This is only a quick one but I’m sitting here in Costa looking out the window at what we are being told is the start of our summer – hooray! To be fair the weather has been improving and when I take my uggs and leg warmers off and replace them with my high tops – you know summer is fast approaching J So it got me to thinking. Motivation comes from having a goal – right? Well lets face it – what better motivator could there possibly be than a bit of sunny Irish weather or the onset of a sunny holiday with the girls. Its’ not like we get to see it all that often. So when we do – people obviously want to make the most of it – and get into savage shape. Who wouldn’t? J So that in mind (and the fact that the sun and my funky coloured high tops always put me in good mood) I’m going to share my favourite exercise, diet tip and training tip to get into cracking shape for Summer 2014. You’re welcome J ha!
Exercise: Walking Lunge
I’m often asked what my favourite exercise is. Now I have many favourites but recently I have become a big fan of the walking lunge. My clients will all vouch for me on this one! A walking lunge is a compound exercise meaning it works multiple muscle groups at the same time as opposed to an isolation exercise that only works one muscle group. They target your quadriceps (front of the leg), glutes and hamstrings (back of the legs). As you are moving while you lunge (as opposed to a stationary lunge) balance, coordination and overall core stability will also play a major factor in the execution of a decent walking lunge. A shorter stride will make the move more quad dominant whereas a longer stride will involve more posterior chain activation (glutes and hamstrings).
Not sure how to do one? Simply stand with feet square and take one step forward with one leg. Drop your back knee to the floor ensuring that you remain upright and don’t lean forward or backwards. Keeping your core engaged drive up using the front leg keeping your heel flat on the ground (more focus on posterior chain. Pushing from a mid point on your foot will move the focus to anterior – but I’m just getting technical now J ha!) And repeat moving across a room. That’s’ it – a walking lunge! Simple yet very effective exercise.
Diet: Coconut Milk
If you are going to add one new item to your shopping basket this week make sure its coconut milk. I am a big fan of coconut milk for many reasons. Firstly coconut milk is a dairy free and lactose free alternative to milk. Anything that ends in OSE (in my head I’m saying OOOOOOSE) is a sugar remember?? So you want to avoid. Coconut milk is packed with vitamins and minerals such potassium, copper, iron and calcium so the nutrient content is good. Secondly coconut milk is rich in EFA’s (Essential Fatty Acids) which the body converts straight to energy actually helping you to BURN body fat. So give it a go this weekend and see if you notice a difference!!
It is important to stay ahead of your fitness goals and keep motivated this summer. There are many reasons why people won’t stick to their new summery training goals and I’m going to address the major one I keep coming across. DOMS – or to put it in plain english Delayed Onset of Muscle Soreness. DOMS is a pain or stiffness you may feel in a muscle which has been overworked or placed under strain be it through previous lack or exercise, increased exercise or simply a new way of training. It is caused by a built up of lactic acid in the muscle and can generally last for 24-72 hours depending on the severity of the case. The are ways to treat DOMS however – simply foam roll the affected area (like deep tissue massage), try some light training to get the blood flow back into the muscle tissue to aid recovery or increase protein intake to accelerate the healing and recovery process of muscle fibers.
Your muscles WILL adapt and built a resistance to DOMS over time however a lot of new gym goers (especially the ‘need to get ripped for my hollipops’ ones) tend to drop out before this process ever happens. Don’t let this be you. Rome wasn’t built in a day nor will you get your six pack in a week. Effective and efficient training isn’t rocket science – but it is a science and you need to give your body time to develop, adapt, recover and grow in order to see the results you want. Take this summer one step at a time. Simples! J