Personal Trainer Kelowna

Posture

Posture

Leigh Carter

Personal Trainer Kelowna

Private Gym

 

Your posture says a lot about how your joints and muscles are working. How you look and feel is directly related to your posture but despite the importance of having good posture, most of us don’t do anything to improve it. Living with bad posture can be a dangerous thing as the muscle and ligament imbalances that result from poor posture can lead to all sorts of problems including:

  • Chronic back, neck, and shoulder pain
  • Foot, knee, hip, and back injuries
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Muscle atrophy and weakness
  • Digestion problems
  • Impingement and nerve compression
  • Sciatica

Correcting your posture may feel awkward at first because your body has become so used to sitting and standing in a particular way but with a bit of practice, good posture will become second nature. Your personal trainer will advise what particular strengthening and flexibility exercises would benefit your posture and any problems you may be experiencing.

Sitting slumped without any lower back support may feel more comfortable than sitting upright because it requires less effort from our muscles and your body will be used to adopting this position. Slouching doesn’t always cause discomfort but over time this position can place strain on already sensitised muscles and soft tissues and this strain may increase tension in the muscles which may in turn cause pain. It may not feel comfortable initially because your muscles have not been conditioned to support you in the correct position but you need together into the habit of sitting correctly.

Wearing high heels, excessive weight around the stomach and pregnancy can all cause an exaggerated inward curve of the lower back or a sticking out bottom. Core and buttock strengthening exercises and hip flexor and thigh stretches as well as making a conscious effort to correct your standing posture are recommended to help correct a sticking out bottom.

It is important to maintain a correct standing posture. The idea is to keep your body in perfect alignment, maintaining the spine’s natural curvature, neck straight and shoulders parallel with the hips. Try:

  • Keeping your shoulders back and relaxed
  • Pulling in your abdomen
  • Keeping your feet about hip distance apart
  • Balancing your weight evenly on both feet
  • Try not to tilt your head forward, backward or sideways
  • Keeping your legs straight but knees relaxed

Leaning more on one leg while standing, can feel comfortable, especially if you’ve been standing for a while but this is not good. Instead of using your buttocks and core muscles to keep you upright, you place excessive pressure on one side of your lower back and hip. Over time, you may develop muscle imbalances around the pelvis area, which can cause muscular strain in the lower back and buttocks. Other causes of uneven hips include carrying heavy backpacks on one shoulder, and mums carrying toddlers on one hip.

Many of us spend several hours a day working on a computer, or hunched over our phones, tablets, laptops etc and this can cause poor postural habits. Your neck and spine is designed to hold your head upright and by using this hunching position we interfere with the body’s natural ergonomics. Your head weighs 10-12lb and when bending your neck forward and down the force of the weight of your head on the top of your spine dramatically increases. The knock on effect of this is neck and shoulder pain, back pain, headaches arm and hand pain. This position can also lead to a tight chest and a weak upper back and over time can contribute to you developing a rounded upper back, which can cause shoulder and upper back stiffness.

Also holding your phone handset between your ear and shoulder can place strain on the muscles of the neck, upper back and shoulders. The neck and shoulders are not designed to hold this position for any length of time and this posture can place strain on the muscles and other soft tissues and lead to muscle imbalances between the left and right side of your neck.

So if you want to look and feel younger, look slimmer, feel fitter, get rid of those aches and pains, it may just need a few adjustments to your posture, talk to your personal trainer who will be pleased to advise a tailored program for you.

 

Leigh Carter Personal Trainer Kelowna Private one to one Personal Training Gym

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Fitness coach in kelowna

Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation

Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation

Leigh Carter 

Fitness Trainer Kelowna

 

Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation is a type of muscle stretching usually done with a partner, it is very effective at helping you get flexibility in areas that are prone to excessive tightness like the hamstrings. As always I don’t want to get incredibly technical, being the person between you and the complicated stuff I like to make things as simple as possible so I will explain the basics and why this particular stretch could be helpful to you and how to apply it to your workouts.

Being the clever thing that your body is, it always has your preservation in mind. Most of the time this is a good thing but for the fitness conscious it sometimes is a barrier. For instance if you are on a heavy diet, your body realizes this and starts to work out ways to save you from starving to death, as a result it starts to convert more of your food to fat! clever but annoying if your trying to get lean. However as with everything there are ways around this, with regards to diet its all about sensible calorie calorie reduction over time so your body has time to adjust. When it comes to stretching your body also has a clever little trick up its sleeve. When a muscle is stretched beyond its comfortable limits your body picks up on this and your brain assumes that it is going to snap, the muscle has an instant reflex to contract and prevent you from stretching it much further. With Proprioceptive Neuromusclular Facilitation you are essentially tricking this system into turning off briefly and allowing the area to be stretched a little further.

There are a several  ways of doing this so I will offer you the easiest and most applyable and if you want any more information please do not hesitate to contact me.

