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Programs & Equipment

The Science of Suspension Exercise

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.

Top Five Technology Roadblocks for Personal Training Staff

Gone are the days when all that your personal training department needed in order to stay ahead of the curve was a gym full of the latest fitness equipment and a team armed with clipboards, stopwatches and maybe a heart rate monitor or two. Now there’s a barrage of fitness technology, such as wearable activity trackers and mobile apps. Many fitness managers are contemplating if, when and how to formally integrate these new tech tools into personal training services.

Kettlebells and Cardiovascular Improvements

Despite being around for quite some time—the International Union of Kettlebell Lifting suggests their origin can be traced to Ancient Greece—kettlebells have become a popular “trend.” But is all the fuss surrounding kettlebell training sound?

The Parkour Phenomenon

Parkour gyms have seen increased demand as the training protocol has been featured more and more in films and commercials. The increasing popularity of American Ninja Warrior also helps, observes Ryan Ford, cofounder of APEX Movement, which now has five locations.

Which Is Best for Hormones: The Bar or the Machine?

Testosterone and growth hormone are associated with strength and muscle gains. But what is the best training method for eliciting an acute hormone response? A study published in the Journal of the National Strength and Conditioning Association (2104; 28 [4], 1032–40) contributes to this debate.

Raising the Bar

Asymmetrical bar training (ABT) can help clients enhance their sense of balance while improving their core strength and rotational power.

Two Great Pilates Foot-Training Tools

Joseph Pilates designed two spring-loaded tools for strengthening and maintaining mobility in the ankles, feet and toes. His foot corrector and toe tensometer may not be the best-known Pilates devices, but today’s rapidly evolving exercise industry offers many solid reasons to give these clever tools a second look.

How To Be A Sound Friend

As a group fitness instructor, you are the first line of defense when it comes to sound safety. Excessive noise can not only drive away customers but can also damage the ear drum.

Use the following tips to make sure you and your fitness facility are staying within safe sound-level parameters.

Props for a Great Pilates Workout

Pilates instructors know that the key to a stimulating workout is to challenge students by mixing things up, and small props are effective tools for injecting variety.

The Spine Corrector and Pilates Arc

The Pilates spine corrector (also known as the step barrel, or Pilates arc) is a small, adaptable Pilates apparatus that can enhance any workout. In this article, we’ll explore different types of arcs and suggest various uses for each piece. Most clients love the variety of exercises the arc accommodates, and they also enjoy the extra mind-body challenge when a familiar mat exercise is transferred to the arc’s rounded surface.

Medicine Ball Moves for the Core

Did you know that training your core (your body minus arms and legs) is important to maintaining a healthy, strong body? Looking for some new core exercises? Want to add new “twists” to core exercises using fundamental, but often underused, equipment?
Medicine balls have been around for years and are a staple in boxing and sports performance communities. If you’d like to incorporate medicine balls into your workout program, check out these variations from Dan Bettcher, MS, a Muay Thai practitioner and cofounder of KOR Strength and Conditioning in San Diego.

Core Progressions on the Reformer

The core plays an essential role in everyday activities. It facilitates movement and assists with posture, stabilization and support. Learning to use the core as a dynamic center is the key to efficient, safe and balanced movement.

Biomechanics of Running In Various Conditions

Barefoot running has become increasingly popular. Many runners turn to minimalist footwear in the hope of mimicking barefoot running, but with more protection. But is running in minimalist shoes biomechanically similar to going barefoot?
No, say researchers from various Australian universities.

The Benefits of Kettlebells

Over the past several years, kettlebells have emerged (or reemerged) as a prominent fixture in fitness facilities. But are these crude tools worth their pood?*
To learn about the benefits of kettlebells, researchers enlisted by the American Council on Exercise studied 30 participants, who were divided into two groups—an exercise group and a nonexercise control group. Prior to the trials, the exercisers completed two introductory kettlebell sessions to
learn form and technique; they practiced one- and two-handed swings, snatches and other movements.

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