Tag Archives: cscs

Benefits of Home Gyms and Fitness Clubs

Benefits of Home Gyms and Fitness Clubs…
Karen Goeller, CSCS

As a fitness trainer and coach for many years, I’ve used both. Each has benefits.

The home gym is nice and private. You can workout in your pajamas, listen to your own music, and even do those crazy exercises you might not want to do in front of others.

You can use your home gym whenever you want, your home gym is open 24-7. That’s great for those who like to workout early in the morning or really late at night.

In your own gym you can stay very focused on your workout without interruption. That’s great for intense workouts or those who are distracted easily. The more intense the workout, the more effective it could be.

There is never a wait for equipment. You can use what you want, when you want. You can go smoothly from one exercise to the next without a long wait for equipment. That helps keep your workout moving along and increases your chance for good results.

And finally, you can shower in your own shower right after your workout, no need to bring a large bag with a bunch of toiletries along with a change of clothes. And no need to worry about all the extra germs that may linger in public showers.

A fitness club is usually more well-equipped than a home gym. That gives you a better chance to perform a variety of exercises. Performing a variety of exercises can lead to a more well-rounded program for better results.

There are a variety of people performing a variety of exercises at fitness clubs. It could be a good way to learn new exercises as long as the person you are watching is performing the exercise with good technique.

There are often classes, actually, a variety of classes. Classes are great for beginners who want guidance, workout routines, or more variety with their exercise program. Classes can be social too.

There are often many fitness trainers in clubs with varying styles of training and knowledge. Members looking to learn new exercises or in need of training can find one in a fitness club. And fitness trainers can help you learn how to adjust or use some of the equipment.

The other members at a fitness club may also be able to help adjust equipment or spot if necessary. Many long-time members already know how to use the equipment or spot each other for an exercise if necessary.

And finally, working out in a fitness club can be social. Where there are people, there can be friends to be made!
So, whichever you choose, home workouts or the local fitness club, good luck reaching your fitness goals.

Listen to all of Karen’s Quick podcasts here, https://karengoeller.wordpress.com/karen-goeller-podcasts/
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By Karen Goeller, CSCS
http://www.KarenGoeller.com
http://www.Amazon.com/author/karengoeller

Ballet… Not for Gymnastics

landingBallet… I love ballet. It’s truly a beautiful art.

I studied it for years as a child then again as an adult in the city. I even searched for adult ballet classes in NJ, but could not find one. That’s how I ended up in ballroom dance.

Anyway, my reason for mentioning ballet is because I recently heard of some gymnasts doing ballet with the intent to help their gymnastics. Unfortunately, that is ineffective. With ballet, most leg positions, leaps, jumps, landings, and turns are done in a turn-out position. And the crown arm position is not a stable position for balance beam. With gymnastics, especially on balance beam and dismount landings the gymnast’s feet and legs must be in parallel, not turn-out. Parallel landings are more mechanically safe for the body, especially when the gymnast is landing with a force of 10-13 times her body weight. A ballet dancer might only land with twice her bodyweight. If the knee is not in line with the middle toes, severe damage to the knees can occur. Most knee pain is from the knee not being in line with the middle toes and hip upon landings or take-offs. More specifically, if a gymnast lands with her feet turned out on balance beam and her knees move forward due to momentum, she will cause damage, and may actually roll her ankle, fall, and get seriously injured.

Again, I love ballet, but not with the intent to compliment gymnastics. So when you are looking for cross training to help your gymnasts, try to align the movements with the sport you are trying to improve. Ballet, as wonderful as it is, does not do that.

Some knee articles…

https://www.stopsportsinjuries.org/STOP/STOP/Prevent_Injuries/Knee_Injury_Prevention.aspx

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321294.php

https://www.sportsinjuryclinic.net/sport-injuries/knee-pain

Shoveling Snow… An Unexpected Physical Challenge

It’s snowing out there… Are you in shoveling shape? No, really… Are you in shape for unexpected physical work?

karen-legs-plus-book-2018Many people are not. But when it comes time to shovel the snow, pick up the groceries, do the laundry, or pick up that little family member who wants to be held many people simply can’t do it. It’s often not from injury or illness, it’s from being too sedentary for too long.

So, if you want those unexpected physical challenges to be a bit easier, start exercising now. If you do something very physical after being so sedentary, you risk serious injury and a miserable few days to several weeks after that. Why risk it?

