Category Archives: Golf

Everybody Needs a Foam Roller

It’s true.  Every athlete, especially runners, should have at least one foam roller in their workout arsenal.  They might look like misplace pool toys but the ultimate self massage tool is more than just a big foam cylinder.  Here are the basic reasons you’ll want to add one to your workout routine.

First thing first, what exactly does a foam roller get used for?  Foam rolling, of course.  Foam rolling is a form of self massage also know as myofasical release.  The soft tissues that support and protect muscles are called fascia.  During a hard workout these fibers can become inflamed and their ability to function restricted.  That inflammation leads to sticky spots knows as foam rolleradhesions between the muscle fiber and the fascia.  Those adhesions result in decreased blood flow, tight muscles, soreness and pain.  Hitting these inflamed areas with a foam roller, or rolling them, presses on and stretches the fascia, helping to release the adhesions and ease pain.

Using your favorite foam roller after a workout is one of the best ways you can prevent soreness and stiffness while aiding in quicker muscle recovery.  You can also use your it before a workout.  Foam rolling during your warm-up will increase blood flow to muscle groups that are going to work while breaking up any leftover adhesions from the previous day or days.

Not only will 15 minutes with your foam roller get your body back on track for your next workout, it’s one of the best ways to prevent IT Band Syndrome and can improve mobility and lower your risk of injury at the same time.  You can foam roll all of the major muscle groups, being sure to avoid the lower back and any injured areas and hit smaller muscle groups with different tools like Trigger Point Balls and Supernovas.  There are lots of options out there, so play around and find the one that works best for your body and the intensity of your training program.  Any way you decide to hit your hard working muscles, you’ll be saving yourself lost training time and money spent dealing with injuries.

For help getting started with your newest fitness toy, check out our Foam Rolling 101 video and help those tired muscles feel better today!

Coach Meredith

 

Overcoming Bad Workouts

Everybody has bad workouts.  Hopefully they don’t happen often and aren’t so bad they cause an injury.  Either way, they can still put a crinkle in your day.  Having a rough day in the gym or at the track can be the result of lots of factors, some of which you just can’t control.  Maybe you were running late, missed the group class you love and went at it alone.  Maybe you’re injured or feeling sick.  Figuring out what went wrong is the best way to prevent it from happening again.  Make sure you can bounce back from bad workouts quickly with these tips.

Get enough sleep.  Sleep allows your body time to heal from the last gym session or just daily life.  Having a bad night, or a night without enough sleep, can wreak havoc on your body and suck out tons of the energy you plan on using in the gym.  One great thing about sleep is the human body’s ability to catch up on it.  While this shouldn’t be a regular practice, and seven to eight hours a night are recommended for most people, it’s good to know there’s a reason you want, and are allowed, to sleep in on Sunday morning.

Eat right.  Giving your body the right type of fuel for the workout you have planned is just as, if not more, important than getting enough sleep.  Whole grains and less sugar will aid in preventing the exhaustion many people face an hour or two after lunch.  If you’re going to burn a few hundred calories in the gym, make sure you replace those with quality food items.  Stay properly hydrated before, during and after your session and be careful of caffeine, which can wake your body up for a workout or push it over the limit and cause nausea and shakiness.

Have good goals.  Set a good goal (check out our goal setting series on YouTube).  Write it down.  Look at it every single day.  Get together with a fitness professional and discuss both your goal and a path to reach it.  This keeps you focused and on track, prevents boredom, provides a support system in the gym and gives you accountability.  All of those positives can help turn a few bad workouts into a learning experience that stops them from occurring in the future.

Beware of over training.  Bad workouts can be a sign of over training or injury.  Use a variety of equipment and styles so your body doesn’t get overloaded.  Try alternating weight lifting days with cardio days and always leave at least one day per week for complete rest and recovery.  If you start feeling worn down, unusually sore and grouchy or dreading the gym, it might be time for a few extra days off.  Listen to what your body tells you and take what it’s saying seriously.

