Tag Archives: physical fitness

3 Effective Core Exercises on The Bosu Balance Trainer

By: Geoff Rubin, Fitness Propelled, CPT/CIFT/TRX II

So, why use a Bosu Balance trainer? A Bosu trainer is a balance board that can be used with either side up. Both sides of it 1) the inflatable dome or 2) the flat plastic surface provides different challenges for your muscles due to the instability of the surface. This instability forces our muscles to recruit more muscle fibers and expend more energy while engaging in typically stable driven exercises such as squats, curls and core based exercises. When balancing on you the flat side of Bosu exercises might involve squats, pushups, sit-ups and lunges or when stand on the dome you might incorporate free weights for such exercises as arm curls, shoulder presses and core exercises.

Training on the Bosu Balance trainer carries over to your daily life, where balance is affected by motion. The Bosu trains your body for dynamic balance by coordinating the movements of your left hip and right shoulder, similar to the movement you make when walking. When your opposite hip and opposite shoulder move in a balanced manner, you are steady on your feet when walking, running, or playing sports.

Additionally as you train your balance on the Bosu, your muscles and the receptors near them, become more efficient at positioning your body in relation to the environment. Whether you know it or not you’re working on Proprioception which involves the awareness of your body in the space around you.

 

Fitness Propelled’s 3 Core Exercises on The Bosu Balance Trainer

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wso6NeO_FzY

Routine:
– Bosu ball sit ups: 15 repetitions
– Bosu ball reach through’s: 15 repetitions
– Bosu ball indiv. knee tucks: 15 r/l repetitions

Repeat 3 sets.

 

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Sources:

Bosu Benefits for Muscles by Lisa M. Wolfe

Do Your Feet Have a Running Surface Preference?

By: Geoff Rubin, Fitness Propelled, CPT/CIFT/TRX II

I certainly think they do. Running surface differences are quite vast, from grass fields, to synthetic tracks, to the brutality of pavement. The beauty behind all of these surfaces is that the majority of them are easily accessible to us, almost anywhere in the world. However, we know that all surfaces have their own pros and cons as related the health of our feet and on up from there. I am sure that you would agree that the softer the surfaces you run on the longer your running career will last. That is why I wanted to examine my top 5 running surfaces, and what are our feet and bodies were saying to us after.

Ratings are listed as most preferred to least preferred.

1. Grass – Ahh grass, the finely cut blades of an open field, with a soft layering of compact dirt beneath. This is my clear cut preferred surface for running on. Grass also provides with the options of running barefoot, connecting with our running surfaces and making sure that we connect every step with the surface it is hitting.

Pros: Grass is soft and easy on the legs in terms of impact, but makes your muscles work hard as the surfaces vary. This builds strength and help drive improvement when returning to the road. Additionally when you find an open field, your surrounded by others who utilize the grassy area for their own recreation providing constant sources of people gazing.

Cons: Grassy plots are often uneven and can be dangerous for runners with unstable ankles. It can also be slippery when wet, runners with allergies may suffer more symptoms when running on it, and its softness can tire legs rather quickly.

 

2. Sand – If only more of it were available in Arizona. Sand offers a run with a challenge. When the sand is dry and deep, you give your calf muscles an excellent work-out without risking any impact damage to your joints.

Pros: Sand gives an opportunity to run barefoot in a pleasant environment. Running through dunes provides good resistance training and strengthens the legs. Open air with vast distances and crashing waves isn’t a bad place to settle into a constant running stride.

Cons: The pliability of sand means a higher risk of Achilles tendon injury. Also, when you run on the sand at the water’s edge, the tilt of the surface puts uneven stresses on the body.

 

3. Synthetic Track – Who doesn’t love a track that is made up of synthetic material, laid out and measured in 400 meter distances. These tracks are generally open to the public, allow runners to measure distances accurately, and focus on improving times related to desired distances.

Pros: Synthetic tracks provide reasonably forgiving surfaces and are pretty close to being 400 meters around, make measuring distances and timing sessions easy.

Cons: With two long curves on every lap, ankles, knees and hips are put under more stress than what one might be accustom to. Longer runs also become rather boring. Rat cage anyone?

