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Plyometric Training

So what are plyometrics?

Simply put, plyometric exercises are powerful and fast movements usually done very explosively. You may have seen others in the gym performing box jumps, jump squats, medicine ball slams, or medicine ball throws, but you can use your own body weight to perform plyometric movements as well.

A common misconception is that only athletes need to perform plyometric movements. However, this is not true and we can all benefit from them.

You don’t have to be an athlete to incorporate plyometric movements into your fitness routine. In fact, adding a few of these exercises to your routine can help increase your overall power, speed, quickness, and agility. As a word of caution for someone who has minimal training experience, be sure to incorporate your plyometric movements at the beginning of your workout after your warm-up. This will ensure that you do not injure yourself later in your workout due to fatigue.

Need help putting together some plyometric movements? Check out the workout right here at The Body Holiday. You can also see  Michael our resident Nutritionist and BodyAware Consultant when you are with us! Don’t forget to subscribe to BodyHolidayTV for more great fitness and nutritional videos.

Use Your Body Weight

Many people think that they need a fancy gym and elaborate fitness equipment in order to get an effective workout. The truth is you really don’t need any equipment other than yourself and a little bit of creativity to get the blood flowing.

When looking at your fitness programme you should always look to master your own bodyweight before adding weight to a specific exercise that you are performing. For instance, you should learn to perform a series of pushups correctly before attempting the bench press. Once you master the pushup you can then move on to the bench press. The same goes for other exercises including the squat as well. Learn how to squat effectively with your own bodyweight before adding a weighted bar to the movement.

Not sure what to do or how to perform a workout with your own bodyweight as resistance? Check out our Total Body Weight Circuit performed right here at the BodyHoliday.

Want more life changing advise? See  Michael our resident Nutritionist and BodyAware Consultant when you are with us! Don’t forget to subscribe to BodyHolidayTV for more great fitness and nutritional videos.

Improve your Golf Game

Are you trying to improve your golf game? We all know some golfers such as Tiger Woods have embraced strength training as part of their regular training programme which has been a crucial part to his and other golfer’s success.

So what should you focus on to improve your golf game? I think the most important piece to any golfers game is to focus on the correct fundamentals of the swing. Look at hiring a professional to critique your current swing and see where you can make improvements. After the appropriate action is taken to ensure your swing is effective, let’s discuss what areas of strength training can benefit your game.

Golf is mainly a game of rotation, power, and finesse. In order to have an effective strength training routine you need to address all of these areas. You will never be able to generate maximal rotational power unless you have good flexibility through the hips and shoulders. In addition, you also need a strong rigid core so that your energy and power is transferred through the club and into the ball.

Check out our short workout here at The BodyHoliday on a few exercises that you can incorporate to improve your golf game.

Train with Balance

When performing any form of weight training we should always seek balance. What do I mean by balance? We need to work a specific muscle group and then the opposing muscle group in the same fashion so that we don’t develop muscular imbalances.

For instance, if we are doing an abundance of pushing work like bench press, pushups, flys, and incline presses which work the chest, and we are not equally matching our pulling movements like rows, band pull aparts, and reverse flys, over time we set ourselves up for injuries and muscular imbalances.

So ask yourself, are you training with balance? If not, make the change so that you can maximize your training in the long term with no injuries or neglect of any of the opposing muscle groups.

Need a switch in your workout routine? Try this upper body workout performed right here at the BodyHoliday.

See Michael our resident Nutritionist and BodyAware Consultant when you are with us! Don’t forget to subscribe to BodyHolidayTV for more great fitness and nutritional videos.

Workout Variety

It’s very easy to get caught in the same routine and find yourself becoming stagnant in your fitness programme. We are creatures of habit and once we start something we like it is unlikely that we stray very far from that routine. However, it’s very important that you add some workout variety and try something different every now and then.

So why should you vary your workout routine? Well, there are a couple reasons. The first is to avoid boredom. Sometimes we lose interest and stop exercising because we have become bored with our routine. That’s why it is crucial to keep things interesting. A second reason is that we have to create overload, meaning that we should be challenging ourselves and doing more than the body is used to. If we are not creating overload we will not progress towards our goals. Finally, a great reason to switch your routine might be to discover a new programme or workout that you have never tried.

That is why The BodyHoliday is such a great place to try an activity that you have never done before. Need an idea or workout to switch up your routine? Try this 100 workout that features 10 different exercises with 10 repetitions of each performed right here at The BodyHoliday in St. Lucia.

 

See Michael our resident Nutritionist and BodyAware Consultant when you are with us! Don’t forget to subscribe to BodyHolidayTV for more great fitness and nutritional videos.

Should You Stretch?

