Muay Thai, or Thai Boxing, is the national combat sport and cultural martial art of Thailand. First developed hundreds of years ago, it is a form of close-combat that utilizes the entire body as a weapon. This discipline is known as the "art of eight limbs”, as it is characterized by the combined use of fists, elbows, knees, and shins.
Continue reading to learn how the 8 limbs are utilized as weapons in this spectacular sport!
The Art of Eight Limbs
The fists are the most used weapons in Muay Thai, but body punching is used less in this practice than most other combat sports to avoid exposing the opponent’s head.
The technique and execution of punches are similar to punches in boxing, but the difference comes from the manner and form in which they are thrown- which is largely due to the footwork and guard form.
Punches used in Muay Thai include:
The use of elbows in Muay Thai is very unique. Many other martial arts and combat sports like Karate and Taekwondo may include elbow strikes, but none of them allow for elbows to be used as often as Muay Thai, especially in competition.
The elbow strike is considered to be the most dangerous form of attack in the sport. When executed correctly, elbows have the ability to cause severe cuts across the face or even end a fight altogether.
Elbow Strikes Used in Muay Thai:
Knees are also uncommonly utilized in the world of Muay Thai. They are one of the most lethal and important aspects of the sport as they have the potential to knock an opponent completely and utterly unconscious.
Knee Strikes Used in Muay Thai:
Many say that the shins and feet are the foundation of Muay Thai. The two most common kicks used are known as the thip (foot jab) and the te chiang (kicking upwards in the shape of a triangle cutting under the arm and ribs), or roundhouse kick. The Thai roundhouse kick uses a rotational movement of the entire body and has been widely adopted by practitioners of other combat sports.
Thai boxers are trained to always connect with the shin as the foot contains many fine bones and is much weaker. A fighter may end up hurting himself if he tries to strike with his foot or instep. Shins are trained by repeatedly striking firm objects, such as pads or heavy bags.
Kicks Used in Muay Thai:
Are you interested in trying Muay Thai for yourself? Please visit our website or give us a call at 480-382-8259 to schedule a complimentary session!
HIIT, also known as high-intensity interval training, is a training technique in which you give 100% effort through fast, intense bursts of exercise, followed by short, sometimes active, recovery periods. This type of training gets and keeps your heart rate up and burns more fat in less time.
Still not convinced? Continue reading to learn the benefits of HIIT!
Benefits of HIIT
1. Improves Your Metabolism
Combining high intensity with interval training speeds your metabolic rate and gives you a metabolism boost for up to 48 hours after a complete HIIT routine. This means you’ll still be burning fat even after you’ve left the gym!
2. Fast Workouts
HIIT workouts can be done anywhere and most are 30 minutes or less!
3. No Equipment Necessary
No exercise equipment? No worries! HIIT workouts generally use only your body weight, since the focus is on getting your heart rate up and keeping it there.
Interested in learning more about HIIT and how it could benefit your goals? Contact us today!
Struggling to stay motivated in regards to your fitness goals? We understand and that’s why we came up with 5 ways to keep yourself on track! Continue reading to learn what they are!
1: Change Your Perspective
Shift your thinking from couch potato mentality to thinking like an athlete. This may sound like a big challenge, but it’s not as big a leap as you think.
2. Set Goals
Set realistic goals that include clear milestones. As you progress toward your goal, you’ll find a ripple effect occurs and things fall into place in your work, home life, and health.
3. Schedule a Time to Workout
Some of the most committed exercisers do it every day before the sun comes up or late at night when the kids are in bed. Sit down with your weekly schedule and try to build in an hour each day to be good to your body.
4. Keep It Fun
By nature, humans need change and variety to stay motivated. We also need to have fun — even while we’re working hard. Do both!
Whether it’s a toning and sculpting class that changes choreography every week or a trail run that changes scenery every season, design your exercise routine around a variety of exercise methods.
5. Create a Support Group
Consider joining a social networking site or online community with fitness trainers and nutrition experts — and support from other people trying to lose weight and maintain healthy eating and exercise routines. People who get this kind of online support are proven to lose up to three times more weight than people going it alone.
How do you stay motivated? We would love to know! Tell us in the comments below!
