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- Improve Mobility and Strength with Cossack Squats: A Powerful Exercise You Need to Try
If you're looking to spice up your workout routine and unlock new levels of mobility and strength, look no further than the Cossack squat. This unique exercise has been gaining popularity in the fitness world for good reason. Combining elements of strength training, flexibility, and balance, the Cossack squat offers a range of benefits that can enhance your overall fitness journey. In this blog post, we'll explore the advantages of incorporating Cossack squats into your workouts, along with a breakdown of how to perform them and progressions/regressions for all fitness levels. The Benefits of Cossack Squats: 1. Enhanced Lower Body Mobility: - Cossack squats target the hips, groin, and inner thighs, helping to improve flexibility and range of motion in these areas. - By regularly performing Cossack squats, you'll increase your ability to move through deep squat positions, which can be beneficial for activities like weightlifting, martial arts, and even daily activities like bending and lifting. 2. Increased Leg Strength: - Cossack squats engage your quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and calves, making them an excellent exercise for building lower body strength. - As you gradually increase the load and intensity of your Cossack squats, you'll develop stronger legs, which can contribute to improved athletic performance and functional movement. 3. Core Stability and Balance: - Balancing on one leg during the Cossack squat challenges your core muscles, including the abdominals, obliques, and lower back. - This exercise requires a strong and stable core, as well as the ability to maintain balance throughout the movement, resulting in improved overall stability. How to Perform Cossack Squats: 1. Starting Position: - Stand with your feet wider than shoulder-width apart, toes pointed slightly outward. - Shift your weight to one side and extend the other leg out to the side, keeping it straight. - Ensure your weight is distributed evenly across your foot, maintaining a neutral spine. 2. Descending: - Slowly lower your hips toward the side with the extended leg, bending your knee and keeping your other leg straight. - Aim to lower your hips until your thigh is parallel to the ground, or as low as your mobility allows. - Keep your chest lifted, gaze forward, and maintain a neutral spine throughout the movement. 3. Ascending: - Push through the heel of your grounded foot to return to the starting position. - Engage your glutes and leg muscles to rise back up, maintaining control and balance. Progressions and Regressions: 1. Progressions: - Holding a dumbbell or kettlebell with both hands at your chest level can add resistance and increase the challenge. - Try performing Cossack squats on an unstable surface, such as a foam pad or balance board, to further engage your stabilizer muscles. 2. Regressions: - If you're new to Cossack squats or have limited mobility, use a chair or a TRX suspension trainer for support while performing the movement. - Begin with a narrower stance and gradually widen it as your flexibility and strength improve. If you'd like to see a visual demonstration of Cossack squats, check out my Instagram video HERE. Don't overlook the power of the Cossack squat in your fitness routine. With its ability to improve mobility, strength, and balance, This exercise is a game-changer for athletes, fitness enthusiasts, and anyone looking to enhance their overall physical abilities. Incorporate Cossack squats into your workouts, progress at your own pace, and reap the rewards of increased mobility and strength that will benefit you in various areas of your life.
- Unleashing the Power of Turkish Get-Ups: A Must for Office Workers
In the world of office work, sitting for extended periods can take a toll on our bodies, leading to poor posture, muscle imbalances, and a decline in overall health and fitness. While traditional exercises are commonly relied upon to counteract these effects, one highly effective movement often goes unnoticed—the Turkish Get-Up (TGU). In this blog post, we will explore the exceptional benefits of Turkish Get-Ups and explain why unleashing the power of Turkish get-ups: a must for office workers and why they should integrate this exercise into their workout routines. Let's delve into the form, advantages, and long-term impact this exercise can have on the well-being of office workers. Click here to see myself perform a Turkish get-up! Form and Technique: The Turkish Get-Up, is a compound movement that engages multiple muscle groups while promoting stability, mobility, and core strength. Executing the TGU involves transitioning from a lying position to standing while holding a kettlebell or dumbbell overhead. This deliberate sequence of movements cultivates body awareness, coordination, and balance. Benefits for Office Workers: 1. Enhanced Posture and Core Strength: Prolonged sitting often leads to poor posture among office workers. The TGU activates and strengthens core muscles responsible for maintaining proper posture, reducing the risk of back pain and muscle imbalances caused by prolonged periods of sitting. 2. Full-Body Engagement: The TGU is a holistic exercise that activates muscles from head to toe. It targets the shoulders, arms, chest, back, glutes, hips, and legs, making it an excellent choice for a comprehensive workout that improves overall strength and muscular endurance. 3. Joint Stability and Mobility: Controlled movements within the TGU promote joint stability and mobility, particularly in the shoulders, hips, and knees. Increased joint strength and range of motion not only enhance performance during workouts but also translate into improved movement quality and reduced risk of injuries in everyday activities. 4. Mental Focus and Coordination: Precisely executing each step of the Turkish Get-Up demands concentration and body awareness. Regular practice enhances mental focus and coordination, benefiting both workouts and overall productivity in the workplace. Long-Term Effects: Incorporating Turkish Get-Ups into a fitness routine can yield long-term benefits. This exercise helps develop functional strength essential for everyday activities like lifting objects, reaching overhead, and maintaining balance. Additionally, the TGU strengthens the stabiliser muscles surrounding joints, reducing the risk of injuries. Furthermore, the TGU promotes better body mechanics and movement patterns, which can carry over to other exercises and daily activities. As office workers improve their posture, stability, and mobility, they will find themselves better equipped to handle physical challenges and experience reduced discomfort associated with sedentary work lifestyles. For office workers striving to maintain a healthy lifestyle despite demanding work schedules, it is essential to incorporate exercises that counteract the negative effects of prolonged sitting. The Turkish Get-Up stands out as a highly beneficial movement that addresses these concerns. With its ability to enhance posture, engage the entire body, promote joint stability and mobility, and improve mental focus and coordination, the TGU is a valuable addition to any office worker's workout routine. By dedicating time to mastering the Turkish Get-Up, office workers can not only boost their fitness levels but also improve their overall well-being, productivity, and quality of life. So, the next time you hit the gym or engage in a home workout, consider integrating this powerful exercise and witness the transformative benefits it brings to your physical and mental health.
