Learning To Listen – Guest Post from our Head Trainer

If I had a nickel for every time I heard someone come in and say they were tired…

We all work ourselves too hard. Burn the candle at both ends, so to speak. And we forget that our bodies have signals built in to let us know how we should be handling that. Our head trainer addresses this in her most recent blog post. You can read the blog post here:

http://nutsandboltsfittraining.blogspot.com/2014/08/learning-to-listen-plus-weekend-workout.html

Have a safe and happy Labor Day Weekend!

A Lesson to Learn at Any Age

The other day I was scrolling through Facebook posts and a high school friend of mine, with a daughter under one year old, posted this wonderful article title “10 Things I want My Daughter to Know About Working Out.” While reading the article, every part of me was singing a resounding “YES!” 

These lessons are things that of course I would want my daughter to know, but they are things that I also want my clients to know. So often people come in to the gym to lose weight, fit into a particular dress size, or look sexy. This is the mindset around working out, and we put ourselves into the gym to workout, we put ourselves through a workout to lose weight, we want to lose weight to fit into that dress, or to impress that person (sometimes that person is ourselves). When we have this mindset, we forget the other things that working out gives us. Strength. Mobility. Longevity. Confidence. Endurance. Durability. Health (and working out) is more than just a number – whether the number is our weight, our body fat percentage, or our dress size. We forget that we can take that workout outside, enjoy the sun, the grass, the water, the hillsides and mountains. There are so many other ways to workout other than just inside the gym. Remember this. We want you in the gym, of course, but don’t limit yourself. Take a hike, go for a swim, play with your kids at the park. You’ll have fun and benefit your health in more ways than one. 

You can read the article by following this link.

Happy Monday!

Are Your Hips Sassy? – A Brief Guide to Stretching and Opening the Hips

Many of our clients have been coming in to their workouts expressing hip pain or tightness. A good number, if not all, of those clients have careers that involve long periods of sitting.If you are one of those people, here are some stretches and exercises you can do to restore hip mobility/flexibility and may help to reduce pain and tightness.

1. Butterfly stretch (Psoas and Hip Adductors)

Begin in a seated position and bring the bottoms of your feet together, making a diamond shape with your legs. The closer your feet are to your body, the more you will feel this stretch in your inner thighs. Move your feet away from your body while keeping the bottoms of your feet together, and you will feel the stretch in the outsides of your hips through the outside of your hip.

2. Kneeling Hip Opener (Hip Flexors)

Begin kneeling with one knee on the ground and the other leg bent with the foot on the ground in front if the body. (This kneel should look the same as the kneel football players take when another player is injured.) Keeping your torso upright, push the hips forward. You should feel this stretch in the hip flexor of the leg with the knee on the ground.

Alternatively, you can do this stretch while standing if kneeling is not an option for you. With a step in front of you, place one foot forward on the step. Bend the front leg and push the hips forward while keeping your torso upright. Again, you should feel this in the hip flexor of the leg that is back.

3. Pigeon Stretch (Gluteus Medius and Maximus, Piriformis, and Hip Abductors)

Find a counter or table at hip height or below. Bend one knee, bringing it up toward your chest. Then, picking up your foot, place the outside of your leg on the table or countertop, laying it down. Your leg should be out in front of the body, resting on the tabletop in the shape of a “7.” Begin with a lower surface if hip height is too intense, and work your way up. Your goals is to lay your leg down flat on the table.

4. Deep Squat (Hip Adductors and Psoas)

Begin standing with feet just outside hip width and toes pointed out slightly. Keeping your core tight and back straight, lower body into as deep a squat as you can manage. For a deeper stretch through your hip adductors (inner thighs) you can use your arms or elbows to gently press your knees outward.

This should not be painful, so if squatting if an issue for you please skip this exercise. 

Try some of these stretches at home this weekend. Tight hips can cause discomfort when sitting, standing, and walking. You may find that these are helpful! This is by no means a comprehensive list of hip opening stretches, so if you are in need of additional stretches please see us or your fitness professional.

These stretches, in addition to core, glut, and hamstring strengthening exercises, should help to alleviate some tightness and counteract the effects of long periods of sitting we all experience. For more stretches and exercises, you can see this article. Happy weekend!