Trainer Tip of the Week – Rowing

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The rower is one of my favorite pieces of equipment that a gym can offer.  Not only is it one of the best calorie burning exercises you can do, but it is a great option for those with knee pain as well, because it is very low impact on your joints.  All that being said, the rower is frequently done incorrectly.  To start rowing, you want to put your feet in the foot placement, and pull the straps tight over the widest part of your foot.  From there, grab the handle bars at the widest point.  With your chest up, drive through your legs until full extended, then lean back slightly using your core, and finish it off by pulling the handle bar underneath your chest.  On the way forward, bring your arms straight first, then tilt forward using your core, then bend your legs and reach forward.  An easy way to remember the form is going back think legs first, then arms, and on the way forward think arms first, then legs.  If you’re looking for a great total body, calorie blasting workout, come to Premier Sportsplex and try our rower!

Need help in your fitness journey?  Let me help you!  Reach me at brianvaligura@gmail.com or at 806-789-2529

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Trainer Tip of the Week – Pulse Squats!

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This is a technique and exercise that I like to use at the end of my leg workout.  Not only does it give you an incredible burn, but you don’t need any equipment at all (Although you could use weights to increase the resistance).  Start with your feet hip width to shoulder width apart, then go down and up just like you are doing a regular squat.  On your second rep however, go all the way down, then come up roughly 6-8 inches, then back all the way down, then up all the way.  This is what I call a pulse rep.  On the third squat, do three pulses.  Fourth rep, four pulses.  Try going all the way up to ten reps with as little rest as possible!
Does your program have the variety it needs to achieve the results you want?  If not, let me help you!  Reach me at brianvaligura@gmail.com or at 806-789-2529

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Trainer Tip of the Week – Testing Your Cardiovascular and Muscular Strength

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Whenever I have a new client, I always like to put them through some tests to see where their cardiovascular strength, and muscular strength stand.  This is important, because it gives me and idea on what we need to focus on.  Here are some simple tests that I have found to be effective, and you can even do these in your own home.
1 mile test- A very simple and common test to see how fast you can accomplish one mile.  If you’re unable to run, then jog.  If you’re unable to jog, then walk!  Remember to have a timer as well, and when you’re finished, be sure to document your time.
Wall sit test- This test is designed to test your lower body strength.  Put your back flat against a wall, then drop your butt down until your butt is even with your knees.  Keep in mind that your knees should be in a 90 degree angle, and directly above your ankles.  Set the timer, and hold it for as long as you can!  Once your butt raises or drops, stop the timer and document your time.  Word of warning, this burns!
1 minute push-up test- This is a test to test your upper body strength.  Set the clock for one minute, then get in proper push-up position (hands under chest, butt and stomach tight, and maintain a straight line from your ears through ankles as your body descends and ascends).  Start doing push-ups until your form starts to fail, or when the minute is over.  If you need to go on your knees, that’s perfectly fine as well.  Keep in mind that during a proper push-up, you should go down all the way until your shoulders are even with your elbows.  Once finished, document your reps.
Plank test- This test is designed to test core strength.  Similar to the wall sit test, you will simply set the timer, and let it go until you reach failure.  Start with your elbows under your shoulders, knees elevated, and maintain a straight line from your ankles through your ears the whole time.  Once your lower back starts to collapse, knees touch, or your butt elevates, stop the timer and document your time.
I like to re-test every 6-8 weeks to see the progress we have made.  If I notice my client did great on the push-test, but not so much on the wall sit test, that’s a good indicator that we need to emphasize strengthening the lower body.
Are you seeing progress in your workout program?  If not, let me help you!  You can reach me at 806-789-2529 or at brianvaligura@gmail.com

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Trainer Tip of the Week – The Effects Exercise Has on Your Heart

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Exercise has endless benefits for your body, but none more so than the positive effects it has on your heart.  Your heart is the most important muscle in your body, so it’s crucial that you treat it well!  During exercise, your heart is being beneficially strained, and blood is flowing in and out of your heart.  Over time of regular exercise, the left ventricle begins to get larger.  When the left ventricle becomes enlarged, more blood can flow in and out of the heart with more ease, even at a resting state. Here are just a few of the benefits that regular exercise has on your body.
-Reduces risk of coronary heart disease and heart attack, and can help reduce plaque buildup in your arteries.
-Can help lower blood pressure
-Can help regulate triglyceride levels (fat in your blood)
 -Can help decrease LDL cholesterol levels (bad cholesterol), and increase HDL levels (good cholesterol)
-Can help decrease obesity when paired with a healthy diet.
   As you can see, a regular exercise routine with a healthy diet is crucial to your well being!  I recommend shooting for at least 30-60 minutes of strenuous exercise at least 3 days a week, with a mix of cardiovascular and resistance training.
Are you getting the results you want with your fitness routine?  If not, I would love to help you!  You can reach me at brianvaligura@gmail.com or at 806-789-2529.

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Trainer Tip of the Week – Strap High Row

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Last week we covered the chest press using the straps to strengthen our chest.  This week however, we are going to cover the high row using the straps, which targets the opposite muscle group.  This is a fantastic exercise that targets the upper back, and just like the chest press, you will really have to engage your core to maintain proper alignment and posture.  To start, grab the straps to where your palms face downwards toward your feet.  With your arms straight and the straps tight, walk your feet forward.  Keep in mind that the farther you walk your feet up, the more challenging the exercise will be.  From there, keep your butt and stomach tight, and pull your elbows as far back as you can and retract your shoulder blades.  As you squeeze your shoulder blades, there should be a straight line from one elbow to the other.  From there, release your body under control back to starting position.  From start to finish, there should be a straight line from your ears through your ankles, and the straps should remain tight at all times.
Are you getting the results you want with your fitness routine?  If not, I would love to help you!  You can reach me at brianvaligura@gmail.com or at 806-789-2529.

