Are you someone who enjoys a good challenge? Are you looking to improve every day fitness as well as fitness on the court/field/trail? If you want a leg up in all aspects of fitness it’s time you incorporated more “uneven training” in your routine. What does that mean? What does it look like? How does it help? Hold on, I’m getting there!
Uneven Training simply means uneven load, uneven surface, uneven base of support, and or single sided movements. This can be done with any weight equipment or even no equipment at all. A few of my personal favorite exercises are:
- Single leg Power Jump. In this exercise you need no weight (although if you want to grab a 15lb dumbbell be my guest)! Pick a leg, “load up” meaning, drop down into a squat and then power up as high as you can in a jump. You can be way more powerful in this exercise if you use your non weighted leg by swinging it back behind you in your load up and then driving it up (think knee to chest) in your jump phase. The goal is to get maximum height and maximum load up as well as keeping speed and balance. The non loaded leg should never touch the floor.
- Slide Board Scissor Lunges. Sounds fancy right? Grab those amazing looking booties, roll out the slide board, and get to lunging! Start in the middle of the board facing one end; begin the movement by SIMULTANEOUSLY pushing one foot forward while the other foot goes backwards. As you do this drop down in your lunge (don’t forget to bend that back knee!), then SIMULTANEOUSLY pull both feet back underneath you. See if you can do this without stopping in the middle. Enjoy!
- Uneven kettlebell Squat and Press. Grab two kettlebells of different weight (I would use a 26 and a 36lb). Hold the bells in rack position as you descend down into your squat, as you come up power press (meaning use the quick up out of your squat) to shoulder press both weights. The uneven load will clearly make one side work harder as well as challenge your core to keep the bells tight and even. Don’t forget to switch sides!
- Anything Sandbag or Sandbell. Both of these tools are amazing for Uneven Training. Both of these pieces of equipment are filled with sand so the weight is ever changing and the load is always different with each rep. One of my personal favorite Sandbell exercises is Power Jumps Forward and Backwards. In this exercise you hold the Sandbell by the sides (a 20lb-30lb bell is great), drop your hips down into a squat (butt down, chest up, spine extended, shoulders engaged), then stand up opening your hips and swing the bell up over your head as you jump. The weight and the swing should propel you backwards (a backwards jump), then swing the bell down the way you came back into your load up squat, the swing forward now creates a forward jump. Try to keep up your speed and push yourself to jump as far forwards and backwards as you can.
Why are we doing this again? Uneven training, especially combined with lateral training will greatly improve your small supporting muscles (muscles in your core, in your glutes, in your calves, and in your feet) with increased strength and coordination. This will help you move more quickly and efficiently during any sport. In addition, uneven training helps to create better body symmetry (I know how much that left side lags behind… not for long) and better non dominant body awareness. You will quickly find your weak points and by doing things single sided as well as with uneven weight you will quickly make strength, coordination, and flexibility gains. Your body must adjust to perform these exercises; otherwise they simply cannot be done. There is no “muscling” through a Slide Board Scissor Lunge, either you can do it or you can’t, end of story.
So if you are tired of feeling like you aren’t making the strength gains you want to, you just aren’t working hard enough but you don’t know how to push yourself, or if you are tired of your workouts and you are looking for something fun and challenging then Uneven Training is for you! If you have more questions or are interested in learning how to incorporate Uneven Training into your routine please contact Personal Trainer Adriana Brown.
Fitness Advice, Sports Conditioning, Strength Training
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Whether you are going after general fitness or you are training hard to prepare for a certain sport, if you train with any purpose, then you are probably training hard. And when you go hard, you are bound to run into a few “wear and tear” problems along the way. These issues do not need to take you off course and should not keep you from reaching your goals!
One common issue I’ve heard of lately is shin splints. If you’re jogging around outside, training for a race, or participating in a boot camp class, you’re at risk of a common, running-related injury called shin splints. Referring to pain along the shin (tibia) or the large bone in the front of your lower leg, the pain is caused by an overload on the shinbone and the connective tissues that attach your muscles to the bone. This overload is often caused by specific athletic activities, such as:
- Running downhill
- Running on a slanted or tilted surface
- Running in worn-out footwear
- Engaging in sports with frequent starts and stops (ie. basketball and tennis, or agility training and plyometrics)
If you have shin splints, you may notice tenderness, soreness or pain along the inner or sometimes outer part of your lower leg and mild swelling. At first, the pain may stop when you stop running or exercising. Eventually, however, the pain may be ongoing.
