Every time you take a step, your piriformis muscles help to keep your stride in good form.
The piriformis is a flat, pyramid-shaped muscle in the gluteal region (you have one on each side of the body). Located behind the gluteus maximus, the piriformis attaches to the base of the spine (the sacrum) on one end and to the top of the femur, the trochanter, on the other end (Kenhub 2019; Chang, Jeno & Varacallo 2019).Read More
By now, you’ve heard that “sitting is the new smoking.” It’s a catchy phrase with a powerful message: A sedentary lifestyle can impact your health—and not in a good way.
Consider your average client. She takes time to exercise (which is so good!) But, her other 23 hours are likely seated. She drives to work, appointments, shopping centers, the gym and then likely relaxes with screen time.
It’s 2 a.m. Your 3-month-old son is screaming at the top of his tiny lungs, waking up everyone in the household. Begrudgingly, you get out of bed and zombie-walk over to your son’s crib in the next room. Your body aches, you haven’t slept in days, and now you must bend over to pick up a squirming child in the dead of night. Unfortunately, your son’s not a great strength coach and doesn’t allot enough warmup time to prepare your body for a deadlift.Read More
Strength training (or resistance training) does much more than build strong muscles and bones. Research in the past few years has confirmed that lifting weights changes human metabolism in ways that improve health and well-being. Resistance exercise improves resting metabolic rate and cardiorespiratory fitness. Indeed, some authors call strength training an exercise therapy program (Strasser & Schobersberger 2011).Read More
How much do you know about your scalene muscles? If you just tilted your head in confusion, you can attribute that simple movement, in part, to your scalenes, three pairs of muscular tissue that flank the sides of the neck.
Anterior scalenes, on the front side of the neck, connect the third through sixth cervical vertebrae to the first rib.Read More
When your participants ask about their core muscles, they’re most likely referring to the lauded “six-pack.” As a fitness instructor, you may think about transversus abdominis, obliques and pelvic-floor muscles. But almost everyone tends to forget about the diaphragm.Read More
Many studies show that cardiorespiratory fitness improvements boost brain fitness in later life. New research in the Journal of Applied Physiology (2019; doi:10.1152/japplphysiol.01046.2018) reveals that effects may differ between men and women.Read More
It’s not over in 9 months. A new mother’s body keeps changing long after the baby arrives. Hormonal shifts, breastfeeding and risks like pelvic organ prolapse (see “3 Issues for Postpartum Exercisers,” below) complicate the weeks and months after childbirth.Read More
Resistance training volume (RTV) is the total amount of work performed during a session of lifting; in other words, RTV = reps x sets x load (the product of repetitions times number of sets times intensity of load) (Figueiredo, de Salles & Trajano 2018). Any one of these variables can be adjusted to increase volume in a resistance training (RT) program. For example, you can increase RTV by performing extra sets of an exercise, adding more repetitions or increasing the weight being lifted.Read More
Eating more protein than your body needs won’t make you sprout more muscles, but it also seems unlikely to impair kidney functioning, according to research in the Journal of Nutrition. In a systematic review and meta-analysis of previous trials, Canadian researchers at McMaster University in Ontario and the University of Waterloo, Ontario, found no evidence that the glomerular filtration rate—an indicator of kidney function—is noticeably different among healthy adults who consume a higher-protein diet (1.5-plus grams per kilogramRead More
Eight in ten American adults and adolescents do not move enough! This alarming finding from Department of Health and Human Services 2018 research wholeheartedly underscores Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans (2nd edition) recommendations to move more and sit less. Physical activity helps all of us to feel, function and sleep better, and decreases risk of many chronic diseases. We urgently need more aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities, along with greater variety of movement.Read More
As a fitness pro, you no doubt value the restorative properties of professional massage. However, finding time for a massage may sometimes be difficult. That’s why it’s helpful to use self-care massage tools for preventing or treating pain or imbalances in the body. While these tools don’t provide “massage” as such (and can’t replace a professional therapist), the best ones offer some of the same benefits.Read More
Tennis is one of the most popular sports in the world. In the U.S. alone, there are almost 18 million players, with another 14 million expressing interest (TIA 2018). Unfortunately, the dynamic, forceful twists and turns of the game pose ever-present injury risks to players (Roetert & Kovacs 2011).Read More
We do this every moment of the day; it can help us relax, and it speeds up when we exert ourselves—all without so much as a thought. Inhale. Exhale. Breathe! This important gas exchange, which keeps us alive, can only happen thanks to the miraculous work of the lungs.Read More
6-week Pilates program improved core muscle endurance and hamstring flexibility among adolescents between 9 and 19 years with a history of back pain. Research findings from a preliminary study published in Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice (2019; doi:10.1016/j.ctcp.2019.01.006) showed that a 6-week Pilates mat exercise program with two 55-minute sessions per week can improve conditioning in both young males and young females.Read More