Some experts say “yes” and others may tell you, “it’s a waste of time.” So what’s the real answer? As with anything, it depends. It depends on what your goals are. I will give you some examples for both sides of the argument.

If your goal is to increase overall flexibility then you will need to hold static stretches. Static meaning that you will hold a specific stretch anywhere from 20 seconds onwards to stretch the muscle and increase flexibility. However, not everyone cares about increasing their flexibility.

So should everyone stretch? Not necessarily.

If your goal is to increase overall strength studies have shown that holding static stretches before a weight training session can actually decrease your performance. Same with doing static stretches in-between sets of your exercises. When stretching was done between sets a decrease in performance was noted.

Surely everyone should stretch after their workout, right? Well, again it depends. I would suggest that everyone take at least 5 minutes at the very end of their workout to hold some stretches. If nothing else it allows you to bring your heart rate back down to a resting level before ending your workout. Also, the muscles will be warm and have significant blood flow to them which will allow you to get the most out of your stretching.

So you’re saying I should quit my Yoga class? NO! Stretching can be very rewarding and can help you improve posture and perform everyday tasks much easier. Unfortunately there are no one size fits all answers when it comes to fitness or nutrition. Many time the answer is, “it depends.” However, if your goal is to increase flexibility check out some of our stretches performed right here at The BodyHoliday and subscribe to BodyHolidayTV for more great fitness and nutritional videos.

Don’t forget to see Michael our resident Nutritionist and BodyAware Consultant for more personalised  advice when you are with us!

Are You Following Fundamental Training Principles?

I’m not sure where I heard this saying before but it has always stuck with me. “Methods are many, principles are few, methods often change, but principles never do.” If we apply this to fitness training there are many different methods in order for us to achieve our goals. For instance if we are doing Cross Fit, powerlifting, taking a group fitness class, or just doing our own workout in the gym, these are all methods of training. The saying, “There’s more than one way to skin a cat,” holds true in the fitness world as there are many methods of training.

However, what doesn’t change are the principles to training. Unlike methods these do not change and hold true for no matter what type of training you are currently using.

  • Progression – You must be progressing yourself towards your fitness goal. For instance if your goal is to get lean tone muscular arms, then using 5 lb. dumbbells for 3 sets for your entire program will not get you the results you want. Why? Because you violated the principle of progression. You did not progress. For instance you could start with 5 lb. dumbbells for 3 sets but then progress to 4 sets, 5 sets, and then heavier weights such as 8lbs. or 10 lbs. A good way to ensure progression is to start with the end in mind and then work backwards from there.
  • Specificity – Is just a fancy word for being specific about your training. If your goal is to become a better swimmer then your training is not going to be running on a treadmill. Cross training is okay, but your main focus must be placed on the discipline or targeted on the area you are trying to improve.
  • Overload – You must challenge yourself to more than you are accustomed to. If you are weight training you need to overload the muscles in order for them to grow and come back stronger. If we go back to the example of obtaining lean tone muscular arms and we have decided to use 5 lb. dumbbells for 3 sets of 50 repetitions we are violating the principle of overload. In this instance if you can complete the exercise for 50 repetitions the weight you are using is too light and will not create an overload in the muscle. As a general rule if you can complete more than 15 repetitions with any given weight, the weight you are using is too light and needs to be adjusted.

So there you have it! Make sure no matter what training you are doing does not violate these 3 principles. Also, if your goal is to have lean tone muscular arms like mentioned in the example above check out our Strong Arms workout right here at The Body Holiday and subscribe to BodyHolidayTV for more great fitness and nutritional videos.

Don’t forget to see Michael our resident Nutritionist and BodyAware Consultant for more personalised life changing advice when you are with us!

 

Treatment for Osteoarthritis – Age Related Changes

Arthritis is a common and painful condition of joint inflammation, a result of age related changes leading to degeneration of the material that cushions the joint, called cartilage.  This causes the bones to rub against each other causing stiffness, pain and loss of joint movement.

This brief article outlines the causes of osteoarthrits and the treatment for osteoarthritis at The BodyHoliday.

Pre-disposing factors and causes of Osteoarthritis include:

  •  Age
  • Hyper mobility
  • Obesity
  • Previous injury
  • Biomechanical compromise
  • Vascular insufficiency
  • Hormonal imbalance

This ultimately leads to progressive softening and cartilage degeneration.  Osteoarthritis is mainly present in weight bearing joints, such as the hips and the knees.

There is no simple answer for osteoarthrits, however the combination of exercise, nutrition (supplements and herbs) and complimentary therapies are all natural treatments here at The BodyHoliday, which can reduce your symptoms and improve quality of life.

