Sport psychology is dubbed the “science of success” because it studies the four mental toughness skills—motivation, confidence, concentration, and emotional and physiological control—that athletes use consistently, in conjunction with training and nutrition, to give them the ultimate performance edge. Whether you are a personal trainer, group fitness instructor, coach or mind-body wellness professional, the information, tools and techniques discussed here will help your clients to enhance their performance and give them the best shot at realizing their true potential.
The Great Recession forced the U.S. economy through a bruising workout in a fight to survive, and after the first shocks had rattled the system, the country suffered the equivalent of a massive dose of delayed-onset muscle soreness. Pain spread gradually, sidelining the vulnerable. While most workers picked themselves up, unfortunately many Americans are still struggling to make gains or even to find jobs.
After working with an older adult (aged 82–92) for 10 years, I was troubled to discover that she had begun having difficulty getting out of the waiting room chair before embarking on our weekly Pilates session. What was I missing? She had faithfully completed Reformer Footwork, Eve’s Lunge and Side Splits, as well as Standing Leg Pumps on the Wunda chair, each week. Why was she continuing to lose leg strength?
When Tanya Colucci, MS, trains clients, she pulls from many different resources to offer the best results possible. Owner of Tanya Colucci Myofascial Release Therapy in Bluffton, South Carolina, Colucci believes in an integrative mind-body approach, which appears to resonate with many people. Case in point: client Aileen Worthington, age 71, who has osteoporosis.
If you don’t already have one strapped around your wrist, you probably know someone who does. Smartwatches and wearable activity trackers are stepping up in popularity, and so are fitness-related mobile apps.
Suspension exercise combines body weight and anchored, seatbelt-like straps to provide an alternative to free weights and machines. The question on a lot of trainers's minds is whether these strap-based training systems work as well as more traditional resistance training tools. Though research into this question has been somewhat sparse, studies are starting to paint a picture of effective ways to integrate suspension exercise into a workout program.
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Exercise guidelines call for people with osteoporosis to avoid flexing or twisting the spine (National Osteoporosis Foundation 2015). This makes training the core a little more challenging. Planks (side and prone) and bridges are both great options, but they can get boring. The exercises below safely target the core without spinal flexion or twisting.
Stand sideways to wall, hands centered on stability ball. Arms are straight, at shoulder level. Press hands into ball, and tap each foot back (alternate).