 

4. Treadmill – The constant option. Treadmills are the best indoor running option for most runners. Generally, treadmills have monitors that display incline, pace, heart rate, calories burned and other data, which give us users with constant feedback. The running surfaces vary depending on make and model of treadmills.

Pros: The smooth, constant surface is generally easy on the legs, and hitting a desired pace is as easy as setting a number. Additionally, you don’t have to worry about X-factors such as animals, wind and bad weather. The constant speed and control makes a treadmill ideal for speed work.

Cons: Running on the same spot isn’t very exciting, and if you don’t concentrate on keeping up your pace, you could be thrown off the machine. Treadmill runners tend to sweat profusely as your usually cooped amongst other runners with limited air flow. Machines are too expensive for most runners, and gym memberships may be unrealistic if you are just going there to run.

 

5. Roads – Just look outside your front door and take that first step. Altough very abundant, it certainly isn’t exciting to run on something meant for commuter traffic. Concrete is primarily made up of cement (crushed rock), and it’s what most pavements and five per cent of roads are constructed from. It delivers the most shock of any surface to a runner’s legs.

Pros: Concrete surfaces tend to be easily accessible and very flat. They go on forever, and accruing mileage won’t be a hard task.

Cons: The combination of a hard surface and the need to sidestep pedestrians, can lead to injury and too much weaving.

These are my top 5, please leave your comments below and share your running surface preference below or some funny stories that have occurred to you while running on one of your favorite surfaces.

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Sources:

– Top 10 running surfaces – Marc Bloom and Steve Smythe

– Google Images

3 Helpful Core Exercises for Runners

By: Geoff Rubin, Fitness Propelled, CPT/CIFT/TRX II

All runners would agree that having strong legs is essential for their sport, but integrating core exercises into your overall routine is a must as you look towards becoming a more competitive runner. Full body, core and hip-focused exercises are a must if you want to stay injury-free and run to your best potential (Jon-Erik Kawamoto).

In a recent study from the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research (Gottschall et al., 2013) examined the difference between isolation-type core exercises, like crunches, and compared them to integration-type core exercises that incorporated distal trunk muscle activation, like the pushup plank with alternating knees. The researchers found greater core muscle activation during the integration-type exercises and concluded “an integrated routine that incorporates the activation of distal trunk musculature would be optimal in terms of maximizing strength, improving endurance, enhancing stability, reducing injury, and maintaining mobility.”

 Let’s get started then and integrate some of these helpful core exercises listed below into our own routine.

Exercises:

1) Superman’s

How to: Start lying face down on a matt. Simultaneously raise your arms, legs, and chest off of the floor and hold this contraction for 3 seconds. Tip: Squeeze your lower back to get the best results from this exercise. Repeat about 10 to 15 repetitions with multiple sets.  

2) Russian Twists

How to: Grab a medicine ball, dumbbell, or weight plate and sit on the floor face up. Hold the weight straight out in front of you and keep your back straight (your torso should be at about 45 degrees to the floor). Explosively twist your torso as far as you can to the left, and then reverse the motion, twisting as far as you can to the right. That’s one rep. Repeat 10 – 15 repetitions, multiple sets.

3) Push-up plank with alternating knee tucks (to the abdomen)

How to: Go into the top of a pushup. Brace your abs and squeeze your butt to form a straight line from the top of your head to your ankles. Without moving your body, bring one knee into your chest. Do not round your back. Return the leg to the starting position and switch sides. Repeat 10 – 15 repetitions, multiple sets.

Sources:

Four Key Core Exercises For Runners – Linzay Logan http://running.competitor.com/2014/07/injury-prevention/four-key-core-exercises-for-runners_41874/4

The Crunchless Core Workout For Runners – Jon-Erik Kawamoto – http://running.competitor.com/2014/06/training/the-crunchless-core-workout-for-runners_78042/3

Google Images

 

 

 

 

Empowering youth on the Autism Spectrum with a personalized exercise program

By: Geoff Rubin, Fitness Propelled, CPT/CIFT/TRX II

I have always believed in #Contributing which states: “giving something, such as money or time in order to help achieve or provide something” – (Dictionary.com). Through exercise, I knew it would be my medium to create a special bond with young men and women on the Autism Spectrum. Having a broad career of working with youth and young adults on the Autism Spectrum as an adaptive P. E. teacher for years and as a fitness professional with specifically designed fitness programs, that have delivered resounding results, I knew this would be my avenue towards “Contributing”.

