Practical Fitness

A guide to workouts that actually apply to everyday activity

Written by Greg Marshall | The GYM

When most fitness professionals talk about fitness most of the time they are referring to how they can change how you look. But it is rare to find a fitness professional that will give you workout advice day-to-day life preparation.

An example would be how to make your back feel less pain while you are sitting at a desk all day or how to pick up your children in a safer way that protects your muscles and joints for the long term. Prevention is always the best medicine when it comes to staying healthy and functional.

Below are a few tips that you can use to prepare your body to be at its strongest to prevent future pain, injury and visits to the doctor.

Invest your time into weight training

With all of the fat loss and weight loss advice that you receive most of it is geared towards doing more cardio. But if you are looking to decrease or prevent body pain then strength training is going to be your best bet.

Weight training will help to build lean muscle tissue and keep your body’s posture in its correct state.  The rule of thumb when you are weight training is to make sure you are choosing weights that are challenging enough and every week build from there, increasing the weight and reps.

Abs/Lower Back Training

If you want to prevent lower back pain then you are going to want to make sure you have a strong abs and lower back routine.  When people think about training core they think about only training abs but it is just as important to train your lower back as well.

The reason you want to train the lower back is to prevent muscle imbalances which can put you at a higher risk of injuring your lower back.

Lower Back Workout

Lay face down on a workout ball, with the ball positioned on your abs. With your feet straight out behind you, toes on the ground, do reverse sit-ups. Keep your back straight and take your upper body down toward the ground and back up again. Keeping your hands behind the head can help keep the back straight.

When training the abs be sure to keep your abs flexed so you can feel the abs doing all of the work. Don’t allow momentum to take over and think about quality of reps over quantity.

Last thing, do a two to one ratio when doing lower back and ab work. This means for every ab exercise you do you should be doing two lower back exercises. This will help prevent muscle imbalances.

Leg Training

Legs are an integral part of your everyday life so you will want to make sure you are training them often and taking care of them so you can have a higher quality of life. Whether you play sports, have kids, or have a sit down job it is imperative that the legs are strong.

When training legs you will want to follow a similar protocol to the lower back/ab routine we talked about.

You want to train both the front of the leg (quadriceps) and the back of the leg (hamstring) in order to maximize your results. The back of the legs (hamstrings) are often neglected when working out and most people are unaware that the hamstring plays a part in lower back pain.

The tighter or weaker your hamstrings are the more prone you will be to getting injured. Choose exercises such as squats, step ups, hamstring curls, and lunges to train your leg muscles in full.

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