Around 10 years ago, dynamic warm-ups started gaining popularity in the sports world as an effective method for athletes to prep before an event. Today, dynamic warm-ups are a standard routine for athletes ranging from amateurs to professionals. What is dynamic stretching and what are the benefits of doing it? Continue reading to find out!
What Is Dynamic Stretching?
Dynamic stretching is using movement to stretch and warm up certain muscles or muscle groups.
Some common examples of dynamic stretching are:
ADVANTAGES OF DYNAMIC STRETCHING
Warms Up Your Muscles
One of the main advantages of dynamic stretching is that it warms up the muscles to their working temperature. For example, a lunge with a twist is a dynamic stretching exercise that engages your hips, legs, and core muscles. Whether you are doing weighted lunges in the gym, or lunging for a soccer ball, the muscles involved have already been engaged during your warm-up.
Improves Range of Motion
Dynamic stretching will also improve your mobility and range of motion both in short term (as a warm up for a workout) and long term!
Reduces Chance of Injury
As we mentioned above, dynamic stretching fully warms up your muscles before a workout. This decreases the chance of an injury significantly!
Enhances Your Power
Studies reveal dynamic stretching before a workout can help you lift more weight and increases overall athletic performance compared to no stretching or static stretching. If you are trying to get stronger, build more muscle, or simply perform better, a dynamic warm-up routine is likely your best bet.
Do you want to learn more about dynamic stretching? Please contact us today!
The primary goal of all strength training methods is to help an individual reach peak performance. To achieve this, the most important quality an athlete needs is power. One of the most effective means of training for power is through plyometric training. If you aren’t sure what plyometric training is or what it can do for your fitness goals, continue reading to find out!
What is Plyometric Training?
Unlike typical strength training exercises that involve long, slow movements designed to increase muscular strength and mass, plyometric training consists of quick, explosive movements designed to increase speed and power. Plyometric exercises involve a stretch of the muscles, immediately followed by a contraction of the same muscle group, which is why it’s sometimes referred to as jump training.
Some examples of Plyometric exercises include:
Benefits of Plyometric Training
Strengthens Muscle Fibers
In order to increase your power, you need to increase and strengthen the muscle fibers that are responsible for converting strength into speed. These fibers are referred to as fast-twitch fibers, and plyometric training can strengthen them and increase the ratio of fast-twitch fibers to slow-twitch in your body. The stronger the fast-twitch fiber, the faster the muscle contraction, which leads to an increase in power.
Increases Muscle Tendon Strength and Reduces Injury
Stronger tendons mean fewer injuries. Plyometric training strengthens the tendons and improves their elasticity by placing stress on them in a controlled setting. There are numerous studies that support the use of plyometric exercises to reduce injury.
Makes You Faster
The stretch-shortening cycle is put into action every time your muscles stretch rapidly. When this happens, a signal is sent from your brain to your muscles via your neuromuscular system. The more efficiently your neuromuscular system can transmit this signal, the faster you can contract and relax your muscles, which in turn increases your speed and power. Plyometric training improves the efficiency of this system.
In summary, plyometric training will improve your speed and power, while also improving your coordination and agility too. If you would like to learn more about plyometric training or would like to schedule a consultation with a personal trainer, please contact us today!
Mixed Martial Arts, or MMA, fighting isn’t just for adults! Actually enrolling your little one in a MMA program is proven to be quite beneficial. Not only will it get them off the couch and involved in something fitness-related, but will also teach them many essential life skills!
Continue reading to learn some other benefits of enrolling your child in a MMA program.
A MMA program will teach your child confidence through goal achievement. Through each skill mastered, your child will achieve their set goal and will receive recognition for that. This will then increase your child’s self-esteem and the way they view themselves.
Encourages Physical Activity
We live in a digital age that makes it pretty hard to pull children away from tablets, phones, TVs, etc. By enrolling them in a MMA program that they enjoy, they’ll be much more likely to stick with it and be more active overall.
Because of the above mentioned digital age, we are also used to instant gratification. People, especially children, need to be taught how to achieve long term goals by working hard. By having skill sets and goals to strive for in a MMA program, children will learn the art of self-discipline.
A MMA program will teach your child how to protect themselves in a real life situation. This will not only give you more peace of mind as a parent, but it could also potentially save your child’s life one day.
Encourages Conflict Resolution
You may think Mixed Martial Arts promotes physical confrontation, but actually it’s the complete opposite. In fact, MMA and other combat sports promote a mind-body connection and peaceful approach to conflicts by addressing the heart of the issue at hand.
Increases Memory Retention and Listening Skills
The movements in a MMA program can be quite complicated and it usually takes time to remember and execute them correctly. Your child will build their memory and retention overtime by practicing different movements over and over again.
Are you interested in enrolling your child in a MMA program or need more information? Please contact us today!
Mixed Martial Arts, or MMA, fighting is a full contact combat sport that pushes the body to the limits like no other workout! Whether you’re training to win a fight or training for fun, MMA can get you in the best shape of your life and has some other great benefits as well.
Continue reading to learn how MMA fighting is different from other workouts and what it can do for you!
Complete Body Workout
Most sports require one set of muscles to be used more than another, but your entire body is strengthened in MMA!
This is because MMA workouts incorporate practically every muscle of the body. Your legs become strong as you kick, your arms get toned by punching and your core strengthens as you grapple.
Burns Calories Quickly
No exercise machine can compare to the speed at which MMA burns calories! In just a single 45-minute striking or grappling class, you can burn up to 600 calories. For a comparison, it would take you 45 minutes (going at a steady pace) on a treadmill to burn just 400 calories.
Incorporates Different Types of Exercise
You probably know that there are three types of exercise; aerobic conditioning, anaerobic conditioning and metabolic conditioning. Aerobic conditioning (cardio) makes your heart and lungs work efficiently to get more blood circulating. Anaerobic conditioning (strength training) focuses on performing better during shorter, more explosive exercises. Finally, metabolic conditioning (HIIT) teaches your muscles to use the fuel your body gives it more efficiently. This type of exercise involves very short very intense activity.
Unlike a gym workout that focuses on one of three types of exercises, MMA workouts incorporate strength, aerobic and metabolic conditioning!
Teaches You Self-defense
MMA is one of the best combat sports for self-defense! Unlike boxing where you just learn how to strike while standing, MMA combines stand-up fighting, ground fighting and takedowns. Because of this, it can teach you how to defend yourself in a real-life situation.
Are you ready to get in the best shape of your life and learn some amazing skills along the way? Contact us today to learn more about our MMA program!
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!