Throw in the towel.  There are days when you get out of bed and know you don’t have it.  That’s OK.  Avoiding back workouts is a good way to make sure one doesn’t ruin your day.  Taking an extra day off to let your body recover won’t wreck all the work you’ve already done and it pays to listen up when your body says ‘no’.  If you’re already in the thick of things, quit while you’re ahead.  Rack your weights, cool down and evaluate what went wrong.

Coach Meredith

Mobility and Flexibility: What’s the Difference

Many athletes confuse the terms mobility and flexibility by believing they’re interchangeable.  They aren’t.  Mobility is not flexibility.  Flexibility is a building block for good mobility but not its only element.  It’s possible to have very flexible hamstrings or quadriceps but lack quality hip mobility.  How?  Flexibility refers to structures in the body that have tension on them (think muscles, tendons and ligaments).  Mobility references the ability of a joint to move through a range of motion properly.

Knowing the difference between these two often confused words is a must for anyone who wants to improve performance and recover from each day’s workout.  Why?  Because if your muscles are filled with adhesions and your joints are impinged (lacking the ability to bend properly), you’ll be putting yourself at risk for injury while also compromising some or all of your efficiency and power.

One of the biggest keys to earning and maintaining proper mobility is to work on it every day.  Many of us sit at desks, in chairs, for extended periods of time.  In addition to unengaged hamstrings and all of the issues associated with poor posture, all this sitting is extra hard on muscles that just completed a morning or lunch hour workout.  By being steadfast in working mobilityon your body for 5-10 minutes two or three times during the work day you’ll help prevent injury and speed healing.  If you wait until you’re suffering with a hot spot, shin splint or pulled muscle, you’ll have a much harder time getting back to the gym than if you had never encountered these problems to begin with.

Want to improve your ability to move safely and fully through the range of motion your fitness routine requires?  Start today!  Check out mobility guru Kelly Starrett’s MobilityWOD site here and pick up some mobility tools.  Great options for improving your mobility include lacrosse balls, stretching bands and foam rollers.  With each of these in your arsenal you can work to alleviate hot spots, keep muscles sliding smoothly over each other and, after putting in some solid effort, you’ll quickly see the difference it can make on the track, field or court.

Coach Meredith

June Push-Up Challenge – 30 Days

Welcome to June and the 30 Day Push-Up Challenge!

This month Team FitNice is taking on a Challenge.  We’ll complete a designated number of push-ups each day in the month of June to get stronger this summer.

Join in on the fun by taking these simple steps:

1.  Like FitNicePT on Facebook

2.  Visit each day for your daily dose of push-ups

3.  Share pictures, comments and brags about your progress.

The challenge will introduce you to not only standard push-ups but two other varieties.  Plank push-ups and T push-ups are included to help build a strong foundation for your fitness goals.  Including push-ups in your workout routine will help build midline, core, shoulder, chest and triceps strength and stability.  This can help improve your golf swing, your running posture, your strength training power and make every day activities easier to accomplish.

A stronger, more stable upper body is an asset to any athlete and June’s 30 Day Push-Up Challenge is a great way to start building one.

If you want to get a sneak peak, check out these push-up videos on our YouTube Channel!

Push-Ups

T Push-Ups

Plank Push-Ups

push-up challenge

I can’t wait to see how far you get over the course of our 30 Day Push-Up Challenge!

Coach Meredith

5 Tips to Prepare for Summer Workouts

The warmer weather is coming and it can play a big factor in your training, racing and overall fitness.  The heat, sun and humidity that come with summer workouts can be very dangerous.  Avoiding the possibilities heat stroke, heat exhaustion and dehydration are key elements of a good summer plan.  Here are five tips to help you prepare for summer workouts.

Prepare for summer workouts by checking your schedule.  As the daily high temperatures climb, it can be incredibly valuable to change your workout schedule.  If you’re working out in a gym, you can stick with whatever works best right now but if you’re training means you’re outside, hit the road or track in the early morning when it’s coolest and the sun isn’t shining directly overhead.  If mornings aren’t an option, try to find a place to put workouts in the summer workoutsevening.  The setting sun and dropping temperatures will help you stay cooler than earlier in the day.

