Yoga for Back Pain

Marda Zechiel, Yoga Manager

Are you suffering from chronic or occasional back pain? Multiple studies have shown that yoga can be the solution to relieving back soreness if particular attention is given to the correct muscular usage and alignment. In fact, several studies have discovered that yoga can be even more beneficial than the usual care for back pain when it comes to improving back function. According to a study published in the journal, Archives of Internal Medicine, people who took yoga or stretching classes are twice as likely to cut back on pain medications for their back aches as people who managed symptoms on their own.

There are certain yoga postures that can stretch and strengthen your muscles and return your back to its proper alignment.

*It is always a good idea to consult with your doctor before starting any new exercise routine, especially if you are prone to pain. Once you receive the approval of your doctor, try these soothing poses in the sequence below.*

Child’s Pose

A great way to begin or wind down your day. Start on all fours on your hands and knees. Bring your knees as wide as your mat with your big toes touching. Then, stretch your arms out in front of you, sinking your hips down on your heels and resting your forehead on the mat. Hold for 10 breaths.

Table Top to Cow and Cat pose

Come up from Child’s pose and position knees under hip bones and wrists under shoulders, aligning or stacking your joints into Table Top position. You can start by dropping your head and letting your neck muscles relax. As you inhale, go into Cow pose by lifting your head and tailbone and letting your belly drop toward the floor. Keep your shoulders down and away from your ears. As you exhale, come into Cat pose by pulling your belly up, rounding your spine toward the ceiling and tucking your chin toward your chest.

Continue to synchronize these movements with your breath or spend a few extra breaths in Cow, as this really helps to open the lower back. Take 5-10 breaths here.

Downward Facing Dog

From Table Top, tuck your toes and begin to straighten your legs and lift your hips, coming into an inverted “V” shape. Move your hands forward slightly if needed and actively push the floor away. If you feel back pain beyond a gentle stretch, or if your spine rounds due to short hamstrings, try bending your knees and pressing your chest towards your thighs. Move gently in the pose for a few breaths, bending and straightening legs and then hold for 5-10 breaths.

Standing forward bend or Rag Doll

From Downward Facing Dog, walk your feet toward your hands, bringing them hip distance apart. Bend your knees slightly and fold your torso over your thighs, touching your belly to your legs if possible. Allow your arms to hang toward the floor or grab your elbows with the opposite hand. Let your head hang freely. Stay here for 10 breaths.

Plank to Cobra or Upward Facing Dog

Cobra pose-from a Plank, lower to your belly and position your hands under your shoulders. As you inhale, press your hands into mat and lift your chest. Keep your core engaged (drawing your belly button to your spine) and point your toes so that your knee caps lift off the mat.

Upward Facing Dog pose-if Cobra feels like it is enough, stay with this pose. If you want to move into Upward Facing Dog, press into the mat, further straightening your arms and keeping your wrists under shoulders. Press the tops of your feet and hands into the flooras they are the only points in contact with the mat. Make sure to keep an engaged core, draw  shoulders back and lift sternum forward.

Come back to Downward Facing Dog for a few breaths and then complete this sequence with Child’s pose.

The above series can get you started. If you are newer to yoga, do this sequence once or twice a day, trying to stay in each posture for the recommended breaths. If you have any questions about these poses, please ask any of your GATC Yoga instructors. We would be happy to help!

Marda Zechiel, Yoga Manager | 303.770.2582 x324 | MardaZ@GreenwoodATC.com

 

Tips for Raising Healthy Athletes

Here are some great ideas from our registered dietician Kristin Burgess on what kinds of drinks and foods you can give your children to help them be at their healthiest when they are doing sports:

 

 

Sports Drinks:

  • Water is the only fluid needed by the body for under 60 minutes of exercise

-Exceptions are exercising in extreme heat and excessive sweating or more than 60 minutes of moderate activity. In this situation, a healthy sports drink would be in order. Look for one with less than 10 grams of sugar per eight ounces and is free of all alternative sweeteners, artificial sweeteners, dyes, colors and flavors.

Healthy any time snacks:

-Fruit or dried fruit

-Small chocolate milk

-Nuts or trail mix if no allergies

-Fruit snacks are ok as long as they are free of artificial sweeteners, colors, dyes and flavors.