Most common among runners, many times they can also be caused by training too hard, too fast or for too long.
TREATING SHIN SPLINTS:
- Rest. Avoid activities that cause pain, swelling or discomfort, but don’t give up all physical activity. While you’re healing, switch to non weight bearing cardio such as biking, the elliptical, or swimming.
- Ice the affected area. Apply ice to the affected shin for 15 to 20 minutes after you train.
- Wear proper shoes. Be sure you are wearing shoes designed for the sport in which you participate. Invest in a pair of shoes that will enhance your performance and protect you from injury. Also consider the age of your shoes. Athletic shoes will last you the equivalent of 350-550 miles of running, depending on your body weight, running style and surfaces on which you train.
*It’s also important to resume your usual activities gradually. If your shin isn’t completely healed, returning to your usual activities may only cause continued pain.
PREVENTING SHIN SPLINTS:
- Choose the right shoes. As previously mentioned, wear footwear that suits your sport and replace them as necessary.
- Lessen the impact. Cross-train with a sport that places less of an impact on your shins, such as swimming or biking. Start new activities slowly and increase time and intensity gradually.
- Add strength training to your workout. Try foot strengthening along with calf raises. You can perform this exercise with added resistance by sitting on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you. Loop a wide resistance band around your toes. Flex your toes toward you and extend outwards for 2-3 sets of 10 reps. Leg presses and other exercises for your lower legs can be helpful as well.
Seattle Athletic Club Downtown fitness programs incorporate athletic training to build strength, endurance, and agility. Training this way strengthens joints, tendons and connective tissues along with the major muscle groups. Strong muscle attachments and joints that can bear the stress of heavy training are essential in the prevention of injuries. However, even the fittest athlete can encounter wear and tear problems! By taking the right steps, you can minimize the pain and long term effects and get back to your normal routine in no time!
Fitness Advice, Fitness Programs, Running, Sports Conditioning, Triathlon & Multisport
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Most SAC members new to exercise may think that their biggest issue to becoming more fit will be getting the motivation to work out more and become more active in general; but in reality a more common problem is the exact opposite… overtraining. Overtraining is when the volume, load, or repetition causes the negative effects (chronic soreness, joint ailments, etc) of exercise to outweigh the positives. This occurs whenever quality of motion is not the priority.
For some reason most gym goers have a set weight, mileage, rep number, or time that they MUST get to achieve their fitness goals. Focusing on such things and disregarding your quality of motion will eventually catch up to you. No matter if it is weight lifting, running, or yoga, too many movements without competent form will have a negative effect on your musculoskeletal system. Executing any movement without biomechanical efficiency will cause one muscle group, or more, to do way more work that it was designed to. If your back is rounded under a barbell back squat your low back will take the brunt of the movement. If you are not landing softly when you run, the bones and muscles in the feet and ankle will pay the price. This will initially cause some soreness from the overworked muscle. Sore muscles are muscles that are dehydrated and unable to lengthen and contract in a flowing manner. Continuing to stress these sore muscles not only promotes improper mechanics but also invites injury. Whatever calorie burn or muscle pump you achieve in that particular workout will be overshadowed by the damage you do to your body.
The brutal irony is that an over trained individual is bound and determined to improve their overall health and they are in fact speeding up the aging process. One of the first images that come to mind when the word “old” is mentioned is a hunched over, stiff and shuffling figure. Unfortunately age isn’t the only contributing factor to this type of appearance. Faulty movements such as poor running and lifting mechanics can “age” the human body past its years. So all the hours spent in the gym in hopes to slow down the hands of time can actually be speeding them up.
The most disconcerting thing about overtraining is an over trained individual is hardly aware of their condition. Here are some clear cut signs that someone is over trained…
1) Chronic Soreness
This is a huge red flag that your posture and movements leave a lot to be desired. “No pain, no gain” holds absolutely no water. Soreness means you lacked the skill and strength to perform your movements competently. Soreness is expected when you switch activities, increase load, or mileage. This shouldn’t be a constant condition.
