Fitness Matters | The Importance of Core Training

posted in: Uncategorized | 0

fitness_matters_march_blog

When people think of core training the first thought is to train your abs (your rectus abdominis and obliques to be specific.) To be fair, when you are at a lean body fat percentage, these are the show muscles of your core that give you the elusive six pack. However, to have a strong and stable core, there are several other primary groups you are going to want to train.

The low back (erector spinea, Illiocostalis, and quadratus lumborum to name a few) often go untrained due to them not being the most fun muscle group to train. However, having a strong low back is absolutely critical for proper muscle balance as well as injury prevention. Along with the low back, the glutes and hips often get neglected and can lead to discomfort in day to day life as well as poor form when preforming lifts like the squat and deadlift.

When you start to think about adding in exercises to strengthen your entire core, remember you don’t have to reinvent the wheel to do so. A simple Google search of core exercises can reveal some pretty crazy ways to achieve the same thing as a couple of straight forward exercises.

Start with the basics. Add in some supermans to target your glutes. Back extensions or the lower back machine to train full low back, and finally some lateral plate pushes to train the obliques. Although this may not seem like a lot, 3 sets of 10 repetitions of each of these can make a big difference in overall core strength when they are done at least one to two times a week.


Article By: Jay Corti, ACSM-CPT

Importance of Body Composition and Health

posted in: Uncategorized | 0

bendigo-body-composition Most people are aware of the importance of being a healthy weight and the impact that excess weight has on their health. However for most of us, when we think excess weight, we actually mean excess body fat. In reality, our absolute weight is arbitrary; just a number on the scale. Our body composition, or the relative proportions of different tissues (muscle, fat, bone, and organs) is more closely related to health status, rather than weight alone.

Our bodies need a certain percentage of fat for health (essential fat). Fat helps regulate hormones, protect organs and is a source of energy. Men require approximately 3% of body fat for health, whereas women require 12%. A body fat percentage above this level is non-essential fat. Research shows that the healthy ranges of body fat are 10-22% for men and 20-32% for women, where body fat percentages above this level can become a risk to the individual’s health. With this in mind, monitoring body fat percentage, rather than weight alone is important.

Body fat can be measured in a number of ways, including underwater weighing, DEXA scans and skin fold testing, to name a few. Bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) is popular, as it is non-invasive and time efficient. BIA works through measuring resistance in the body via an electrical current. As fat has a decreased water concentration, BIA detects increased resistance in the body with increased fat mass, allowing an accurate estimation of body composition.

Knowledge of body composition can provide guidance with respect to training goals and programming. Many people have the goals of decreasing weight and increasing muscle tone, which essentially comes down to optimizing their body composition by decreasing stored fat and increasing lean body mass. Resistance training is therefore an essential element of any weight loss plan, as it helps to preserve lean mass and optimize body composition, particularly during weight loss. Cardiovascular exercise is also beneficial, as it increases energy expenditure as well as improving overall health. However, it is important to remember that our bodies will adapt to the training stimulus presented and therefore training plans need to be progressive to facilitate ongoing results.

InBody570_FrontalViewA valuable nutrition-related measurement the InBody 270 offers is the assessment of Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR).  BMR is the number of calories (specific to you) needed daily to sustain life and body functions at a resting state.  Your BMR is related to your amount of lean body mass – more lean body mass equates to a higher BMR.  This is because muscle requires significantly more energy to maintain than fat tissue.  Thus, increasing lean body mass effectively increases your metabolism, making it a valuable
strategy for weight loss and weight maintenance.  Nutrition strategies to help optimize body composition (meaning decreasing stored fat and increasing lean body mass) include gradual, rather than rapid, weight loss and increasing dietary protein intake.

Ridge Athletic Clubs is pleased to announce that we now can offer body composition testing with the InBody 270. The InBody device is the most accurate BIA machine on the market. As well as providing an accurate assessment of percentage body fat, the InBody also can provide segmental analysis of lean body mass. This allows a greater insight into your body composition and more specific and individualized training.

For more information or to schedule an Inbody assessment, please contact us at the Ridge Athletic Clubs at 406-586-1737.