The team has a great deal  of experience in the treatment of arthritis here at The BodyHoliday.  It is our aim to reduce surgical interventions with osteopathic treatment aimed at maintaining arthritic joint mobility and promoting dynamic stablity.  This is done by addressing any weakness of the particular involved joints, biomechanical dysfunctions, mobilising and stretching joint capsules, associated with fibrotic changes (scar tissue) and improving blood supply, venous return (blood flow back to the heart) and lymphatic drainage (to help decrease swelling of the joint).  It is also our aim to provide specific motor training exercises that allow joints to become more stable in efforts to reduce the rate of further pain and dysfunction.

For further details or to pre-book your Osteopathic treatment, please ask for Lucy when you are here with us.

Put your Love to the Fitness!

Valentines Day is just around the corner and what better way to spend time with your significant other than being physically active together. There are so many ways to stay in shape but having a partner to work out with is a great way to keep yourself accountable. Not sure what to do? Check out our short partner workout performed here at The BodyHoliday.

Just in case you need a few other reasons why it’s beneficial to have a workout partner we have listed some below.

Fun Factor – Working out by yourself can become boring and lack excitement. With a partner you have someone to interact with which can keep you engaged in your exercise program. There are so many different options when it comes to partner workouts and the great thing is that many of them are a lot of fun. In addition to the fun workouts, it can be enjoyable to talk and joke with your partner during your rest periods between exercises. Before you know it you will have completed your workout and it may feel like the time has just flown by. Exercise should be fun and enjoyable. You shouldn’t be going to the gym and dreading your exercise session. If you do then it’s time to switch it up, and by incorporating a workout with a partner is an easy method to do so.

Friendly Competition – This is a great way to push the intensity and set small goals for yourself. There are countless ways to incorporate some friendly competition into your routine. It could be something as simple as a race with your partner to see who can complete 50 crunches, or a run on the treadmill to see who can complete the fastest mile. Be creative! However, keep in mind that you want to make sure you are doing things safely. This is why it’s also important that you and your partner are around the same fitness level. If you have an advanced fitness partner and you are just a beginner you may have trouble keeping up in a safe and effective manner.

Keep Good Form – It’s always good to make sure you are performing any given exercise with appropriate form. Having a partner makes it that much easier. This way you have an outside sets of eyes looking at you and making sure you are doing the movements effectively. It also allows your partner to help you with your weaker movements. Let’s say you aren’t the greatest at completing pushups but that is one of your partner’s strengths. Your partner can then give you suggestions and tips to improve your form. Such as hips down, elbows closer to your sides, or whatever improvement you may need to your form for that specific exercise.

So that’s it! Grab a partner and get busy sprucing up your exercise routine! There’s nothing more romantic than two people who care about each other spending time exercising together. Ok, maybe I may have exaggerated a little. But don’t spend this Valentine’s day only focused on flowers and chocolates. Attention to your partner’s health is one of the best ways to show you care for them. Happy Valentines Day everyone!

For more personalised life changing advice,  see Michael, our resident Nutritionist and BodyAware Consultant when you are with us.

 

Are You Still on Track?

Believe it or not we’re halfway through January of 2014 and hopefully if you made health and fitness one of your goals to start the New Year you are still on track. There are so many ways to go about getting in shape that sometimes it’s difficult to sift through all of the information that’s out there. So in hopes of adding some clarity here are 3 simple tips so that you can give yourself the best chance of reaching your health and fitness goals.

  • Just Move! Many times we’re led to believe that fitness needs to be complicated. What are the best exercises, how many reps, how many sets, etc. While these details can be important, the main focus should remain on just moving and being active. Don’t suffer from paralysis by analysis. Any exercise programme followed consistently will yield results. Need some direction and help to get started? Click here for a Full Body Blast Workout performed here at The BodyHoliday.

  • Nutrition Reigns Supreme. Maybe you are one of the many that has a goal of weight loss in the New Year. Understand that your main focus should be on making the best nutritional choices possible. You might be exercising and doing everything right in the gym, but if you are eating poor food choices your results will be less than desirable. Your nutrition really is the key to having the body composition that you desire. Focus on mainly unprocessed foods and a diet high in lean proteins, fruits, and vegetables. Need an idea for a healthy meal? Click here for our very own chef preparing a healthy Trout Salad.

  •  Results Take Time. Rome wasn’t built in a day and if up until this point you haven’t been looking after your health it’s going to take some patience to turn things around. The promises of ripped abs and bulging muscles in just 90 seconds a day or other similar miraculous health claims are not possible. If it sounds too good to be true it really probably is. Invest your money wisely in nutritious foods to stock your refrigerator and a gym membership. Understand that real results take time and that consistency is the key to your success.

In need of more assistance? Check out BodyHolidayTV for more great fitness and nutritional videos. Don’t forget to see Michael our resident Nutritionist and BodyAware Consultant for more personalised life changing advice when you are with us!

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