How to PNF stretch 

Hold-Relax : This stretch is based on a lying down hamstring stretch performed with a partner. 

  • A trainer or partner moves the persons extended leg to a point of mild discomfort. This passive stretch is held for 10 seconds.
  • On instruction, the person isometrically contracts the hamstrings by pushing their extended leg against their partner’s hand. The partner should apply just enough force so that the leg remains static. This is the ‘hold’ phase and lasts for 6 seconds.
  • The person is then instructed to ‘relax’ and the partner completes a second passive stretch held for 30 seconds. The persons extended leg should move further than before (greater hip flexion) due to autogenic inhibition activated in the hamstrings.

So why not try this in the gym today with your training partner, flexibility is a key component to your training routine and without it your technique won’t be great, and being that technique goes above everything in the gym its very important to pay attention to this.

 

Contact Leigh Carter Personal Training Kelowna today for your free consultation

Start building a better body for your future

Leigh Carter

Fitness Trainer Kelowna

Fitness Trainer Kelowna

Leigh Carter 

 

Getting fit could not be easier with Leigh Carter Personal Training, bringing the gym to you at your home, park or anywhere you like ! With an amazing array of interesting and challenging equipment to amuse even the most exercise shy of people. All workouts are targeted at getting your body more functional, stronger, healthier and at the correct weight for your size. We pride ourselves on our guaranteed results and our strict policy of FUN workouts. If you have tried to lose weight and get fitter but failed then leave it to us to take over, we will organize your diet and training schedule to get you the results that your hard work deserves. Our support system means that you are able to speak to someone at all times for any of those diet questions or just a bit of guidance. Summer is nearly here and those bikinis and shorts are going to be coming out the back of the closet soon so the time for getting into shape in now ! All you need is a small space in your house or back yard and an hour of time a few days a week and all your worries about being healthy and the correct weight can be taken care of by someone else so you can concentrate on the other things in life.

Why not contact us today for your free consultation, we will assess all of your fitness goals and explain to you how we will be approaching them. We will then give you a free taster session so that you get a feel for how the fitness training sessions will be like and if that point you would like to sign up then we will draw up your training plan and start building you a better body.

Leigh Carter

 

Leigh Carter Personal Trainer

Kelowna Personal Trainer

Sleep and Exercise

Sleep and Exercise

Kelowna Personal Training

Leigh Carter 

 

I went to the gym today, warmed up and set up the bench for some incline chest press. First set light, second set a little heavier and third set at full load. I have been lifting weights for a long time so am very much aware of what I can lift in any particular exercise. My first set at full load I failed early, second set was ok, third set I increased the weight and attempted my usual 8 reps, sadly I failed again. My whole session today was pretty much a fail, although each of my exercises was done with correct technique and done to failure, everything had to be done at a lighter weight than normal. When I got home I grabbed on of my prepared dishes from the fridge and ate it, I had green beans, chicken breast and a little home made humus. Immediately afterwards I started to crave something sweet. I then went to write my daily blog and stared at the screen for ages trying to think of a subject to write about, usually I already have something in my head and can get this done in no time at all but today was not working out to great.

Sleep and exercise

The problem here is simple and one that many people find impossible to solve. Over the last few days I have not had as much sleep as I would normally do and as a result my performance is dramatically down, my brain doesn’t seem to be running at full speed and my recovery from training has slowed considerably. Luckily for me this is not a common occurrence anymore as I realize how important sleep is to all of my health, fitness, strength and performance goals. I am very aware that if I do not get my regular sleep I gain weight and lose muscle along with general fatigue and increased days of sickness. Lack of sleep means that your body has not had the correct amount of time to fix itself from all the hard training and all the stress of the day. This lack of sleep means your body is stressed and will start to release more cortisol, this hormone does its best to make you store more fat and lose all that valuable muscle you have been building with those enormous workouts. Feeling tired also tricks you into thinking you need more sugar and usually you will eat it thinking it will help, but guess what? its just gonna turn to fat. In the gym the lack of sleep is evident in your performance and if you are not pushing yourself hard enough you will not progress with your goals and no sleep means no recovery. I understand that there is sometimes no way that you can schedule more than a few hours sleep in but you must understand that this can not be just how it is, so plan a little in advance and make sure that you can get your quota in. If your having a week that you simply can’t get to your bed early then tailor your workouts to suit that by doing less, make sure your eating regularly so that you avoid hunger and overeating of bad things. Turn the television off, stop drinking during the week and respect the hours that your unconscious, as without them you will fail. Sleep and exercise work together, without one the other does not work so well.

As a personal trainer it is my job to help people find ways to combine their lifestyle with their health and fitness goals. I don’t just tell people to do some squats or run to the end of the sports field, I help them manage their time, diet, sleep and anything else that could get in the way of having a healthy, strong and functional body for life.

 

Contact Leigh Carter Personal Training Kelowna today for your free consultation

Start building a better body for your future