 

Pre exercise meals and snacks:

  • Meal

-one hour to ninety minutes before exercise

-include a healthy carbohydrate, protein and fat such as a grain, fruit, milk, yogurt, eggs, meat, nut butter, veggies

  • Snacks

-thirty to sixty minutes before exercise

-include a healthy carbohydrate plus protein, such as fruit, yogurt, nuts, nut butter, milk, cheese

Post exercise meals and snacks:

  • Meal

-a protein, healthy carbohydrate and fat such as meat, nuts, cheese, fruit, grain, avocado

  • Snack

-healthy carbohydrate and protein such as fruit, nuts, cheese, milk, yogurt

  • WATER!

If you have questions or would like to schedule an appointment to discuss your athletes specific needs, just give Kristin Burgess a call at 303-770-2582 x382.

Welcome our New Trainer Kim Galbreath!

20264995_713648495503418_3625582752079758281_n

You have probably seen Kim at Greenwood Athletic Club over the past year, her smile is hard to miss as you walk into the athletic club. We are excited to have her fully on board as a new Personal Trainer here at Greenwood! Kim’s path to becoming a personal trainer started in 2013 when she embarked on her own weight loss journey. While she embarked on her own journey without the help of a personal trainer or a professional diet plan, she committed to making sure that others would not have to go at it alone. Kim reiterates that there’s no secret to getting healthy, eating right and exercise are a very powerful combination. Yet on her journey to getting there, she wants to make sure that others have some important and helpful advice to find the motivation to get started.

011

Don’t Do It Alone

Losing weight is not a sprint, it is a little sweat, but a lot of patience and forgiveness with yourself. Your weight loss and exercise journey is largely about understanding your own physical and metal balance, and the best thing you can do is to have a trainer there by your side to help you each step of the way.

Weight Training is Your Friend

A lot of people will immediately turn to cardio as a way of shedding those unwanted pounds. However, its not just cardio that you need, but also weight training. Going alone into the weight room can be overwhelming, but if you have the help and guidance from a trainer, especially one like myself who’s been through that exact moment, then it will help you gain confidence not just in the weight room, but in day-to-day activities. There’s a place for every shape and size in the weight room.

As you are starting out, I would encourage calisthenic body weight movements.  For anything that you’re uncomfortable or unable to do like starting out, there are always scaling options. For example, if you aren’t ready to dive into box jumps, you can do step ups, lunges or squats. As you progress, you want to make the use of dumbbells and barbells a top goal, as they are the best way to get the most out of each movement.

cropped-MG_7795

 

 

 

 

 

 

Make Nutrition a Priority

Create an eating routine, so that you are eating at the same time, and the same food. Try to pre-plan what you are going to each day, and set yourself up for success at the start of the week. You are more likely to follow a plan if you have it laid out first. 

Try Something New, Like Boxing or Obstacle Running

Boxing is both a cardio workout, and a great way to de-stress. It kicks your heart rate up, and wearing the gloves means that you are also building up some strength. Boxing targets a different type of muscle fiber than strength training because it requires a quick response. There’s also learning technique and strategies, which requires mental engagements, and provides for an all-around great workout.

18951353_10104494660356719_3095219690349444656_n

Obstacle Running is a great example of an outdoor activity that will push you firmly outside of your comfort zone. Comfort does not always equal happiness, and if you try something new, it helps increase your overall confidence at the gym, at work, or at home. Sometimes you don’t know what you will fall in love with doing exercise wise, until you give it a try.

 

Kim is now available for one-on-one training sessions here at Greenwood, you can schedule appointments with her HERE.

You can also find Kim in the Combat Zone for Boxing Classes! View that schedule HERE

Be sure to read more about Kim’s journey on her personal website, http://www.yogapantsdiary.com.

 

Meet our New Trainer Lindsey Green!

Lyndsey_webOriginally from Oklahoma, Lindsey was drawn to Colorado’s environment and people.  Lindsey is passionate about helping clients learn more about functional varied movements with high intensity. As she explains, its important to have different workouts and different ways of using weights to get the most out of your workout. Wondering what a workout with Lindsey might look like? Take a look!

Getting a Workout Off of the Machine: Functional Varied Movement Workout

Warm Up: Jump on a rowing machine for 3-5 minutes to warm up your body. You can stretch out your body a bit doing inchworms and banded stretches.

