Assisted Split Squats

Kneeling down to the ground is a very normal everyday movement. We have to kneel down to pick something off the ground or to find something that we may have dropped. Kneeling down can become more and more challenging if we begin to lose some strength.
A stationary assisted Split Squat is an exercise that can help you gain and maintain strength in the lower body to allow you to kneel down to the ground and then rise back up to standing. It is the first progression of a Split Squat using assistance with only your body weight.
To perform the assisted Split Squat you need to start with your feet parallel about shoulder-width apart (see picture 1). While keeping your feet shoulder-width part step back with one foot approximately one stride length (see picture 2).

To start the exercise grasp a solid object (see picture 3 with a stable bar) with your feet shoulder-width apart and one stride length from each other. Slowly lower your body while holding onto the solid object for balance until your front leg is at 90 degrees and your back knee touches or almost touches the floor. The back leg will also form a 90-degree angle (see picture 4). Pause and reverse the motion back up to the starting position. Use the solid object to assist you up using your arms as much or as little as you need. Make sure you push through the floor with the entire foot of the front leg and lift through the hips of that same leg.

Complete for the prescribed number of repetitions then repeat on the opposite leg for the prescribed number of repetitions.
Please see one of BAC Personal Trainers if you have any questions regarding how to perform the assisted Split Squat exercise or how to include it your exercise routine. They would be happy to assist you.

Picture 1                                                    Picture 4
Picture 3                                                   Picture 4

Jump In!

by Mike Locke, Fitness Director

1. Reduce overuse injuries. The repetitive stress of intense, specialized training contributes to overuse injuries. Depending on water depth, aquatic training can reduce impact up to 85%, resulting in less stress and reducing the likelihood of injury.

2. Supplement land training. Many land moves can be mimicked in water, and clients can practice movement patterns without worrying about impact. Shallow water is beneficial for vertical jump training, transitional depths are good for racquet sports training, and deep water is valuable for long-distance training.

3. Add variety or overcome training plateaus. Water provides resistance in multiple planes of movement, allowing for new types of overload. Working in a different environment reduces boredom and adds fresh challenges.

4. Increase muscle strength. Cardiovascular and muscle endurance training can occur concurrently in the water. Correct training techniques and equipment make it possible to build strength.

5. Supplement speed and sports training. Coaches can teach sport-specific moves in the water. Aquatic training improves core muscle recruitment to stabilize the body against the water’s forces.

6. Facilitate post-workout recovery. The hydrostatic pressure from immersion increases circulation, reduces swelling, and enhances recovery. Water training provides a comfortable environment for active-rest workouts.

Stability Ball T-spine Extension

Preparation: Knees and hips close to the stability ball with hips back toward heels. Chest and abdomen lying on the ball with both hands behind the head. Spine should be in a neutral position.

Movement: From initial position lift the upper chest, shoulders and head up off the ball. Note it is a very small motion. The goal is to get into T-spine (Thoracic Spine) extension. Thighs, hips, and abdomen should remain in contact with the ball. Slowly lower back to the start and repeat.

Benefit: Most daily activities we participate in we have a forward flexed posture. T-spine extension assists us in not only strengthening the area but helping our mobility in our upper back. If you have questions regarding this exercise please contact one of our Personal Training Staff.

Quadrupled Hip Mobility

Our hip joint structure is meant to be mobile, tilting forward and backward, hiking left and right, and rotating in all directions. Sitting more frequently or for longer periods of time during the day can affect the hip’s ability to move optimally. Lack of mobility dramatically affects how your lower body moves and can affect your spinal function. Done on a regular basis, hip mobility exercises can make a huge impact on your hip’s ability function. One of the easiest positions we can perform exercises for hip mobility is a quadrupled position or simply put, on your “hands and knees”. This is the developmental position that we learn to crawl in prior to learning how to walk. Quadrupled position helps you maintain spinal positioning while moving the pelvis, thus adding core strength benefit. Here are some of the exercises you can perform in the quadrupled position to increase the mobility of your hips and pelvis.

