Weightlifting: machines vs free weights

Fitness Tip #6: Nautilus machines are useful for injuries and some bodybuilding and very little else. If you don’t have a recent limiting injury (and even sometimes if you do, depending on what it is) and you aren’t trying to inflate yourself like Mr. StayPuft, you shouldn’t be using isolation machines. By locking your body into place to isolate one muscle group, you totally lose the workout for your proprioceptive and stabilizing musculature – ie. the things you need in every day life and in sports!  Get off the machines and pick up a weight (or yourself)!

Corrective Exercises

Corrective exercises serve to counteract the bad habits we fall into with regards to posture and movement.  They can relax tight muscles and reactivate lazy ones.  They help resolve chronic injuries and prevent new ones by realigning our spine and keeping joints moving efficiently.

One simple corrective exercise that can be performed anywhere easily is a chin tuck.  It involves pretending your head is on a platter and sliding it backwards, giving yourself a double chin.  You should sit up straight while performing this exercise.  This helps loosen the tight muscles at the base of your skull and regain mobility in the cervical spine that is lost from slouching.  It can be done in sets of 10, 2-3 times a day for less neck pain, shoulder pain, and headaches.

Only The Strong Fitness

Fitness Tip #5: lack of motion at a joint may not be inflexibility! It may be weakness of supporting muscles. If your muscles cannot support the movement, your body will not allow it to happen, giving the illusion that the area is “tight” or inflexible. That’s why motion should be checked both actively (on your own) AND passively (someone moves it for you), as well as lying down AND standing. Why spend time stretching something that’s not tight when it’s actually the other side that’s weak??

Fitness Tip #4: Work on gaining mobility and proper full range of movement before working on greatly increasing strength. One way to accomplish this is by adding self-myofascial release (foam rolling, etc) and static stretching to your workouts (or every day) prior to your dynamic warmup. Make the time for it and you won’t regret it!

Fitness tip #3: fruits contain alot of water. So if the heat is killing your desire for regular food, have some cold fruit and be fed AND hydrated!

Fitness Tip #2: Exercise larger muscles before smaller, assistive muscles in your workout.

Fitness Tip #1: In general, you should perform your weightlifting exercises before your long, continuous cardio in your workout routine.