Category Archives: Personal Training

Core Workout Exercises Are Misunderstood All Over The World.


by STEVEN MILNER IIST VTCT 28/11/11

 

Core workout exercises are misunderstood all over the world.
Many people think that core workout exercisesonly help in developing six-pack abs. However, outward appearances are a small part of the effectiveness of core and balance workouts. The core actually consists of many different muscles that stabilize the spine and pelvis, running through the entire length of the torso, front and back. A strong base founded on effective balance and strong core musculature prepares you for powerful and explosive movement during exercise.

Core exercises improve your balance and stability.
Core workouts are easily compromised by the idea that the rest of your workout will cover most of your core requirements, it won’t. The core is known as the power house of the system as this is where most of our movement is generated. A strong core also protects the lower back from unnecessary injury and allows a person to work efficiently and safely. It also improves balance and stability as most core exercises are based on balance engaging the core.

Core exercises can help tone your abs.
Typically core exercises tone the mid section as they basically provide a workout that isolates these groups of muscles. Core workouts tighten the packs of muscles in the abdominal area and visually give an appearance of overall weight loss. And these exercises can be done everyday unlike other weight training exercises. You can choose from 2- 3 different exercises and you will require about 5 minutes of your time to get fit and strong in the mid section. Strong core muscles make it easier to do most physical activities: The limbs are intricately connected to the core complex and movements are very much dependant on core fitness. A strong core can help you work faster, harder and longer.

Exercise Technique.
If you can, execute the workout in front on a mirror to allow you to make corrections to your posture. The most important factor is to activate the abdominal muscle during execution .This can be done by coughing once and holding the contraction that happens when you cough. Square the hips and shoulders to engage the PC muscles of the pelvic floor.

Core exercises don’t require specialized equipment or a gym membership.
We can do core and balance workouts in the comfort of our own homes at almost any time of the day, and it doesn’t need to to take up too much time. You won’t need lots of fancy equipment to work on strengthening the core either, for some however, performing core workouts at the gym sets the right mood. If you’re a beginner you should take care to workout under the guidance of the professional trainer, especially if you want to try some of the more advanced techniques early on in your exercise regime. Some core workouts require alignment and balance that can only be achieved with sustained effort and repetition.

Let’s look at three core strength exercises you can do at home.

Super man: Lie face down on the floor with your arms stretched full out in front with your thumbs just touching. Raise the right arm and left leg off the floor until you feel a stretch, hold for 3 seconds and relax. Alternate with the other arm and leg and repeat for 3 sets of 12 to 15 repetitions. When it starts to get easier try HARDER you’ll know what I mean.

Plank: Lie face down, with forearms and toes on the floor slowly start to take the strain and raise your pelvis from the floor and straighten your torso. Set your eyes on the floor. Hold this position for 10 seconds. Relax to the start position and then repeat 5 times

Supine bridge: Lie flat on your back on a mat or the floor with eyes set on the ceiling. Position your feet flat on the floor at about hip width and somewhere beneath your knees and hands just outside your ankles and alongside of your body. Now push your hips up till you have a straight line right from your knees to shoulders. Maintain a straight line posture as long as you can feel the muscle tension.

If it’s a flat tummy you most desire then check out my post on the Transverse Abdominals

Advertisements

Doctor’s orders for top fitness

Doctor’s orders for top fitness

Published on Thursday 24 November 2011 08:23 at Lancashire Evening Post

Doctors have launched a new scheme to avoid complications during operations and get patients back home sooner.

Lancashire Teaching Hospitals, which runs Royal Preston and Chorley and South Ribble Hospitals, has invested more than £40,000 in cardiopulmonary exercise testing equipment as part of its new ‘fitness for surgery’ initiative.

Fitness for surgery will benefit 500 patients a year and give medics a much better measurement of a patient’s fitness and the risks of surgery.

This allows specialists to effectively plan the level of care and rehabilitation a patient will need after surgery and can identify patients who may be at risk of complication during the operation, so more appropriate treatment can be arranged.

Bridget Reynolds, who lives in Longridge, near Preston, underwent the test in preparation for surgery to remove a polyp. She said: “I had the cardiopulmonary test during my pre-op assessment.

“It is really reassuring to know that you’re fit and well for surgery and I now feel less anxious about the operation.

