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  1. Looking After Your Core Muscles

    Looking After Your Core Muscles

    For many a strong core is all about having a flat tummy but in reality it’s much more important than that. It’s crucial in many every day movements and research sug

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  2. Exercise During Pregnancy By Buying Your Own Gym Equipment

    Exercise During Pregnancy By Buying Your Own Gym Equipment

    With increased blood pressure, swollen ankles and sometimes the sweats, is there any wonder why increasing numbers of women are buying their own fitness equipment and

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  3. Is A Personal Trainer Worth The Investment?

    Is A Personal Trainer Worth The Investment?


    Whether you're thinking about hiring a PT to help you in the park, or to help you with your new home gym you've created, how do you know when it's a worthwhile investment, or not?

    How do you quality control a personal trainer? It's a serious question and one that you should think about if you have hired, or are thinking of hiring, a personal trainer to help you with your workouts and exercise. With the rise in demand for personal trainers increasing, the number of courses available and the number of qualified trainers appearing on the market has also risen. But how do you know who is quality - and who is not?

    Quality Control?

    Is there such a thing as quality control of personal trainers? Well yes, and no! In the UK we have the Register of Exercise Professionals that oversees exercise and fitness professionals, including personal trainers. They have a strict framework that personal trainers' must achieve or better in order for them to call themselves personal trainer. Within this framework is on-going professional development - CPD for short. They must accrue a number of points each year to retina their status. This assures you the trainer is continuing their learning and knowledge - which benefits the clients they train hopefully.

    However, does someone physically interview and test every trainer every year? No is the quick and short answer to that. Gyms are more likely to have a handle on quality control purely because the trainer is in close contact with other professionals and also the gym management team. Complaints or issues should therefore be quickly revealed.

    Home Vs Gym

    Whether you have bought equipment for your home, or are wanting to go into a commercial gym or studio environment for your workouts making sure you have the right personal trainer will still be important.

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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. 6 Squat Variations - Results Guaranteed

    6 Squat Variations - Results Guaranteed

     

    Moving your knees in and excessively leaning forward are the two most common mistakes with squats. Dino Del Mastro, NASM Master Instructor, says that

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  6. A Guide to Body Pump Workouts

    A Guide to Body Pump Workouts

    Body Pump originally started in New Zealand by Les Mills in 1991. It is essentially a barbell workout using light to moderate weights with lots of repetition. BodyPump workouts are either 55, 45 or 30 minute workouts. The idea is to tone and shape your body, without building bulky muscle.

    What Is The Science Behind It?

    The key science

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  7. Hand Sanitiser Needed for the Gym

    Hand Sanitiser Needed for the Gym

    Yes, it’s official, whilst the gym may help get you fit it could also be a danger to your health if you don’t wash your hands afterwards. How many

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  8. Beginners Guide to Rowing

    Beginners Guide to Rowing

    The benefits of indoor rowing are undisputed.  No other gym equipment rivals the rowing machine when it comes to providing a calorie scorching, low impact, full body workout.  When correctly executed, the rowing action uses every large muscle group in the body (roughly 85% of total muscle mass,) building lean muscle and kick starting the metabolic system from stroke one.

    Beginners Guide to Indoor Rowing

    The humble indoor rower also tops the list when it comes to training your cardiovascular system.  Amongst athletes, elite rowers are renowned for having the biggest hearts and lungs going. British

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  9. Why You Need to Stretch

    Why You Need to Stretch

    The art of stretching, we all know that we should stretch before and after a workout but many people do it as a cursory thing and some may not do it at all. So why is stretching important and how should it be done properly?

    Why Is Stretching Important?

    Muscle Development

    If you want to build muscle then stretching will help you develop a full range of movement. It will help you build full and long muscles.

    Assists Posture

    Stretching assists posture by lengthening tight muscles that pull areas of the body away from their intended position. A good example of this is if you do a lot of work at a desk with a computer, you can end up with a hunched shoulder look.

    Prevents Injury

    Stretching helps to prepare muscles for the work they are about to do and will elongate the muscle. This will help prevent muscles pulling or tearing during exercise and prevents strain being put upon ligaments or capsular structures.

    Prevents Muscle Soreness

    Stretching warms muscles up and increases blood and nutrient supplies to muscles. This is also a way of preventing the muscles hurting after a workout.

    Increases Range Of Motion

    Stretching will develop flexibility in general thus aiding mobility and movement. Being flexible is proven to reduce the chances of chronic back pain. Flexibility will allow us to accomplish ordinary daily tasks from bending over to tie our shoe laces and also to perform more demanding tasks as flexibility ensures that joints can be taken through a full range of motion with little effort.

    What Types of Stretching Are There?

    There are many different stretching techniques including static stretching, dynamic stretching, PNF, myofascial and stretches often performed in yoga. Here we look at static and dynamic

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  10. Creating a Great Exercise Space in Your Home

    Creating a Great Exercise Space in Your Home

    Creating a great exercise space in your home, not all of us have the luxury of being able to set aside a room to be the home gym. We may need to create space

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