GETTING STARTED WITH YOUR FITNESS ROUTINE
Alright, we’re already a quarter into the year; how are those lofty New Year’s resolutions going? Maybe you’ve been trying to get back into the gym but don’t know where to start. Not to worry, I’ve got your back.
Too often we see people coming to the gym with the intention of getting fit and strong. Unfortunately, they often fail to address things like stiffness in their joints and body. These sorts of issues can increase your risk of injury, forcing you to stop before you’ve even started.
When starting a fitness plan - especially for the first time – it’s important to address areas of stiffness in the body upfront. Ideally, you’ll want to open up these areas and allow your muscles to be in a relaxed state before you start strengthening them. This will help to improve your posture and can even reduce some of those aches and pains that come and go.
|IF YOU’VE HAD ONGOING ACHES OR PAINS, IT’S A GOOD IDEA TO TALK TO ONE OF OUR PHYSIO'S.
BOOK A CONSULTATION WITH A PHYSIOTHERAPIST TO GET YOUR PAIN PLAN SORTED.
How to Get Started with your Gym Routine
- Release, using tools such as foam rollers, trigger point/massage balls or massage itself.
- Mobilise those areas of stiffness – most commonly hips and back from sitting all day and calves from wearing high heels or any built-up shoe.
- Activate and strengthen stabilising muscles such as your deep abdominals and gluteals.
- Strengthen the body using dynamic movements to keep your muscles and joints healthy and strong.
If you follow these steps your body will thank you. You will be walking taller and should be able to start ticking off those near-forgotten New Year’s resolutions. Every body is different and how long it takes to go through these phases will vary. Simply making the effort to work on your body four times a week will help you to speed up the transition between each step.
Ask the team at reception about TriggerPoint™ products to target stiff or sore muscles.
Here’s how to get started. I’ve put together my top exercises for each step of training.
b. Thoracic Spine Release
- Hip Flexor 3D stretch
- Start in a half kneeling position and tuck your hips under
- Lift the same arm as your back leg straight up and hold (01)
- Reach that arm over your head so your torso is bent to the side (02)
- Fold your arms and raise them in front of you like a genie as you rotate towards your front leg (03)
- Hold each position for 20-30 secs
- Reverse lunge with arm up
- Take a step back as you bend your back knee straight down without touching the ground and lift the same arm (as the back leg) up as you step
- Return to standing and repeat 12-16 each side
- Negative Clam Shells
b. Bent Leg Lowers
- Start by lying on your back with your hips and knees at 90 degrees.
- Place your fingertips under your lower back and lightly press down on to them.
- Slowly while keeping that pressure lower your foot to the ground keeping a slightly bent leg, return up and alternate legs. The straighter your leg, the harder it is so work to your own strength, keeping your lower back on your fingertips.
- Aim for 12-16 reps total
a. Goblet Reverse Lunges
|b. Cable Squat with Row
Follow these steps to help you get fit and strong while reducing your risk for injury. These exercises will also help to improve your posture and you should start to feel a little better every day.
Habit offers a range of solutions to cater to your fitness requirements including a Trigger Point class to help you release those stiff muscles, Core to help you activate those stabilising muscles, and many more higher intensity classes. You can reach out to any of our experienced Personal Trainers for a Functional Movement Screening and specialised program.
Stephanie Challis is an Elite Personal Trainer at Habit in Wellington.