Snap Fitness Health & Fitness Blog

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Posts 101 - 110 of 136

Ask the Trainer: Recovering from Injuries

By: Chad Ruf, Director of Personal Training

Question: In your opinion, what are the top 5 worst exercises for a bad rotator cuff?

Answer: I would say that your biggest enemy here is not properly stretching and warming up before exercise. If I did have to pick a couple exercises that would not be great they would be the overhead barbell or dumbbell press and the flat bench press. All of these exercises put pressure on the rotator cuff especially if you break the 90 degree angle with the elbow.

Question: I had gall bladder surgery 2 months ago. What's the best exercise for me?

Answer: Dorothy, although many experts say it is important to begin walking around soon after surgery, I would be very conscious as you could re-injure your incision sites. I wouldn’t begin an exercise program until you have an examination and are released by the doctor to do so. He or she will give you any restrictions you have to work with and I recommend you get with a personal trainer to have them help customize a program around them. Take it slow and get your advice from the doctor.

Ask the Trainer: Pulling Muscles in Back

By: Chad Ruf, Director of Personal Training

Question: I am constantly pulling muscles in my lower back when I do deadlifts - even after taking 2 weeks off, and starting with almost no weight. I've tried super-slow, low-weight-high repetitions, stretching, etc. Of course, I'm also lifting with my glutes, not my back. Any ideas?

 

Answer: There are a couple things you can do to help with this. One issue many have with the lower back is a weak core. Try strengthening your core with leg lifts, crunches, and sit-ups on a stability ball. You can also try wearing a power belt to hold your core tight and help support your lower back. The best way to handle this would be to eliminate dead lifts from your workout unless you need to do them for testing or a sport specific exercise.

Ask the Trainer: Facebook Fitness Questions

By: Chad Ruf, Director of Personal Training

Question: Is doing a long period of cardio good enough to lose weight?

 

Answer: Doing cardio will help you lose weight as long as you are burning more calories than you are taking in. It is a great way to start but you will get better results by adding in some weight training exercise with your cardio. I would do 30 minutes of weight training with 30 minutes of cardio. 

 

Question: I'm looking for a good core exercise that will also strengthen the back - any suggestions?

 

Answer: Working the core in general will strengthen your back. I would recommend doing your sit-ups on a stability ball. It will help you work your mid section, including your obliques, and will help you strengthen your back as well.  You can also do planks for your mid-section, which will strengthen your core.

Ask the Trainer: Workout Intensity

By: Chad Ruf, Director of Personal Training

Question: I work out with a trainer once a week and he wipes me out. A couple times a week I try to do that same workout on my own, but I’m not nearly as tired when I do it on my own. Why is this? How can I make sure I’m pushing myself as hard as my trainer does?

 

Answer: This is a tough one. I don’t think it is possible to push yourself as hard without your trainer unless you have a workout partner as well. Think about what the trainer does for you. First, you get the knowledge you need to do the exercises correctly. Second, you have someone that holds you accountable for showing up and not missing workouts. Finally, you have someone who can push you through that pain and burn on your final repetitions that you won’t do on your own. If you can find a workout partner who can be on your routine and who will push you past your comfort zone on exercises, you will be ahead of the game. This is the main reason that many people use personal trainers and why many professional athletes are where they are today!

Ask the Trainer: Dehydration

By: Chad Ruf, Director of Personal Training

Question: How can I walk further and a little faster without getting so dehydrated?

Answer: You can’t really walk further and faster and stay hydrated because you are going to sweat more with the intensity and lose more water. You have two different options. One option is to ensure that you are properly hydrated prior to exercise. Make sure you drink a few glasses of water before your workout. The other option you have is to consider what a lot of cyclist and hikers do and get a Camelback water backpack. This backpack holds enough water to keep you hydrated on long rides, walks, or hikes. You have to have access to water during prolonged exercise especially in the heat to avoid dehydration.

 

Ask the Trainer: Limited Workout Time

By: Chad Ruf, Director of Personal Training

Question: If I only have 30 minutes to spend exercising, what’s the best use of my time?

Answer: The best thing you can do to be effective is a combination of cardiovascular exercise mixed with weight resistance training. Adding muscle increases your metabolism and helps you burn more calories over a longer period of time while cardiovascular exercise helps you burn stored fat from your body. Running is always an effective way to burn calories fast because you have the impact of your body weight in motion. If you have a little more time try mixing in 15 minutes of weight training with 20 – 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise. You will see results much faster this way. Check out our Basic 8 routine to do a full circuit of weight resistance training, all in just 30 minutes!

