Time to Try Pilates – FREE

This week and Next week you can try any class with me in my Studio at Hayden Hill or Fitness 4 Less

Pilates offers a perfect way to balance your training – as much I want everyone to train hard, really hard – in short variable burst ( more on Smart Blast training soon!) you MUST lengthen muscles, mobilise joints, improve your tissue quality and support your recovery if you want to avoid injuries and plateau.

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Fitness 4 Less sessions – Wednesdays 12:30 with 2 hours free parking at Beechwood Arcade, just a short walk from the gym.
Following your trial fees are 5 classes for £5; your next 5 sessions cost £10; further 5 packs £15.

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Hayden Hill Studio – Fitness Pilates Mondays 18:00
– Integrated Pilates Mondays 19:45 & Thursdays 18:00
– Restore & Rebalance Tuesdays 18:30
– Fit Backs & Bumps Thursdays 19:30

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We look forward to seeing you…
for more information or advice email me Jaxallenfitness@gmail.com
To book or a quick question text me anytime 07831 680086

I hope I’ve persuaded you try Pilates, with me or another teacher near you, there are lots of styles available now – don’t give up on your first try.
You need to balance your Yin & Yang. All hard training will wear you out – you need to stretch, release and re mobilise to find a healthy balance.

Pre-Stretch – Dont Bother!

Pre-Stretch – Dont Bother!

Stretching before working out actually weakens your muscles by 30%.
Pre-game stretching could actually increase your risk of injury.
No study I’ve found has shown pre-stretching (before a workout) has ever prevented an injury!

You are better off doing your stretching after a workout; try lifting some light weights to warm up, or doing a little walking before cardio.

I always consider that my clients have dressed, travelled, changed, arrived in my studio – so pretty warm and ready to go…. A little muscle activation, core work and practise of any complex movements planned for that day will prepare you and help you focus well enough.

#2 Fitness Myth Fail : Stretching Pre workout

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Yet another published almost truth!
It’s been known since the early 90’s that Pre exercise stretching does not prevent injuries.
It’s also accepted that stretching a cold muscle is worse for performance than not stretching at all.
What benefit do we get from stretching? It allows an instructor to observe and evaluate a client.
Dynamic stretches are a great way to warmup before a workout, when done properly.

So, here is the myth – as is- followed by my comments…..
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#2 Myth: Stretch Before You Work Out
Stretching before working out actually weakens your muscles by 30%. Pre-game stretching could actually increase your risk of injury. You are better off doing your stretching after a workout; try lifting some light weights to warm up, or doing a little walking before cardio.

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Post Exercise stretching – always a sensible part of your workout. To allow your muscles to return to their Pre-exercise condition/length. Longer, held stretches to increase flexibility and support joint mobility must be a good ides.

Using light weights to warm-up should only EVER follow a series of mobility exercises. It’s a good idea to practise your chosen routine with a reduced load – but just picking up light weights and going for it is poor preparation – unless of course your workouts are not really that challenging.

Injury holding you back?

Letting an injury keep you out of the gym ?
If you injure your shoulder, or leg, or any limb for that matter, you still have three healthy limbs and a core to train! You can almost always train around an injury, so don’t let an angry shoulder or knee keep you from training the rest of your body.
When you train, you maintain your strength and muscle, expend some calories, and get a nice hormone response from the session. Training a non-injured limb can provide you with a 30% carry-over to your injured limb, which may help it recover and will help you keep up strength and fitness in that limb so it’s not so far behind when you train it again.
A good coach will be able to adapt or swap exercises to guarantee a good session for you.
So don’t let a niggling injury hold you back.
However, sometimes you need therapy to solve your problem area. I can arrange in- house sports massage with Sandra and Physio with Nikki.
So, don’t let a little injury stop you from working towards the Summer Body of your dreams.
Start NOW!
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@jaxallenfitness
Email me. jaxallenfitness@gmail.com

A few reasons shoulder joints are injured in training

A few reasons shoulder joints are injured in training

1. The shoulder joints rely on muscles to support them and that means you must have good strength balance and symmetry anterior to posterior. Unfortunately most fitness enthusiasts only work the front of the shoulder and forget that the back (posterior) of the shoulders is the real deal.

2. Shoulders have the greatest range of motion in the body. As a result when someone loses 25%, it can go unnoticed. However lose 25% of motion in your low back, hip or elbow and you lose big time function. No different in the shoulder except that without noticing the loss, compensate in other areas which is when the problems begin.

3. Rotation and your thoracic spine is where you really help your shoulders out. The problem is very few people train the shoulder in a rotational plane. Therefore the thoracic spine eventually gets tight. Loss of thoracic spine mobility means the shoulder has to do more rotating. Not a good thing for the shoulder long term.

