Essential Exercises for Women: Three Great Stretches for People Who Sit All Day

Posted by Stephanie Khan on Dec 12, 2018 12:16:14 PM

By now you’ve heard that spending your day sitting isn’t very good for you. In a perfect world we would all have time to get up, take a walk, go for a bike ride or hit the gym, but unfortunately sometimes it just doesn’t happen! Sitting all day can leave your chest, shoulders, back, and hip begging for relief. Try these 3 stretches to help relieve those tight sitting muscles.


CHEST OPENER

chest opener stretch

 

 

 

If you spend lots of time hunched over a keyboard, this stretch is for you. Sit or stand with your spine long and slightly drop your chin. Sliding shoulder blades down the back, reach arms behind your back, interlacing fingers. If this is too difficult, use a strap or towel. Gently lift arms until you feel a e chest stretch. Hold 10-20 seconds.


 

 

 

HIP FLEXOR STRETCH

Hip flexor stretches

Those of us that spend lots of time sitting, whether it be behind a desk or behind the wheel of a car tend to have tight hip flexors. Start by kneeling on the floor. Step right foot forward to right knee is bent at a 90 degree angle, keeping front knee over the ankle. Gently ease hips forward until you feel a stretch. For more sensation, raise arms overhead. Hold 10-20 seconds, Switch sides.

seated spinal twist stretch

SEATED SPINAL TWIST

Sit with feet planted on the floor and spine tall. Keeping hips squared, rotate torso to the right, reaching right hand behind and left hand to the outside of the right thigh. Hold 10-20 seconds, then switch sides.

 

HAVE QUESTIONS?

When do I stretchStretching should be done before and/or after your workout? How long do I need to stretch? What if I have a lower back injury? What if I have limited range of motion? Can I really improve my flexibility?

If these things have crossed our mind (or any other fitness related question), please do not hesitate to ask. Our expert staff of certified personal trainers at The Women's Club stand at the ready to help!

Ask Fitness Questions Here

 

 

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Topics: exercises for women, personal training, stretching

Women's Wellness Series:  How SMART goals can help put you on the right track

Posted by Stephanie Khan on Oct 3, 2018 2:51:52 PM

 

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Would you like to make a change to help you live a healthier life but don’t know where to start? Have you set big goals for yourself only to find yourself feeling so overwhelmed that you give up? It’s time for a SMART approach to fitness goal setting. This approach allows you to define goals in a specific and measurable way so that your progress can be easily tracked. SMART goals are:

Specific: Goals must be clear and unambiguous. For example, “I want to be healthier” is very vague. What exactly does “being healthy” look like? Does it mean losing weight? Eating less processed foods? Beginning an exercise program? Specifically identifying what “healthy” means to you will help to create a clear goal.

Measurable: Goals must be measurable so you can tell if you are making progress. How will you measure your progress? Making a goal measurable will also allow you to know when you have reached your goal.

Attainable: Goals should be realistically attainable. A goal that is too easily attained or very unrealistic can be very demotivating.

Relevant: The goal should have relevance and be important to you. Setting a goal that someone else would like for you to achieve is not very motivating!

Time-bound: Goals should have an estimated time for completion. Knowing that you have a deadline can help keep you motivated!

Need some help setting up goals that are right for you? Make an appointment with any member of our personal training staff to get you set on the right path! 

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Topics: women's health, goal setting, health tips, personal training, personal training for women

3 Three Reasons Why We Love TRX Suspension Training (and you should too)!

Posted by Stephanie Khan on Aug 31, 2018 10:51:11 AM

 

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Photo by M. Plt on Unsplash

By now you've probably seen those crazy straps hanging around in the gym and wondered what on Earth they are used for! The TRX suspension trainerwhich stands for Total Body Resistance Exercise, was developed by a Navy SEAL who needed a quick and effective way to exercise in a confined space. Here are three reasons personal trainers and fitness enthusiasts alike love TRX:

Increased muscle activation- By creating an unstable environment suspension training makes your core muscles work harder even when working other body parts. This instability forces your muscles to work together instead of in isolation. More bang for your buck!

Appropriate for all Fitness Levels- Suspension training leverages body weight and gravity to develop strength and endurance. An exercise feels too difficult? Take a step away from the anchor point to make it easier. Want to make it harder? Step closer to the anchor point. Being able to make small, incremental adjustments allows for constant progress.

Versatile, Efficient, and Fun- There are hundreds of different exercises you can do on the TRX suspension trainer, and since your muscles have to work together there is no wasted time. Because you can move quickly from one exercise to the next not only do you build great muscle strength and endurance, but can get a great cardio workout as well. Additionally, TRX can be used to enhance yoga poses and assist in stretches leaving you feeling long,lean, and relaxed.

So...are you ready to check out TRX Suspension Training for yourself? Good news! We have new four-week TRX small group training classes beginning the week of September 17. Get more info on how you can participate here, you will be glad that you did!

