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Friday, November 9, 2012

Ack don't hurt your back!

I only became a regular gym goer about 2 years ago. Before that I taught a workout called StrollerFit and had more workouts than I could want surrounded by mamas and babies 5-8 classes a week.

After selling said business, opting for teaching less each week, I had to "resort" to gym attendance. If I must be honest, which is most often the case with a blog, and typically with me in general, I still do not love it. I'm a social creature and love being in a room with friends much more than a room of strangers. Still a gym where I may run into a friend or make a workout "date" is better for me than working out solo at home.

That brings me around to my biggest pet peaves and worries with many enourmous group fitness classes where the instructor can't possibly attend to each person.

perfect squat form: knees are behind the toes, chest is lifted

#1- form- it actually pains me, and takes all the gumption I have not to correct form of the people around me. This morning I met a friend at the gym and we did a class together. The instructor actually stood next to a woman doing squats leaning her whole body forward, knees past her toes, back forward, butt up, putting her back at tremendous risk and said "Great job" ACK!!!

#2- options - I love that there are many advanced class options at my gym, but often instructors don't give options for the 90% of participants that are not advanced. Jump squats for example, this is an advanced exercise that requires perfect form to protect joints, and isn't appropriate for those new to exercise. Substitute in a squat with a reach overhead.

#3 - stretch- After 100 squats, 100 lunges and a complete body workout, a 3 second quad stretch and tricep stretch is not sufficient. Taking a bit longer to stretch each muscle used and take even more time to focus on tight areas can make a world of difference. You'll feel better the next few days, your muscles will repair themselves for the next workout and you will be less likely to have an injury going forward.

My intent is not to reprimand, but rather to give you the idea to question whats best for your body during your workout. Pay attention to it and give yourself a little extra time to warm up and stretch.

If you'd like suggestions on stretches for a particular muscle or modifications for an exercise, comment below and I'd be thrilled to help.

Happy Friday!

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