Start with a Strength Movement: Starting with strength allows you to warm your body up and get the most out of your strength work for that day. It’s helpful for people to know their one rep max so that I can work off of percentages with them. For example, one day we might do 80% of a back squat with low reps, another day we might do 50% with a higher rep volume. Allowing for this variety in weight percentage and reps will help you get stronger because you’re building endurance over time. It’s not always about going super heavy, but it’s important to know where you are at. Not to mention, Knowing your 1 Rep Max is a good measure of strength and progress.

FullSizeRender 5

Deadlifts are also a great strength movement, but can be challenging to do properly. It’s helpful to start with kettlebell deadlifts, or siting on a box so that you are not fully squatting. Picking up objects from the ground is an important functional movement that is good for everyone, both inside and outside of the gym.

Conditioning: Depending on each client, there are a variety of conditioning methods to cycle through. For example, I often times have clients do burpees, wall balls, or full body movements to help elevate their heart rate. I am also a huge advocate of jump roping, its’ not only a great cardio but it’s a full body movement that’s working your legs, your forearms and your core which you need to keep tight while you jump.

IMG_7506

Scale Your Movements: The best part about having a trainer is having someone in your corner who can assess and re-asses what your body needs. Modifications can always be made to make sure you are getting the most out of your workout, in a way that encourages muscle progression and deters injuries.

Don’t go too long: You are getting more out of your work out in a short amount of time than you would be on a cardio machine. Non-machine workouts help you build muscle endurance, which in turn will help you burn more calories throughout the day. When you can get your heart rate at an elevated state, and work through time intervals, then you can maximize your time. If you only have an hour to get your workout in, functional varied movement workouts make sure you are getting the most out of your hour.

Lindsey is available for one-on-one appointments here at Greenwood, you can contact her by clicking here, or on her Instagram @lindseygreeen.

Also, keep an eye out for her new High Intensity Conditioning Class, starting September 26 thru October 19.

How to Achieve Optimal Chair Positioning at Your Desk

By Sara Talbert

As a Pilates instructor, I think of myself as a teacher of posture. When my clients walk in the door, I look at their posture and ask myself, “what are the best exercises for this person today?” When I teach Spin classes, my cues always involve “sitting tall” and “keep your neck” meaning don’t let your shoulders take over your upper body. When I ask my clients what they think is causing their back pain, they often reply with “sitting at my desk.”

Your chair is perhaps the single most important part of a healthy working environment. I’ve put together some guidelines for achieving optimal chair positioning for long hours at your desk.

1. THE BASICS

You should be able to sit comfortably in the chair, using as much of the chair back as possible for support. The lumbar support should fit comfortably into the curve of your lower back and your feet should be flat on the ground (use a footrest if necessary).

Posture Image 32. CHAIR HEIGHT

Start with your seat at the highest setting and then adjust downward until your legs and feet feel comfortable and the back of your knees are at an open angle (90° or slightly greater and not compressed).

Posture 1

3. SIT BACK IN THE CHAIR

Adjust the height and/or depth of the lumbar support to provide comfortable lower back support.

 

 

4. ADJUST THE RECLINE

If the chair has a recline lock, set this at a comfortable position. Remember to unlock this periodically allowing the backrest to move with your back as you change posture. It’s generally better to be slightly reclined, as this helps relieve tension from your lower back. If the chair allows you to, adjust the recline tension as you move back and forth so that the chair provides consistent support.

5. ADJUST THE SEAT PAN

When sitting back, make any adjustments to the seat pan (e.g., seat pan tilt) to reach a comfortable position. The seat pan should extend about an inch on both sides of your legs and should not apply pressure to the back of your knees.

6. ADJUST THE ARMREST

If possible, adjust the height, width and position of your armrests to one most comfortable for how you work. Keep in mind that armrests will be used only between typing sessions, not while typing or using your mouse. Consider lowering or swinging the armrests out of the way when not in use so as to not inhibit your movement.

Poster Image 2 Arm Rest

7. CLEAR OBSTACLES

Make sure that the chair casters (wheels) move smoothly and that nothing obstructs your ability to position the chair in front of your desk and computer. Lastly, try and get up frequently and walk around. Find the water station at the other end of your work space to fill up your bottle. Your body will thank you.