2) Decrease in Performance
Are your mile times getting slower? Is your bench press going down in weight? The point of training is to increase performance. If you are not progressing in your activity you are just abusing your body. If your performance is lacking continuing to train in the same manner will only worsen the matter.
3) Lack of Energy
Are you plodding through your runs? Do your arms feel like lead when you try and lift your weights? Do you feel wiped out after each workout? If you answered “yes” to any of the above consider yourself over trained.
So before you throw in the towel and quit the gym, take a deep breath and relax. There is hope. Avoiding overtraining is a rather straight forward process. Just follow these three simple rules to recover from and avoid overtraining.
1) GET COACHED
Every mode of exercise deserves respect. There is a reason there are Yoga and Pilates instructors and weight lifting and running coaches. These professionals don’t get credentials for merely participating in their craft for “x” amount of time. They know each movement they teach inside and out. In addition they are capable of transferring that knowledge to a wide variety of clientele. If you aren’t getting the desired effect from your current activities get professional help. A trainer or instructor can make adjustments to technique and programming that can often dig you out of your current training rut.
2) EARN YOUR INTENSITY
Do not just add more weight to your squat just to lift more weight. Add weight only when the current weight you are lifting can be performed with meticulous form. Don’t just add miles to your running route. Only add mileage when you can finish your current distance with some speed and grace. Exercise isn’t about loading up the weight or running farther; it is about mastering your movements and becoming a more efficient moving human being. If the load your lifting compromises your form or if your feel like you are plodding through you current mileage STOP!!! Only advance when you have earned it with skill, poise and power.
3) REST AND RECOVER
The body needs time to recuperate. Though this amount of time will differ from athlete to athlete it is always a must. If you are feeling tired and lethargic take a day or two off. Take that time to foam roll, stretch, get some down time and relax. A fully recovered body can perform at peak levels. Coming back strong in the gym far outweighs plodding through seven days a week of mediocre workouts.
When it comes to our health, most of us would do anything to keep it. Sometimes this creates a drive to do as much as possible all the time, creating an over-trained body feeling chronic soreness, with decreased performance and energy levels. Take a step back and look at your current exercise regime, if you see any or all of these happening try getting a coached, master your form before increasing the load and make sure you give your body ample time to rest and repair itself. If you have any questions please feel free to contact any of the Seattle Athletic Club’s Fitness staff or contact the Fitness Director Jacob Galloway.
Cardio Training, Cycling, Fitness Advice, Running, Sports Conditioning, Squash, Strength Training, Swimming, Triathlon & Multisport
10k, 5k, agility, athletic training, overtraining, recovery, Runner, Strength, Training, Triathlete
Are you one of those people who keep doing the same exact workout that you have always done and wonder why you’re not seeing the results you want to see? Well, you’re not alone. I find that most people will stay with the same workout week after week, month after month and even year after year. It’s great that they have such a commitment to their workouts, and they are staying healthier than if they didn’t workout at all, but they could be reaching much better results if they integrated change to their workouts.
To find better results, you need to first ask yourself “what are my goals?” If you don’t have any workout goals you will be lost in the gym – idling at your current level of fitness. Keep your goals simple and SMART. SMART stands for: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timed. Example: “I want to lose 15 lbs. in 3 months.” The example fits all of the SMART criteria.
Now that you have a goal, write it down and keep it somewhere you’ll see everyday or set a daily reminder on your computer or phone. This way you’ll be reminded of your goal each day and not lose site of where you are heading. From this point, the burden of making your goal a reality is upon your shoulders. If you really want to reach a goal then don’t let anything or anyone stand in your way. Be accountable for your goals.
Second, you need to ask yourself “am I working hard enough to reach my goals or am I just doing what I need to do to get 30 minutes done on the treadmill?” I find most people are doing the latter. If you only put in the same amount of effort every time you workout, you will only find the results to be mediocre at best. If you’re trying to lose 15 lbs. in 3 months, the same mediocre workout isn’t going to work for you. You need to change it up and get serious about elevating your fitness level.
