With all the various types of sweat wicking and performance enhancing claims that come from the fitness attire world you're left with one question, "does it really work?" If you look at the professional athletes in the world, covered from head to toe in compression clothing you would think the answer is a definitive YES. But it's just not that simple. Let's take a look at just one type of compression clothing...the ubiquitous compression short.
So do compression shorts really work? Kinda, sorta, maybe. The answer to this question stems from a research study that looked at the effect compression shorts had on NCAA Division 1 volleyball players vertical jump. This is a measure of explosive power in the lower body.
In the study the subjects performed multiple vertical leaps consecutively with and without compression shorts. The results were interesting. The study showed that when the players wore the compression shorts there was not a significant change in the height of their vertical leap, but the average height of their jumps were higher. This suggests that the compression shorts complemented and supplemented the movement of the hip, perhaps due to proprioceptive stimulation.
In other words, the feedback of the compression shorts helped to stimulate the activation of the hip musculature. This made the movement more efficient, thus increasing the average power output of the body. Other studies have analyzed compression garments on runners as well with no evidence of improved performance. However, there may be evidence to support wearing compression clothing for recovery. Which by the way is part of the RICE protocol for injury recovery. Rest, Ice, COMPRESS, and elevate.
While there seems to still be conflicting evidence supporting performance enhancement, there is not any evidence that these garments decrease performance. In the end, the choice is really best made based on preference. If you feel that you run better with the compression shorts then have at it, but be weary of claims of performance enhancement.
Lunge with Pass Through
What it works: Glutes and Quadriceps
Tips to Remember: To start, hold weight with opposite hand from the foot stepping out, keep chest lifted, push your weight through the front heel when you push back to standing position.
Recommended Reps: -3 sets of 12-15 on each side.
Compliment that hike or a great road trip with good ole fashioned trail mix. It's a healthy and convenient option for filling your nutritional needs. So head to your local grocery store to find these great items sold in bulk.
Mix well then separate for quick snacks while on the road, in the office, or hitting the trails.
Russian Twist: Video- What it works: Oblique Muscles of the Abdominal - Tips to Remember: Touch the floor with each twist to get full range of motion. There are different variations and levels of difficulty to choose from i.e. feet on the ground or feet up. *Avoid if you have lower back pain-Recommended Reps- 3 sets of 20 or set a time goal… ex.. 30sec, 1min, etc.
If you're looking to lose weight, become stronger, healthier, and happier you need to know a few things. The path you're about to embark on is more than just 45 minutes a day, it is a complete paradigm shift. You will make new friends, engage in new activities, and in return influence and motivate others, but first you have to start.
Slow is smooth and smooth is fast.
In the beginning it will be slow. You will experience fatigue, muscle soreness, and some frustration, but those are obstacles for your mind to conquer. You may feel like you're dying only five minutes into that run, and you are. Well, the part of you that doesn't want to move. You know that stubborn teenager in the back of your mind who doesn't want to clean their room. Well it's your mess and you need to start picking it up. Much like that teenager tough love, persistence, and patience are key to success. Mental toughness will ensure you the path to better workouts and even better results. I'm not saying it will be a couple weeks down the road, or even a couple months, but you'll never know if you just quit.
Misery loves company.
We are less likely to push ourselves out of our comfort zone without a little bit of encouragement. Whether it is an actual person telling us or a recent turn of events our decision for change tends to stem from an outside source. If your friends jumped off a bridge would you? Of course not, but in this case the bridge, sedentary life, sucks and will eventually kill you, so jump. Find a lunch time group exericse class and share your disdain for the peppy overly enthusiastic instructor. Don't worry about hurting their feelings, we tend to be a pretty tough bunch.
Eat your heart out.
That is exactly what you are doing when you eat out. When you stop at your local eatery you are signing up for added sugars, fats, and sodium. These three common trouble makers wreak havoc on your health. Instead of heading out for food, make your own. Pull out that cellphone, tablet, or fire up the desktop and start that pinterest board. With today's technology you can find easy healthy recipes anywhere, anytime. If time is an issue lookup crockpot recipes and never look back. Which ever route you decide remember that eating healthy is only hard because you're creating a habit by breaking a bad one.
Finally, GET REAL!
