The body of evidence in favor of self-myofascial release (SMR) techniques has been steadily growing. Research has shown that SMR can increase joint mobility and range of motion and reduce muscle soreness. It is used by personal trainers, athletic trainers and physical therapists alike to prevent and treat injuries in clients.Read More
When it comes to integrated stretching, the TRX® Suspension Trainer™ is a helpful tool. Stretching can often feel somewhat passive; however, the game changes when you hold straps or attach them to your feet. Our bodies move in patterns, not in isolation, so why not enhance that concept and include this equipment in your cooldowns?Read More
If you’ve been teaching group fitness classes for any length of time, you’ve likely experienced the dreaded student walkout. It’s the end of class—and time to stretch—and a portion of the class members start putting away equipment and heading for the door. Participants in certain classes are guiltier than others (cycling instructors, are you nodding in agreement?).Read More
Whether you’re the owner of a large gym, a small-studio entrepreneur, a mobile personal trainer, or a yoga or Pilates specialist, a basic tenet of keeping your edge sharp with clients is to shake things up frequently enough that they (and you!) don’t get bored. Certainly, that means changing your programming regularly, but it also means looking at your equipment with fresh eyes and considering some new tools for experimentation—all while being judicious about your budget.Read More
When you think of the gallbladder, two things likely come to mind: It’s located in the right abdomen, and it’s associated with painful gallstones. But, typically, little attention goes to this small organ working quietly behind the scenes during digestion.Read More
Anxious, fatigued, unhappy, uncertain? We’ve all been there, all known times when our emotional hot buttons take over. We swear to ourselves that this time we will overcome those emotions and stay committed to our goal, but when it doesn’t work, we react with indulgent self-gratification. “I had such a long day, and I just don’t feel like going to the gym today,” or “I’ve already fallen off the wagon, so I’ll just eat what I want and start again on Monday.”Read More
Kate Watson, Executive Managing Editor, Publications
Apart from the founders themselves, no one has worked for IDEA longer than Kate. She joined the company in 1991 and has been editing the publications ever since! Kate has always appreciated language: As a student, she learned French, German, Latin and a little Russian, and all that training (along with years of writing experience) laid the groundwork for a career spent shaping words.Read More
A few weeks ago, I purged my extensive collection of cookbooks to make way for new ones. Like the 30 or so I just weeded from the mix, the new books will be learned from, splattered upon and well-loved until I’ve extracted all of their goodness.Read More
Indoor cycling remains one of the hottest formats; it’s still credited with being a turnkey class that introduces men to the group exercise schedule. One reason indoor cycling is still viable is that it’s always reinventing itself. Over the past 20 years, it has evolved and survived many changes: new bike options, top-line educational programs and metric technology, to name a few. Currently, fusion classes are trending, and boutique studios are marketing their unique claims to a total-body workout.Read More
Forearm plank, side plank, plank with hip dips—all are group exercise favorites. The plank is one of the most familiar and effective choices for core work, and it’s an easy addition. However, how many times can you program that same old plank? Fortunately, with a little creativity, a basic plank can be amazingly versatile. Just add simple movements and a little resistance to make an already challenging move even more interesting and effective.
The following variations are best for participants who can hold a plank with
good form for at least a minute.
Exceptional group fitness instructors are influential. But is their influence an outcome of great instruction or its origin? When group fitness pros apply for a job, practical teaching skills and knowledge of exercise and movement top the list of “must-haves,” so what about social media influence? Is it relevant? It’s becoming more commonplace to judge group fitness candidates on their social media presence, but should this be the case?Read More
You’re a forward-thinking, highly skilled professional who works tirelessly to Inspire the World to Fitness®. After hustling for clients, teaching countless classes and paying bills, the question is, what do you do for yourself to make sure the passion that drove you to become a fitness leader continues to burn bright?Read More
It’s time for Americans to shift their focus from calories, macronutrients and micronutrients to taste, culture and mindfulness. After all, our preoccupation with dieting and health fads has us restricting foods, chasing unsustainable weight loss goals and feeling bad about our nutrition choices—but all we have to show for it is rising rates of overweight, obesity, diabetes and heart disease.Read More
STUDIES REVIEWED: Cormie, P., McGuigan, M.R., & Newton, R.U. 2011a. Developing maximal neuromuscular power: Part 1—Biological basis of maximal power production. Sports Medicine, 41 (1), 17–38.
Cormie, P., McGuigan, M.R., & Newton, R.U. 2011b. Developing maximal neuromuscular power: Part 2—Training considerations for improving maximal power production. Sports Medicine, 41 (2), 125–46.Read More
Want to keep your heartbeat strong? Then don’t skimp on antioxidants. A study last year found that people whose diets had the highest antioxidant capacity—a measure of how well foods can thwart cell-damaging free radicals—had about a 22% lower risk of all-cause mortality and a 17% lower risk of cardiovascular disease over 13 years than those whose diet packed the weakest antioxidant punch. That study, reported in the European Journal of Nutrition, used dietary data from 23,595 U.S. adults.Read More