Instead of getting on the EFX at a resistance of 6 and zoning out for the next 20-30 minutes try the rower, or consider the track and the stairs or an interval workout on the EFX. Whatever you choose, the workout should be challenging and out of your comfort zone; but it shouldn’t kill you either – so be aware of the level of intensity you are aiming for. The change is just what your body needs when you have hit a plateau. When you first start working out it’s tough on your body, but in a short time you start to feel better and you start to see results from your hard work. The workout is something new to your body and it’s reacting well. But after a few weeks of the same routine your body is used to the workout and isn’t challenged anymore and the gains you saw earlier are dwindling (except that you are still in good health). Now you need to increase the amount of work you do during your workout – change it up. You can increase the amount of time you spend on the treadmill and/or increase the resistance or speed of the machine you use. It’s time to put a little more effort into your workout.
Interval training is great for getting you outside of your comfort zone. Basically, you have a work interval (30 sec. – 5 min.) followed by a rest interval. The rest interval can be 1-2 minute break to get some water and to catch your breath before you do your next work interval (passive recovery) or just slowing the treadmill down to a walk or slow jog for a 1 – 5 (active recovery). This will be exactly the change your body needs.
The same thing goes in the weight room. Try different lifts (especially if you haven’t done anything new in years), change the number of sets you do, change the number of repetitions you do and/or increase the amount of weight you lift. Your muscles won’t get any stronger if you don’t overload the muscle and challenge them. I know a lot of you are nervous about “getting too big.” Being stronger has nothing to do with getting bigger and it takes a lot of hard work and a high calorie diet for one to really “get big” from weight lifting. Rule of thumb: muscle hypertrophy = 3-8 reps, strength/power = 8-12 reps, and muscular endurance = >12 reps.
Third, if you need some assistance with changing up your workout, try a session with a personal fitness trainer at the club. If you need your car worked on you take it to a mechanic. The same should pattern applies to working on your fitness; trainers have the knowledge and the skills to put you on the right track to reach your goals. Having a trainer set up a workout will make your time in the gym time well spent and get you results quicker and safer.
Again, the changes to your workout will help your body get past your exercise plateau. In order to get stronger and become fit your body needs to be challenged and keep your muscles guessing. If you start to change up your workouts every 4 – 8 weeks you should never reach a plateau and you will reach your goals.
Now that you have the tools you need to overcome your exercise plateau, go out there and get it done. Set your goals. Change up your workout. Put in some hard work and have fun! If you have any question please don’t hesitate to contact me, or any of the other personal fitness trainers, at the club.
Cardio Training, Fitness Advice, Health News, Lifestyle, Motivation, Running, Sports Conditioning, Strength Training, Swimming, Triathlon & Multisport, Weight Loss, Women's Health
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“A stretching and shortening exercise that combines strength and speed to achieve maximum power in functional movements”
When the term Plyometrics is mentioned jumping comes to mind. Although this is a staple in any plyometric program; jumping is just one of the countless ways to train in this fashion. Plyometric movements are any movement that generates power and maintains momentum by shortening and lengthening the muscles and tendons in an elastic manner. Jumping, throwing, skipping, and even dancing are considered plyometric movements.
In the world of commercial fitness using momentum is often frowned upon and looked at as “cheating”. This misconception is due to the popularity of conventional weight training (barbells, dumbbells, etc). Conventional weight training predominantly is geared toward strengthening the muscle belly through the concept of overload. You place a muscle group under load (ex: bicep curl) and have this muscle group work in an isolated fashion with a linear and segmented movement. These conventional movements allow you to mobilize the load without the help of momentum or any elastic power. Though this does increase the strength and size of the muscle belly it doesn’t strengthen the connective tissue (tendons).
Tendons, the connective tissue that connects muscle to bone, strengthen with flowing and fast movement. Movements with adequate speed and length stimulate the nervous system which sends a signal to tendons and muscles to shorten back to their original length. This rapid lengthening and shortening happens so quickly it often looks effortless and graceful. Elite sprinters and classically trained ballet dancers are excellent examples of this. These type of movements are not only beneficial for tendon strength and health but they also are essential in any athletic training program. A competent plyometric program develops a flexible, fast, strong and efficient moving human being.