There are plenty of appropriate workouts you can do. Start at the beginning then work up to more challenging workouts. Two of the workout types that I have developed are unique and get results. You can check them out at www.swingworkouts.com and www.legsplus.com.

Good luck… and get in shape now for those unexpected days later…

Listen to all of Karen’s Quick Podcasts here, https://karengoeller.wordpress.com/karen-goeller-podcasts/

No Need to Eat 100% Healthy 100% of the Time

No need to eat 100% healthy 100% of the time. Yes, you heard right. Karen Goeller, CSCS, the person who has been teaching people about health, fitness, and strength for over 30 years just said that!

cartIf you try to eat 80%-90% healthy, you’ll likely be satisfied and remain close to your ideal weight. But first, define healthy.

In my opinion, healthy foods are food from the produce, fish, and meat sections of the supermarket. That’s fruits, vegetables, and lean meats. Yes, potatoes and yams included. Just stay away from the boxed meals, fast-foods, and junk foods.

Try really hard to snack on high-quality foods rather than cookies, candies, and other processed foods with low or no nutritional value.

And yes, I DO eat bread and a high protein-omega-3 pasta made from legumes. I personally enjoy Oat Nut bread and Barilla pasta in the yellow box. The Ezekiel bread is high quality too. And of course, your beverages count. Keep the sugar and syrups OUT of your coffee!

So try this. next time you go to the store, be sure that 8 or 9 of every ten items in your cart are actually healthy items. I personally only eat 80%-90% healthy. Remember to define healthy before you make changes.

Good luck… Stay healthy!

karen-legs-plus-book-2018And if you want to start exercising, try the LEGS PLUS workouts. www.LegsPlus.com

P.S. Follow your doctor’s guidelines for you if you have a specific diet. Discuss all changes with a medical professional.

 

Athletes…

karen-spotting-hsAn athlete’s hard work with a coach’s guidance is what propels them to success.” K. Goeller

Two most popular gymnastics books…

www.GymnasticsDrills.com

www.GymnasticsJournals.com

My two most popular gymnastics books, Gymnastics Drills and Gymnastics Journal.

And check out the Gymnastics Lessons Learned book and Gymnastics Coloring book!

These books are nice gifts for gymnasts and gymnastics coaches.

#gymnastics #gymnasts #gifts #books #gymnasticsdrills #gymnasticsjournal

Your Gymnast’s Knees

Your Gymnast’s Knees

By Karen Goeller, CSCS

painful-knee-illustration-14526284I’ve spent many years coaching gymnastics and as a CSCS. The CSCS is responsible for effectively training the athlete for sports performance. The CSCS also helps bring the injured athlete back to competition fitness once cleared from their physical therapist or doctor.  That step in-between physical therapy and all-out competitive workouts is often missing. It is the job of the CSCS to fill that void.

Sometimes after a gymnast is “medically cleared”  they continue to have knee pain. It is not that the doctor or physical therapist was not effective. Once cleared, the gymnast often is not aware on how the body should function; it is a lack of awareness.

I was asked by a gymnastics club owner to “go over some knee exercises” with some of her gymnasts who had a previous knee injury and some who were recently cleared by their doctors. I would be willing to bet the owner and coaches had no idea I would be teaching their gymnasts how to properly stand, bend, and straighten their knee, but that is what these gymnasts needed. AWARENESS. Below is a summary of what we did so that you can help your gymnast.

As many of you have seen, a high percentage of gymnasts have over-pronation. That is a rolling inward of the feet. Many have one that is more severe than the other. That causes poor alignment of the ankle, knee, and hip. You see the knees fall in laterally towards one another. With that poor alignment, the gymnast often performs skills adding stress to the joint because of the force involved with skills. The poor alignment is often seen in the take-off for the cartwheel, round-off, side aerial, and front handspring. This poor knee alignment is also seen in the landings of dismounts and jumps. Over the course of time, performing skills and landing can cause severe damage to the body if the gymnast is using incorrect technique and/or has poor alignment.

So here is the report from the quick clinic I gave to this group. Throughout each exercise I reminded these gymnasts how each drill related to the sport, landing mechanics and skill take-offs. When an athlete knows the purpose of a drill they get more benefit.

