Wet Barre: Functional Core Training

Wet Barre: Functional Core Training

Core Training It takes more than drool-worthy six-pack abs to have a strong and healthy core. The rectus abdominus, responsible for six-pack abs, only represents one of several muscles that comprise the core. Functional Core Training Functional fitness tells us that moving in more directions and recruiting more than one muscle group at a time mimics real life movement patterns and has positive implications for overall strength, health, power, agility and balance. Isometric training benefits us by requiring us to hold a position without joint movement but while activating muscles by bracing, and is a healthy way to strengthen muscles without compromising joints or exacerbating poor movement patterns. Move in More Directions So we cannot work our core predominantly in a bent forward position, (ie: crunches) and expect a strong and healthy core which includes the chest, back and sides of our body.  Working all the core muscles and doing so in a variety of manners especially while recruiting multiple muscle groups is more advantages for posture, back health, stabilization, strength and body mechanics than doing so in isolation. Get Planking As our society is progressively being pulled forward with rounded shoulders and forward head posture from sitting and smart phones, neck and back pain is becoming an epidemic.  Planks allow us to train in an erect spinal position, strengthening the core from all sides and accessing multiple muscles simultaneously! This type of bracing and strengthening of erect posture is essentially creating an internal scaffolding of support for the spine. Performing planks in the water with use of a noodle for support, offers an advantage because the head cannot... read more
Yoga Exercises for Back Pain

Yoga Exercises for Back Pain

Tired of waking up with aches and pains?  Yoga in the pool can help.  Stretching in the aquatic environment is beneficial and can be practiced by individuals of all fitness levels.  Buoyancy supports the body for better range of motion while moving against the natural resistance of the water improves strength. So you might be wondering, can this gentle and low-impact exercise really help with low back pain? The answer is YES! Aquatic Yoga Exercises for Back Pain In fact, when researchers investigated the effects of aquatic strength training on health and fitness of postmenopausal women, they discovered significant physiological benefits.  Of great importance to those with back pain, findings showed that: Aquatic resistance exercises may provide more benefits to individuals who would be more sensitive to heavier loading or impact which may occur when training on dry land with certain devices and exercises.  Colado and Triplett (2009) Buoyancy and resistance make water an ideal environment for: Improving flexibility Decreasing risk of injury and chronic low back pain Reducing stiffness Improving muscle balance and postural awareness Enhancing joint health and decreasing likelihood of degenerative joint disease What is Stretch Fusion? Stretch Fusion is my answer to aquatic flexibility training. A workout format that combines dynamic movement with Yoga based exercises.  Individual poses are paired with active movement to maintain your body temperature as you complete the routine.  This unique approach to flexibility training utilizes the water’s magical properties, buoyancy and resistance, to achieve better results. Not only will you be more flexible, but you can reduce stress and help free yourself from joint and muscle pain. Yoga Exercises for Back Pain... read more
My Morning Stretching Routine

My Morning Stretching Routine

Get up and go with three easy exercises!  Whether you are at home or traveling my favorite stretch routine can be used to reduce morning stiffness, reverse the effects of prolonged sitting or as a warm-up for any workout  I’d like to invite you to try – pivot, plank and swing. 3 Stretches You Can Do Every Morning Help reduce stiffness and energize the body with this simple morning stretching routine. Each exercise follows an important principle that guides all WECOACH workouts:  Move the body in 6 natural directions.  If you’ve been following along then you already know these are: Forward Backward Right lateral Left lateral Rotate right Rotate left For the first two exercises, start with two hands on the bed (a steady chair or wall works too). Pivot A Pivot can be defined as moving or turning around a fixed point. In this exercise, we are using one foot as our pivot point.  The other leg steps in 6 directions: Forward and backwards Side to side Rotate right and left Coach Tips: Relax the shoulders. Keep a slight bend in both knees at all times Reach the moving leg in a comfortable range Move at a slow and steady pace Placing both hands on the bed stabilizes the upper body and increases the intensity of the stretch felt not only through the legs but up through the core and upper body. Plank The Plank. In a previous blog, 5 Best Exercises for Back Pain, we explored why a moving plank is superior to holding in place. Get ready in a push up position and start moving your hips in the same six... read more
HI-YO: Interval Training for ALL