With that being said, training with plyometrics is something to approached with caution and ideally under the watchful eye of a qualified fitness professional (preferably short and bald). The length and speed needed for these movements require an adequate amount of strength, flexibility, and coordination; and training beyond your limits (too fast or too far) can cause extreme soreness and in some cases injury. When starting on a plyometric training program always follow these 3 simple rules:
1) Establish Kinetic Order
Move in correct kinetic order. Feet, Legs, Hips, Trunk, Torso, then Arms.
Think of the body like a whip. Most movements generate their power from the feet. From there the power flows through the body and out the arms. This not only maximizes your potential power but it also ensures the no one body part takes the brunt of the movement.
2) Establish Flow
No matter if you are jumping rope, throwing a ball, or running; strive for flowing continuous movement. With unloaded human movement (no weights or external objects) there is a constant ebb and flow between all the muscles of the body. As power travels through the body, effort is handed off from one muscle to the next (again like a whip) in a flowing continuous manner. Start things off slow until you feel like there is no end and no beginning to your movements. Then and only then is it time to pick up the tempo.
3) Pick Up the Speed
Once you have established Kintetic Order and Flow, pick up the speed. Though your movements will become more explosive at this point make sure to always make rule 1) Kinetic Order and 2) Establish Flow are your priority. Without those two rules in place your quality of movement will suffer. Speed, load or volume without the presence of quality movement = damage to the muscle and tendon. Once you have mastered all three steps expect your flexibility, strength and speed to increase dramatically.
Here are some great examples of beginner plyometric exercises:
- Jump Rope
- Arm Swinging
- Stair Hops
If you have any questions about plyometric training please feel free to contact:
206-443-1111 ext 284
Cardio Training, Sports Conditioning, Strength Training
agility, exercise, Kinetic Chain, Plyometrics, Sports Science Lab, Training
Unfortunately there are some common misnomers about sprinting.
- Bad for the joints and muscles
- Doesn’t help with weight loss
- Doesn’t train the cardiovascualar sytem
- Only young people and athletes should do them
In reality sprinting drills are one of the most effective methods of increasing your fitness level and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Whether you are biking, rowing or running doing repeated bouts of short distances at high speed can do wonders for your heart, lungs, muscle tone, joint health and waist line.
Contrary to popular belief the cardio vascular systems isn’t inactive at short distances. With continuous, fast and flowing motions your heart and lungs have to work overtime to circulate blood to your working muscles. The cardiovascular system wasn’t designed to work in isolation. With sprinting there is a constant eb and flow between your anaerobic and aerobic systems. The muscles and connective tissue create, absorb and redistribute power while the aerobic system fuels the body with oxygen and blood. When challenged with short distances and high speeds the cardiovascular system is forced to pick up its game to fuel these intense bouts of exercise. Your energy systems respond very well to intensity not just volume.
SPRINTS AND WEIGHT LOSS
Have you ever peered down at the calorie counter on the treadmill and have your heart sink? All that work and you haven’t burned close to the amount of calories you wanted to. With sprinting the calorie burning doesn’t stop when you stop. With the increased demand of high intensity training your metabolism is working even when the workout is over. If you don’t believe me run a quarter mile as fast as you can then rest. If you can run with any inkling of speed I guarantee you will be huffing and puffing even after your stop running. The more intense your sprinting workouts are the longer your metabolic rate stays elevated afterwards.
The connective tissue (tendons and ligaments) gain strength when exposed to rapid and flowing ranges of motion. The fluid and buoyant movement of a competent sprinter gets the nervous system fired up which sends a signal to your connective tissue to expand and contract quickly. This creates power and momentum that travels through the muscles propelling you through space. These elastic movements strengthen the ligaments and tendons which enables them to fire faster and more efficiently. Slow and plodding movements can actually wear away and damage them over time. If you want to keep those joints healthy pick up the pace.