Articel By: Erin Lyons, ACSM-EP-C and Katie Sonnek, RD, LN

Fitness Matters | Finding Friends Through Fitness

posted in: Uncategorized | 0

fitness_matters_march_blog

I have been a fitness professional at The Ridge Athletic Clubs for over eight years.  During this time, I have been involved in thousands of individual pursuits of physical well being.  I’d like to share with you one of the most profound observations I have made during my career:  People become fit when fitness is fun and when they exercise with friends. As elementary as it sounds, those who move from a sedentary lifestyle into activity, and eventually into an active maintenance program, typically find that the enjoyment of exercise is enhanced when they are joined by like-minded individuals.  Many of my clients don’t like exercise at all and they admit that the only reason they show up is because they enjoy the camaraderie of their fellow group members or training partner.

So, maybe you are reading this and recognizing that you don’t particularly like to exercise and you can’t think of a friend or family member to exercise with…NO PROBLEM!  I have solutions:

  • Try a group fitness class
  • Enroll in boot camp for the summer
  • Contact The Ridge about Tribe Team Training
  • Contact The Ridge about Small Group Personal Training
  • Invite a friend or a family member on a walk, hike or bike ride and suggest that you meet at the same time and same day of the week

Even personal trainers struggle finding motivation to exercise.  I can’t tell you how much I enjoy my friend and running partner as well as the Tribe Team I train with.  If I’m working out with my Tribe or running with my gal-pal, I train harder and have ten times more FUN doing it.  If you need help finding a friend in fitness, contact us at The Ridge and we will connect you with the right partner, group, or team.  You will stay committed to your physical fitness simply because you will be having FUN.


The Ridge Leah Vogel

 

 

 

 

 

 

Article by: Leah Vogel,
EP-C, CWC, EIM2 ACSM Certified Exercise Physiologist

Fitness Matters | Lose the Meat Just One Day a Week

posted in: Uncategorized | 0

fitness_matters_march_blog

Have you gone meat free today?  You may be surprised to learn that giving up meat for just one day each week can have a significant positive impact both on your family’s health and on our environment.

For Health

Red and processed meat is associated with an increased risk of death from chronic disease.  Specifically, fatty meats and many processed meats (such as prime rib, sausage, and hot dogs) contain high amounts of saturated fat, which can raise bad cholesterol and elevate risk for heart disease.  Furthermore, consuming high amounts of red meat increases your risk of certain cancers, including colon cancer.  Thus, omitting meat from your family’s meal plan just one day each week is a practical strategy for improving heart health and decreasing risk of cancer.  Of course, it’s typically best for health and wellness if our dietary goal is balance and moderation of all foods.  And certainly, there are many health benefits to including meat in your weekly diet, especially lean varieties.  Lean meat is one of the best sources of protein, as well as an excellent source of iron and zinc.  So, when your meals do include meat, choose cuts with “loin” or “round” in the title, as those are the leanest cuts.

For Environment

The practice of consuming a more plant based diet can also benefit the environment.  Estimates vary, but agriculture and livestock contributes an estimated 9% (epa.gov) up to 18% (Food and Agricultural Organization) of all greenhouse gas emissions.  According to the National Resource Defense Council, if all Americans eliminated just one 4-oz serving of beef per week, the reduction in global warming would be equivalent to taking 4 million to 6 million cars off the road.

But “losing” meat once per week doesn’t mean you have to lose nutritional adequacy in your diet!  Remember that in its place you have the opportunity to add incredible health-promoting foods such as whole grains, beans and lentils, and vegetables.

  • Whole grains provide fiber along with a variety of vitamins and minerals.  Try oats, whole wheat bread, brown rice, whole grain                pasta, or quinoa.
  • Beans and lentils offer fantastic protein (16 grams per cup cooked) as well as fiber, folic acid, iron, and potassium.  Try a taco salad with black or refried beans, or add beans or lentils to soup.
  • Vegetables are nutrient powerhouses.  Aim for a wide variety of types and colors, with plenty of dark green, orange and red.  Try kale salad, roasted broccoli with lemon juice, or fresh bell peppers.

By Katie Sonnek, RD, LN

Fitness Matters | Over Training & How To Avoid It

posted in: Uncategorized | 0

fitness_matters_march_blog

The weather is warming in south west Montana and for many of us, that means we are becoming more active and perhaps even entering some races. It is all to easy to increase training volume quickly, especially with a deadline looming or the “I used to be able to do that” mindset. With this comes the increased risk of over training and injury. While pushing our bodies to improve is a good thing, there is a fine line between overreaching and over training.