Four Reasons Why Hiring a Personal Trainer is a great investment
Do you want to hire a personal trainer to help you get in shape, but wonder if you should spend the money?
Working with a trainer can push your fitness level forward much more quickly than working out on your own.
Continue reading to learn four reasons why hiring a skilled personal trainer is a great investment!
1. Accountability and Motivation
If you’re paying a trainer, do you really want to slack off and feel like you aren’t getting the most for your money? Money spent is good motivation to work out.
A good personal trainer will watch closely to ensure that you are doing the exercises properly to maximize your result and target the intended muscle group.
3. Reach Your Goals
A trainer will push you harder than you will push yourself but keep you from rushing ahead too quickly.
Expert trainers know alternative exercises if you have difficulty with one or if you have an injury to work around. Sometimes a modified version of an exercise is necessary, depending on your fitness level. A good trainer will expertly shape an exercise for you.
Quality trainers know how to customize a workout based on your individual strengths, weaknesses and goals.
Looking for a personal trainer or want more information? We can help! Just contact us today!
5 Healthy Eating Habits to Practice
Trying to lose weight but not seeing results? You may just not be eating the right things! Continue reading to learn five healthy eating habits that will help you on your health journey.
1. Eat Healthy Unprocessed Food
Many of the packaged foods we buy today are aimed at convenience and involve the minimum of preparation time on our part - but they're not that healthy.
They often contain high amounts of preservatives, man-made colorings and other added chemicals.
Get into the habit of preparing meals from unprocessed foods and you will reap the health benefits.
2. Switch to Healthy Whole Grains
Whole grains offer far more nutrients and fiber than their refined "white" varieties.
And in a 2012 study at the University of Copenhagen, researchers found that overweight people who ate wholegrain wheat products lost more weight than those who ate refined wheat, and they also came out with lower cholesterol.
3. Change to Healthy Cooking Methods
The more you "do" to your food, the less it does for you.
So avoid things like deep-frying, which drenches your food in unnecessary calories, and boiling vegetables until they're drained of color, as this will sap them of nutrients.
4. Eat Healthy Portion Sizes
In today's super sized world, it can be hard to know what a healthy portion looks like.
All the advertising we see seems to be aimed at encouraging us to eat and drink a lot.
Plate sizes in restaurants get bigger and bigger, as do the servings themselves.
So it's little wonder that many of us consume more than we need on a daily basis, as our eating habits have changed without us even realizing it.
5. Understand Healthy Eating-Out Options
Restaurants and cafes can seem like a minefield, not least because their portions are often much bigger than we need.
It's also tempting to go for the less healthy menu options. But that doesn't mean you can't put healthy eating habits in place when you're out with friends.
Need some more direction? We now have a Nutritionist on staff! For more information, please visit our website!
There are many benefits to working out with a personal trainer. People of any age and experience level can see better results and live a healthier lifestyle. A personal trainer will help create a unique workout plan to fit your individual needs and goals! Continue reading to learn more tips of a Benefits of a Personal Trainer!
1. Better Results
Having a personal trainer to guide you through your fitness routine will help make sure you are spending time on the proper types of exercise. If you only have a limited amount of time to work out, a personal trainer will make sure you get the best results possible for the amount of time that you put it.
2. Muscle Gain
Most people have multiple goals when working out, the most common being fat loss and muscle gain. It’s often hard to find the right balance between these two, and a personal trainer can help you find the right exercises to achieve all of your goals.
3. Less Chance of Injury
A personal trainer will teach you the proper form and technique to use during your workout so you can stay safe and injury-free.
4. Overcome Obstacles
When you hit a plateau in your exercise routine, it can be hard to push through and stay motivated. A personal trainer can help you understand why you hit a plateau and find ways for you to work through it and see more results.
Interested in hiring a personal trainer? Contact us today for more information!
In the past, sleep was often ignored by doctors and surrounded by myths. Now, though, we are beginning to understand the importance of sleep to overall health and well-being. We've learned, for example, that when people get less than 6 to 7 hours of sleep each night, they are at a greater risk of developing diseases.
All the more reason to get some sleep, right? Continue reading to learn 10 reasons why you should call it an early night.