Quadrupled starting position:
Start with your hands on floor with fingers pointed forward and wrists aligned under your shoulders in a straight line. Keep your spine in a neutral position with a normal lumbar curve. Your knees should be directly under the hips in a straight line and your feet should be flexed forward.
1. Pelvic anterior/posterior tilts – While maintaining spinal position, tilt your pelvis forward then backward. Increasing the arch to the lower back then flattening the lower back as you “Tuck your Tail”.
2. Pelvic lateral tilts, or “wagging your tail” – While maintaining alignment, shift your pelvis left and right just like a dog would wag its tail.
3. Pelvic circles; both clockwise and counter-clockwise – While maintaining alignment draw a circle with your pelvis like you were doing the “Hula” or a “Hula Hoop”.
4. Rocking forward and backward – Starting in the quadruped position, rock your hips back toward your heels then reverse directions and take your shoulders past your hands.
5. Rocking diagonally left and right – In the starting quadrupled position, rock your hips diagonally back toward your right heel and then reverse back to your left shoulder. Repeat on the opposite side.
6. Rocking circles clockwise and counter-clockwise – Starting in the quadrupled position, take your hips in a rocking circular motion clockwise right to left. Repeat in a counter-clockwise motion.

Try performing one set of 10-20 repetitions in each direction while trying to maintain spinal alignment. Performed on a regular basis a few times a week you should begin to notice a difference in your hip mobility. Great to do first thing in the morning, prior to exercise, or after extended bouts of sitting.

If you have questions regarding alignment or how to perform any of these exercises please see one of our BAC Personal Training Staff.
Mike Locke
Fitness Director

Equalizer Dip

Take two Equalizers and place them side by side. Stand in between the Equalizers then bend down and grasp the foam portion of each handle. Place both feet outside the Equalizers just on the other side of the front feet. Knees are bent and the arms should be straight. Lower your body down between the equalizers
by bending the elbows. Make sure not to lower yourself down any further than 90 degrees of your upper arm. Extend your arms lifting your body back up then repeat. In this position you may if needed use your legs to assist you.

“The Stork” Outer Gluteal Activation

The “Stork” is a static hip exercise for strengthening and activating the lateral Gluteals, Gluteus Medius, Gluteuas Minimus, and the Piriformis muscles. This set of external hip rotators are responsible for abducting the leg out away from the body, rotating your leg outward, and stabilizing your femur at the hip. Non-activity and injury can cause this group to become weak which can affect the overall performance of your hip complex, affecting your gait and in some cases cause knee, hip, and lower back pain.
A static exercise like the “Stork” means that the exercise requires you to hold the position for a set duration, much the same as an isometric where the limbs and joints do not move but the muscles are contracted. The duration can be as short as 10-20 seconds to as much as 30-60 seconds depending on the prescription.
To perform the “Stork” take an inflatable balance disc, foam pad, or even a moderately firm pillow and place it against the wall. Turn sideways to the wall so that your shoulder is next to the wall with your feet about shoulder width a part. Lift the leg closest to the wall and trap the disc between your lower thigh and the wall with your leg not quite 90 degrees. Stand tall and put your wall side hand on the wall for balance. Begin by driving your body into the disc with you outside leg. Your wall side hip should not touch the wall. Keep the outside leg straight throughout with the body tall. Hold for the prescribed duration and repeat on both sides 2-3 times. Please see our BAC Personal Trainers to learn more about the “Stork”.

“Standing Donkey Kick”: Glute Activation

The Static Hip Series is called the “Donkey Kick”. The “Donkey Kick” is a static hip exercise for strengthening and activating the Gluteus Maximus and the Hamstrings. The Gluteus Maximus and the Hamstring muscles work in concert with each other to extend your hip. Extremely important muscles for gait in walking and in running. Injury and inactivity can dramatically affect the performance of these two groups which in some cases may cause modifications to gait and running mechanics, increasing the chances of injury and or pain.
A static exercise like the “Donkey Kick” means that the exercise requires you to hold the position for a set duration, much the same as an isometric where the limbs and joints do not move but the muscles are contracted. The duration can be as short as 10-20 seconds to as much as 30-60 seconds depending on the prescription.
To perform the “Donkey Kick” take a “Ballast Ball”, Stability Ball with sand material in the bottom, or a regular Stability Ball. Note that a “Ballast Ball” has a little more stability that a standard Stability ball. Pin or trap the ball at the base of a wall, a corner works even better as the ball will not roll around as much and you have a wall to stabilize and balance yourself with. Turn your back to the wall and the ball and then place the sole of one foot against the ball. Your support leg should be far enough forward, that the knee of the foot that is on the ball is slightly behind the front leg. Standing tall drive the heel of the foot on the ball into the ball. You should feel a contraction in the Gluteus Maximus and hamstrings. Hold for the prescribed duration and repeat on both sides 2-3 times. Please see our BAC Personal Trainers to learn more about the “Donkey Kick”.

Rollga foam rolling hip, back, neck

Rollga foam rolling hip, back, neck series:

Hip bridge for tissue around sacral spine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Piriformis for tissue release in the hip rotators.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mid-back for tissue release between the shoulder blades.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Neck for tissue release for the cervical spine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 to 20 rolls of each position. Pain should be less than a 4 on a scale of 1-10 (1 being no pain 10 being intense pain). These exercises can be performed on a daily basis.

