Posts tagged efficiency
Posts tagged efficiency
Here’s my latest post for Fit Campus on how to be efficient at the gym. These are just tips I’ve learned over the past year that are good to implement when you are under a time crunch or just want to get in, workout, and get out :)
As college students with hectic class schedules, work schedules, and social lives, sometimes it’s hard to fit in time for a workout. However, there are some things you can do that will allow you to spend less time in the gym and still get an awesome exercise session in.
1) Have a Plan
Plan out your workout ahead of time and write down exactly what you want to do so that you don’t waste time wandering the gym aimlessly wondering what you should do. Have some backup exercises in your plan too in case any of the equipment you want to use is taken when you go.
2) Pick Compound Exercises Over Isolation Exercises
Compound exercises are those that involve several muscles at once versus isolation exercises that only focus on one muscle at a time. If you can work more muscles during one given exercise, you can do fewer exercises and spend less total time working out. For example, deadlifts are a compound exercise that work your hamstrings, quads, glutes, lats, traps, obliques, and several other muscles.
Good examples of compound exercises are squats, deadlifts, bench presses,
Read about Postural Restoration Here: http://bodythrive.wordpress.com/2012/01/30/what-is-postural-restoration/
LUNA Chix Cycling Efficiency and Form Clinic With Balanced Physical Therapy and Balanced Movement Studio
Today my LUNA Chix team hosted a clinic to help people become more efficient cyclists and also prevent injuries while cycling. The teacher of the clinic, Brian Beatty really focused on tuning in with your body and knowing your body. He gave us a brief explanation of the anatomy of our body that is used in cycling.
We then did different exercises so we could focus on which muscles were used when and how to focus on using our hips (a very powerful and stable joint) to power our stroke rather than the knees (weaker joint) as many people use.
He also explained that the term ‘core’ as many people like to say is not a concrete definition. Your ‘core’ depends on what you are doing. He defined core as that which needs to have stability for you to have mobility. For example, on the bike, the mobile things are your hips, knees, and ankles. Your hands, wrists, elbows, shoulders, neck, and pelvis should be stable. If all of those things are stable, you will be in the best position to produce efficient movement. Everything from your hands to your pelvis then, is your ‘bike core’.
We then got on our bikes and did some drills on trainers to practice efficient stroke. The main lesson that I got out of this clinic was what Victor from Bicyclelab (the guy I intern for) taught me already: focus less on pushing down and more on pulling your foot backwards on the backstroke, then back and up, then sliding your foot forward along the top of your stroke. The back of the stroke is the weakest part of the stroke but by improving your efficiency there, you can increase your overall power on the bike. Also important is having a high cadence as long as you maintain good form. High cadence will do very little for you if you have bad form.
Afterwards me and a teammate led a few women on a short ride to practice what they learned. It was an easy 14.5 mile ride.
So far great day :)
I have a summer internship helping out Victor who owns a Bicycle Studio called BicycleLab where he performs bike fits for people, builds custom bikes, does repair, hosts clinics, etc. and last week I starred in a bike fit video with him that he can put online to help advertise his business and teach people about the importance of bike fit.
It was awesome! The Dynamic Fit Unit is the bike contraption you see in the picture that is used to figure out the best position on the bike for a particular person. With it, he can move the seat and handlebars up, down, forward, and backwards to get the perfect position for an individual’s biomechanics. He also has saddles and handlebars that he switches out and he can make the crank longer or shorter as well.
The bike is hooked up to a computer that is connected to 3 flat screen displays on the wall. The first shows the fit bike’s particular measurements and it can show several different ‘fits’ that have been tried out and saved. The 2nd monitor is the coolest and it shows your power output for both feet at all points in your pedal stroke. The 3rd monitor is a video display of a side view of yourself on the bike.
During the process I found out that I had been pedaling inefficiently and by seeing my results on the monitor and with expert advice from Victor, I was able to increase my efficiency by 25%!! WOW! I never would have know I was pedaling inefficiently if I hadn’t seen the results in front of my face. And I wouldn’t have been able to improve if it hadn’t been for Victor’s help.
I’ll be sure to post the video when it’s done. It’s in the editing stage now
In this picture, the saddle is too low but we were in the middle of demonstrating how the seat can move up and down.
Most Improved Swimmer of the Day Award!!!!
Woot!! I had a beginner swim clinic this morning from 10am-1pm and we covered basic swimming technique. The 1st hour was in a classroom going orally over what we would be doing in the pool (and the instructor also “air swam” lol to demonstrate).
The next hour was practicing different drills to work on form and technique. We did just plain freestyle to start and the instructor watched us and gave us feedback on our ‘raw form’. I had problems keeping my hips up but got immensely better by the end. We also did a kicking drill. I have a pretty good kick ;) Must be from all that running/cycling. Then we practiced our extension, rotation, and pull. There’s so much to remember!!
The next 45 minutes or so we all got a little one-on-one time with the instructor to evaluate our form after all these drills and tell us what to work on.
I also got a swimming DVD to help me practice further and to remind me of what to do with my technique.
If anyone is wanting to do be a better swimmer for triathlons or just to be a better swimmer, I highly suggest a swim clinic or classes. Just having feedback on what your body is doing in the water and how to make yourself more efficient can do amazing things for you!
Tonight I also ran 5ish miles with under 8 min/mile pace but had to take a couple breaks so I have lost some fitness from being sick the past 3 days but I’m hoping to catch back up by the end of this week. :D
One woman’s testimony about Minimalist running! I think she’s wearing the Merrell Pace Glove shoes.
I just signed up for a swim clinic for next Sunday at the Triangle Aquatic Center in Cary, NC! It’s 3 hours and I will learn how to swim efficiently. The course says it will cover proper body position, proper breathing technique, the essentials, extension and underwater pull, and technique drills. I’ve never swum competitively so I never learned how to swim fast. I’m really excited!
I’ve always heard that swimming is all about technique and not so much about strength and if you don’t learn to swim properly, it’s harder to fix your mistakes. Well luckily, I’ve only been swimming twice this year so I’m a blank canvas ready to be filled with swimming expertise! For example, one of my guy friends was convinced that you just had to practice to get better (but it doesn’t do any good to practice bad form) so he would swim for an hour everyday. When we both did an indoor triathlon, he and I swam the same distance in 15 minutes only I had not swam since last fall. Haha
I’ll also get a DVD about swim technique at the class to remind me of proper form. :D I hope to improve a huuuuuuuuge amount.
This video is amazing!! It analyzes running strides to show the most efficient stride.
Prevent injuries like shin splints, stress fractures, strains, etc. by decreasing toe lift, overstriding, bounce, and upper-body torque and by increasing stride angle.
Runners should watch this!