“Although it’s a long time since I took vigorous exercise the whole experience was quite comfortable. It’s a bit like having a go on an exercise bike. In fact I might get one for Christmas!”

Dr Tom Owen, consultant in anaesthesia and critical care said: “The fitness for surgery programme will help us to avoid potentially dangerous complications during surgery and allow us to identify patients who are likely to recover quickly after their operation and be able to go back home sooner.” Chris Simms, divisional director of surgery, said: “No one likes to stay in hospital for longer than they need to and the fitness for surgery programme will enable a better recovery following an operation.”

Doctor’s orders for top fitness edited by STEVEN MILNER IIST VTCT

The Top Ten Most Common Sports Injuries

The Top Ten Most Common Sports Injuries

By STEVEN MILNER IIST VTCT

This article is aimed toward the therapists amongst you, professional or otherwise, even if you are your only client.

The most common sports-related injuries primarily are due to overuse. As the name implies, an overuse injury results from wear and tear on the body, particularly on joints subjected to repeated activity.

By far, the most common sport that leads to injury is running. “Running jars the body from the foot all the way up into the back,” says James Garrick, MD, director of the Centre for Sports Medicine at St. Francis Hospital in San Francisco. He has seen more runners than any other recreational athletes in his clinic, followed by those who participate in dance (including aerobics), tennis, skiing, basketball, gymnastics, football and figure skating.

Certain types of injuries plague certain types of sports. Most of them, however, are minor. Knowing the early signs and what to do can help prevent them from threatening future performance.

Here’s a look, from head to toe, so to speak, at the Top Ten sports injuries you’re most likely to come across:

1 Muscle Pull
Probably the most common sports injury is a muscle pull, which can happen to almost any muscle in the body. No matter how diligently you warm up and stretch, or cool down and stretch, you may pull a muscle from overuse, fatigue or taking a fall. There is little you can be done to prevent a muscle pull except to stay limber and work your muscles regularly.
A muscle pulls when a sudden, severe force is applied to the muscle and the fibres are stretched beyond their capacity. If only some of the fibres tear, that is a muscle pull. If most of the fibres tear, that is a muscle tear.

Muscle Pull Treatment.
The universally held treatment for a muscle pull or tear is to apply ice and rest until the pain and swelling subside. The ice relaxes the muscle and helps relieve any spasm. Ice should be applied for about 20 minutes on, then 20 minutes off, as much as possible for a few days. The dull ache of a muscle pull usually disappears within a few days.
As soon as tolerable, begin gently stretching the muscle. A pulled muscle may go into spasm as a reaction to being overstretched. If the muscle fibres are not gradually re-lengthened, the muscle will pull again with return to activity because it will have healed in a shortened state. In general, you can return to action when the injured body part can be stretched without pain as far as the healthy one on the other side of the body. That may take a week for a calf muscle or more than a month for a hamstring pull.

2 Neck Pain.
A pulled muscle or a muscle spasm in the neck is the sort of thing that can happen when a tennis player looks up to serve or hit an overhead smash. The pain is on one side of the neck, and the neck may be pulled over slightly to that side. It is particularly painful to turn the head in the direction of the pain. That is, if the pain is on the left side of the neck, the player can turn to the right, but not to the left. Cyclists who use racing handlebars may also feel neck stiffness. With your back bent low over the handlebars, you have to tilt your neck up to see ahead. After a long ride, the neck muscles may tighten up and go into spasm from this awkward position.

Neck Pain Treatment.
The proper treatment for neck stiffness is to apply ice for 20 minutes at a time and gently stretch the neck. Sit in a chair and hold onto the seat with the hand on the painful side of your neck. Bend your trunk and head to the opposite side. Hold the stretch for 20 seconds. Or gently drop your chin to your chest and move the chin in a semicircle from shoulder to shoulder five times. The same exercises can strengthen the neck and prevent pain.
Severe pain may require prescription medication, such as a muscle relaxant or anti-inflammatory agents, and physical therapy. Pain radiating down the arm and into the hand may be due to a pinched or stretched nerve, and should be seen by a doctor immediately.