It is widely accepted that there are greater benefits from exercising more, rather than exercising a little (what is referred to as the dose-response relationship of exercise). However, rapid or large increases in training volume or intensity can increase the risk of overuse injuries and increase general fatigue. As a rule of thumb, it is best not to increase training volume more than 10% per week. Also, if training intensity is increasing, training volume should decrease. Consistency from week to week is also an important consideration, with research showing that dramatic fluctuations in training load increase injury risk.

With this in mind, here are some practical tips to manage training load and injury risk.

  • Have a training plan and stick to it. Consistency is everything!
  • Keep a training journal
  • Plan and adhere to recovery weeks every 3rd to 4th week
  • Progressively increase training load with respect to your current level of fitness.

If in doubt, seek some advice from a fitness professional. With a little bit of smart planning, your fitness will reach new heights!


 

By Erin Lyons, ACSM EP-C

Fitness Matters | Proprioception and Why It Matters

posted in: Uncategorized | 0

fitness_matters_march_blog

Proprioception and matters for skiers and gym goers alike.  So what is preconception and why is it important for you?  In layman’s terms, proprioception is your bodies awareness of itself in space (the exact definition is: the sense of the relative position of neighboring parts of the body and strength of effort being employed in movement.).  Training this system is important for improved performance as well as injury prevention for most of your life. Although it can be a bit frustrating when first starting but can become very challenging and rewarding as time goes on. Before we talk about some exercises to improve your proprioception/balance, let’s do a quick test and see how it goes.

Make sure you have plenty of room around yourself to start with. Next, stand on a single leg with your dominant leg on the floor and your non dominant leg tucked up behind it. Find your center of balance, and now close your eyes and see how long you can stay on that leg. Odds are it isn’t as long or as easy as you would like it to be, now let’s try the exact same test on your non-dominant leg and see how it goes.

As far as things that you can do at the Ridge to improve your proprioception, we will stick to a simple 6-minute workout on the balance boards (located by physical therapy). Starting out on the square board with feet shoulder width and moving the board side to side under control touching each side lightly to the ground. Then switch to moving the board forward and back under control the same way. The third part of this workout is moving to a circular board and focusing on regular two leg balance without any movement. Each of these are performed for 1 minute and repeated twice with rest in-between.

Try these out and grab a personal trainer if you want to learn more.


jay personal trainer at the ridge athletic clubs

 

 

 

 

 

About the Author: Jay Corti is an
ACSM Certified Personal Trainer at Ridge Athletic Clubs

 

Kids and “Forbidden” Foods | Finding the Balance

posted in: Uncategorized | 0

kids_eat_blog

Feeding little humans (aka kids) certainly has its challenges. I have 2 young children of my own, and I provide nutrition education to children and families as part of my career. I get it! It is not an easy task! But oh what an important task it is! Nutrition and food habits established early in life can have lasting effects into adulthood.

One important area to navigate well is the use of “forbidden” foods. By “forbidden” foods I mean those that are high-fat, high-sugar, relatively low-nutrient foods such as sweets, chips and soda. For children (as well as adults) incorporating such “forbidden” foods is a balancing act. Here’s why:

  • If you give a child unlimited access to these easy-to-like foods, he or she will likely fill up on them. It’s the easier road, so unfortunately that child will miss many important opportunities to learn to like more challenging foods such as vegetables.
  • However, going to the other extreme and restricting all access to these foods is also detrimental. Children need to learn how to incorporate these foods in a balanced healthy way. This sets a foundation for when he or she can get unlimited access later in life.

Here are some recommendations to help you find the right balance:

  • Don’t restrict “forbidden” food. You might be able to keep these “forbidden” foods away from your child when he/she is really little, but your ability will diminish with your child’s increasing independence. Research shows that children whose forbidden food intake is restricted eat more of them when they get the chance, and they are heavier than they might be otherwise. The best approach is to teach your child to be relaxed and matter-of-fact about all kinds of foods.
  • Make wise use of forbidden food
    a. Include chips or fries at mealtime and allow everyone to eat their fill. Unlike sweets, high fat foods don’t compete with other mealtime foods.
    b. Put a child-size serving of dessert at each person’s place. Let them eat it before, during, or after the meal. But no seconds on dessert. With my kids I tell them, “When it’s gone, it’s gone.”
    c. Periodically offer unlimited sweets at sit-down snack time. For instance, put out a plate of cookies with a glass of milk, and let your child eat as many cookies as desired. By offering unlimited sweets in this way, the sweets are not competing with other meal-time foods.
    d. If you drink soda, maintain a double standard. Better yet, moderate your intake as well. Explain to your child that soda is a grown up drink. Around middle school age, arrange to have soda occasionally for snack or along with a particular meal (like pizza).

