Perhaps you are not training for a specific sport, but you’d like a workout program to improve your general fitness. Maybe you have a stability ball or elastic tubing and need some new ideas for exercises to do. Don’t have any equipment, but need a training routine using body weight exercises? Find new workout ideas for your fitness training program here!
Fitness Training Components
Components of a properly designed fitness program include flexibility, strength training, balance, cardiovascular fitness, and nutrition.
Flexibility ensures that you have adequate range of motion in your muscles and joints to move efficiently. Individuals with impaired flexibility tend to use compensatory movements that can create or exacerbate muscle imbalances, which in turn may lead to repetitive stress injuries. Examples of activities that improve flexibility include yoga, myofascial release, and different methods of stretching. Some people actually have “too much” flexibility and are hypermobile, making them more susceptible to joint dislocations or hyperextension injuries. These individuals need exercises that provide joint stability rather than more mobility.
Strength Training improves bone density, muscle strength, and muscle tone using exercises that resist force. Weight lifting is the most common example of strength training, although anything that provides resistance against movement will improve strength. A few examples include moving against gravity (push-ups, pull-ups), rubber tubing, hydraulic machines, or manual resistance from a partner. Depending on how you train, you may increase muscle mass, improve muscle endurance, or increase power in addition to improving strength.
Balance takes on several different meanings. It can be the ability to know where your body is in three dimensional space (proprioception) so that you don’t fall or injure yourself. It can mean balancing your life in general: time for work, play, family, emotional well being (mind/body). It can mean balance between muscle agonists and antagonists to prevent compensatory movement patterns (muscle imbalances). You need all forms of balance!
Cardiovascular Fitness refers to the efficiency of your heart and lungs and their ability to deliver oxygen and nutrients to working muscle tissues. For general fitness, moderate aerobic activities will improve your cardiovascular endurance. These types of activities burn the most calories for individuals who are also interested in managing their body weight. Examples include walking, jogging, swimming, biking, dancing, aerobics classes, or any activity that is continuous in nature.
Nutrition is what provides the fuel for your body to work. A balanced diet is a vital part of health, and proper eating habits will often determine physical performance. Garbage in, garbage out.
Common Muscle Imbalances
Although every individual is different, there are common muscle imbalances seen in the general population. In today’s world, even active individuals are more likely to have a job that requires long periods of prolonged sitting in front of a computer screen. Muscles that are commonly tight and need to be stretched include: pectorals and anterior shoulder girdle, hamstrings, calves, and hip flexors. Muscles that are commonly weak and need to be strengthened include: rotator cuff and scapular stabilizers, gluteals, and trunk stabilizers such as spinal erectors and abdominals. Imbalances can lead to common injuries such as shoulder impingements and low back pain.
Training Program Options
Option 1. The most effective option is to work one on one with a professional Strength and Conditioning Coach to ensure that you are doing the most efficient exercises correctly. You will first have an assessment to determine your current cardiovascular fitness, flexibility, and muscle strengths and weaknesses prior to beginning a training program. K’s Body Shop will then utilize that information to design a customized program that determines appropriate exercises and intensities so that you can maximize your fitness and minimize the chance for injury. Since there are no contracts, you can work with your trainer as often or as little as you please. Contact K’s Body Shop to schedule your appointment or get more information.
Option 2. If you have a small group in the Twin Cities area who are interested in having a professional Strength and Conditioning Coach oversee your small group strength training workouts, contact K’s Body Shop. This is a great option for training partners to contain costs while still getting some professional instruction. Since each person is different, the workouts will not be completely customized, but you will have the option of discussing appropriate exercise progressions based on your abilities. Prices vary depending on number of participants and location of sessions.
Option 3. The least expensive option is to follow a pre-designed fitness program. We currently offer a variety of programs for different implements and abilities which are available for purchase in the Program Catalog. Individuals who will benefit the most from this option are self motivated, have basic training experience, are in good health and injury free. Workouts are available for free weights, stability balls, medicine balls, cables or tubing, plyometrics, different types of stretching, and basic balance exercises. There are also myofascial release exercises that can be done using a biofoam roll. Note: Because of current international tax laws, these programs are currently only offered to US based customers.
If you are unsure if this program is appropriate for you, contact the trainer.