3 Shoulder Impingement.
The shoulder bones are held together by a group of muscles known as the rotator cuff muscles. These muscles (supraspinatus, infraspinatus, subscapularis and teres minor) are responsible for the shoulder’s fine movements, such as throwing a ball. Because of the shoulder’s shallow socket and lack of ligament strength, any weakness of the small, rotator cuff muscles makes it easy for the head of the shoulder to slide around in the joint.
If the shoulder joint is continually stressed with the arm in an overhead position, as it is in cricket (over arm bowling), tennis, volleyball, swimming and weight training, the small rotator cuff muscles begin to stretch out. This allows the head of the joint to become loose within the shoulder socket. If the head of the shoulder is loose, when the arm is extended backwards over the shoulder the head will slide forward, catching the tendon of short head of the biceps between the ball and the socket. The same thing happens when the arm is raised to the side above parallel to the ground. The head will drop in the socket and the tendon of the long head of the biceps or the supraspinatus becomes impinged. This impingement causes the tendons to become inflamed and painful. Tennis players feel the pain when they try to hit an overhead or serve. The same thing can happen to golfers in both the backswing and the follow-through when their shoulders are above parallel to the ground.

Shoulder Impingement Treatment
Many doctors overlook the true problem with a shoulder impingement. They treat the tendinitis with anti-inflammatory agents or corticosteroid injections. But the anti-inflammatories soon wear off, and the next time the shoulder is used, the tendon is impinged again. The pain recurs, requiring another injection or more anti-inflammatories.
If shoulder pain lasts for more than a day or two after practicing the serve or hitting a bucket of balls, a program of range-of-motion exercises can help strengthen the rotator cuff muscles. Strengthening these muscles will help hold your shoulder firmly in place, then the head will not slip out of the socket and the tendons will no longer become inflamed or irritated. Physical therapy, ultrasound, moist heat and electrical muscle stimulation followed by rehabilitative exercises are also recommended. If the shoulder exercises do not help ease the pain, or there is numbness or tingling in your hand, consult a doctor.

4 Lower Back Strain.
Almost everyone who participates in sports experiences lower back strain at one time or another, usually from twisting awkwardly, lifting a heavy weight or doing some unpractised activity. Virtually all lower back injuries are due to weak or tense muscles or muscle strain. Suddenly overloading muscles may pull or tear muscle fibres, sending the back muscles into spasm and causing pain. Weightlifters, golfers, martial artists and tennis players are prone to back injuries because these sports involve unilateral motions. A golfer rotates the lumbar spine in only one direction, which is the equivalent of lifting weights with only one side of body. Martial artists generally have one dominant leg and kick with that one more than the other, oh yes you do!

Lower Back Strain Treatment.
Fortunately, most simple backaches go away within a few weeks, with or without treatment. After about a week, start a workout that strengthens the lower back, hamstring and abdominal muscles to help support the back to prevent any back pain from recurring. When back muscles go into spasm, the excruciating pain may be disabling. Rest for a few days and take medication such as aspirin or other anti-inflammatory agents (check with the Doc first). Ice the back for 20 minutes at a time for as long as the pain persists.
Physical therapy may also be necessary if these symptoms do not quiet down in about 10 days. This includes ice, then heat, electrical stimulation of muscles, stretching and deep-finger massage. This should be followed by exercises to strengthen the back and abdominals. These same exercises can also help head off future back pains.

5 Tennis Elbow
Tennis elbow is really an inflammation of the muscles of the forearm and the tendon that connects the muscles to the bones in the elbow. These muscles bend the wrist backward and cause the wrist to turn the palm face up. When the muscles and tendon become inflamed from overuse, the pain is felt on the outside of the elbow (lateral epicondylitis).
Tennis players most often aggravate the elbow by hitting the ball late on the backhand side, straining the forearm muscles and tendon. Constantly turning the wrist to put more spin on the serve also can cause pain. Golfers also suffer from tennis elbow, but on the non-dominant side, that is, a right-handed golfer will feel the pain in the left elbow. Pulling the club through the swing with the left wrist causes irritation in the left elbow. A second type of tennis elbow is known as medial epicondylitis. This causes pain on the inside of the elbow. It is most often seen among golfers, batsmen, tennis players who hit topspin forehands and weight lifters.

Tennis Elbow Treatment.
Tennis elbow is cured with lessons more than medicine. Tennis players need to learn how to move the feet to put the body in position to hit with full body weight behind the ball. This takes the stress off the elbow. Golfers with chronic elbow problems should also consider taking a lesson to smooth out any swing problems.
Cortisone injections, once the standard treatment, may reduce the inflammation around the elbow and ease the pain, but they do not address the cause of the problem, which is over-stressing the forearm tendon. Exercises can help improve forearm strength. These exercises include wrist curls, flexing the wrist forward while holding a light dumbbell at the side with the palm facing forward, and reverse wrist curls, the same exercise with the palm facing backward. Squeezing a soft rubber ball until the hand is fatigued also strengthens the forearm muscles.

