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What’s New In Personal Training?

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Female athletes suffer ten times the amount of hamstring tears as male athletes due to this asymmetry. Tennis elbow/shoulder can result for much the same reason. And many Personal Trainers are building successful Personal Training practices focusing on back pain and Postural Correction programs largely due to the frequent asymmetry seen between their clients’ front torso muscle groups and their posterior torso muscle groups. The exercise prescription to correct these examples of poor Symmetry are to focus on increase muscular strength, size, and endurance of the “weak” side and increasing the Functional Range of Motion (FROM) on the hypertonic side. Typically, you can expect to perform three sets on the weak side for each set you perform on the hypertonic side. One other critically important area is the lower leg. I have a long held belief with NO scientific research to verify my opinion, that one of the primary causes of Shin-Splints is lack of symmetry. The Gastrocnemius is the 3rd strongest muscle in the body after the strongest: the Gluteals and the 2nd strongest: the Quadriceps. The Gastrocnemius is strongly developed through running, jumping, most sports and by any Heel Raise Exercises. The Antagonist muscle to the Gastrocnemius is the Tibialis Anterior on the front of the shin (anterior to the shin bone: Tibia). The Tibialis Anterior is relatively small and weak muscle that is responsible for Dorsi Flexion: curling the foot, toes, upward, towards the knees. Heel Raises are the exercise of choice to develop the Gastrocnemius and the seldom performed Toe Raise is the exercise needed to develop the Tibialis Anterior. Toe Raises are seldom performed because the Tibialis Anterior is not a “sexy showy” muscle. When have you ever heard anyway say, “Hey, you have a great Tibialis Anterior!?” But if you want to avoid shin splints or other lower leg problems, make Toe Raises a part of your program. Toe Raises can be performed with bands, cable straps or Kettle Bells. Make sure to elevate the heel safely to get an effective FROM. I recommend Super Slow Training so you still get a highly effective workout, providing high intensity and yet a relatively light load for comfort. The weight is positioned at the base of the toe and without cushioning, can be uncomfortable. This recommendation is for Bodybuilders and Marathon Runners alike. Runners, be aware, immediately following the “Push-off” Phase, your toes Dorsi Flex as soon as they leave the ground. Without proper training, injuries can occur. The second addition to the IFPA Components of Fitness is Biochemical Balance. Biochemical Balance includes Nutrition, Sports Nutrition, Hormonal Balance, Stress Management, Hydration, Sleep Management, Diet, Supplementation and all other factors that affect your bodies Biochemistry. The Biochemical focus should be about what optimizes performance as much as those areas that negatively impact performance. Processed foods, fried foods, over consumption of alcohol, tobacco, fat, sugary and simple carbohydrates foods and drinks all negatively impact the goal of a fit and healthy lifestyle. Everyone should develop a personalized goal of striving for a healthy, fit and happy life. It is your job to educate them on the How and Why! 12 IFPA Components of Fitness are:

  1. Strength
  2. Speed
  3. Power
  4. Anaerobic Endurance
  5. Aerobic Endurance
  6. Agility
  7. Balance
  8. Coordination
  9. Flexibility
  10. Body Composition
  11. Symmetry
  12. Biochemical Balance

In Sports Conditioning, all 12 may be essential for athletic development. However, for the more mainstream weight loss, fat loss, health and fitness goals, you should focus on: (1) Strength (4) Anaerobic Endurance (5) Aerobic Endurance (9) Flexibility (10) Body Composition (11) Symmetry (12) Biochemical Balance Best regards, Dr. Bell, CEO IFPA