OLDER THE BETTER
Often sprinting is looked at as a young persons activity. This is hardly the case. In my mind the older you are the more you should be working on your sprinting. Some of the many attributes that decline with age are flexibility, strength and power. With decent sprinting technique you can develop and improve on all those attributes. Plodding your way through a slow, moderately paced workout for an hour will not slow down this process. If you train slow you will move slow outside of the gym as well. Training with fast and flowing motions will combat the aging process by training your body to move with long and fluid movements.
RUN, SWIM, ROW OR WHAT???
Sprinting workouts can involve many different modes of exercise. Running, rowing, biking and swimming can be great activities to use in a bout of sprints. Make sure to pick an activity that you are already competent in. If you are a horrible swimmer now is not the time to start torpedoing across the pool. Find a cardio machine or mode of exercise that you can move with at least some fluidity. The goal isn’t muscle fatigue. The goal to finish your allotted distance with speed and grace.
HOW LONG HOW FAR?
When picking a distance and amount of sprints to do be smart. Pick a distance and set number you can finish with fluidity and speed and competent form. If you start thrashing in the pool or you sounds like a 3 legged elephant on the treadmill you probably have gone too far or have done too many rounds. You can start with as little as 100m run or 1 lap in the pool. The distance doesn’t matter. Your quality of motion and the speed in which you perform trumps volume and mileage any day. A good rule of thumb is “When the power and speed decline it is time to stop”.
HOW LONG DO I REST IN BETWEEN ROUNDS?
Allow yourself up to 3 minutes in between rounds. If you are moving with any kind of speed you will need and appreciate the time off. You want to be as fresh as possible when you sprint. Focus on how fast you finish not whether you keep going. If you feel like you do not need the rest your speed , strength and technique need some improvement. Keep in mind these are not intervals. Finish your distance as fast and as fluid as possible, rest, then do it again.
Here are a few simple sprinting workouts I take most of my clients through while at the Club:
4 rounds/ 200m row / 2 minute break in between rounds
6 rounds / sprint up LENORA (hill outside) / 2-3 minute break between rounds
4 rounds / Box Push (to COKE machine and back) / 2-3 minute break between rounds
Cardio Training, Fitness Advice, Running, Sports Conditioning, Triathlon & Multisport
agility, Barefoot, Kinetic Chain, running, Running Mechanics, Sports Science Lab, Sprinting, Training
Recently there has been a lot of attention drawn to a barefoot running. Though I am huge advocate of this there are many many things that need to be considered when deciding to toss your shoes aside and pound the pavement. Though this can improve speed, posture and overall fitness it also requires a good amount of skill, technique and most of all patience.
Kenyans are widely known as some of the best runners in the world. In addition to a lifestyle free of spine compressing chairs they are barefoot all of their lives. Years of walking around without shoes builds tremendous foot strength. This equates to solid body mechanics and an amazing ability to run with power, speed and grace. These are not the hunched over shufflers you drive by down by greenlake. They looked like gazelles as they float over the ground at amazing speeds. This is all done without $100 “athletic shoes” and no coaching or training.
After seeing such a thing or reading books like “Born to Run” you may be tempted to dump your nikes in the trash and go run a 5k. Before you do so you might want to take a step back. Assuming you grew up wearing shoes this may not be the wisest course of action. Without years and years of naturally developing foot strength this might be suicide for your foot health. This is the equivalent to tossing an infant under a fully loaded barbell and telling them to do a set of squats (trust me I’ve tried this). An untrained foot isn’t prepared to receive and redistribute the combined force of your body weight, inertia and gravity. Doing so will guarantee a good bout of soreness and quite possible an injury.
So how is this done properly and safely ? Barefoot running (or Ball of the foot mechanics) is a dichotomy onto itself. Although it is how the body was naturally designed to run it is a complex movement dependant on all the parts of the body functioning fluidly and properly. Due to the lack of muscle tissue in the heel a barefoot runner lands on the ball of the foot and big toe. This allows the athelete to absorb the impact starting with the big toe (the powerhouse of the foot) and through the calf. The nervous system responds to this impact and gently bounces the ankle into plantar flexion (pointing of the toe and ankle) sending the momentum up through the leg and the rest of the body. This fires the leg up like a piston and at near max speeds the foot nearly makes contact with the backside of your hips (booty to the lamen). This “unusual” height of the stride is often misconstrued as stride length. To properly do this the foot must land under the hip, not in front as most shoe bearing athletes will do. To ensure the muscles of the spine can transfer and absorb the impact the pelvis must be level requiring a competent and symmetrically strong core. To continue the momentum created by the lower body the scapula must be pulled down and back with the chest out and relaxed. This allows for proper shoulder mechanics as the arms swing chin to ribs and spine subtly rotates side to side.
