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  1. What is Low and High Impact Training?

    What is Low and High Impact Training?

    You may be aware of the terms ‘low impact’ and’ high impact’ but may not be aware of what they really mean. In exercise terms the word ‘impact ‘refers to the forc

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  2. All You Need To Know About Squatting

    All You Need To Know About Squatting

    Should you use weights and if so what weights? Should you squat on a machine and if so which one? Also, what’s the best form? Here we explore all you need to know about squatting.

    Why Squat At All?

    Squatting is hugely important to us as humans. Why? The main reasons are that it is "functional". We need to be able to squat to lift anything heavy from children to shopping to changing a tyre. It builds muscles all over our body. It clearly focuses on the lower body muscle groups but squatting triggers anabolic stimulation which helps trigger muscle development throughout the body. Squatting also develops connective tissues in our knees and hips. This means that all our tendons and ligaments grow thicker and are less likely to tear when stressed. Squatting keeps your flexible, can help you burn fat and finally can give you a great shaped but!

    Squatting in itself is quite a basic move but the devil is in the detail as to where you should position your toes, how far apart your feet should be and how much weight you should use. But let’s start with the feet.

    Positioning of Feet

    You may have been told different things over the years regarding the position of your feet. Do you have your toes facing forward in line with your hips, or facing out? Experts now seem to agree that the answer lies in your body and what it is you are trying to achieve. In terms of your body then if your hips naturally rotate out you may find it more comfortable to have your toes pointed slightly out.

    In terms of benefit if your toes are slightly pointed outwards then you can achieve a deeper squat but if your toes point forwards then you can generate more power into the squat. Overall it appears to rest upon how you feel comfortable and what you do with your toes when you walk. In summary there is no right or wrong here, it’s all to do with what your feet and hips naturally do and what kind of squat you are trying to achieve.

    How Wide Should Your Feet Be?

    There are really three basic positions of width, medium, wide and narrow, and all play a role. Let’s start with the medium position.

    This is where you squat with hi

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  3. Upper Body Toning Exercises with the Pilates Ring

    Upper Body Toning Exercises with the Pilates Ring

    The following set of Pilates ring exercises are associated with toning the upper body. The Pilates ring provides moderate resistance when you squeeze the sides together. Perfect to add to your existing matwork or even reformer work if you want to push yourself on with your workouts.

    Exercises that tone the arms, chest, and shoulders are created through different positions. Pilates ring exercises are done with movement that is integrated with the whole body, not with simply isolated muscles. Due to this, you will need your full presence in a strong posture, with your legs and abdominal muscles engaged and connected to the upper body.

    Using Your Pilates Ring

    Throughout these Pilates ring exercises you want the movement to connect all the way to your core. Use control in both the squeeze and the release as you will be doing pulses with the ring. As you do so, feel the width of your shoulders, chest and back; ultimately aiming to that you grow taller with each pulse.

    When you lift the ring, your shoulders need to remain down, you should feel that your shoulder blades slide down your back. As well as this, your shoulders won't move forward or pull far back which will let you strengthen your shoulders in the most stable position.

    Basic Pilates Ring Exercise

    Begin with good posture with your shoulders stable

    With your Pilates ring in hand, stand straight and tall by adjusting your posture.

    Your legs can be together and rotated slightly outward at the top of the thigh so that the heels of your feet are together and make a V shape, which is the Pilates stance and a good opportunity to activate the inner thighs. You can also have the legs parallel and hip distance apart because this is a stable position that lets us train in a stance that is viable in daily life.

    Pull your abs in whilst dropping your tailbone towards the floor. Keep your pelvis steady by imagining it as being like a bowl; you don't want anything to spill out to the front or the back. At the same time, relax your shoulders and send energy out through the top of your head.

    Specific Ring Exercises

    In the next 3 exercises, breather normally as you move the ring from low to high. Your arms will be straight, but don't lock your elbows. As the ring moves up, the exercise pattern reflects the Pilates fundamental move which is arms over.

    Low Ring

    Your arms are straight with your palms are flat against the handles of the ring.

    Pulse the ring 8 - 10 times, controlling the release.

    Use your chest muscles but keep your chest open.

    Think of using your arms in a balanced way so that they remain activated all the way around.

    Middle Ring

    As you bring the ring up to chest height, slide your shoulder blades down your back.

    Diagonal Ring

    Similar to the previous exercise, keep your shoulders down and your shoulder blades moving down your back as you raise the ring to a high diagonal with the ring remaining visible in your peripheral vision.

    Pulse the ring 8 - 10 times

    You should feel this in your chest muscles.

    Check your posture before you move on. Remember that your shoulder should be down with your shoulder blades settled on your back. Pull up through centre and take a few deep breaths.

    The Halo Ring

    Keep your shoulders relaxed as you bring the ring overhead so that it finishes flat to the ceiling. Do not let your ribs pop forward even though it is tempting.

    Bend your

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  4. Introduction to the Use and Benefits of the Pilates Reformer

    Introduction to the Use and Benefits of the Pilates Reformer

    The Pilates Reformers are lined up in Pilates studios all over the world and are probably the most famous piece of Pilates equipment. Reformer classes are usually one of the main choices at Pilates studios and portable reformers continue to grow as a home exercise equipment trend.