HI-YO: Interval Training for ALL

By Laurie Denomme, BS, & Lori Sherlock, EdD Benefits of High Intensity Interval Training From Tabata to Timmons, everyone has their own take on how to deliver high intensity interval workouts. There is a simple explanation as to why so many programs involve HIIT…it works!  On land, this type of training is reserved for advanced exercisers.  However, in water, the ability to go beyond limits thought possible is realistic, attainable and repeatedly done by widespread populations. HI-YO Aquatic Interval Training System HI-YO is a highly adaptable, research-based aquatic exercise program that uses high intensity intervals (HI) with yoga-inspired movements (YO) to create a fun and effective workout. The paring of HI and YO allows for maximal caloric expenditure during and after the workout. In addition to the opportunity for massive caloric burn, all aspects of fitness can be improved with participation. The primary goals of this workout is to: Build self-confidence Improve cardiovascular function Increase functional abilities Achieve weight loss goals Increase daily activity How HI-YO Helps Improve Fitness Cardiovascular Endurance:  HIIT is often not the first form of training we think of for strengthening our cardiovascular system, but maybe it should be.  Research has indicated that HIIT is not only effective for improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the cardiovascular system, but it actually provides more physiological benefits than continuous training.  (In fact, a study by Gibala et al. showed that accumulating 2.5 hours of HIIT resulted in similar endurance gains as 10.5 hours of accumulated continuous endurance training.) Muscular Strength:  One of the primary reasons that HIIT was invented was to help strength-focused athletes maintain and build... read more
Aqua Pilates Recovery Workout

Aqua Pilates Recovery Workout

  Aqua Pilates: Stretch, Strengthen and Soothe the Body Over the next 3 weeks, I’d like to introduce three water specific techniques – Peyow Aqua Pilates, AquaStretch and Ai Chi. Why Recovery? Recovery is to regain something one has lost. Getting something back can mean different things at different times.  Here are some examples: After injury or surgery your body may have lost mobility and/or strength and your exercise may need to be geared toward regaining those important components of fitness. Perhaps you are living with an autoimmune disorder such as rheumatoid arthritis or multiple sclerosis that requires daily exercise to “reboot” the body rather than “burn” energy. It’s possible you’ve been living an inactive lifestyle and are looking for the best way to get started and return to a former or better state or condition. Or maybe, you are active and already committed to a regular workout regimen, in which case recovery workouts offer a way to prevent injury and optimize performance. Peyow Aqua Pilates Peyow Aqua Pilates created and developed by Anne Pringle Burnell uses original Pilates principles and exercises adapted for water. Anne says:  “If someone has been unable to exercise because of chronic pain or a recent surgery/injury, Peyow Aqua Pilates exercises are a safe way to get started.  This aquatic version of Pilates specifically helps for people to relearn basic movement patterns and strengthen weak areas in the body because of the focus on: Slow controlled movement patterns Efficient movement, using only the necessary muscles Activation of the core in all exercises Moving in a pain-free range of motion” In 2015, Anne and her team... read more
5 Best Exercises for Back Pain

5 Best Exercises for Back Pain

Plank, Crunch and Pelvic Tilts Google “exercises for back pain” and you will find thousands of sites with exercises for the core.  Top hits include: planks, bridges, pelvic tilts, crunches and face down arm and leg raises. The problem with many of these back pain exercises is that they lack movement of the body in ways that are natural.  Visualize each exercise.  What do they have in common? You got it! They either hold the body still or move the body in 2 directions (front to back) – neither of these tactics are consistent with the way the body moves day-to-day. Joints need adequate mobility and strength. For example, every time we take a step, the body needs to load (as our knees and hips bend) and use that energy to push off and propel the body forward.  Therefore, exercises that hold the body still are incomplete.  Check out this moving plank exercise. To strengthen the body, exercises should include movement.   Reduce back pain by moving in 6 directions:  front to back, side-to-side, and rotate right and left. 5 Exercises for Low Back Pain Reduce low back pain.  Do exercises that improve mobility and strength of the abs and back.  The pool is a great place to get started.  It is well documented that water aerobics is an effective way to improve strength and mobility. Hips that are mobile and strong are key to reducing back pain. Single Leg Balance Reach: For Mobility Begin standing on one leg (knee is soft). If needed, hold a pool wall for balance. Reach the suspended foot in a comfortable range: Front to back (repeat... read more