6 Runner’s Knee.
The most common cause of knee pain is runner’s knee, known medically as chondromalacia patella. This is due to misalignment of the kneecap in its groove. The kneecap normally goes up or down in the groove as the knee flexes or straightens out. If the kneecap is misaligned, the kneecap pulls off to one side and rubs on the side of the groove. This causes both the cartilage on the side of the groove and the cartilage on the back of the kneecap to wear out. On occasion, fluid will build up and cause swelling in the knee. Runners are not the only ones who develop runner’s knee. Pain can develop around the back of the kneecap or in the back of the knee after participating in any running sport.

Runner’s Knee Treatment.
Treatment involves strengthening the quadriceps muscle, which hooks into the kneecap and helps align it into the centre of the groove. Isometric exercises are recommended to begin strengthening the quadriceps by contracting and relaxing the muscle. Strength progresses to less than full range-of-motion leg extensions. Do not attempt full leg extensions with the knee bent because this will cause the kneecap to rub more and worsen the symptoms. Treatment also includes stretching the quadriceps, and soft tissue massage to work on the centre of the quadriceps. Work from the upper part of the thigh towards the knee, stroking downward. This helps stretch muscle fibres and alleviates the muscle contraction, which is pulling the kneecap up. A large dose of aspirin, two plain or buffered aspirin pills four times a day until the knee improves, also may help reduce inflammation within the kneecap cartilage (ask the Doc ‘member).

7 Shin Splints.
Shin splints are pains in the muscles near the shin bones. They can be caused by running or jumping on hard surfaces or simply overuse. They occur most often in people unaccustomed to training, although they can also plague experienced athletes who switch to lighter shoes, harder surfaces or more concentrated speed work. The pain occurs on the inner side of the middle third of the shin bone. The muscle responsible for raising the arch of the foot attaches to the shin bone at that spot. When the arch collapses with each foot strike, it pulls on the tendon that comes from this muscle. With repeated stress, the arch begins to pull some of its muscle fibers loose from the shin bone. This causes small areas of bleeding around the lining of the bone, and pain. If the irritated area is about the size of a 50 pence piece or smaller, or the shin pain suddenly increases, you may have a stress fracture. The twisting of the tibia can cause the bone to crack. A stress fracture may not show up on an x-ray, and therefore a bone scan is indicated.

Shin Splints Treatment.
The key element of treatment is an arch support to prop up the foot and prevent excessive pronation and pull on the tendon. Many people do well with a simple commercial arch support. This usually solves the problem almost immediately. Others who have a more serious problem may need an orthotic device to control the pronation.
TIP
To help prevent shin splints, start exercising slowly to warm up the leg muscles, wear athletic shoes with good support and run on a softer surface, for example, changing from asphalt to grass every few runs.

8 Ankle Sprain.
The most common ankle sprain happens when the foot rolls to the outside and sprains the ligaments on the outside of the ankle. The outside of the ankle swells up and throbs, and may turn black and blue around the injury.
When a jogger steps gently off a curb and “twists” an ankle, this simply stretches the ligaments, with no real tearing, and is considered a mild sprain. When a tennis player lunges out over a poorly planted foot, partially tearing the body of the ligament, this is considered a moderate sprain. When a rugby player lands on another player’s foot, twisting and forcing the ankle violently into the pitch, most or all of the fibres tear, and this is a severe sprain. If weight-bearing is possible on the ankle after a sprain, the ankle probably is not broken. If you feel pain on the inside of the ankle, then it should be x-rayed to rule out a hair-line fracture.

Ankle Sprain Treatment
The tried and tested treatment for any ankle sprain is R.I.C.E: Rest, Ice, Elevation and Compression. The goal is to limit internal bleeding and cut down on swelling. As soon as tolerable, begin range of motion and strengthening exercises. These can help overcome stiffness and restore mobility. To do this, sit in a chair and cross the affected leg over the other leg at the knee. Using the big toe as a pointer, trace the capital letters of the alphabet from A to Z. Hold the big toe rigid so all the motion comes from the ankle. Repeat this exercise hourly, if possible. The letters will be very small at first but they will increase in size as range of motion improves. A good strengthening exercise is light kicking in a pool with a kick board or swim fin to create resistance.
TIP
Balance training is an important part of rehabilitation. Practice balancing on one foot with the arms extended to the sides without swaying, first with the eyes open, then the eyes closed.