SaraTalbert1

 

To learn more about posture, check out our schedule for available Pilates classes at Greenwood Athletic Club, or contact Sara Talbert for more information.

Tips for a Fun, Active Summer!

With the kids out of school, summer is the perfect season for changing up your routine. GATC offers rich opportunities for fitness and fun. Whether you discover some new time for yourself, with friends or time as a family, we have over 130 complimentary group fitness classes a week to choose from.

Kid Working OutDid you know that our youth policy allows you to bring your son or daughter with you to a class? What a great way to connect with your child/teen/young adult and establish healthy fitness habits. They must be at least nine years old and in direct visual and speaking contact with a supervising and responsible adult member 18 years of age or older. Your 14-year-old can arrange to become youth certified and use the club without your supervision.

So where should you start? Change up your routine or introduce a new one for your friends/family. Pick some activities that you’ve always wanted to try. Treat yourself to a 30 minute CXWORX class, which is a 30 minute revolutionary core training. This dynamic workout will challenge your abs, glutes, back, obliques and “slings” connecting the upper and lower body, toning core muscles and improving functional strength.

Why not try an hour of Spinning? Or you might enjoy one of our many cardio, strength, or mind-body classes or experience the Barre at Greenwood. Our early morning Summer Boot Camp is a great opportunity to beat the heat, enjoy the beautiful outdoors and find extra motivation to drive yourself to the next fitness level. There’s something for everyone and the advantage of group fitness is that you are more likely to push yourself harder and be more consistent in a group setting than on your own.

If you have any questions, please be sure to contact Andrea Morris, Director of Group Fitness

Grab the Dumbbells: Using Free Weights at the Gym

By Vic Spatola, Director of Personal Training

This article originally appeared in the April 2017 edition of The Pulse

What is the difference between working out on a singular weight lifting machine and lifting with free weights? Aren’t both weight training activities? Shouldn’t they give you the same benefits? In a word-NO!

Lifting in a fixed machine has some benefits:

  • It gives you the ability to isolate a muscle for maximal growth or hypertrophy
  • If you have an injury, the machine can limit the range of motion to allow you to work in a safe method

Traditionally, fixed isolated machines have been the default equipment for most weight rooms. Their simple and easy use has made gym participants more likely to lift weights. They were originally created for body builders in the 1970’s to allow them to isolate specific muscles for competition. Most were designed by former lifters who knew how an exercise should feel and then put resistance against that motion. Arthur Jones revolutionized this type of training by introducing the first line of Nautilus equipment. This equipment was the first to use a cam method, allowing the strength curve to increase as the muscle got stronger and it brought many gym goers into the weight room.

But let’s fast forward to modern times. We now understand that training exclusively in a machine limits core activation, range of motion and hampers your functional ability. Even though machines can isolate a particular muscle, they lack an overall whole body benefit.

When you lift free weights, you benefit in these ways:

  • More intense core activation
  • Stabilizer muscle activation to decrease unwanted motion
  • More muscles working and more calories burned during workouts
  • More balance and vestibular system challenge
  • Better preparation for sports and daily life

stepupDSC_7282

Lifting with free weights allows you to train in a three-dimensional world where as a machine locks you into one plane of movement. Every day we are affected by many external forces (i.e. gravity, rotational forces and linear resistance) and these forces are taken away when training on a machine. Not only does free weight training allow for a more complete workout, it allows for compound movements to occur with resistance. For example, if I do a bicep curl and then I add a step up on a bench as I do it, I can burn more calories and have more muscles working then simply doing either exercise. Also, when doing a barbell exercise like a deadlift or a squat, you use more core activation and increase flexibility and overall range of motion.

As the demands of a busy life increase, we need to be more efficient and selective about how we work out. Doing the same old line of machines that we have been doing for the last five years is less beneficial than moving in a three-dimensional pattern with resistance. Ask one of our personal training experts to set you up on a new weight training program!

Greenwood offers One-on-One Training, which allows you and your trainer to individualize your workout and spend a great deal of time focusing on form, technique and the best way for you to see results, or Semi-Private Personal Training, where you and a friend (or group of up to four friends) will get a great workout together with one of our professional trainers. This is a perfect option for those who like to workout with a friend but need guidance and instruction to maintain consistency and remain efficient.

