NEW LIFESTYLES Inc., a company committed to fostering healthy lifestyles, is attempting to stir the public to fitness through one central philosophy: Take 10,000 steps every day. The company asserts that doing that can do wonders for one’s health by burning 2,000 to 3,500 extra calories per week, increasing one’s levels of HDL (“good”) cholesterol and providing other benefits.
Because load theoretically increases as mechanical advantage increases, the addition of chains or elastic bands to conventional barbell squats had been thought to boost the loading during the ascent phase, but no research had confirmed this notion. A study published in the November 2002 issue of the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research shows that such a modification is essentially pointless.
It has been only 2 years since IDEA began tracking the popularity of core conditioning classes versus conventional abdominals classes on our annual Fitness Programs & Equipment Survey. In that short time span, the number of fitness facilities offering core conditioning jumped from 61 percent in 2001 to 72 percent in 2002 (see the October 2002 issue of IDEA Fitness Manager). With the recent proliferation of new core equipment, including items like the Reebok Core Board and the BOSU Balance Trainer, core conditioning is proving as popular as fitness-based yoga and Pilates.
If you have promoted stability ball exercises for strength training, you may want to adjust your recommendation. A study published in the August 2002 issue of the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research suggests that they may not be so effective in this regard.