9  Achilles Tendinitis.
The Achilles tendon in the back of the ankle is the largest tendon in the body. It transfers the force of muscle contractions to lift the heel. Achilles tendinitis is an inflammation of the tendon, usually due to overuse, such as frequent jumping in basketball or volleyball. The most common cause is excessive pronation of the ankle and foot, which causes the Achilles tendon to pull off centre.The pain of a torn Achilles tendon feels like a gsw in the leg. A partial tear is harder to spot. If the width of the injured Achilles tendon is smaller than the healthy one, or you feel intense pain when standing on your toes, see a doctor for treatment, and possibly surgery.

Achilles Tendinitis Treatment.
The treatment is to minimize physical activity until it feels better and to ice the tendon several times a day during this time. Anti-inflammatory agents help to relieve swelling and pain. Stretch the tendon as well by doing toe raises–stand on your toes for 10 seconds and then put your heels flat on the floor. Work up to doing three sets easily, then lift up on one foot at a time. When the tendon has healed, do heel drops. Stand with your forefeet on a raised surface, such as the edge of a step. Let your heels down below the level of the surface so that the back of the calf is stretched. Hold for 10 seconds. Repeat until the calf is fatigued. Runners who simply slough off Achilles tendinitis can develop an acute avulsion where the Achilles tendon pulls right off the bone. This is a medical emergency and requires surgical reattachment within 24 hours (mark my words you will be under no illusions as to the severity of this injury).

10 Arch Pain.
The elastic covering on the sole o-f the foot, the plantar fascia,runs the length of the foot and holds up the arch. When this shock-absorbing pad becomes inflamed, this is called plantar fasciitis, causing a dull ache along the length of the arch. The ache is due to over-stretching or partially tearing the arch pad. This happens most often to people with rigid, high arches. They feel the pain when they put weight on their foot or when pushing off for the next stride. Pain is particularly intense upon arising or after sitting for a long while. Plantar fasciitis is particularly common among middle-aged people who have been sedentary and who suddenly increase their level of physical activity. Runners are most susceptible, but almost any sport that keeps the athlete standing can lead to arch pain. Inappropriately fitting shoes or a weight gain of 10 to 20 pounds can also contribute to the condition.

Arch Pain Treatment.
The treatment is to put an arch support under the foot immediately to prevent the arch from collapsing and the plantar fascia from stretching. Also, put an arch support in your slippers and wear them as soon as you rise. Even a few steps barefoot without support can stretch the plantar fascia. Arch supports usually relieve pain within a few days. To head off arch pain, begin an exercise routine slowly, take off any excess weight and wear arch supports in your athletic shoes. Arch pain commonly smoulders for months because people do not take the proper precautions. Continuing to do weight-bearing exercises will perpetuate the pain. While the foot is recovering, swim or do water workouts. Or work the upper body only. Some people are able to use a stationary bicycle by placing only the front part of the foot on the pedals.

The main message throughout this article is rest, sometimes active rest, but still rest, do yourself a favour let your body heal and learn from your experience.

Is there any merit to Functional Strength Training?

Q: What is functional strength training?
A: Functional strength training has become a popular buzzword in the fitness industry. Unfortunately, it is also subject to wide interpretation.

In extreme cases some personal trainers believe that by mimicking the explosive, ballistic activities of high-level competitive athletes, they are training in a functional manner. All too often, however, such training programs greatly exceed the physiological capabilities of the average exerciser, which ultimately increases the possibility that an injury might occur. Most would agree that there is nothing functional about sustaining an injury due to improper training. In many respects, functional strength training should be thought of in terms of a continuous movement. Training to improve functional strength involves more than simply increasing the force-producing capability of a muscle or group of muscles. Functional strength training involves performing work against resistance in such a manner that the improvements in strength directly enhance the performance of movements so that an individual’s activities of daily living are easier to perform. Simply put, the main aim of functional training is to transfer the improvements in strength achieved in one movement to enhancing the performance of another movement by affecting the entire neuromuscular system. Accordingly, individuals shouldn’t rely on any single group of exercises. Individuals should use all the weapons in their training arsenal. Functional strength training should serve as a supplement to traditional strength training, not as a replacement.