 

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Topics: personal training, personal training for women, TRX Training, TRX, TRX Suspension Training

4 Easy Steps to Sticking to a Morning Fitness Routine

Posted by Stephanie Khan on Apr 3, 2018 12:31:32 PM

Lets face it, some days we have every intention of working out, but life somehow gets in the way. Between work deadlines, family obligations, and sick kids even the most dedicated exercisers  can get derailed. One way around this is to workout first thing in the morning. Sounds good, but getting out of a warm and cozy bed to exercise is hard! Follow these four steps to get yourself up and moving in the morning.

easy morning workout for women

unsplash-logoPhoto by:Christopher Campbell

 

START SLOWLY: Figure out how much time you will need for your workout and begin to gradually adjust your sleep schedule. Start by going to bed 15 minutes earlier and waking 15 minutes earlier. Use that extra time in the morning to do a quick yoga or stretching routine, or any other short workout. This will help you get into the habit of doing something good for your body every morning. Continue gradually adjusting your sleep schedule by 15 minutes each week until you have enough time for your full workout.


SET YOURSELF UP FOR SUCCESS: Create an environment that is conducive to exercise. Start by packing your gym bag or setting out all of your workout gear the night before and placing them by the door so you are ready to go.  If you are having a hard time resisting the snooze button put your alarm clock across the room or set multiple alarms. The goal is to make it as easy as possible to get out the door in the morning! It also helps to have a plan B in place just in case. For example, if you are planning to head out for a run but wake up to a thunderstorm, try an indoor tabata or strength workout.


GIVE YOURSELF AN OUT: Sometimes we wake up and just don’t feel like getting out of bed to exercise! When lack of motivation strikes, promise yourself you can stop after 10 minutes if you are still feeling exhausted. Chances are that once you get up and moving you will want to keep going. Even if you decide to stop, at least you have done something for 10 minutes. Even 10 minutes of exercise is better than zero!


ENLIST HELP: An early morning workout buddy can work wonders in helping you stick to a morning workout routine. We are more likely to show up if we know we have someone waiting for us! If you can’t find a friend who is willing to wake up and workout, Try signing up for a class, hiring a trainer, or posting your intentions to social media. All of these thing can help create accountability and help you to stick to your plan.

 

Article Submitted by: 

Stephanie Khan, Director of Group Exercise and Personal Training at The Women's Club

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Topics: group exercise classes for women, exercises for women, Women's Wellness, personal training, fitness for women, exercise programs for women, Strength training for women

Why Do You Need a Personal Trainer?

Posted by Angie Quehl on Oct 18, 2012 11:49:00 AM

For More Reasons Than You Think...

I was a dancer -- ballet primarily. During the years in dance class, two things happened: I developed an internal mind/body connection balanced with an external good eye for form. Years later I tried Pilates, and just as with dance, the choreography and flow of Pilates came easily and made sense to me. After being an active gym member for years, teaching Pilates was my first professional foray into the Fitness Industry. I found that I really enjoyed seeing that people who regularly took my classes increased their strength and flexibility, and hadworking with a personal trainer more control of their bodies. Yet, I discovered that in a class setting, I was unable to give the personal attention some people needed. I decided to take the next step for my clients and became a Personal Trainer working with people one on one.

My Pilates training definitely influences the types of workouts I design for my personal training clients. I always have Pilates Principles in mind during their exercises. "Do the clients have proper form?" "Are their movements controlled?" "Is their strength and flexibility balanced?"

That idea of "balance" is so important in the lives of women asomething I understand as the mom of three teens and is expressed in my larger exercise philosophy. The stress of
every day life needs to be balanced by activities that make a woman feel good physically and mentally.  Exercise is one of the core things you can do for  yourself to live your life successfully. If you are  a gardener, get in shape so you can work in the yard without suffering days of back pain.  If you like to travel, get in shape so you can walk on cobblestones in Europe without losing your balance or haul a suitcase without hurting your shoulder. If you enjoy a sport, train for it so you can play your game, injury-free, for many years to come. Exercise can balance out your stress and makes your body feel and work better.

A Personal Trainer can help you achieve that body. It is worth the investment in you.

Find out More about What a Personal Trainer Can Do For You...

 

Article submitted by:

Jen R resized 600

Jennifer Rogers

Certified Personal Trainer at The Women's Club

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Topics: personal training, fitness for women, personal training for women

6 "Rules" of Exercise for Women You May Not Need to Follow

Posted by Angie Quehl on Jan 18, 2012 3:00:00 PM

It's Not Always Bad to Cheat...

Sometimes NOT playing by the rules is the best thing you can do. Check out the list below to learn how you can "cheat smart" every now and then and still make progress in your fitness program.

1.  Stopping to walk during a run

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The verdict: Go for it.

Taking short walk breaks helps you run farther, burn more calories, and sidestep injury, says exercise physiologist Tom Holland, author of Beat the Gym. So whether you're working up to three miles or training for a long-distance event, walking now and then can serve as a useful tool to build up your mileage and endurance. Just make sure you're stopping only two or three times during a 30-minute run, for about 30 to 60 seconds a pop.

2.  Not stretching before a workout

The verdict: Go for it.