    What Is a Pilates Reformer?

    Pilates founder Joseph Pilates invented the reformer which is a bed-like frame with a flat platform on it called the carriage; this rolls back and forth on wheels within the frame. The carriage is attached to one end of the reformer by a set of springs which provide differing levels of resistance choices as the carriage is pushed or pulled along the frame. The shoulder blocks located on the carriage keep a practitioner from sliding off the end of the reformer as they push or pull the carriage. In addition to this, there is an adjustable bar called a footbar at the spring end of the reformer which can be used by the feet or hands as the practitioner moves the carriage. The reformer also has long straps with handles on them that are attached to the top end of the frame, these can be pulled with legs or arms to move the carriage as well.

    The parts of the reformer are adjustable for various body sizes and levels of skill. It is the resistance of the springs and body weight that make the carriage more or less difficult to move.

    How Is a Reformer Used?

    The reformer provides versatility as exercises can be done lying down, standing, sitting, pulling the straps, pushing the footbar, perched on the footbar, perched on the shoulder blocks, with additional equipment, upside down, sideways and numerous other variations. Due to this, the reformer can train many dynamics and parts of the body in many different ways with just one piece of equipment, it allows for first-time beginners to exercises that challenge the most advanced. 

    The exercises which are completed on the reformer promote length, strength, flexibility, and balance. The majority of Pilates reformer exercises are based on pushing or pulling the carriage or holding the carriage steady during an exercise as it is pulled on by the springs.

    What Are the Benefits of Pilates Reformer Exercises?

    Exercising with the reformer is possible for anyone, at any level of fitness which is why the full name of the reformer is the Universal Reformer. It offers all the famous benefits of Pilates including overall strength, flexibility, coordination, and balance which, in turn, lead to daily life improvements such as better posture, efficient and graceful movement, and for many, relief from pain associated with physical imbalances for example back pain.

    The Pilates powerhouse muscles which is the core muscles are of upmost importance for building strength; flat abs, strong backs, toned thighs and glutes are all results of this emphasis. Although Pilates

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  5. Technogym Launches SKILLROW, A New Solution To Indoor Rowing

    Technogym Launches SKILLROW, A New Solution To Indoor Rowing

    IHRSA 2017, The International Health Racquet and Sports Club Association held its annual conference in Los Angeles a few weeks ago (March 2017). IHRSA is dedicated

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  6. Wooden Fitness Equipment - Unique and Functional

    Wooden Fitness Equipment - Unique and Functional

    The evolution of the wooden rowing machine in the mid 1980’s by the company, WaterRower, has led to the rise of wooden fitness equipment designed for both home gyms and fitness studios. This was as a result of high demand, particularly from the German market, for wooden equipment that was both stylish and functional.

    Beautiful Wood

    As a result of this demand, the German company ‘NOHrD’ developed their own range of wooden fitness products that have wood finishes consistent with the WaterRower brand. As the two companies have developed products with wood finishes to match one another, these wooden gym pieces have become a ‘family’ of equipment, allowing domestic and commercial customers to purchase a full wooden gym solution.

     

    water rower

    WaterRower

    The WaterRower was designed with the objective to set it apart from other fitness equipment, and along with NOHrD products, both companies boast award winning designs. The wooden models have been produ

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  7. Which Rowing Machine does Frank Underwood use in House Of Cards?

    Which Rowing Machine does Frank Underwood use in House Of Cards?

    It’s a question that thousands of viewers of Netflix’s House of Cards series want to know – even now months after the latest House of Cards

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  8. British Cycling & Success of the Wattbike

    British Cycling & Success of the Wattbike

    Increasing membership, for the first time in the British Cycling’s organisation history, its membership has surpassed 125,000 with a staggering 75,000

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  9. Life Fitness to Acquire ICG - Indoor Cycling Group

    Life Fitness to Acquire ICG - Indoor Cycling Group

    Life Fitness has announced that Brunswick Corporation, Life Fitness’ parent company, has agreed to buy Germany’s Indoor Cycling Group, a key provider of indoor cycling equipment. The agreement has yet to receive final approval from Germany’s competition authority but the deal is expected to be approved.

    Who Are Life Fitness?

    Life Fitness began 40 years ago when they produced the first electronic piece of fitness equipment, the LifeCycle exercise bike. Now they offer over 400 different products used around the world in both commercial and home gyms.

    The Life Fitness portfolio includes Mariner outboard engines, Life Fitness Hammer Strength and Cybex fitness equipment, to name just a few. The exercise bike development has continued with the introduction of the Lifecycle GX, biomechanically designed to create an amazing cycling workout. This bike has been built to last and boasts a bold rear flywheel design.

    So what does the purchase of ICG mean for Life Fitness?

    Life Fitness has had a relationship with ICG for the past 5 years as both companies work in the area of indoor cycling and clearly there has been mutual respect. As the Life Fitness President Chris Clawson

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  10. Life Fitness Working with European Centre for Space

    Life Fitness Working with European Centre for Space

    Chosen to provide a world class gym at the European Centre for Space Applications, they will kit the gym out to handle workouts for the 80+ employees and travelling

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