Properly applied, functional strength training may provide exercise variety and additional training benefits that more directly transfer improvements to real-life activities.

Source: Bryant, Cedric X. 101 Frequently Asked Questions about “Health & Fitness” and “Nutrition & Weight Control”.

Working the Transverse Abdominals

transverse abdominalsWorking the Transverse Abdominals

by STEVEN MILNER IIST VTCT Qualified

Ladies, ever wonder why you never seem to get that flat stomach when you’re relaxed?  No matter how effectively you work your abs typically you will be working them in just one direction, up and down, or, more properly along the length of the rectus abdominus. But what about the abdominals that go from side to side? Can we exercise those?  Well, yes you can, the transverse abdominals (TA) flatten the tummy from side to side, so read on because I’ve got some information to share with you about working your Transverse Abdominals.
The TA complex belong to a group of core muscles that lie below the rectus abdominus and are often neglected in standard ab routines. Typically most abdominal exercises target the vertical rectus abdominus largely ignoring the horizontal transverse abdominals. Even crunches, the staple of most abdominal workouts, do nothing for the transverse abdominals. This group of muscles connect to both the lower back and the rectus abdominus to form a powerful support for the entire abdomen. Any routine aimed at flattening the stomach should include the transverse abdominals as a focus. Using the following exercises, you can target your transverse abdominals and really make progress towards that flat tummy.

Transverse Abdominal Crunch
Lie face up on a mat and plant your feet flat on the floor about shoulder width apart, maintain contact between the mat and the small of your back. With the fingers of both hands find the tips of your hip bones on either side of your tummy. Move your fingers inwards slightly towards your centre line just off the hip bone, don’t worry your hip bones are easy to find even if you’re carrying a lot of fat. Now this is an easy exercise to master once you know how to “feel” the transverse muscle working, here’s how, press down slightly with your fingers and cough! You will feel the transverse abdominal wall tighten and jump beneath your fingers. To use the exercise, first cough to initiate the contraction and then hold for a count of ten and relax, repeat for sets.

Pelvic Tilts
Lie on your back on a flat surface, such as a mat or a bench. Roll a towel to cushion the small of your back. Bend your knees so that your feet are flat on the floor. Raise your pelvis off the floor,  hold momentarily, and lower under control. Repeat for sets. Maintaining a controlled movement is crucial to this exercise, use your abdominal muscles not your body’s momentum to do the work. Be sure to keep your upper body on the floor throughout to target the transverse complex.

Crunchless Crunch
This exercise is fairly simple but can be difficult to master. In a nutshell we’re going to try to pull our belly button in towards our spine, this involves muscles which you may not be accustomed to working, it can take time to make the mind muscle connection. Start by either lying on your stomach or supporting yourself on hands and knees. You might want to try both ways and see which helps you feel the exercise better. Relax your body as much as possible; use only the lower abdominals to try to move your belly button toward your spine. Hold for ten seconds. If holding for ten seconds feels easy, hold for a longer period. You should aim to hold the contraction until you either cannot feel it anymore, or you feel other muscles working harder than the transverse abdominus. When you feel this, release the contraction and relax.

Scissor Kicks
Again start by lying on a mat or bench, place your hands under your backside and try to keep the small of your back pressed down. Start by slowly raising one leg to a height of about ten inches, then slowly lower it back to the floor, as your lower one leg, raise the other. Repeat this movement for reps and sets. Keep disciplined, focus, don’t let momentum rob you. Your upper body should remain on the floor through the entire move.

Transverse abdominals aren’t show muscles but if you want a flatter tummy vitalising these muscles will take you a lot closer to your goals. Exercises like these are key to any tummy flattening plan, and they are especially good for pregnant and postnatal women.

I wrote this post originally for my bodybuilding blog but it applies equally well to both men and women who want to feel better in their clothes and themselves.

10 Reasons To Use A Personal Trainer

10 Reasons To Use A Personal Trainer

By Steven Milner IIST VTCT


We all need a little help with exercise sometimes, whether we’re just starting out or we’ve been at it for a long time. Still, there are people who shy away from personal training, unsure of what they’ll get out of the experience or whether it’s worth the money. There are a number of reasons people work with per trainers.  Some want an individualized program so they can lose weight or get in shape while others simply need to be held accountable for their workouts.   Wherever you are in your exercise journey, a personal trainer may be just what you need to take it to the next level.