For more information on this, and other child feeding topics, visit www.EllynSatterInstitute.org


Written by Katie Sonnek, RD, LN

Powerlifting Lady

posted in: Uncategorized | 0

Print

Last summer I enrolled in the Ridge Athletic Clubs’ six week program, the Foundations of Powerlifting, run by two of their personal trainers – Jay Corti and Logan Gregg. My desire to at least qualify into all life activities lead me to my interest in powerlifting. Our bodies, minds, and capacities for learning and growth are outstanding and I think we owe ourselves the courtesy of exercising all of those facilities as often as possible! The Powerlifting program at the Ridge enabled me to be more confident at the gym, progress in all avenues of training, and become more functionally fit. And a bonus – I don’t look like a female Arnold Schwarzenegger when it’s all said and done!

If you can imagine a “Usual Suspects” lineup for powerlifting, you might not peg me as a shoe-in. I’m a 5’11” horseback rider turned yoga teacher who dabbles in all kinds of movement, but until recently, no powerlifting. I had spent time with friends and my partner learning some of the basic movements so I could participate in their workouts, but had never had any professional coaching. I viewed this program as an opportunity to safely see what powerlifting is all about – and I got exactly that.

Over the course of the 6 week program, our powerlifting group of eleven met in the Ridge X studio twice a week for an hour. The group that came together was a broad mix of folks – experienced lifters, inexperienced gym go-ers ready for the next level, college age people, a female basketball player, guys in their 50’s – 60’s, everyone was there! Logan and Jay cumulatively have 15 years of powerlifting experience and they kept us on point, taught us what to do and what not to do, and kept us all in good spirits when the challenge increased.

We worked through the basics of deadlifts, cleans, bench press, and back squats. What does that look like? A lot of repetition – teaching your body the movement first with just your bodyweight, then with very light weight, and then progressively more weight until, Bam! you’ve found your 3 rep max. I felt myself first go through a heavy cognitive phase – where I was moving in a conscious manner and I pieced together each lift, one step at a time. With steady coaching from both Jay and Logan, feedback and encouragement from other classmates (there was a lot of this), and ideas from the slow motion videos of each of us moving, I started to associate the movements from my mind to my body. Executing the movements with more weight started to become smooth and more natural. The tips I was getting were for smaller tweaks and adjustments. Over the course of the six weeks, I felt myself become comfortable and competent with the weight and the lifts.

Since the Foundations class, I have incorporated powerlifts in to my workouts once or twice a week. I now have the autonomy to walk up to the weight rack at the Ridge with the best of ‘em and do my thing. Sure, the weight I’m moving is not  in the 200lb range, but I view each 2.5lb plate increase as a tiny badge of honor. And let the fears be dispelled, ladies – it is challenging and a deliberate effort to get “big” in powerlifting. Although I have noticed my muscles becoming more toned, my core strength is enhanced, and my posture has even improved.

As a result of Foundations of Powerlifting class at the Ridge, I am functionally stronger on all fronts – from my yoga practice to lifting my 12 year old dogs into the back of my truck. Anytime I have questions or need a refresher on something we worked on in the class, Jay and Logan have been so open and generous with helping me out. I feel this program is a solid choice for those looking for some positive change in their lives and gym activities. Please feel free to contact me with questions regarding my experiences or to compare biceps!


Written by Ridge Yoga Instructor, Julie Pritchard

 

Fitness Matters | Showing Up

posted in: Uncategorized | 0

fitness_matters_march_blog

As we begin this New Year, many of us reflect back on our previous 12 months and look ahead to the plethora of resolutions we make for the coming year. For many of us those resolutions revolve around becoming healthier or more active through the year. They range from eating salads more often, to signing up for a half marathon in the summer. It might even be deciding to start going to the gym three times a week to do boot camp to get ready for that spring break trip you booked last fall.