Reduces Chance of Heart Attacks
Heart attacks and strokes are more likely to occur during the early morning hours, which may be due to the way sleep interacts with the blood vessels. Lack of sleep has been associated with worsening of blood pressure and cholesterol, which are risk factors for heart disease and stroke. Your heart will be healthier if you get between 7 and 9 hours of sleep each night.
Did you know that people who work the late shift have a higher risk of developing breast and colon cancer? Researchers believe light exposure reduces melatonin levels. Melatonin, a hormone that regulates the sleep-wake cycle, is thought to protect against cancer as it appears to suppress the growth of tumors. Be sure that your bedroom is dark and avoid using electronics before bed in order to help your body produce the melatonin it needs.
When your body is sleep deficient, it goes into a state of stress. The body's functions are put on high alert, which causes high blood pressure and the production of stress hormones. High blood pressure increases your risk for heart attack and stroke, and the stress hormones make it harder to fall asleep. Learn relaxation techniques to counteract the effects of stress and fall asleep faster.
Increased stress hormones caused by lack of sleep raises the level of inflammation in your body. This creates a greater risk for heart-related conditions, as well as cancer and diabetes. Inflammation is thought to cause the body to deteriorate as we age.
Makes You More Alert
A good night's sleep makes you feel energized and alert the next day. Being engaged and active not only feels great but increases your chances for another good night's sleep. When you wake up feeling refreshed, use that energy to get out into the daylight, do active things, and be engaged with your world. You'll sleep better the next night and increase your daily energy level.
Improves Your Memory
Researchers do not fully understand why we sleep and dream, but they have found that sleep plays an important role in a process called memory consolidation. During sleep, your body may be resting, but your brain is busy processing your day, making connections between events, sensory input, feelings, and memories. Deep sleep is a very important time for your brain to make memories and links, and getting more quality sleep will help you remember and process things better.
Helps You Lose Weight
Researchers have found that people who sleep fewer than 7 hours per night are more likely to be overweight or obese. It is thought that a lack of sleep impacts the balance of hormones in the body that affect appetite. The hormones ghrelin and leptin, which regulate appetite, have been found to be disrupted by lack of sleep. If you want to maintain or lose weight, don't forget that getting adequate sleep on a regular basis is a huge part of the equation.
Makes You "Smarter"
Nighttime isn't the only time to catch ZZZZs. Napping during the day is an effective, refreshing alternative to caffeine that is good for your overall health and can make you more productive. A study of 24,000 Greek adults showed that people who napped several times a week had a lower risk of dying from heart disease. People who nap at work show much lower levels of stress. Napping also improves memory, cognitive function, and mood.
Reduces Your Risk of Depression
Sleep impacts many of the chemicals in your body, including serotonin. People with serotonin deficiencies are more likely to suffer from depression. You can help to prevent depression by making sure you are getting the right amount of sleep: between 7 and 9 hours each night.
Helps the Body Repair Itself
Sleep is a time to relax, but it's also a time during which the body is hard at work repairing damage caused by stress, ultraviolet rays, and other harmful exposure. Your cells produce more protein while you are sleeping. These protein molecules form the building blocks for cells, allowing them to repair the damage.
The average adult body is made up of about 60% water, so it makes sense that drinking fluids is a crucial element to proper functioning of many different systems. Besides maintaining health of the heart, brain, and muscles, fluids help transport nutrients to the cells while also flushing bacteria, according to Harvard Health. Continue reading to learn five reasons you need to stay hydrated!
Water Prevent illness
While the kidneys naturally filter waste from the body, they require adequate water intake to function properly, according to WebMD. When the body is dehydrated, the elimination of wastes is diminished. Conversely, when the body is hydrated, healthier functioning and transportation of nutrients is restored. Some medical experts believe proper hydration can help prevent joint diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, since water reduces inflammation and promotes cartilage health. Proper water consumption can also protect against kidney stones, constipation and urinary tract infections, according to the Nutrition Reviews journal.
Helps Weight Loss
According to several studies published in the peer-reviewed medical journal Obesity, dieters who increased water consumption lost more weight than groups who did not. This may be due to the fact that thirst is often disguised as hunger.