Out-In-Neutral-Foot
I asked the gymnasts to stand straight with their feet together, simple. (Well, sort of.) Many in this group could not do that without over-pronating. It is very common for gymnasts to have over-pronation. They train barefoot with no arch or heel support several hours each week. (That’s why they need high-quality shoes when not in the gym.)

I asked these gymnasts to gently roll their feet out towards their little toe, then back in towards the arch in their foot, and finally back to straight/neutral so they could feel the difference between the three positions. (It is very important to be sure they do not roll too far in any position. You do not want them causing damage to the ankle or foot.) As they did this slow-motion movement, Out-In-Neutral Drill, I instructed them to look and their knees to see the difference in alignment. Some seemed surprised at the difference foot placement made in the knee.

After that and asked these gymnasts to bring their feet hip-width apart and again to slowly roll their feet out, in, then back to neutral. At this point, they all were able to clearly see the difference in ankle and knee alignment with foot position. I asked the gymnasts to perform this simple Out-In-Neutral Drill several times in order to see and feel their neutral foot position and proper leg alignment.

After the gymnasts performed the Out-In-Neutral Drill on two feet, I asked them to lift one foot off the floor and perform the Out-In-Neutral Drill on one foot.  Again, some seemed surprised at the difference the slight movement of the foot had on the knee alignment. I reminded them that the single leg alignment is important on the one-foot take-off and leap landings.

Once the gymnasts did a few repetitions they seemed to understand the relation between foot alignment and knee alignment really well. Before that moment, these gymnasts never realized that the alignment of the foot had so much effect on the rest of the body.

Side-Side-Neutral

After the Out-In-Neutral Foot Drill we did a simple weight shift drill. I call it the Side-Side-Neutral Drill. Believe it or not, when many gymnasts squat they tend to lean on one side more than the other. This is not something many people notice during the landing of the dismount because it happens so fast and the focus is on sticking the landing. The technique of the landing is imperative to maintain low body health.

I asked the gymnasts to stand hip-width apart and keep their feet in the neutral position. I then asked them to perform a ½ squat position as if they were landing a dismount. As I suspected, many were leaning on one side/leg. Others were bending at the knees with hardly any hip bend.  We made adjustments to proper landing mechanics at that point. (Landing a jump on beam is different than landing from a double back on floor or a dismount from equipment. Since the force is so much greater, it is imperative to teach proper weight distribution when landing.)

Once all were in the correct position, I asked them to perform the Side-Side-Neutral Drill, shift their weight to one leg, neutral/center, and to the other leg.  This was to remind the gymnasts that they must land with their weight centered, evenly distributed between both sides.

Remember, the force on the body when landing from a double-back can be 10-13 times the gymnast’s body weight. With some gymnast’s, one side could be taking more force than the other and in other cases the front of the legs could be taking on more force than the back.  With gymnasts who are primarily bending at the knees, the front of the legs-knees and quads take a much higher percentage of force than the back of the body-glutes and hamstrings. The front-load landing can put enormous force on the knees and over time may cause damage.

Since gymnasts dismount daily, it is imperative they line up their knees with their ankles and hips, but they must also evenly distribute their weight from side to side and from front to back.  Sometimes it is just as important to teach awareness as it is to physically strengthen the body.

SONY DSCWe took this a few steps further and added a medicine ball with more complex movements.  We carefully performed the chop exercise in order to simulate a landing but to also involve the core and upper body. We did this with both legs and then single leg. Adding the medicine ball made the movements challenging, but they were able to safely perform. This exercise is a great value because it forces the gymnast to focus on landing mechanics while building a little added upper body strength for bars.

Finally, during this session, we did include some traditional knee rehab exercises. Many gymnasts with knee pain have weak gluteal muscles.

I assigned the physical therapy bridge.  I call it a hip lift. The gymnasts lied on their backs, bent their knees and lifted their buttocks off the floor a number of times. In the hip lift position we also did the marching exercise, but I only allowed the gymnasts to lift one foot 2 inches off the floor in order to keep their hips up.

Next, I assigned the clamshell exercise. I instructed the gymnasts to lie on their side and bend their knees, keeping their heels in line with their spine. Once in position, I instructed them to keep their heels together, but lift the top knee towards the ceiling, opening their legs.  We did both sides.

Another exercise we did that day was the side plank. Added to the side plank hold we did plank hip dips. In the side plank position, I instructed the gymnasts to lower their hip to the floor and lift it back up. We did a number of receptions on each side.