Believe it or not that was a very truncated version of all that happens in a barefoot running stride. Though this is an amazing, healthly and effective way to run without years of shoeless living and proper coaching this might not be the best thing to jump (or run) into blindly. Here are few things to think about if barefoot running has crept into your fitness radar.
Unless you have injuries or specific issues in your feet flexible shoes are a must. Start wearing them around the house, for short walks and mundane tasks. This gives your feet room to move without the confining frame of a conventional shoe. Overtime your feet will start to wake up and function as they were meant to. As you get used to your new foot wear try them at the gym during your strength routines and non impart activities. If your feet seem to be accustomed to your new foot wear try them out for short distances at a time. This a great way to baby step your way into barefoot activity.
There is a reason I mention this twice. For some reason the running community has it in their head that you need to run at least 3 miles to call it a workout. Running, especially barefoot running is a complex and often elusive skill set. Developing this takes time and patience. Start with 100m (1 lap around the track) for 4 sets with 2 minute breaks in between. Focusing on a soft landing and keeping your posture in line. If you hear your feet pounding on the ground or feel jarring contractions in your foot and calve STOP! As with any sophisticated sports movement pain isn’t something you want to power through. Trust your instincts. If it doesn’t feel natural or flowing it probably isn’t. Adjust your landing, try different speeds, experiment with anything you can that might make your stride more efficient. Don’t worry about your heart rate or burning calories. Save that for a motion or mode of exercise that you already have competency in that won’t put your joint health at risk.
Hiring a running coach was probably one of the smartest things I’ve ever done. Trust me, the image in your head of how you run is nowhere near to how you actually do in real life. Having someone watch, video and critique you is invaluable. Even if your coach isn’t a professional having an objective set of eyes or someone to video you will give you solid feedback as to what needs improvement. Though video footage hardly every flattering it is cold hard evidence what is actually occurring when your foot hits the ground.
Join Sports Science Lab Training Classes
These group and individual sessions will strengthen your body and increase your athleticism starting with the most important part of the body..The Feet. With unique training devices such as balance disks, slant boards and balance pipes develop powerful, healthy and athletic feet. Strong feet = Good Posture, Faster Running, Higher Jumping and more!!!
Fitness Advice, Running, Sports Conditioning
agility, Barefoot, Kinetic Chain, Running Mechanics, Sports Science Lab, Training
When the word “athletic” comes to mind I envision an individual who is competent in all aspects of fitness (strength, flexibility, endurance, agility and coordination). Though excelling at all of these is a rare and difficult task, being competent in each of them builds an amazing foundation for a healthy and active life.
On the other end of the spectrum, neglecting one or more of these components can be a detriment to your performance and health. Being incredibly strong but inflexible is the cause of many overuse injuries (tendonitis, arthritis, etc). Being flexible and lacking strength can lead to the exact same ailments. Concentrating on endurance alone (i.e.: running or swimming) without a proper base of strength and flexibility will cause hormone imbalances and will wreak havoc on your joints.
Through creating a foundation in all these areas seems difficult, but here at the Seattle Athletic Club we offer a myriad of classes and opportunities to become the “Perfect Athlete”. With a wide variety of group classes, you can easily add several tools to your fitness arsenal with no additional cost. If you want to take things to the next level, any of our highly qualified Personal Fitness Trainers can help you fill in any gaps you may have in your regimen.
Here are a few examples of how to develop each component.
- Weight Training
- Bodyweight Exercises
- Resistance Bands
- Band Stretching
- Active Range of Motion (Leg swings, etc)
- Circuit Training
- Martial Arts
Agility + Coordination
- Jump Rope
- Olympic Lifting
- Martial Arts
If you have any questions or want more information please take advantage of our educated staff to help guide you with your fitness needs.
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