurance with push ups than just increasing the number or repetitions you can do in one set.

Let this push up progression example serve as an example of other bodyweight exercise progressions. A lot of people say they get bored with bodyweight exercise because they only try to improve by doing more and more reps. Now you know, increasing repetition is not the only progression method in town. And in many cases, more strength and endurance improvements can be made by going from easy versions of an exercise to more difficult versions.

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