And we did plank leg extensions and small kicks. In the plank leg-extension, I asked the gymnasts to lower their knees to the floor then bring them back up to a straight position.  We did single leg plank leg extension too. With that one the gymnast kept one foot 2 inches off the floor as they worked on the supporting leg, lowering and lifting the knee.  That leg extension is simple, but a great quad strengthener and form drill. And for the small plank low back kicks I asked the gymnasts to lift one foot 2 inches off the floor. I instructed them to keep their foot pointed and lower their toes to the floor and lift the foot 2 inches. I had them alternate these slow, low kicks.

There are so many things you can do to maintain or improve your gymnast’s health. Keep doing much of the conditioning that is well known, but also consult with physical therapists, chiropractors, and CSCS’s for ideas.

Karen Goeller, CSCS

www.BestSportsConditioning.com

www.KarenGoeller.com

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Exercise List to go with Video and Article

  • Out-In-Neutral Foot Drill
  • Side-Neutral-Side Drill
  • Physical Therapy Bridge (Hip Lift)
  • Clamshell
  • Chops
  • Single Leg Chops
  • Plank-Leg Extensions (Bothe legs and single leg)
  • Plank-Low Back Kicks
  • Side Plank with Hip Dips

 

Handstand Drills and Conditioning

It’s the time of year when gymnastics coaches start to focus on Handstands
The Handstand is the most important skill in our sport and remaining tight is essential!
Web-CassGiantsArticlePicGymnasts of all levels perform the handstand several times throughout their workout. While performing many skills in gymnastics, the gymnast must actually pass through the handstand or vertical phase safely and efficiently. Without a good handstand, a gymnast may have trouble building skills and therefore progressing through the sports many levels safely and efficiently.
Read or download the rest of the article, published in Technique Magazine:

And for an entire book of Handstand Drills and Conditioning go to www.HandstandBook.com

#gymnastics #handstand #gymnasts #training #cscs #usagymnastics #usag #techniquemagazine #coachinggymnastics

Dehydration

Have you seen my dehydration article? Dehydration, it WILL Happen…
https://karengoeller.wordpress.com/2010/07/14/dehydration-it-will-happen/

#dehydration #hydration #drinkwater #health #diet #sports #fitness #outrdoors #summer #training

Your Personal Trainer May HURT You…

So, I hear this or a variation of one of these ALL THE TIME…

I got hurt after trying an exercise that my personal trainer made me do. I had trouble doing an exercise and they kept telling me to keep going. I was being rushed through an exercise.

I really do not understand WHY people who get hurt by personal trainers do not stop training with them immediately and sue them. The carelessness would eventually stop if the lawsuits started to be filed.

Some personal fitness trainers are trying to call everyone an athlete and train them as if they are really competitive athletes. The average adult looking for general fitness or weight loss is NOT a competitive athlete and should not be trained as if they are a competitive athlete. The average person who has not competed in a sport on a high level in recent months or years SHOULD NOT be doing advanced exercises such as box jumps, burpees, or sled pushes among other exercises on day one. There are specific progressions and fitness levels that must be mastered before the advanced exercises are introduced. That is like telling a person who never drove to compete in a NASCAR race.

It’s unbelievable how many personal trainers hurt people because they are feeding their egos or they have very little experience and knowledge. Did you know that many personal trainers just pay for and take an online exam without any real-world preparation, knowledge, or exercise experience? And then they call themselves fitness trainers. It’s SAD and the general public is paying for it.

Now, do you know WHY I am so proud to be an NSCA-CSCS? We know how to train athletes and we know when to hold back while helping an adult become more fit. We understand the SCIENCE behind the exercise and we know exercise progression. A college degree is required to take the CSCS exam and you are given (and need) six months to study all of the material. It is a serious certification and it must be maintained with continuing education once certified.

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Please DO NOT trust just anyone to train you. Do your research, get referrals, and check the trainer’s credentials. Many people come to me AFTER they have been seriously damaged by personal trainers. It’s your body, your money, and your time that will be spent by going to the wrong trainer. Please CHOOSE WISELY!!!

www.KarenGoeller.com

www.LegsPlus.com

www.SwingSetFitness.com

www.GymnasticsDrills.com

 

 

#fitness #personaltrainers #exercise #crossfit #fitnessprograms #exerciseprograms #workouts #sports #cscs

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