The most important thing you can do for any goal you make is to realize that it’s not always the specific things that you do but that you do them consistently. Unfortunately most of us start out really strong on a rigid plan and fall off after some amount of time. This is not the best approach or attitude to take towards fitness goal. I think we all could stand to be a little more fluid with our lifestyle, and make a goal of just doing something healthy each day, no matter how little or big that thing may be.

If it is the actions that we take that end up defining us, then repeatedly making good healthy choices makes us a healthier person. I think that focusing more on just “showing up” versus having a very specific plan each and every day is the best long-term approach for fitness and health. Make a conscious decision each and every day to do something healthy, no matter what the activity is; with the hope that this daily habit will lead to the best long term results. As the famous UCLA coach, John Wooden, once said, “There is a choice you have to make in everything you do.  So keep in mind that in the end, the choice you make, makes you.”


The Ridge Dewey Peacock

 

 

 

 

 

Dewey Peacock, is an ACSM Certified Personal Trainer at the Ridge Athletic Clubs.

Appetite Hormones

posted in: Uncategorized | 1

Are you aware that powerful brain and gut hormones impact our daily eating behaviors, as well as weight loss efforts? Recent research has revealed numerous hormones that help dictate overall appetite control. Let’s take a quick look at 2 of these hormones.

blog_fill_imageLeptin: The Satiety Hormone
Leptin is produced by fat cells. It suppresses your appetite by telling your brain that you are full.   The more body fat a person has the more leptin they have circulating in their body. However, being overweight causes the body to be resistant to the effects of leptin. Consequently, these individuals actually experience higher hunger levels.

Ghrelin: The Hunger Hormone
Ghrelin causes us to feel hungry. It is produced by the stomach and travels to the brain to signal that it’s time to eat. After meals, ghrelin levels drop, but then begin to rise again until the next meal. The longer you go without eating, the more ghrelin that will accumulate. Skipping meals or going too long between meals or snacks causes excessive hunger due to high ghrelin levels, leading to overeating.

 

Managing Appetite Hormones

Here is a short list of ways to help stabilize hormone levels that affect hunger:

  1. Eat on a schedule. This prevents spikes and crashes in appetite hormones, so you are less likely to overeat from excessive hunger.
  2. Eat a high protein breakfast. This stabilizes hunger for the whole day. Protein specifically reduces ghrelin (hunger hormone) best.
  3. Eat a mix of protein, fat and minimally processed carbohydrates at meals and snacks. This stimulates a broad spectrum of satiety hormones.
  4. Eat protein at each meal/snack. Protein foods (like greek yogurt, lean meat, or eggs) have the most power to curb ghrelin production.
  5. Get adequate sleep. Lack of sleep raises ghrelin (hunger) and reduces leptin (satiety).
  6. Commit to regular exercise. This increases levels of satiety hormones and reduces leptin resistance.

Reference: Today’s Dietitian July 2015, “Appetite Hormones,” by Marsha McDulloch, MS, RD, LD

By: Katie Sonnek, RD, LN

Fueling Your Family | Immunity Boosting Foods

posted in: Uncategorized | 0

fitness_matters_march_blog

Recently, I’ve noticed an uptick in questions from clients wondering what foods to eat to help keep them from getting sick. It’s true that good nutrition is a key player in keeping your immune system as strong as possible. Who wouldn’t want that, especially in the midst of cold and flu season! Include the following nutrients in your eating plan to help protect yourself against infection and boost your immunity.

Protein is part of the body’s defense system. Choose a variety including seafood, lean meat, poultry, eggs, beans and peas, soy products, and nuts.

Vitamin A keeps skin and tissues in your mouth, stomach, intestines and respiratory system healthy and strong. Find it in sweet potatoes, carrots, kale, spinach, red bell peppers, apricots, eggs, and foods labeled “vitamin-A fortified” like milk or cereal.

Vitamin C stimulates the formation of antibodies and boosts immunity. Good sources include citrus fruits (oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, etc.), strawberries, tomato juice, and red bell pepper.

Vitamin E works as an antioxidant, neutralizes free radicals, and may improve immune function. Find it in sunflower seeds, almonds, vegetable oils (such as sunflower or safflower oil), hazelnuts, peanut butter, spinach, and fortified cereals.

