Monthly Archives: May 2014

Strengthen Your Golf Game

By | Exercise | No Comments

DriverWith warm weather finally here, many people are getting back to outdoor activities. If you’re a golfer, this means getting out on the course and picking up where you left off last year. If you find yourself frustrated with your swing, simply adding a few functional exercises to your workouts may have you recording your best game yet.

Golf is a sport that requires specialized skill, but also a balance of power, mobility, stability, and proper mechanics. If any one or more of these aspects is limited, it will hinder your performance and have you swinging your club in frustration. Make sure your workouts contain exercises that will naturally establish a foundation in these areas of sports performance.

Overhead_Squat

Overhead Squats. A typical squat will build stability and strength, which will lead to more power. The hips and legs can generate huge amounts of power and if you can harness that energy and utilize it, you can drive the ball farther. An overhead squat adds the challenge of shoulder stability and flexibility as well as core strength, all of which come into play during a golf swing.

To perform: Hold a barbell overhead with feet shoulder width apart. To lock the bar in the overhead position, you must extend the arms while engaging the muscles of the upper back and shoulders. Once the bar is stabilized overhead, you can move into the squatting portion. Slowly squat down as you inhale, ensuring that your heels stay heavy, while pushing your hips back and maintaining the natural curve in your low back. Drop down to a comfortable and stable depth. Exhale as you stand up, but don’t lock out your knees at the top.

R_Cable_Woodchop

Reverse Cable Woodchop. Appropriate golf mobility requires overall stability while allowing proper flexibility and range of motion. The woodchop challenges lower body stability while improving flexibility and building strength and power through a large range of motion.

To perform: Drop down into a squat position and take hold of a resisted cable at floor level. As you stand up, rotate yours arms across your body and reach upwards to eye level. You should be utilizing power from your legs and core to initiate the movement and then following through with the arms and upper body to finish out the rotation.

Prone_Rotation

Prone Dumbbell Rotation. Holding a plank and performing additional movements from a plank position works the deep core muscles that stabilize the spine and hips. A strong core is the foundation from which powerful movements originate. An efficient core also helps prevent common injuries that can occur during the deceleration phase of the golf swing.

To perform: Assume a pushup position with a dumbbell in each hand. Keep your feet slightly wider than shoulder width and make sure your core is tight and your hips are not sagging. Allow your shoulders and hips to turn as you swing one arm towards the ceiling. Keep your arms straight throughout the exercise and try to generate movement from your hips and core. Reverse to your starting point and repeat on other side.

For overall performance gains, focus on 3-6 sets and use a weight that allows you to safely perform 3-10 repetitions.

5 Tips for Training Smart and Preventing Injuries

By | Exercise, Nutrition | No Comments

sport woman starting running. Speed effect.Injuries sustained during exercise are far too common and can discourage even the most focused athletes. Injury prevention is definitely time well spent and much more enjoyable than injury rehabilitation. Keep your body healthy by practicing the following tips and working to avoid injuries altogether.

Always get a proper warm-up. This starts by assessing how your body feels and noting any soreness or stiffness in your muscles and joints. If you feel residual soreness from your last workout, take some time to care for that area with myofascial release such as foam rolling, or maximizing range of motion in the surrounding joint with stretching or proper mobility exercises. If a joint feels tight, work on the surrounding muscles until you feel loose and mobile. This type of warm-up could take up to 30 minutes but may be necessary to maximize mobility.

Train smart and know your limitations. Train smart by using proper form on all exercises and by learning how to fully engage your muscles. Proper form includes maintaining control of the weight at all times, even on ballistic movements. Use your muscles to decelerate your movements rather than letting the weight push you around. If you’re working with heavy weights, make sure you understand exactly how to move and which muscle groups to engage and control. Never try lifting a weight that pushes you into bad form.

Face your weaknesses. It’s convenient to avoid exercises you struggle with, but most times that just means you need to spend more time performing them. For example, if you struggle with squats because you have tight hips and a weak core, it means you need to spend more time bringing these tight and weak areas up to speed. Having a functional body will pay off by not only minimizing your chance for injury but by maximizing exercise output as well.

Run on the best fuels. Give your body what it needs to function at its best by maximizing nutrients and staying hydrated. Quality proteins such as organic chicken and turkey, wild caught fish, and grass fed beef will support muscle mass while healthy fats such as avocado, olive oil, and coconut oil will help you control blood sugar while positively impacting hormone levels. Limit processed and starchy carbohydrates like bread and pastas, and focus on getting a variety of organic fruits and vegetables. Drinking pure water throughout the day will help to naturally detox the body and keep your muscles working properly.

Recover effectively. Most of the physical progress your body makes happens after your workout is completed. This is why it is so important to focus on recovery with fuel, sleep, and continued mobility after you leave the gym. Make sure you get a snack or meal within 45 minutes of the completion of your workout. Don’t skimp on sleep as this is such an important time for your body to repair and recharge. Just as a warm-up is important before your workout, focus on continued mobility after your workouts. If you start to feel tight or fatigued in certain muscle groups, take time to move those muscles and joints through their full range of motion with flexibility exercises and stretching. Using the foam roller to smash out and release muscle tension will speed up the recovery process as well.

So spend much of your time and focus on preventing injuries so you can continually progress and move in a positive direction.

Top 5 Must Do Nutritional Weight Loss Tips

By | Nutrition | No Comments

waist

1)    Always eat a healthy breakfast within 30 minutes of waking.

Besides being the most important meal, breakfast sets the tone for the rest of your day. Think of breakfast as a key time to refuel from hours of fasting and the first opportunity to stoke your metabolism.

2)    Consume protein, carbohydrates, and fat with every meal.

Never eat a carbohydrate by itself. The goal is to combine any sugars you eat with a protein and/or a fat so each meal satisfies nutritionally without spiking insulin levels.

3)    Eat every 2 – 3 hours.

Just as you never want to eat a carbohydrate by itself, never go too long between meals. Allowing your blood sugar to drop out of optimal range will have negative effects on your hormones while causing sugar cravings and more fat storage.

4)    Drink half your body weight in ounces of water every day.

Water is the most important nutrient for the body. Dehydration causes stress and disruptions of normal metabolic processes within the body and doesn’t allow the body to detox properly on a daily basis. Flush out toxins and keep you cells hydrated with plenty of pure water.

5)    Avoid processed foods and those with artificial ingredients.

Processed foods are loaded with chemicals, filler ingredients, and added sugars and sweeteners, all while containing less nutrients than whole foods. Feed your body real foods with real benefits.

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