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Chest Press on TRX straps

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I love doing a chest a press on TRX straps, or any types of straps at the end of my chest workout.  Not only do you get an incredible pump, but you get much more core activation compared to a regular push-up.  Along with more core activation, your body will also call upon the deeper muscles of the shoulder to be engaged, which is crucial to prevent injuries, and to maximize your strength gains.  To start, grab a pair of straps and put them at chest level (think about doing a push-up in more of an upright position).  From there, keep your butt and stomach tight as you let your whole body descend.  Once your elbows and shoulders are even with each other, squeeze your your chest as you bring your entire body back up to your starting position.  As your body descends and ascends, you should be maintaining a straight line from your ears through your ankles at all times.  To make this exercise more challenging, walk your feet back, and to make it easier, simply walk your feet up.

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Trainer Tip of the Week – Eat your Vegetables

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If you’re like me, growing up you were told to eat your vegetables!  Turns out, there’s quite a bit of truth as to why you should never skip out on your veggies.  First off, vegetables are a low calorie option which makes them a great choice if you’re looking to maintain a healthy weight (which is something we should all strive for).  Secondly, veggies are loaded with anti-oxidants and vitamins that can help to prevent cancer, diseases, type 2 diabetes, stroke, and other illnesses as well.  Along with these tremendous health benefits, vegetable can also aid in healthy looking skin and hair, eyesight, and can help you get your daily water intake, because most are made of up of a lot of water.  To keep your body functioning at an optimal level, try to get anywhere from 2-4 cups of vegetables a day.  Some of the most nutritious vegetables include spinach, kale, broccoli, carrots, brussell sprouts, cauliflower, and much more!
If you need help in your fitness journey, I would love to help you!  You can reach me at brianvaligura@gmail.com or at 806-789-2529

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Barbell vs. Dumbbells

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The barbell and dumbbells are some of the most common pieces of equipment in the weight room.  While both are incredibly effective for building muscle, both serve different purposes.  If your goal is to build absolute strength and power, the barbell would be a more effective choice than using dumbbells.  Olympic lifts such as the clean and press, and snatch revolve around the barbell as well.  However, using dumbbells will allow you to activate more of your stabilizer muscles compared to using a barbell, and with dumbbells you can also train your body unilaterally (single arm bicep curl is an example of a unilateral exercise).  So, which one is better?  Neither!  Both pieces of equipment are extremely beneficial, and both should be a consistent part of your routine.
Are you seeing the most out of your workout routine?  If not, I would love to help you!  You can reach me at 806-789-2529, or at brianvaligura@gmail.com?

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TRX Suspension Training

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Suspension training has become much more popular over the years, and the benefits are numerous.  TRX training was actually invented by a Navy Seal, so you know it has to be challenging!  Here are some benefits of suspension training.
-You use your own body weight as resistance, so there is very little equipment needed to get a great total body workout.
-Great for building strength, and burning fat.  Suspension training will cause you to engage every muscle in your body, and cause you to use more of your inner stabilizer muscles, and not just your larger outer muscles.  Increasing strength in your stabilizer muscles will decrease the risk of injury, and lead to increased strength in your bigger lifts such as your bench press, squats, and deadlifts.
-Anyone can use it!  Whether you’re 25 or 75, a beginner to fitness, or at an advanced stage, TRX training can provide an appropriate challenge.
-Great for cardiovascular training.
-Very low impact, which puts little pressure on your joints.
Are seeing the results you would like to see in your training program?  If not, I would love to help you!  You can reach me at 806-789-2529 or at brianvaligura@gmail.com

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Trainer Tip of the Week – Over Training

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Did you know that during exercise you are actually breaking down your body, and making it weaker?  The repair and rebuilding process actually happens after you are finished.  Therefore, it is of upmost importance that you give your body proper recovery time so it can fully repair.  How much time is enough?  Actually, each person is different in that area.  For example, someone who does a lighter to moderate full body workout won’t need as much recovery time as someone who just accomplished a high intensity full body workout.  Personally, I like to look at signs of overtraining.  Some common signals include being tired throughout the day, sore joints, fatiguing quicker throughout your workouts, getting weaker throughout your strength training, and getting sick more frequently.  If you workout frequently, and are experiencing some of these symptoms, you might be overtraining.  One way to consider to prevent overtraining is to not go over an hour in your workout.  Quality is always better than quantity.  Also, if you are someone who likes high intensity workouts, that’s great, but be sure you are not doing high intensity workouts everyday.  This type of training is more strenuous on the body, so I suggest taking at least 2 days in-between each high intensity session.  Lastly, be sure you are spreading out your workouts properly if you are weight training.  For example, if you workout your legs hard on Monday, you probably won’t be ready for another hard leg day until at least Thursday.  Similar to a high intensity session, give each body part proper recovery time before you work on them again.
Are you seeing the results you want to see in your workout program?  If not, I would love to help you!  You can reach me at 806-789-2529 or at brianvaligura@gmail.com

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