One fun way to prepare for summer workouts is to try something new.  If you usually go for a post work run in a sunny park or a bike ride on black paved roads, try stand-up paddle boarding or a lunch hour spin class.  If you can find an alternative indoor or water based workout you enjoy, skipping the great outdoors for a day or two to stay safe won’t make you feel like you’re missing out.

Put a good hydration plan in place.  An important element of preparing for summer workouts is keeping your body full of fluids.  Staying properly hydrated can eliminate lots of risks associated with hot workouts.  Sweat rate and fluid intake is also a good way to gauge your exertion level when the heat might make it hard to tell just how difficult your run, bike or outdoor strength training session is.

Go shopping.  If your workout wardrobe is full of long sleeved tops and full length bottoms in winter warming dark colors, purchasing light colored options is a good way to prepare for summer workouts.  The light colors will reflect rather than absorb the sunlight, keeping you cooler from beginning to end.  Investing in a hydration pack can be a good addition to any equipment collection and be sure to stock up on sunblock, sunglasses and hats.

The heat and humidity that play a role in summer workouts can make it hard to tell just how much effort your expending during a session.  Prepare for this by easing into the warmer weather.  Start with comparing a workout you’re familiar with to how you feel after performing it on the first hot day.  Slowly add time to outdoor workouts and be aware that you’re working harder just because it’s hot out from the moment you begin.

Use these tips to help ward off the dangers that come with summer workouts and stay safe, healthy and fit all year long.

Coach Meredith

Stretching for Golf

Golfers are a notorious bunch.  They just want get out there and go, and it often costs them a few strokes on the first two or three holes.  It’s important to stretch before you tee off for several reasons.  Stretching will loosen muscles and make your swing more fluid, increasing distance and accuracy while also lowering the risk of injury, especially to the lower back.  First of all, it is important to know the limitations of your body.  Get a routine from a professional and make sure your doctor has OKed it.  Increase your body temperature before you stretch to make it more effective because warm muscles are more responsive.  Stretching also helps cool you down after 18 and prevents soreness while providing a relaxing wind down.  Try stretching with a partner so you can keep an eye on each other’s form, being sure to stretch only one muscle group at a time, but also to offer encouragement.

Here are some great pre-golf stretches:

Knee to chest (Lower Back and Glutes):  Lie on your back with your body extended.  Bend one knee and bring your foot to your behind, holding the thigh behind your flexed knee.  Hold for 10 to 20 seconds, taking deep breaths and repeating on each side twice.

Hamstring stretch (Hamstrings):  From a lying position with extended legs, raise your left leg, holding the thigh with both hands and keeping the knee extended.  Slowly pull your leg to your chest, exhaling deeply.  Repeat on both sides for 10 to 30 seconds twice.

Figure Four (Hips and Glutes):  Lying on your back, bring both knee to a 90-degree bend.  Cross your right ankle so it rests on your left knee and use your right hand to push gently away from your chest until you feel a stretch in your hips and glutes.  Hold for 10 to 30 seconds and repeat twice with each leg.

Calf Stretch (Gastroc and Achilles tendon):  Standing upright, place your hands on a wall, fence or other sturdy, flat vertical surface.  Bring your left leg forward, keeping the right leg straight and lean into the wall, bending your elbows.  Repeat twice on both sides for 10 to 30 seconds.

Quadriceps Stretch (Quadriceps):  Stand with one hand on a wall or other type of support and exhale as you raise your right leg to grasp the ankle with your right hand.  Gently pull your right heel towards your buttocks.  Hold for 10 to 30 seconds and repeat twice on each side.

Chest Stretch (Upper chest):  Using a doorframe or other flat vertical surface, bend your left elbow to a 90-degree angle.  With your forearm pointing straight up, place your elbow against the wall and, with a nice big exhale, lean your whole body forward.  If you are in a doorframe, you can do both sides at the same time, exhaling and holding for 10 to 30 seconds, repeating twice.

With a little warm up and these stretches, you’ll feel better on the first hole of every round.  For more information, or a customized golf stretching program, contact us at Info@FitNicePT.com!