By now you should understand that I'm here to be honest with you. I'm a personal trainer and group fitness instructor who has seen clients come and go with the unrealistic idea of losing all their weight in a matter of a month or two. They follow crazy fad diets that want to get rid of one thing, eat only this, or do a full on juice cleanse with no real food for days. I'm here to tell you that the weight didn't appear overnight and therefore won't be going anywhere soon, but now is a great time to give it that eviction notice.
With summer comes great weather, the kids out of school, and some desperate finagling with your schedule just to make it to the gym a few times a week. If this is the case and you've been lifting regularly your routine could benefit from super setting your workouts.
A superset is when you perform one exercise and then, without rest, move to another exercise that works the opposing muscle group. For example, if you're performing a bench press of 10 reps you would then move to a row and perform ten more repetitions. This will increase muscle activation without increasing the fatigue of either muscle. Think of it as a sort of tag team. Your chest rests while your back takes over. This is a great way to decrease on the amount of time spent on your workout while increasing the amount of work performed.
With a busy schedule you can still strength train twice a week and hit every part of your body in one hour sessions. Separate your days into chest/back and legs/core. The leg days are best to use core exercises between leg training exercises. My favorite is performing squats then moving into a 45 seconds of mountain climbers.
Whatever your routine remember to mix it up, listen to your body, and have fun.
With the seemingly endless amount of technology in the fitness world, a person begins to question if any of it is really necessary, and if so, what and why. To answer these questions you need to know what goals you are setting and how you plan to achieve them. Instead of comparing the many types of fitness trackers, diets, and workout plans, I will talk about the information you will need to manage your health and wellness. This will in turn allow you to choose what type of tracker is best for you.
Throughout college I remember being told it is always best to collect as much data as possible when performing a research study in order to determine the factors affecting the outcome. This is also true when it comes to your fitness tracker, because your training program is a single-subject experiment, YOU. The more information you have, the more feedback from your day you're getting, the clearer the picture.
There are so many aspects to living healthy, but we only need to focus on a few to really start seeing a difference in our bodies and the way we feel. The trifecta of fitness data is heart rate ranges (intensity), diet and recovery (sleep). Tracking the number of steps is important also, especially if you are just starting your exercise program, but as you get into a routine, these other variables will be much more important.
Regardless of your health or fitness goals, an activity tracker can be a great wellness partner in your journey. It will keep you accountable, goad you to achieve more and give you confidence in your routine.
If you find yourself in a hurry in the morning, prep these pancakes for a quick morning snack.
2 cups Whole Wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon Salt
4 Teaspoons of Baking Powder
2 tablespoons of sugar
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons of Olive Oil
2 Cups of Sparkling Mineral Water
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
Mix all the dry ingredients.
In a separate bowl beat the eggs, and then add the olive oil, vanilla extract.
Mix the dry ingredients with the wet and finally add the water.
Mix until smooth then pour silver dollar sized amounts into a preheated light medium heat.
Once poured sprinkle some blueberries, bananas, or other fruit for some added flavor.
Spread peanut butter on one when ready to consume and enjoy a quick easy breakfast throughout the week.
The Memphis in May World Championship Barbecue Competition crowned a new champion last weekend.
With Memorial Day quickly approaching, your turn as a grill master is quickly approaching.
While barbecue is an indulgent food that shouldn't be taken lightly below are some quick tips to eating with a more healthful angle and avoiding any unnecessary calories.
After all is said and done you can walk it off at the park or bowling at the new Bass Pro Shop.
Whether you grill or smoke some ribs, pulled pork, or any other favorite item, remember to snack smart and have fun.
Whether you're sitting at your desk, at the movies, or in the car... kale chips make a great on the go crunchy snack.
This simple recipe can be tweaked to accommodate a favorite spice or seasoning such as garlic or cayenne pepper.
The ingredients are short and the prep time is key, but the payoff is a grand delight.
One Bunch of Kale
1 Tablespoon of olive Oil (infused olive oil)
1/2 teaspoon of salt
-Remove the stems from the kale and keep leaf in large sections
-Wash well and dry completely, if still damp pat dry with a towel.
-place leaves and oil in a plastic bag and massage being sure to coat them fully
-Line a cookie sheet and place a single layer of kale on the pan not allowing overlapping
-Place oven rack to the top third of the oven and preheat oven to 325F
-Bake for 15-20 minutes checking every 6-8 minutes and turning halfway through.