Your “core”, as it is called in general terms, is the key to optimal performance, stability, and posture. It is the foundation for all movements of the body, and also functions as a biological lifting belt and brace.
Being able to activate your core will improve your posture by keeping your spine in alignment. It will also improve your ability to balance and perform complex movement patterns. Trying to perform technical and/or compound exercises without first activating your core is the easiest way to get injured at the gym, especially as you increase the weight being lifted.
To learn how to properly activate your core we urge you to speak with your personal trainer so that they can walk you through the steps in person. They may even give you simple core activation exercises that you can do at home or at work.
Building muscle strength comes down to two things: exercise and nutrition.
Consider experimenting with eccentric resistance training – slowing down the eccentric phase of muscle contraction. This method will cause the muscle to sustain greater levels of cellular damage and result in further cellular repair, which in turn means increased strength and muscle mass.
Protein is essential for gaining strength, as it is what the body uses to build the muscles back up to react to increased demand. Insufficient protein intake can hinder your efforts in the gym. Some people find it hard to eat sufficient protein throughout the day, in which case protein shakes may come in handy; however, real food is usually a better source for protein than supplements. Most people only need about 0.8-1g of protein per pound of lean body weight (not total weight) per day.
When it comes to building muscle, the best approach will depend on each individual person. Talk to your trainer about what you can do to build your muscle strength.
The July issue of our monthly e-newsletter – The Fitness File – is available now! This issue covers the following:
- practicing mindfulness
- fitness tip: stretch your lats!
- nutrition tip: from pantry to table
- COVID-19 studio update(s): latest updates
- club news: trainer testimonials and group training
- staff spotlight: Bahar Bakrani (Personal Trainer)
- studio Q&A: how can physiotherapy help me correct my posture?
Check it out here.
The summer can be a great time to enhance your exercise routine, particularly if you want to take advantage of the longer and warmer days; however, we urge you to take caution on the hotter days. Your typical exercise routine may take more out of you on days that are hot and could lead to serious consequences.
In order to enjoy the summer, stay active and stay safe, we urge you to consider the following:
- Be prepared: On days that are expected to be hot, plan for an indoor workout, a less intense outdoor workout or take a day to let your body rest.
- Stay hydrated: You may think that your intermittent water breaks are enough but consider the fact that you will likely be sweating more and will need to drink more as a result. Listen to your body and don’t skimp on the water.
- Dress for success: While we don’t want you to wear anything you feel uncomfortable in, we do urge you to consider clothing and materials that let your body breathe. Don’t forget the sunscreen!
- Try an early morning or late evening workout: Avoid those peak, critical hours by ensuring you get out before or after the blazing sun is out.
Hydrate and stay safe!!