We also offer a number of PWRFIT classes throughout the week, which deliver functional training movements in a circuit style format to create a high energy, calorie burning, muscle-building workout with professionally mixed music. We offer three class options: Upper Body/Core, Lower Body/Core and Total Body.

_MG_8770_72dpi_9X13

Greenwood Athletic and Tennis Club is Hosting the 9th Annual Tri-Our-Village Kids Triathlon

Now more than ever kids are following in their parents’ footsteps and participating in triathlons. On Sunday, September 25, 2016, the City of Greenwood Village and Greenwood Athletic and Tennis Club (GATC) are hosting the ninth annual Tri-Our-Village Kids Triathlon for ages 5-16. kids triathlonThe triathlon will feature four different difficulty levels adjusted according to age group. Participants will run, bike, and swim their way through the course surrounding GATC and Westland’s Park in Greenwood Village.
According to Crystal Garland, Aquatics Coordinator at Greenwood, “The 9th Annual Tri-Our-Village Kids Triathlon introduces kids to the fun of swimming, biking and running while also helping kids discover the benefits of healthy activities. On average we have 200 participants and we are looking forward to a similar turnout for this year’s event.”
In fact, the Kids’ Triathlon gives back to the community! Dr. Chip Southern from Greenwood Pediatrics is a sponsor of the Kids Triathlon and his contribution goes to the top three schools with the most participants.  The donation goes to providing schools with much-needed equipment for their physical education department. Last year, the top three participants came from the following schools: Cottonwood Creek Elementary, Belleview Elementary and High Plains Elementary.
lowmarcus-garland-and-sydney_dsc08002According to Dr. Chip Southern, “We have been honored to support the Annual Tri-Our-Village Triathlon year after year.  Greenwood Pediatrics supports our community’s efforts in developing active children.  This event is a fun way to expose the students and their families to a healthy activity and lifestyle.”
Cathy Pate, Greenwood Village Recreation Manager said, “I have the best job of all, announcing the names of the participants at the finish line and watching mom and dad embrace their accomplishments, such a joy!”
Kids’ of all ages really have fun participating in the event, according to Bobby Garland, 13 yeadsc08115rs old, says, “I have done the Kids’ Triathlon for the past 5-years and I really enjoy that I get to swim bike and run, and my favorite part is swimming!”  Nathan Garland, 11 years old, says, “I enjoy the Kids’ Triathlon, and I really enjoy the refreshing ice cream treat, right after the race.”  Marcus Garland, 8 years old, says, “I like that I get a medal as soon as I cross the finish line and enjoy seeing and racing my friends.”
Early registration for the Kids’ Triathlon ends Saturday, September 17 and the last day to register is Thursday September 22 at 6:00pm.

nathan-and-marcus-garland_dsc07869Greenwood is offering a Kids Triathlon Training Camp to help competitors prepare for the events on September 25.  The training camp will take place on September 19, 20 and 21 from 6:00-7:00pm. In these training sessions, kids will practice swimming, biking, running, transitions, and learn race course safety. For more information contact Crystal 303.770.2582 x325 or CrystalG@GreenwoodATC.com or visit greenwoodatc.com/kidstriathlon.  Greenwood Athletic and Tennis Club is located at 5801 South Quebec Street, Greenwood Village, CO 80111.

Locker Room Remodel May 20

The women’s locker room dry vanity remodel is slightly ahead of schedule:

  • Millwork and solid surface tops are complete
  • Wall tile is complete • Mirrors have been field measured and will be installed next week
  • Paint, carpet and base all to be completed next week
  • Final inspection scheduled for Thursday, May 26

Unfortunately, the vanity lighting in the dry vanity is temporary. The selected lighting has been delayed so, to stay true to the construction schedule we opted for temporary lighting until the selected fixtures arrive. Thank you.

Women’s Locker Room Remodel Update – May 13

Phase 1 is on schedule. Progress inspections have been scheduled and completed:

  • Paint started
  • Lights have been installed
  • Millwork (counters and solid surface tops) are scheduled for install on Monday
  • An additional temporary dry vanity was installed (great idea from a member) to allow for more vanity space during Phase 1.

We are still anticipating install of the temporary showers on Tuesday, May 31 and will be approximately five days to complete.