Summer is almost officially over, and it's back to school for kids and young adults. Why don't you take your BODY back to school with some workout basics? When it comes to exercise, spring and summer sell you a "frenetic" type of workout routine. Everyone wants a "bikini bod" in a matter of weeks, often with a devil-may-care attitude towards his or her overall health and possible injury. I can't tell you how many TV segments I viewed this summer season about Boot Camps, where I saw the participants performing single leg squats incorrectly. The repetition of incorrect positions during exercise will create dysfunctions and misalignment that will result in aches and pains, and eventual injury. So while you might be shedding some immediate pounds, you could be setting yourself up for failure in the future when it comes to overall health!
If "Thin is in!" is the song of summer, let's make "Focus!" the fall frame of mind. Even experienced and avid fitness junkies can benefit from revisiting the basics (form, alignment and positioning during movements). The benefits of physical fitness embrace far more than just weight loss; they include disease prevention, injury prevention and mending, mental agility improvements, anti-aging rewards and much, much more. Let's not forget that exercise is a science and should be treated as such to maximize healthy gains. We should concentrate more on the long term than the "quick fix", right?
It's easy to get back to basics, and fun too! Websites such as mine and Exercise TV have beginner workouts and DVD's that address weight training, yoga, and even walking. You can even find free online exercises, such as my Zero Injury, Beneficial video that show the progression from beginner to expert in such moves as the push up, plank and single-leg squat.
Pay special attention during cardio that you are standing tall on machines with only a light grip on the handles, that your feet are pointing straight ahead, and that your core is strong and active. If you can't handle the correct positions, then back off a little until you can.
As an instructor, whether I'm workout out personally or training clients, I always make sure to revisit the fundamentals, knowing that my students and I will ace the expert skills with even more ease. So try "hitting the books" with me this fall and winter... because exercise "smarts" can be sexy too!