Zinc helps the immune system work properly and may help wounds heal. It’s found in lean meat, poultry, seafood, milk, whole grain products, beans, and nuts.

Here’s to better immunity and less sickness this winter!


By: Katie Sonnek, RD, LN  – Ridge Athletic Clubs, Registered Dietitian

Fitness Matters | Winter Workout Tips & Tricks

posted in: Uncategorized | 0

fitness_matters_march_blog

Exercising in winter can sometimes seem like an impossible task. The days are short, so much so that some of us start and finish our work day in the dark, never witnessing daylight. Motivation can be difficult to find. With this in mind, it is never more important to engage in regular physical activity to boost mood and enhance wellness. Finding some time to exercise outdoors can be especially rewarding in the winter months, but it is important to do it right!

Firstly, it is important to be aware of the impact of cold temperatures on our physiology, so that we can adjust our plans and expectations accordingly. Exercising in cold weather brings about some unique physiological demands. Exposure to cold temperatures can cause a drop in core temperature. To prevent a core temperature decrease to unsafe levels, blood flow is directed away from the arms and legs, which has implications for exercisers. Studies have demonstrated an increase in oxygen and carbohydrate consumption and minute ventilation during endurance exercise at temperatures below 39oF. Strength and power also decreases in anaerobic activities. These changes are thought to be associated with colder skin and muscle temperatures.

Most cold-related distress is a result of prolonged exposure to with inappropriate clothing. It is therefore it is important to find the right combination of clothing and take appropriate precautions to maintain a comfortable level of warmth in colder conditions, including:

  • Wearing light, moisture-wicking layers (avoid cotton) and wind protection where necessary. Layers can be shed as body temperature increases with exercise.
  • Warming up inside. Boosting body temperature before exposure to cold conditions can hasten the body’s adaptive responses.
  • Staying hydrated. Your body loses a large amount of water during exercise in the cold and dehydration can interfere with homeostasis.
  • Moving to a warm environment immediately after you finish exercising.
  • Most importantly, be sensible. Often it might make sense to stay indoors and modify workouts as necessary.

Be prepared and enjoy the winter!


By Erin Heard, ACSM-EP-C  Ridge Athletic Clubs Personal Trainer

 

20 Pound Challenge | Ambassador Introduction

posted in: Uncategorized | 0

Hello! My name is Miranda and I was chosen to be the ambassador for the Ridge’s 20 Pound Challenge.

First a little about me. I was born and raised right here in the Gallatin Valley. I have been married to my wonderful husband for two and a half years now. Both of our families live here as well. I work in accounting, which means long days sitting. Don’t get me wrong, I love my job, it’s just doesn’t help the weight. Which leads me to why I am here now.miranda_before

My biggest motivation for joining this group is I need to lose weight, period.  When you break it down though, there is so much more to it.

My husband and I are considering starting a family.  I know that being healthy will help us with that.  I want to be able to run and play with my family, present and future.

Another huge motivator is my health in general. Health issues are always in the back of my mind. Thankfully, I have not been faced with any major problems due to my weight. I know that if I do nothing about it now that could be a very different story.

Knowing all this, I haven’t really made any valid attempts, until now. I have talked myself out of different programs or “diets”. I have started and given up. My own mind has discouraged me before I even gave anything a real chance. I even had myself talked out of joining this challenge, until I received that phone call that I was chosen to be the ambassador. I couldn’t be more grateful for that.

Knowing that my husband, family, and now all of you here at the Ridge are behind me gives me that extra push that I needed! I am going to do this. I am going to take it one day, one workout, one meal at a time. I am going to learn and apply as much as I can to make true lifestyle changes so that I can enjoy my family and this beautiful place that we live.

Fitness Matters | Training for Cross Country Skiing

posted in: Uncategorized | 0

fitness_matters_march_blog

While backcountry, downhill, and fat skis dominate the winter talk of this town, it’s easy to neglect the quieter world of skinny skis. Cross-country skiing is an incredibly healthy way to stay fit aerobically and strength train this season. It is one of the less expensive ways to slide across snow and access the beauty of Montana’s winter wonderland. For days when it’s too cold, or Mother Nature just hasn’t delivered enough snow on the ground, The Ridge has two machines to help continue your ski training indoors. You can use each one separately or combine the two to get a full-body workout that simulates cross-country skiing.