While research shows that stretching after a workout can boost strength, prevent injury, and increase range of motion, a 2010 study of almost 1,400 runners found that limbering up before exercise may have few—if any—benefits. To get your blood flowing and muscles prepped, dynamic movements are more effective, says Katie Rothstein, an exercise physiologist at the Orthopedic & Rheumatology Institute at the Cleveland Clinic. Exercises like arm swings and butt kicks increase your joints' range of motion and prime your muscles for action.

3.  Skipping the last three reps

The verdict: Bad idea.

The final reps of a move are where the magic happens. "You have to stress your muscles if you want them to change, and that occurs in those last few reps," says Holland. Your last reps should be tough to finish but not so difficult that you have to compromise your form. If your form starts to suffer early in the set, switch to a lower weight so you won't have to skip the last reps—or hurt yourself trying to push through them.

4.  Resting longer than the prescribed time during a circuit

The verdict: Go for it.linda-perez-johannessen-569925-unsplash (1)

Many circuits call for short rests—usually 30 to 60 seconds—to keep your heart rate high enough to produce a cardio benefit (read: calorie burn). But if you're really struggling after a tough set, tack on an extra 30 seconds of rest, says Rebecca Stephenson, a board-certified women's health specialist in physical therapy at Harvard's Brigham and Women's Hospital. It will give you (and your muscles) enough of a breather to complete the next set with perfect form—without compromising your calorie burn.

5.  Blowing off lower-body strength training

The verdict: Bad idea.

Your leg muscles do get a workout during cardio, but you need to hit the weights (or do squats or lunges) to make sure you're hitting all of your muscle groups. "Muscles work in pairs, and when you stick to one type of cardio, you train only half of the pair," says Holland. "Strength training corrects these imbalances, so you stay injury-free and get great-looking legs to boot."

Supplement your cardio regimen with at least two lower-body or total-body strength training for women workouts a week, or combine strength and cardio by doing plyometric supersets (explosive moves like squat jumps and split lunge jumps done back-to-back without rest), says Holland.

6.  Not drinking H20 during exercise

The verdict: Depends.

Unless you're working out for more than an hour or you're sweating profusely, you can get away with sipping six ounces before and at least 10 ounces after a sweat session, says Rebecca Stephenson, of Harvard's Brigham and Women's Hospital.

 

 

If you are looking for more advice on your fitness routine why not schedule a consultation with one of our wellness coaches. Let our staff of professionals use their extensive experience in developing exercise programs for women to help you reach your health and fitness goals. It's free to do and our pleasure to assist however we can!

 

Portions of the above article appear in a blog post on www.womenshealthmag.com.
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Topics: personal training, fitness tips, fitness for women

The Resolution Solution Part VI: Strength Training for Women

Posted by Angie Quehl on Feb 19, 2011 2:39:00 PM

Strength Training for Women

Strength training refers to exercise that requires your muscles to exert a force against some form of resistance. The increase in muscle strength and endurance allows a person to perform everyday tasks with less effort and for longer periods of time. Simply forcing the muscles to work on a regular basis significantly improves their capacity to do work and will improve circulation, coordination, balance, bone and ligament strength.

Use it or lose it

Muscle mass naturally diminishes with age. "If you don't do anything to replace the lean muscle you lose, you'll increase the percentage of fat in your body," says Edward Laskowski, M.D., a physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn., and co-director of the Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine Center. "But strength training can help you preserve and enhance your muscle mass — at any age."

Strength training also helps you:

  • Develop strong bones. By stressing your bones, strength training increases bone density and reduces the risk of osteoporosis.
  • Control your weight. As you gain muscle, your body gains a bigger "engine" to burn calories more efficiently — which can result in weight loss. The more toned your muscles, the easier it is to control your weight.
  • Reduce your risk of injury. Building muscle helps protect your joints from injury. It also contributes to better balance, which can help you maintain independence as you age.
  • Boost your stamina. As you get stronger, you won't fatigue as easily.
  • Manage chronic conditions. Strength training can reduce the signs and symptoms of many chronic conditions, including arthritis, back pain, depression, diabetes, obesity and osteoporosis.
  • Sharpen your focus. Some research suggests that regular strength training helps improve attention for older adults.

Strength training for women the women's club

Consider the options

Strength training can be performed in a few different ways:

  • Body weight. You can do many exercises with little or no equipment. Try push-ups, pull-ups, abdominal crunches and leg squats.
  • Resistance tubing. Resistance tubing provides resistance when stretched.
  • Free weights. Barbells and dumbbells are classic strength training tools.
  • Weight machines. Here is a great way to work each individual muscle group in the least amount of time.

Strength training needs to be performed 2 – 3 times a week and it is best to give your muscles a day in between to rest and recover. When you can easily do more than 15 repetitions of a certain exercise, gradually increase the weight or resistance. Remember to stop if you feel pain. Although mild muscle soreness is normal, sharp pain and sore or swollen joints are signs that you've overdone it.

Article Submitted by:

Meredith Chiapello Personal Trainers Northern Virginia resized 600Meredith Chiapello, Director of Personal Training and Group Exercise, The Women's Club 

 

 

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Topics: gym chantilly, personal training, exercise programs for women, personal training for women, Strength training for women, the women's club, woman's club

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