Are You Overtraining?

By: Chad Ruf, Director of Personal Training

Many Americans get stuck in the rut of overtraining when trying to see results in the gym and outdoors. How do you know when you have done too much? How do you know when it is time to switch up the routine and/or what you are doing that's moving you in the wrong direction?  Here are some signs that you may potentially be overtraining.

 

 

  1. You have been losing weight and body fat for some time but now you are going in the wrong direction. Your body’s hormones are out of whack and you are starting to store body fat and lose lean muscle. 
  2. Your workouts are getting worse and not better. Remember when you started and your workouts would continue to get better as time went on? Now you cannot finish the original workout you did a month ago and you can’t seem to get your heart rate up like you used to.
  3. You are working out 7 days a week without rest. You are training too often. Your body needs rest between workout days to recover and repair torn muscle tissue. Try taking at least two days off a week to get the needed recovery time you need to build lean muscle mass.
  4. Your joints, limbs, and bones ache and hurt. The overuse of your muscles during these multiple workouts has caused pain in the joints and auxiliary muscles where you have more motion and use. Your body cannot repair fast enough in these areas as you are using them in multiple exercises. Don’t ignore that pain in your knee cap and that throbbing pain in your hip joint. You may be overtraining.
  5. You are getting sick or catching colds more often. You notice you have been sick a lot more this year. You are exercising a lot but you are wearing down your body’s immune system and it can’t repair itself fast enough to keep you healthy.

 

Pay attention to these potential symptoms of overtraining and you may have a better and more enjoyable fitness journey in your future!

Ask the Trainer: Knees Stressed During Exercise

By: Chad Ruf, Director of Personal Training

Question: I am obese and knees sound like they're cracking when I try walking lunges...any suggestions until some weight comes off?

Answer: The cracking sound in your knees sounds scarier than it is. Here is a recommendation until you feel comfortable with doing walking lunges. I would start with a 5 minute walk on the treadmill to make sure your muscles are warm. Then stretch your legs out to get your quadriceps and hamstrings loosened up. Try doing stationary lunges until you build up enough strength for walking lunges. Standing straight step one leg backwards (reverse lunge) and then push up with your front leg. This will be safer until you build up more strength to support your knee joint.

Ask the Trainer: "Pushing Through the Soreness"

By: Chad Ruf, Director of Personal Training

Question: I am 34 and have always been fairly thin with periodic gains/losses. This past year, I have put on more than ever and have been extremely inactive for the past year as well. On Friday of this past week, I completed a 4 week session of boot camp. I rested on Saturday, and then started the a 30 day shred on Sunday.

After the intense boot camp workouts, I am surprised to find how difficult this 20 minute(!) workout is!  I know that you've addressed this, but I’m just curious why so many people seem to have no issue with working straight through, and claim that “pushing through the soreness” makes it “easier”? I feel like it won’t be as effective if I don’t take a break, but I don’t want to fall into the trap of not pushing myself enough. What is your opinion?

Answer: The reason you felt so good on the one day you worked out was because of the rest you gave your body. Think about when you hurt yourself and you go to the doctor. The doctor usually gives you something for the pain and tells you to lay off everything so you can heal. This is no different than working out but on a smaller scale. When you lift weights and you feel the soreness the next day you are experiencing micro-tears in the muscle fibers. This is a good thing as long as you allow the muscle to repair itself and grow. More muscle equals a faster metabolism. If you continue to train sore muscles over and over again they will not repair or grow and you will burn out and lose your motivation. I recommend keeping up the good program but with a day's rest during the week and one day's rest on the weekend. Also, make sure you are getting enough protein in your diet to repair your muscle and cut your calories a bit on your off-days as you are not burning as much.

Ask the Trainer: Targeting Pectoral Muscles

By: Chad Ruf, Director of Personal Training

Question: I've been working on toning my muscles the past three months, and the only thing I am unhappy with is the bottom of my pecs. What can I do to tone them and get that nice rolled/ripped look?

Answer: There are a few different ways to hit the chest. Flat bench press is typically used as a strength move to build a foundation. Incline press builds the upper pectorals and give you the muscle you can see from a “side shot” as it focuses on the upper portion. To focus on your lower “pecs” I would recommend doing a decline chest press with a straight bar or decline dumbbell presses. You can follow that up with some low cable rows that emphasize the lower pectorals. Make sure you continue to hit it from three different angles for the best results and shape! For demonstrations on these different exercises, visit our YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/snapfitness247

Posts 101 - 110 of 136