Love Your Legs: All About That Bass
More than losing weight or being a specific size, several clients have shared with me that they just want to feel confident enough to wear those jeans or that dress. Well great legs are certainly within everyone's ability to attain, and you don't even have to sit on those ridiculous machines working your legs in and out for 1000 reps at a time.
Whether you're trying to lose weight or become a stronger athlete, to do either you have to move your legs more. And to move your legs more, there are certain exercises that everyone should do to tone, strengthen, and most importantly, decrease risk of injuries that often occur with a sudden increase of activity.
If you want to skip all the nerdy Personal Trainer Speak, skip below to the video to see my entire butt workout. But if you have a specific issue that may be butt-related, read on to see how adding these exercises to your routine will help you!
Love Your Butt!
Your derriere is not just for balancing a glass of champagne - it is a collection of muscles that work together to help the rest of the leg move to propel you forward and up. Any movement that requires hip extension, that is to move the legs from a bent to a straight position, requires the engagement of several muscles that hang out back there.
To strengthen and shape, a combination of resistance exercises that target the biggest muscle, the gluteus maximus, and the smaller underlying gluteus medius can help the butt maintain that rounder, lifted look. But here's the thing: no two bodies, and therefor, no two butts are the same. Muscle size does not dictate strength so not everyone's muscles will look the same, even if they can perform exactly the same way. Still, doing these moves will definitely help prevent that dreaded "pancake butt" that no one wants to have!
The first page of a fresh calendar year is symbolic of so many things in life. There are 365 blank squares before us, waiting to be filled. And before the pages get cluttered with school events and doctor's appointments, we have an opportunity to schedule something for ourselves first!
Our resolutions may be big or small, vague or deeply personal, but they all share one common fault: Without commitment and accountability they are just empty wishes, vanishing into the air. How are some people so successful in achieving their goals, while others never make it beyond posting their resolutions to Facebook?
I am not anti-resolution, but for some time I have taken up an issue with the inflated importance placed on the changes we wish to make... just once a year. In reality, it's winter, it's cold, and we are under the same time constraints with the same limited hours of daylight on January 2nd as we had on December 21st. It's easy to make really big plans for ourselves in the midst of winter break. But then we're thrown back into the mix, probably still feeling the effects of New Year's Eve, and wondering, "Wait, so just how am I going to do this?"
So while there is absolutely nothing wrong with making a New Year's Resolution, I want to help you re-think how you approach your goals. Because it's not enough to just say "I want to _____ in 2015," you need a plan with concrete steps to follow and complete at pre-determined intervals. It is the same approach I encourage clients to take when beginning or making a change to their workout routines, and can be implemented any time of year.
Jen Raby Fitness Newsletter!
Have you signed up for my newsletter yet? No? Oh... well this is awkward...
Well it's not too late! In addition to my blog posts featuring the information that I feel is most important for leading a healthy, balanced, active lifestyle, I want to include you in my newsletter where -
I know there are a lot of gyms to work out in, and it seems like there's another trainer's number on an ad or poster at every corner or bus stop. But I'm not here to just meet with you and take your money. I want to deliver as much as I can to enhance and enrich your training experience through one-on-one interaction and education. This is the best way, I feel, to empower and encourage my clients to take on the challenges that lay ahead and make lasting positive changes. One way for me to do this is through a newsletter with your suggested content. So sign up below and leave a comment on this blog to let me know what you'd like YOUR newsletter to contain!
There are very few pieces of equipment that I have as strong of an attachment to as my dear BOSU. The shelves in sporting good stores or aisles are jam-packed with gidgets and gadgets that promise to expedite results if you use those items exclusively in your fitness routine. I chose to invest in a BOSU for my fitness "arsenal" because it allows for a variety of exercises for every ability while challenging the body in a way that guarantees improvement in strength and movement.
To be clear- this is not an advertisement. I am not being compensated in any way for professing my love of this beautiful blue half-dome. I just want my clients to know why we will be incorporating the BOSU into many aspects of your individualized fitness routines.
BOSU For the Brain
Proprioceptive awareness is the term we gym nerds use to refer to the brain's ability to know where the body is in space and what it is doing. To understand what I am talking about, stand on one foot. Now, stand on one foot and close your eyes (please do not stand near furniture with sharp corners or a stairwell). Did you fall over? Hopefully not! But you probably did lose your balance rather quickly. By doing exercises on the BOSU, we force the brain to communicate more with your working muscles, and your muscles to send faster signals back to the brain. We begin first with standing on both, then just one foot and gradually progressing to compound, multi-joint movements. The more the body and the brain talk to each other, the more efficient you will become in any exercise we do, increasing the effectiveness of each workout.
Diet and Exercise Part II: Safe Gains
Energy balance - the amount of food that you take in compared to the number of calories you burn - is perhaps the most vital component of living a fit, active, healthy lifestyle. Consume too many calories without enough activity, and you gain weight in the form of increased body fat. If you don't consume enough calories, you will not have the energy to support the physiological adaptations to exercise, or more simply put, muscle growth.
Last week I talked about safely cutting calories through simple, sensible food choices while increasing one's activity level by a moderate amount to eliminate 500 calories a day and lose one pound per week. For basic weight loss, this is the best approach to help retrain the body's metabolism and ensure that one eats enough to sustain a certain level of activity. But what if weight gain is the goal? If someone wants or needs to build muscle mass, she needs a caloric surplus.
The old adage, "you can't have one without the other," applies to many things: Peanut-butter and jelly, love and marriage, and in the fitness industry, diet and exercise. But for some reason, there are people out there trying to split diet and exercise apart, claiming that one can either eat anything so long as they burn enough calories, or that if you eat specific foods in specific proportions at specific times of the day, you will never have to break a sweat again in order to lose weight.
Well, OK. You CAN lose weight by either increasing caloric output or decreasing your intake, but is losing weight synonymous with being healthy? What does that number on the scale mean, anyway? Let's take a look at a few physiological factors that impact what your true healthy weight range might be.
When The Going Gets Tough
Over the weekend I coached a client through a local 5K. We were not looking to break any land speed records. Our goals were simple: No throwing up, finish strong, don't die.
"No Pain, No Gain" is a saying that has been thrown around forever. But what does that mean, exactly? More importantly, what should it mean? After all, any new training program is going to be challenging. There will be sweat, soreness, and for some people, a lot of swearing. Truly, if there were no discomfort during any workout, then working out would not do much for us at all.
Whether you have been working out for as long as you've been able to move, or you are just getting started on your fitness journey, many people face the temptation of going all out to achieve the results they are after. Of course that is what people think makes the most sense: Move more, burn more, improve faster, lose more weight.
But you can't drive very far when your gas gauge is in the red, and your body can only push so hard for so long before it, too, will leave you stranded in the middle of the road. That, of course, is the worst-case scenario, but here are a few tips to avoid burnout from over-training:
Welcome to JenRabyFitness.com, version 1.0. I'm still learning the how-to's of running a website and tweaking my design, but it's time I get my rough draft out there for everyone to see!
In this blog, I plan to highlight important and relevant health and fitness information that I feel everyone - not just my clients - ought to know that will help you on your way toward self-improvement. I will also share with you some of the "secrets" about my approach to personal training that I feel are the most effective in ensuring results. For my current clients, I want you to be able to use this blog as an additional tool along with our sessions so that you can make the most of your training experience.
So if you want to know more about fitness information you've heard or read, want to touch base with other clients and followers to talk about your struggles and successes, or want to reach out for additional guidance and support from others, then please feel free to ask, comment, and share here!
I am looking forward to getting to know you, and hopefully having the pleasure of training you soon!