Skin cells, like all cells, are made up of water. Therefore, if the skin is not receiving adequate hydration, it will appear dry, tight and flaky, and fine wrinkles will be more pronounced, according to The American Academy of Dermatology. Whether or not it’s true, many celebrities claim that water is the secret to their glowing, radiant skin.
After vigorous exercise and perspiration, it is especially important to rehydrate to replace lost fluids as well as to reduce soreness. According to the Journal of Athletic Training and Nutrition, studies have found that staying hydrated before, during and after exercise can not only reduce fatigue but also improve endurance. For those who feel too tired to work out, research published in the journal Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics found that regular, low-intensity exercise reduced fatigue by as much as 65% and increased energy by 20%. Combined with proper hydration, energy levels can significantly rise with even just a little effort.
Dehydration is known to cause headaches, which might explain why it’s common to get cranky when one strikes. Research supports this theory, as a study in the Journal of Nutrition found that even mild dehydration had a negative effect on mood. Therefore, a glass of water might work double duty in helping prevent headaches as well as promote a sense of refreshment that naturally enhances mood, as well.
Compound movements are exercises that utilize multiple muscle groups at the same time. To understand the difference, compound movements are not the same thing as isolation exercises, which only work a single muscle group at a time. For example, a traditional bicep curl is an isolation exercise meant to strengthen the biceps, whereas a squat is a compound exercise because it works the quadriceps, glutes, and calves
Continue reading to learn about the benefits and examples of compound exercises and ways to add them into your workout routine!
Compound movements are an efficient use of your time. If you only have a limited amount of time to exercise, you’ll work more muscles and build more strength by focusing on compound exercises.
Other benefits include:
Some Examples of Compound Movements Are:
If you are relatively healthy, you should have no problem safely performing compound exercises two to three days each week. To integrate them into your workout routine, you can start off slow. Focus on multiple muscle groups each day and wait at least 48 hours between strength training sessions to allow muscles to rest. On the days you rest, you can even do cardio workouts to get your heart rate up, burn fat and reduce calories.
Do you have any questions regarding compound movements? We would love to help! Just visit our website to contact us today!
Flexible dieting, or tracking your macronutrients (macros), is a healthy dieting plan that promotes the notion that there are no “bad foods” by allowing you to choose any food, as long as it fits within your macronutrient needs.
Recently, flexible dieting has risen in popularity due to its adaptable nature, which allows followers to still indulge in their favorite foods as part of their eating plan.
Want to know more? Continue reading to learn how flexible dieting works and its many benefits!
How Does It Work?
Many people love flexible dieting because it’s not really a diet, it’s more of a lifestyle choice. For instance, it puts the control in your own hands, meaning there are no meal plans or food restrictions that need to be followed.
To start a flexible diet, you must calculate your calorie and macronutrient needs according to how much weight you want to lose.
To do this, you have to determine your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE) and macronutrient needs before beginning the diet.
How to Calculate Your Energy NeedsTotal daily energy expenditure consists of:
Based on the equation, you can calculate your total daily energy expenditure as follows:
This number is then multiplied by an activity factor to estimate your total calorie needs:
To lose weight, you need to subtract a percentage of calories from your total daily energy expenditure to create a calorie deficit. Most websites that promote flexible dieting recommend subtracting 20% from the total daily energy expenditure. However, you can decide your calorie deficit based on your individual weight loss goals and activity levels.
Calculating Your Macronutrient NeedsAfter determining a calorie goal, you then calculate your macronutrient or “macro” needs. Macronutrients are the nutrients your body needs in the largest amounts: carbohydrates, proteins and fats. These nutrients provide calories and have numerous important functions in the body.
You can use one of the many macro calculators online, to plug in your height, weight, age and activity level to obtain a custom macronutrient distribution. However, you can also calculate macros on your own by breaking down their total calorie needs into percentages of carbohydrates, protein and fat based on your specific goals.
In summary, the great thing about flexible dieting is that you can tweak your macronutrient ranges depending on your lifestyle and weight loss needs! Do you need help calculating your calorie and macro baselines? We are happy to assist you! Just visit our website today to contact us!