1. You’re Not Seeing Results
If you’ve been exercising consistently for several weeks or months and aren’t losing weight or reaching your goals, hiring a trainer may be a good choice. A trainer can look at your current program and eating habits and help you see where you could make changes to create more effective workouts. A trainer can also help you determine if the goals you’ve set are realistic for you, hold you accountable for your workouts and help you stay motivated to exercise.  You may even find that you are getting results, just not in the way you expected, something a trainer may see more clearly from the outside.

2. You Don’t Know Where to Start
Knowing how to set up a complete exercise schedule that includes all the activities you need to do – cardio, weight training and flexibility – can be overwhelming.  Add the time and knowledge it takes to choose exercises, weights, reps and sets and you may quit before you even start.This is where a personal trainer can be the biggest help.  He can help you maximize your time while keeping you within your own limits so you don’t overdo it. He can also help you set goals and map out a specific schedule so you know when, how and where you’ll fit in your workouts.

3. You’re Bored with the Same Old Workouts
If you’re an experienced exerciser, maybe you haven’t considered working with a personal trainer. However, it can be a great choice if you need some variety in your workouts. A trainer can bring a fresh perspecitve and new ideas to challenge both your body and your mind. Even if you just do a few sessions or meet every few weeks, you’ll find it refreshing to have new workouts and new exercise toys to play with. A trainer can also introduce new ways to exercise – Circuit training, different methods of strength training and different types of equipment you’ve never tried before.

4. You Need to Be Challenged
If you’re like me, you tend to slack off on your workouts sometimes, especially when things get tough. A trainer can motivate you to push past those self-imposed limits, encouraging you to lift heavier, go longer and challenge yourself more than you would on your own. You’ll find it’s very hard to slack off with a trainer standing over you, telling you to do just…one…more…rep!  You may even find hidden strengths you never knew you had, which can motivate you even more.

5. You Want to Learn How to Exercise on your Own
Even if your goal is to create your own workouts and exercise by yourself, hiring a trainer for a few sessions can be a great benefit for learning the right way to exercise. This is especially true if you want to learn more about the muscles in your body, the exercises that target those muscles and how to do those exercises with great form. Just a few sessions can teach you a lot about your body, how it works and how to train it in the most effective way.

6. You Need Accountability and Motivation
Trainers come with built-in motivation. Not only are you investing money into your exercise program…you’re investing time as well. There’s nothing like a standing appointment to get your butt in gear for a workout. Not only that, a trainer provides some accountability so, even when you don’t have a session, you know your trainer will be asking if you did your planned workouts. Just knowing that may make it harder to skip your workouts.

7. You Have a Specific Illness, Injury or Condition
If you have any specific issues like arthritis, heart disease, old injuries, etc., working with an experienced trainer (who works with your doctor, of course) can help you find a program to help heal injuries and avoid any further problems. It’s also a great idea to work with a trainer if you’re pregnant or trying to get pregnant and want a safe, effective workout to keep you healthy and fit. Keep in mind that you want to find a trainer who has experience with your issues and make sure that trainer works closely with your doctor and/or physical therapist for the best experience.

8. You’re Training for a Sport or Event
If you’re training for a marathon, a golf tournament or some other type of sport or event, an experienced trainer can help you figure out what you need to do to stay strong without taking away from your other training. She can also help create a training program and map out a plan for the coming event. Just make sure she’s experienced in the sport you’re training for since not all trainers do sport-specific training.

9. You Want Supervision and Support During Workouts
Some people know how to exercise and they even know how to do the exercises correctly, but they like having a trainer around for support and supervision. If you’re lifting very heavy weights or need someone to help with partner-type exercises, working with a trainer might be a good choice for you. He can spot you during workouts and help you come up with a good training plan for your goals.

10. You Want to Workout at Home
If you’d like to exercise at home but either don’t have a lot of equipment or aren’t sure how to use what you have, in-home personal training is an excellent choice. A trainer can show you exactly how to use what you have to get the best workout for you or she can bring equipment with her to give you a great workout. She can also make recommendations for equipment that will help you reach your goals.