Concept2 designed both the rowing machine and the SkiErg for all ages and abilities. Whether you’ve been Nordic skiing forever or just getting started, both machines provide a high-calorie burning and core strengthening exercise with low impact. Here are some basics about them both:

The Rowing Machine
The rowing machine was designed to tone the upper and lower body while moving joints in an efficient and rhythmic motion. There are four phases of the rowing motion; the catch, the drive, the finish, and the recovery. All phases engage triceps, shoulder muscles, biceps, abdominals, hamstrings, glutes, quads, and calves. How does rowing compliment skiing? Rowing involves prying open the hips and the double-pole motion of skiing does the opposite. It is more like a crunch. Using the rowing machine mixed with skiing can prevent muscle imbalance, which ultimately can lead to injury. Rowing is about gripping the water and moving the boat, skiing is about gripping the snow and propelling yourself forward. Elite rowers often train on cross-country skis in the winter and elite skiers will train indoors on the rower. You can use the Performance Monitor to do intervals, race, or “just row” for time. There are three rowing machines on the floor of The Ridge on Fallon Street and one rower at the downtown location.

The SkiErg
New to The Ridge floor this fall is the SkiErg that is also designed by Concept2, the makers of the rowing machine. The SkiErg simulates double-poling. This motion is important for both classic and skate style of skiing. The harder you pull, the faster the flywheels spin which creates more resistance. While standing on the machine, you can have one-foot forward and one-foot back, or both feet together and shoulder width apart. Bend your arms and drive the handles downward using your core and your knees and end with the arms extended by your thighs. Bring your arms back up and straighten your body to return to start position. It is possible to take even more pressure off your knees and ankles by placing a chair down and double-pole from a seated position. The Performance Monitor is easy to use and provides intervals, races, and a “just ski” option as well. For classic ski training, you can alternate your arms. You can also practice coming up on your toes a little bit each time as you would in skiing.

Try doing intervals on the rowing machine and then walk over to the SkiErg and do the same. You could go by distance and ski a 5k, then row a 5k. Partnering up is also a good way to stay motivated; one person rows while the other is on the SkiErg and keep switching back and forth. Combining these two machines balances opposing muscles and gives skiers an incredible all-body efficient workout. They both provide guaranteed good weather skiing. For more detailed information about technique and workout ideas, go to concept2.com to read up and check out some videos. You can always ask a personal trainer about how to use either machine correctly. We would be glad to help out and encourage you to keep trying new things in the gym.


20150402_jess_0016

About the Author Jess Tuttle is an NASM Certified Personal Trainer at the Ridge Athletic Clubs.

Fitness Matters | Training for Winter Activities

posted in: Uncategorized | 0

fitness_matters_march_blog

The leaves are changing colors and blanketing the ground, directing our minds towards winter and it’s many activities.  As we phase out our summer and fall endeavors and move into those that involve the snow and ice, this is a great time to prepare ourselves for the wonderful winter many of us live for.  These transitional months are the time to step back a little and increase our strengths, work on weaknesses, and establish a base of fitness to take us through the long winter season.

Strengths:  I think it’s critical to increase our general and absolute strength during these transitional periods. You should establish a program of strength training that incorporates large movements, such as front squats, deadlifts, overhead presses, etc. that encourage heavier weights and low reps to build your foundational strength.  Incorporating these exercises into your routine is invaluable for building a more durable body, and certainly requires the programming and guidance of a trained professional.

Weaknesses:  While it’s great to build up our general strength, many of us might be better off addressing our weaker links. The idea of working on weaknesses can be approached as more of a “pre-hab”. Your goal is to correct imbalances or weak points in your overall body. You want to use exercises to make sure that you maintaining proper balance and alignment through both postural and dynamic movements. Many professionals can offer both postural and movement-based assessments to determine what the best exercise plan can be for you.

Go into this winter with a stronger foundation that will keep you enjoying all of your activities more and with less chance of injury. Now start praying for snow while you’re hitting the gym!


The Ridge Dewey Peacock

 

 

 

 

 

 

About the Author Dewey Peacock is an ACSM Certified Personal Trainer at the Ridge Athletic Clubs.

1 2 3 4 5 17