Ski Conditioning Preparation

You don’t have to wait for the snow to start falling to get ready for ski season. Start your training now and you’ll be sailing past those other ski bums on your way down the mountain. Dusting the competition or showing off to friends are not the only reason to get in shape before the ski season. Skiing is an activity that requires a variety of skills; strength, endurance, balance, and coordination. Hit the slopes without developing these skills and you may be in for more than embarrassment – you might even hurt yourself.

This is where sports-specific training comes in. Generally speaking, sports-specific training programs involve focusing on the various skills associated with a particular activity. Depending on the sport, this may include health-related measures of fitness such as agility, balance, coordination, power, speed, and reaction time. Most sports require a mixture of these components.

Skiing is a sport that relies heavily on skill-related fitness. A traditional fitness program, which includes a combination of weight training and cardiovascular exercise, will only take you so far. A specific training program to develop specific skills for skiing will take you from the peaks to the valleys in record time.

There are several ways to begin a sports-specific training program. The simplest way is to include several new exercises in your regular workout schedule. For example, performing wall sits that require you to “sit” against a wall will help you build up the isometric strength needed for the tuck position in skiing. Squats and lunges will build lower body strength for skiing tough terrain like moguls. Exercises such as crunches to work your abdominals are essential in creating a solid “core” for balance and agility.

It is important to train your body to withstand and absorb the impact associated with skiing. Plyometric movements, such as hopping from side to side, develop muscle power and strength as well as improve agility.

A great way to integrate these elements into your existing routine is to create a circuit training program, which involves rapidly moving from one exercise to the next. You can set up a circuit in any large room or at your club’s aerobic studio. Many health clubs offer this type of class specifically for the ski season. Be sure and place all of your stations before beginning your workout so you don’t have to stop in the middle. Set a specific time limit for each exercise as well as a set period of breaks between each station. Thirty seconds of work followed by 30 seconds of rest are common interval periods. Then, simply turn up the music and make your way down the circuit. You might even want to create your own music tape with timed interval of music for exercise and silence for rest periods.

Try these stations to help you gear up for the slopes; use the slide for lateral training, perform one-legged squats to develop balance and strength, and use a step-bench platform to improve power. Try catching a bean bag as it drops off your forearm to improve reaction times or bounce two tennis balls to improve coordination. To improve agility, create your own slalom by running between two comes. In sports-specific training you are only limited by your imagination.

Do your lifting before you hit the lifts! BAC offers a killer Snowsport Conditioning Training Class as well as a class for Recreational Skiiers.

Utilizing Resistance Machines

Since the invention of the first variable resistance machine in the late 1800’s, machines have become a major part of resistance training programs throughout the world.

Why have they become so popular? For one, they offer many users a larger degree of safety as compared to using other forms of resistance training. Users do not have to worry about being trapped by the weight or having a weight fall upon them. So safety is a big plus but do not be lulled into a false sense of security. Any piece of resistance equipment can cause injury if used improperly with poor technique and too much resistance.

Secondly, machine users often feel using such equipment allows them more ease of movement. They can change resistance quickly and efficiently and do not for the most part have to worry about coordinating and stabilizing their body, which can be a plus in some instances.

Lastly, variable resistance equipment through it’s design can provide users with the opportunity to train some body movements which would be nearly impossible to do by other means, i.e. hip abduction and hip adduction.

What should we keep in mind if we want to utilize variable resistance equipment?

1) Learn how to adjust the piece for you. Many pieces of equipment can be adjusted to fit your limb and torso length.

2) Learn the mechanics of the exercise. How to apply force effectively, how you need to stabilize, and know what your posture should be while performing the exercise.

3) Learn at what speed of movement you need to be at to receive the most benefit. Most if not all weight stack style need to be performed at a slow consistent speed to maintain a consistent strength curve. Not only can going too fast increase your chances of injury, it can also decrease the overall benefit of the exercise performed. Exercise speed should be somewhere from 2 seconds or more on the contractive phase (weight moving off the stack) to 4 or more seconds on the eccentric phase (weight moving back to the stack). Keiser type variable resistance equipment is one of the only styles in which you can perform the exercise at any speed and still retain a consistent strength curve.

4) Make sure to contact a Fitness Professional if you have questions. Ask for assistance. It will increase your success and decrease your risk of getting injured.

If used properly variable resistance training equipment can enhance any routine and provide you with many different training options. Train smart and be safe.