Many clients can’t seem to get enough of workouts that meld functional movements with high-intensity resistance training. Indeed, workouts using dynamic, high-intensity, full-body movements are great for strength and health—provided the body functions properly and exercisers use correct technique.
A growing body of research is shedding more light on the importance of resting after exercise—providing vital clues on measuring and enhancing the recovery process. These insights are welcome news to personal trainers and coaches who see the consequences of overtraining and inadequate recovery every day. This column discusses some of the latest research on assessing and managing recovery and advises on tactics that may help your clients recover from exercise.
Study reviewed: Mitchell, U.H., et al. 2016. Performance on the Functional Movement Screen in older active adults. Journal of Sport and Health Science, 5 (1), 119–25.
Proper thoracic-cage functioning sets the groundwork for healthy movement.
The next time you pick up a dumbbell and hand it to your client, take a moment to celebrate the hard‐working hand. The hand is an anatomically refined dynamo that's often taken for granted until something as benign as a paper cut shifts the focus distally. Here are some interesting facts to grasp:
Hasn't the knee been thoroughly mapped? Perhaps. However, the following bold headline reverberated throughout the allied health community in 2013: "Doctors Identify a New Knee Ligament."
As a golfer, you want to stay injury-free to practice and compete regularly, which ultimately lets you hone your skills and elevate your performance.
To help avoid injury and boost level of play, you need to understand how two key muscle and soft-tissue systems—the posterior oblique system and the anterior oblique system—affect the golf swing.
Recreational athletes have a lot to gain from adding Pilates to their training programs.
When I was a kid, my dad was a stickler for posture. "Sit up straight," he'd say as I slouched over a plate of pasta. Other times, he'd try a tactile approach. I'd be standing in line at the market or sitting in the bleachers watching my oldest brother play baseball, and out of nowhere I'd feel two thumbs dig gently into my upper trapezius muscles while the remaining fingers of each hand gripped my shoulders and pulled them back. All these years later, I'm the one cuing people to mind their posture.
Nordic pole walking is a highly enjoyable, easy–to–learn way for exercisers of all ages to get outdoors and get moving. If you're unfamiliar with Nordic pole walking, this primer will provide key reasons why it can be such a good fit for your older–adult clients, in particular.
When you work with enough clients, eventually you notice all the variations in biomechanics and anatomy. You may or may not remember from your fitness professional certification studies that only about half of people have a psoas minor muscle. When it's there, it lies in front of the psoas major and originates from the sides of the 12th thoracic vertebra (T12), the first lumbar vertebra (L1) and the corresponding intervertebral disk (Farias et al. 2012).
client: Gary | personal trainer: Tracy Markley, owner, Tracy's Personal Training | location: Florence, Oregon
Surviving a stroke. In May 2014, 65–yearold Gary had a stroke so severe his doctors were skeptical he'd survive it. Fortunately they were wrong, but he suffered so much damage that physical therapists were initially convinced he'd be wheelchair–bound for life.
Use corrective exercise to help clients stay on track with their mileage goals.
Clients sometimes experience general pain in the knee during or after an exercise session, and while it's not within your scope of practice to diagnose, a broad understanding of issues that affect this important joint can be helpful. Here's a snapshot of plica syndrome.
Plica is a fold of synovial tissue that's a "remnant" of embryologic development. The knee is initially divided into three compartments by membranes, which are then resorbed by the third or fourth month of fetal life (Scuderi et al. 1997).
Activities such as walking, squatting or lunging require coordinated movement. The ankles must be able to bend to allow the legs to come forward over the feet, and the knees to bend when squatting or lunging. Restricted motion in an ankle can cause pain and dysfunction to any number of bodily structures as they compensate.
Physical fitness may do more than preserve a more youthful body; it may also impact the brain’s activity and function, preserving more youthful mental capabilities, according to findings published in NeuroImage (2015; doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2015.09.062).
University of Tsukuba researchers in Japan found that fitter older men performed better mentally than less fit older men, by solving problems in the same way younger brains would do.
Why is it hard to stay on track while traveling? Start with the distractions. If it’s not a smartphone diverting your attention, it’s a book or laptop, fast food or your travel companion. Distractions are not bad, mind you. They’re simply inevitable.
That’s why it’s so important to shift your priorities. Instead of checking social media and email the next time you sit down on a plane or train, how about tuning in to posture and body awareness?
An Objective Eye
It can be difficult to take a step back and be objective when it comes to your own health. Katy Bowman, MS, director of the Restorative Exercise Institute in Ventura, California, and author
of Move Your DNA: Restore Your Health Through Natural Movement (Propriometrics Press 2014), suggests you write down
In February 2006, Danny Strong was on top of the world. After years of working as a gym manager, he had opened his own personal training gym, making his dream a reality. The husband and father was also eager to welcome a second child into the family. A month after receiving the keys to his new facility, he took his family on a trip to visit his godmother. While on the road, Strong lost control of his vehicle and was hit by a tractor-trailer traveling at full speed. His pregnant wife, Sandra Urbano Strong, was killed instantly.
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.