Why make a difference through exercise? Exercising is my passion and when you do what you love, you never feel as if it is work. Even better, if you can share your passions with those who otherwise would not normally engage in “exercise”, it becomes that much more meaningful. This led me to create the “Personal Power Program”. Information on this program can be found @ http://fitnesspropelled.com/personal-power-program/1281766 .

The benefits of exercise and positive effects that it has on everyone are numerous but we are just beginning to learn the effects exercise has on those on the Autism Spectrum. Below are just a few of the reasons why we must engage our youth and young adults on the Autism Spectrum into a fitness experience that works for them!

– Exercise reduces problem behaviors such as repetitive behaviors, off-task behavior, mouthing, self-injury, disruptiveness and aggression in those with autism.

– Exercise increases the release of several brain chemicals called neurotransmitters. These include endorphins and dopamine, which affect our brain’s functioning.

– Exercise can help the entire body, including the brain, function at its best.

– Exercise improves attention, concentration and organizational skills.

– After just 20 minutes of exercise children showed improved behavior, thinking skills and school performance.

By sharing, liking and connecting with Fitness Propelled, we can all #contribute towards a healthier and more meaningful tomorrow.

Website: http://www.fitnesspropelled.com

Follow us on Twitter @ FPropelled – https://twitter.com/FPropelled

Like us on Facebook @ https://www.facebook.com/FitnessPropelled

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Sources:

– Daniel Coury, MD, medical director of Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network
– Google/images

 

The Necessity of Proper Running Technique

By: Geoff Rubin, Fitness Propelled, CPT/CIFT/TRX II

Have you ever found yourself on the treadmill wondering to yourself, is my running form correct? You look to your right and one person has enormous stride length and a slight lean forward and seems to bounce off the treadmill with every step. On the left, you see someone else with arms bent at ninety degrees a loose grip, square shoulders and shorter strides. Then it all comes back to you, how am I supposed to hold myself while running?

With the popularity of multiple disciplinary movements like Minimalism, ChiRunning and the Pose Method of Running, I can only imagine how difficult it must be for the average to figure out what they should be doing. So, as to offer a helping hand let’s take a quick look into these three disciplines of running form as to provide you with an introduction to what might work for you.

Principles of ChiRunning include:

  • Relaxation
  • Correct alignment and posture
  • Landing with a mid-foot strike
  • Using a “gravity-assisted” forward lean
  • Engaging core strength for propulsion
  • Connecting the mind and body to prevent injury

Derived from tai-chi and put into plan by Danny Dreyer, ChiRunning focuses on posture, leg swing, the position of the pelvis and a forward lean.

What is Minimalism Running?

According to an article appearing in the April 2010 issue of “Running Times,” minimalist/minimalism runners believe you should be running without shoes or minimalist shoes that feature a minimal heel rise and a very thin sole.

Pros:

  • Improve your stride
  • Encourages awareness of the motion of your feet
  • Increases efficiency by placing less weight on your feet

Cons:

  • Possibility of injury from sharp surfaces
  • Stress on muscles and tendons that haven’t been conditioned for this style of running
  • Potential stress fractures, tendonitis, bruises and lacerations

 Understanding the Pose Method of Running:

Form:

1. S-like body position with slightly bent knees
2. Forward lean from the ankles to employ gravity and work with it not against it
3. Pulling or lifting feet up under the hip not behind the buttocks
4. Ball of foot landing under your body (your GCM – general center of mass)

Pose Method of Running emphasizes efficient, injury-free running taught through poses. Use the Pose Method® of Running technique to prevent injuries and to dramatically improve your running performance.

What can it do for you?

  • Reduce impact on knees by 50% (Scientifically proven)
  • Dramatically improve training and racing performance
  • Give you a competitive edge
  • Help prevent injuries
  • Help you lose orthotics for good

It is my hope in the brief introduction to these three running forms that you are better informed on what aspects you can take from one or all three styles and incorporate them into your improved running form.