4. The shoulder is a joint that must have a strong integration between the pelvis, trunk, scapular and shoulder joint in order to function successfully and stay healthy. This is lost if all strength training is done in isolation without the other areas getting involved. A shoulder that plays alone is not a happy shoulder.

5. Keeping the Scapula (shoulder blade) stable and mobile is a great place to start protecting the shoulder joint and rotator cuff. Making sure the scapula is loaded before pulling movements are performed is how you get the scapula on board instantly. Performing movements that do not require full ranges of motion is essentially informing the scapula that he is not needed.

1. Don’t always choose just 1 or 2 movements. Hit the shoulders using 4 to 5 different movement variations in a workout

2. Constantly change your base of support to get you pelvis thinking when training – especially easy with bands.

3. Don’t go directly overhead with pressing. Allow your arms to follow a more real life, scapular plane – a sweeping arc – out, up and forward.

4. Work the posterior (back) shoulder twice as much as the anterior (front) shoulder. And Yes… chest training iIS anterior shoulder training. It’s really easy to get the posterior shoulder training with bands

5. Make the thoracic spine rotate by performing unilateral (1 side) training with the shoulders not just bilateral all the time.

6. Anytime you can reinforce getting a good scapular retraction with downward rotation… Go For it. PACK UR SHOULDER BLADES DOWN.

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Why Crossfit May NOT Be Good For You

Why Crossfit May Not Be Good For You

I found this and thought you should have a read….. a few interesting points about who Crossfit is aimed at, how hard you should train and do the coaches have enough training?  Anyone can ‘Beast’ a client  not many can ‘Coach’ clients……

This discussion seems to make sense to me – Coach Boyle is very respected in his field and in the industry as a whole.

 

Michael Boyle
                       

Crossfit gyms are springing up all over the world. They are cheap and easy to open, with only a weekend certification and a few thousand dollars worth of equipment. This appeals to many in the fitness business. You can be part of a rapidly growing trend and you can do it without great expense. I am not a Crossfit fan so some might view this piece as yellow journalism. I will try to keep my personal opinions to myself and deal with what is generally agreed upon as safe in strength and conditioning.

First, a little background. To be honest, I knew very little about Crossfit until I was contacted by representatives of SOMA, the Special Operations Medical Association, in 2005. Crossfit was their concern, not mine. I was asked to come to the SOMA meeting in Tampa, Florida to discuss training special operations soldiers. At a panel discussion in 2005 I offered answers to questions asked about Crossfit and the controversy began. What follows is not from the SOMA meeting but, my thoughts since.

Major Question 1- Is planned randomization a valid concept. Crossfit is based on the idea that the workouts are planned but deliberately random. I think that the term planned randomization is an oxymoron. Workouts are either planned or random. I believe strongly that workouts should be planned and that a specific progression should be followed to prevent injury.

I sometimes plan sessions that relate to each other week to week – but not Day to Day – is this also planned randomisation.

But seriously, I know what Coach Boyle means. To be effective programmes should gradually build in frequency, intensity, duration and type of training, over the short and very long term.

 

Major Question 2- Is Training to Failure Safe? Because Crossfit is, at it’s heart, a competitive or self-competitive program it becomes necessary to train to failure. There are two layers or problem here. One is the simple question of whether training to failure is beneficial to the trainee. Some strength and conditioning experts believe training to failure is beneficial, others caution against. I must admit that I like training to failure.

However, this brings up the larger question of what constitutes failure. Strength and Conditioning Coach Charles Poliquin (another non-Crossfit fan) popularized the term “technical failure” and, this is the definition that we adhere to.

Technical failure occurs not when the athlete or client is no longer capable of doing the exercise but, when the athlete or client can no longer do the exercise with proper technique. In training beyond technical failure the stress shifts to tissues that were not, and probably should not, be the target of the exercise. The third layer of the training to failure question relates to what movements lend themselves to training to failure. In the area of “generally agreed as safe”, high velocity movements like Olympic lifts and jumps are not generally done to failure and never should be taken beyond technical failure. Is it one bad rep versus multiple bad reps? How many bad reps is too many?

It seems mad to train beyond the point of having good form (therefore safe execution of the exercise)

 

Major Question 3- Is an overuse injury (generally an injury caused by repeated exposure to light loads), different from an overstress injury (an injury caused by exposure to heavy loads). Both are injuries.

The first is overuse, the second is trauma. In my mind injuries are injuries, period.

I agree – I am always looking for ways to include mobilisations to improve movement patterns, prepare for training and get more value out of the warm-up/prep phase of every workout.  My 5 week programme gives us a chance to really focus on muscle balance, injury prevention, 3 Dimension training and recovery.

