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Fitness tip: improve mobility and reduce tightness through the upper back

Tightness in the upper back can impact not only our fitness program but also simple everyday tasks.

Reduced mobility and tightness through the upper back are issues that affect many of our clients and it is likely that you too may be afflicted with some kind of immobility through this area. Most experts believe that poor postural hygiene is to blame – consistently hunching over a computer or phone can lead to lengthened inactive muscles at the back and tight muscles at the front of the chest and shoulders.

**Disclaimer: This is a recommendation, NOT a diagnosis. If you are in severe pain, please contact a heath professional.**

Check out our Instagram videos for this fitness tip!

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Exercise and arthritis

Arthritis can affect anyone at anytime regardless of age, ethnicity or physical condition.¹ According to The Arthritis Society, one in six adult Canadians lives with arthritis. Many of us know someone who suffers from some form of arthritis and we’ve seen how debilitating it can be for those suffering from it. For many people living with arthritis, the thought of exercising (or being physically active) can bring on anxiety as there is a genuine concern of worsening their pain; however, in most cases, exercise and being physically active actually helps to improve their quality of life and can help joint reduce pain.

Your fitness program should be developed with consideration to cardio fitness, muscle strength and endurance, and joint mobility. If you suffer from arthritis and have no experience in a gym setting it is important that you learn the proper form and technique required for every exercise – preferably from a fitness professional instead of the Internet – to avoid causing further damage to your joints. Posture, proper form and body awareness are important for everyone participating in an exercise program but are critical for those with joint problems.

Fitness Tip: the lat pulldown

If you are a regular gym goer or even an occasional gym goer, you have likely crossed paths with the lat pulldown.

Your lats and latissimus dorsi are the big muscles of your back that insert at your shoulder, connecting to your humerus, and span all the way to the bottom of your spine. One of the benefits of a lat pulldown is that it helps you identify any muscular imbalances in your upper back and/or shoulders.

This exercise requires considerable core awareness as you need to concentrate on staying stable and stationary, not letting your body follow the weight back up when extending your arm again. 

Check out our Instagram videos for this fitness tip!

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How often should I train with my trainer?

Ultimately, how often you work with your personal trainer will depend on a variety of personal factors like time, money, etc. Generally speaking though you should be exercising (with a trainer or on your own) between 2-3 times per week, with a minimum of one day of rest between your workouts. When it comes to how often (and at what intensity) you exercise, it will depend on your goals. To determine the best workout program based on your goals, needs, etc., we highly urge you to consult a fitness professional.

Keep in mind that it is possible to work out too often. Excessively challenging your body with physical demands –  ‘overtraining’ – can lead to both chronic and acute injuries. Planning adequate rest will help your body adapt to the work and improve.

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