Let us be your one stop shop for fitness. Check out http://www.fitnesspropelled.com

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Sources:

– Proper running form – Jennifer Van Allen

– The Perfect Form – Jane Unger Hahn

– Chirunning.com

– Active.com

http://www.posetech.com/pose_method/pose-method-of-running-technique.html – Dr.Nicholas Romanov

 

Running, it propels us forward

By: Geoff Rubin, CPT/CIFT/TRX II

Hitting the pavement and accruing mileage is certainly a physical feat, but what is the motive behind doing it? Running is a sport which is definitely not for the meek, so what is it that drives us to put on our shoes, tie those laces and exit that front door?

The reasons to run come from a multitude of places whether it is for health reasons, physique, weight loss, accomplishments, etc. Whether it is intrinsic or extrinsic motivational factors that lead you to run, you’re doing yourself a phenomenal favor. In fact, running blasts the most calories: In a study done by the Medical College of Wisconsin and the VA Medical Center, the treadmill (used at a “hard” exertion level) torched an average of 705-865 calories in an hour. Not only are you torching the calories while running, but running boosts “afterburn”—that is, the number of calories you burn after exercise. (Scientists call this EPOC, which stands for excess post oxygen consumption.)

Additional physical benefits of running include:

– Bolsters your cartilage by increasing oxygen flow and flushing out toxins, and by strengthening the ligaments around your joints.

– Your time on the treadmill can even prevent vision loss, or so it seems. Two studies from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have found that running reduced the risk of age-related macular degeneration and cataracts.

– One recent study in the British Journal of Cancer calculated that the “most active” (e.g. walked briskly 5-6 hours/week) people were 24 percent less likely to develop colon cancer than the “least active” people

Additional mental benefits of running include:

– Stress-busting powers of their regular jog. “Nothing beats that feeling when you settle into a strong stride with a powerful rhythm,” says Brooke Stevens, a four-time NYC marathoner, “The tension in my neck, back, and shoulders starts to loosen up, and I can think more clearly too.”

– Running is used by mental health experts to help treat clinical depression and other psychological disorders such as drug and alcohol addiction.

– In a 2006 study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, researchers found that even a single bout of exercise—30 minutes of walking on a treadmill—could instantly lift the mood of someone suffering from a major depressive order.

Regardless of the reasons that you are hitting the concrete, trail-head or treadmill, the benefits of this readily available sport are right there for your taking.

 

Let us be your one stop shop for fitness. Check out http://www.fitnesspropelled.com

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Sources:

– Womens Health – Health Benefits of Running, 2013

– Runners World – 6 ways running helps improve your health

 

Contribute your strong suits….

ImageBy: Geoff Rubin, Fitness Propelled (CPT/CIFT/TRX II)

Contribute (Verb) give (something, such as money or time) in order to help achieve or provide something. (Dictionary.com). I’ve often wondered how could one person, especially me!, “contribute” to make a difference. Well, it took some internal investigating, but I had always known that through fitness, I could create a special bond with young men and women on the Autism Spectrum. Having a broad career of working with youth and young adults on the Autism Spectrum as an adaptive P. E. teacher for years and as a fitness professional with specifically designed fitness programs, that have delivered resounding results, I knew this would be my avenue to “Contribute”.  

Recently, I took my experience and volunteered some time to teach the teens and youth of Phoenix High Functioning Autism how to jump rope and play a few fun games. When you enter into a room and can see the nerves of the youth group escalating, know that many sensory needs must be addressed and turn an overwhelming consensus of “I do not want to do this” into O my goodness, look I am doing it. Where you can see children sitting off to the side and then engage them in the group and even get a good two thirds of the group to crack a smile. That is a powerful contribution. On behalf of all the youth there that night, I think it’s safe to say, we ALL HAD A BLAST.

I encourage you to respond to this post or connect with myself and Fitness Propelled LLC, where we have a specifically designed personal training program “Personal Power” that has shown to contribute to the empowering of young men and women on the Autism Spectrum. Please let me know how you “Contribute”.

ImageImage

Let us be your one stop shop for fitness. Check out http://www.fitnesspropelled.com

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