 

Major Question 4- Should adults be Olympic lifters? I don’t think that Olympic lifts are for all adults. Most adults can’t get their arms safely over their head once much less fifty times with load. The other question that begs to be asked is should anyone do high rep Olympic lifts. I know the best Olympic lifters in the world say no. With all that said believe it or not my biggest problem is actually less with the actual workouts than it is with the false bravado and character assassination of dissenters. The community can be pretty venomous when you question Coach Glassman.

 

The Crossfit community is also filled with people who tell you that injury is a normal part of the training process. I have spoken up against endurance athletes who willingly hurt themselves and to me, this is no difference than the current Crossfit controversy. I know that this will generate more controversy but, Crossfit might be the biggest controversy in strength and conditioning since HIT training.

I use HIIT as a method in some programs….

Quite different to HIT.

HIT is High Intensity Training, HIIT is High Intensity Interval Training….  I can vary the interval to build endurance before I progress the load/weigh Intensity to improve strength.

This way, beginners can work alongside experienced clients without fear of injury or embarrassment!

 

 

Hope this will encourage you to question training methods and the quality of the ‘coaching’ available to you.

 

Jax Allen Fitness

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7 Ways to Ease Pain and Avoid Injury

7 Ways to Ease Pain and Avoid Injury

Sue FalsoneDecember 10, 2008

Dave Cruz

Everything you do in the gym, at work, and at home either makes you more susceptible to injury or helps reduce your risk for pain. Tip the scales in your favor with these seven simple tips.

 

1. Straighten Up

Most people realize there’s potential for injury when moving or performing an athletic activity, but what you may not realize is that poor posture can have similar if not more detrimental effects on your body than sports and exercise.

When you slouch, lock your knees, or sit with your head forward, for instance, you place unnecessary stress on areas of the body that were never built to handle it. Over time, your muscles will tighten from trying to compensate for poor posture and your joints will ache from the excessive stress placed on them. So what’s the fix?

  • Sit up straight, but keep your back naturally arched—your back’s natural curve is meant to help transfer force
  • Keep your ears aligned with your shoulders, hips and ankle bones when sitting or standing
  • Avoid hours of the same posture—try to change your position as often as possible.

2. Invest 5 minutes a Day in Injury Avoidance

We all live busy lives, but what’s more important than your health? Don’t wait to think about your body until it lets you down. That’s like thinking about retirement when you’re broke. You spend time and effort investing your money to achieve a great return. So invest in your body with proactive exercise, or what we call “prehab.” To get started, use Floor Y’s and T’s to help protect your upper body, mini band walks for your lower body, and planks, pillars & bridges for core stability.

3. Stay in Control of Your Body

Flexibility is not only movement through a range of motion, but it is the ability to control the movement through the range. Without neuromuscular control, range of motion is useless. Think of a fast car that can handle successive curves on a road. If the car did not have the appropriate braking and accelerating actions, the drive would not be smooth or safe. The same concept applies to movement in the human body. The greater the flexibility you have, the more coordinated strength you need to direct your movement appropriately.

4. Wake Up Your Muscles

Injury is often caused by one muscle group—often times, your glutes or shoulder stabilizers—being completely shut off. This causes other areas of the body to compensate, leading to injury. Following your movement preparation program will activate these inactive areas and enable your body to recall movements you may have not used since childhood.

5. Pay Attention to Your Feet

Improving the strength of your foot intrinsic muscles (the small, stabilizing muscles) will build a greater base for movement. On the other hand, lack of foot intrinsic strength will lead to inefficient movement patterns, placing excessive stress on the foot, ankle, knee, hip and low back. To check the status of your arch, see if the inside bones of your feet touch the ground. If they do, you can benefit from simple exercises to support your arch. Here are a couple:

Towel Crunches

  • Sit in a chair with feet flat on the ground with toes pointing straight ahead.
  • Then, place a towel under feet and curl toes trying to pull towel under foot while rolling feet out to lift arch up.
  • Go for 1 minute, and repeat a total of 3 times.

Tennis Ball Foot Massage

  • Place your foot on top of the ball and slowly apply pressure as you roll your foot over it. You may find some tender spots. That’s OK.
  • Apply enough pressure so it’s a little uncomfortable, but not painful.
  • Do this for about 5 minutes on each foot once a day.

6. Stay on the Lookout for Warning Signs

Pay attention to the small aches and pains that creep up in your training. They’re usually a red flag that some part of your training is not being performed correctly. It may be related to training intensity, mechanics (compensations), or slight positional faults. Ignoring them can only lead to bigger problems that may significantly impact your training later on. You’re probably already aware of your weaknesses. Start training them.

7. Follow a Real Plan

Performing workouts at random can result in injury if your training is unbalanced. You may strengthen some muscles at the expense of others, creating imbalances that result in pain or injury. So set long term goals to help set your motivation in place and help define direction and purpose in your training, but also set specific, clear, short-term goals to guide and focus you along the way. At the end of each day, ask yourself, “Did I move closer to my goal today?”