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Abdominals/Core

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Core Training for Kids

By Michelle Miller | May 13, 2020 |

There’s a tremendous need, now more than ever, to hook kids on fitness and equip them with good lifestyle habits. A child’s growing body needs regular movement in order to function optimally. Since the core is essentially “ground zero,” it’s a fitting place to start, because strong core muscles assist with posture and reduce the chance of injury. The key to a healthier tomorrow is to be proactive and get kids involved today.

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A Strong Diaphragm for a Strong Core

By IDEA Editorial Staff | January 28, 2020 |

When you think about exercising core muscles, do you remember your diaphragm? Its two main functions involve breathing and biomechanics, and it’s one of the most important muscles for maintaining intra-abdominal pressure (Nelson 2012). Intra-abdominal pressure is like a weight belt applied from the inside. If your body can’t regulate this pressure, you may experience poor motor control and lack of spinal stability. Plus, when the diaphragm is not properly engaged, other muscles must compensate, increasing your risk of injury.

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Aching for the Quadratus Lumborum

By Sarah Kolvas | August 22, 2019 |

Many of your clients likely work desk jobs and sit most of the day. This is not an ideal situation for many reasons, one being the risk of developing chronic lower-back pain. If you or a client is experiencing aches or sharp pains in the lower back, the issue may stem from problems with the quadratus lumborum.

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Coaching Rotation Using Anti-Rotation

By Pete Holman, MS, PT | August 16, 2019 |

When you watch someone hit a golf ball, throw a punch or simply retrieve groceries from the car, it’s evident that human movement occurs in all three planes of motion. A review of basic core anatomy—major muscles attached to the trunk, above the ischial tuberosity and below the superior aspect of the sternum—reveals that 87.5% of the core muscles are oriented either diagonally or horizontally, and one action that these muscles perform is rotation (Santana 2000).

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Core Yoga Slow-Flow Sequence

By Heather Agnew | April 24, 2019 |

Mindful movement practices like yoga and Pilates allow you to incorporate flexibility, core work and body awareness into your current client programming. Core yoga is a practice that blends the precision, control and core-strengthening benefits of Pilates with the mindful and meditative benefits of yoga.

Try this core yoga slow-flow sequence and share it with your clients!

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Neuromuscular Power Circuits

By Len Kravitz, PhD | April 1, 2019 |

The dynamic motions of sport require peak power—that is, the most strength a muscular contraction can muster in one of these quick bursts. Sporting athletes depend on peak power for jumping, running, throwing, striking, swinging and kicking. Scientists prefer the term “neuromuscular power” (to just “power” itself) because neural factors—including motor unit recruitment, muscle fiber firing frequency and synchronization of a muscle’s contractile forces—are involved.

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Plank Variations

By Stephanie Vlach, MS | February 19, 2019 |

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.

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Yoga for Optimal Performance

By Helen Vanderburg | December 6, 2018 |

You’re a student of the body, committed to helping people improve their functional capacity and independence. Human movement is complex and uniquely individual. From a physical perspective, joint structure, neurological patterning, muscles, ligaments, tendons, fascia and skin all affect movement. Psychological and emotional factors may also cause restrictions.

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Balance and Stability

By Sarah Schrenk, MS | October 18, 2018 |

Balance, which is essential for integrated movement, declines as we age. However, you can teach group fitness students how to maintain balance while also taking them through some fun, creative core exercises. Having a strong trunk and hip complex helps us maintain balance for years to come. In your next class, incorporate these multiplanar exercises targeting the core musculature and the gluteals. Each move is done in a standing position, and equipment is optional. Encourage attendees who struggle with balance to perform these exercises against a wall or while holding onto a barre.

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Belly Fat vs. Vitamin D

By Matthew Kadey, MS, RD | September 20, 2018 |

Here’s another good reason for people to reduce their Buddha-bellies: improving their vitamin D status. According to data presented at the 2018 European Society of Endocrinology’s annual meeting in Barcelona, Spain, researchers from the Netherlands found that more body fat around adults’ waistline is associated with lower vitamin D levels. Beyond raising the risk of weak bones, poor vitamin D status could set the stage for other health issues, including heart disease and compromised immunity.

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Strength Ladder

By Pamela Light, MA | August 22, 2018 |

Strength training classes don’t have to adhere to a classic “sets and reps” template. Why not climb your way up and down this fun fitness ladder for a fast and furious total-body workout? Repetitions are high, but so is the frequency of change, keeping interest piqued during intense work sets.

Strength Ladder Details
GOAL/EMPHASIS: total-body strength training
TOTAL TIME: 1 hour

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Primed to Squat

By Lynne Skilton-Hayes | March 21, 2018 |

Why is it that so few people can squat correctly, yet my 8-year-old son squats perfectly? I’ve never taught him how to squat; he innately learned how, just as he learned to roll over, crawl, pull himself up and eventually walk. He simply needed the freedom to allow his body to move. Movement before strength is key.

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IDEA Fitness Journal

IDEA Fitness Journal

Current Issue:
December 2019

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