- 7 Tips To Build Healthy Habits That Stick!
Want the short version? Click to read my Instagram post here. Building good habits is an essential part of personal growth and development. Whether you want to exercise regularly, read more books, or learn a new skill, creating a habit that sticks can be challenging. Fortunately, there are some proven tips you can use to build habits that last. First and foremost, it's important to start small. When building a new habit, set achievable goals and gradually build up to bigger changes. For example, if you want to start exercising regularly, don't aim to run a marathon on your first day. Instead, start by taking a short walk each day and gradually increase the intensity and duration of your workouts. Consistency is also key to building habits that stick. Make your habit a priority and do it every day. Consistency helps to reinforce your habit and make it a natural part of your routine. Creating a routine around your new habit can also make it easier to stick to. Try to do your habit at the same time and in the same way every day. This helps to create a sense of structure and consistency that can make your habit easier to maintain. Holding yourself accountable is another important factor in building habits that last. Track your progress and keep a record of your successes. This helps you to stay motivated and on track, even when you face challenges. Making your habit enjoyable can also help to reinforce it. Find ways to make your habit enjoyable, whether it's by listening to music or doing it with a friend. This helps to create a positive association with your habit and makes it easier to stick to over time. Finally, it's important to stay positive and focused on your successes rather than your failures. Building a new habit can be challenging, but with persistence and determination, you can achieve your goals. In conclusion, building habits that stick takes time, effort, and patience. By starting small, staying consistent, creating a routine, holding yourself accountable, making it enjoyable, staying positive, and keeping going, you can build habits that last and make positive changes in your life. So, take the first step today and start building the habits you need to achieve your goals.
- How to choose a personal trainer
So you’ve decided to take the next step on your fitness journey and work with a professional who can help you reach your health and wellness goals. Not only does having the support of a personal trainer keep you more motivated and accountable when it comes to weekly workouts, but they can also play a role in helping you maximise your time at the gym, reduce the risk of injury and see more consistent results. But there’s a fine line between making a sound investment in your future fitness success and simply throwing money out the window on something that doesn’t work. The difference? Knowing how to choose the right person who will help you set the correct goals to achieve your desired results. Therefore, it’s crucial to do your due diligence as you go about choosing a trainer; all it takes is a little legwork to determine whether or not someone will be a good fit for your needs. After all, it’s called “personal” training for a reason — working closely together creates a bond that will help you to stay engaged and motivated throughout the process. Ask for References Ask the trainer for names, phone numbers and even testimonials of other clients he or she has worked with that share traits and goals that are similar to yours. It makes sense to select a trainer who has worked with clients similar to you or perhaps matches your physical traits (e.g.,sex, age and body type). This allows the trainer to empathise and understand your unique challenges and needs. Ask fellow members of your health club or friends who are currently working with trainers for their recommendations and enquire whether the trainer was professional, punctual and prepared, and whether each of them felt their individual needs were addressed. Talk to the Trainer Developing a personal, yet professional, relationship with your personal trainer is very important. Trust your instincts about the impressions the trainer makes upon you. The personal trainer you select should motivate you by positive, not negative, reinforcement. Even more important, that trainer should be someone you like. Ask yourself if you think you could get along well with the trainer and whether you think the trainer is genuinely interested in helping you. The personal trainer who best measures up is the one to hire, because that is the professional who will help you achieve the best results. Working Experience and Area of Specialisation Enquire about the years of experience a trainer has working with clients. More importantly, ask about the trainer’s expertise working with individuals with your needs or limitations. If you have a medical condition or a past injury, a personal trainer should design a session that accounts for this. If you are under a doctor’s care, a personal trainer should gain your consent to discuss exercise concerns with your doctor, and should ask you for a medical clearance. Find Out What the Trainer Charges Rates vary depending on the session length, the trainer’s credentials, experience and expertise, and the geographic location of where he or she works and you live. For example, a personal trainer who works in a fitness club will probably charge less per hour than one who works independently and needs to come to your home or office. Education A University degree in the fields of exercise science or nutrition improves the knowledge and credibility that a trainer has in developing your program, though not having a degree certainly does not preclude a fitness professional from being effective. But be wary of someone who has just done a personal training course and no further studies as most of these courses are very basic. Liability Insurance and Business Policies Many personal trainers operate as independent contractors and are not employees of a fitness facility. You should find out if the trainer you want to hire carries professional liability insurance. A reputable personal trainer should also make sure that you understand the cancellation policy and billing procedure. The best way to avoid confusion and protect your rights is to have those policies in writing. Compatibility Some people like to exercise in the morning, some in the evening. Will the personal trainer you’re talking to accommodate your schedule? What about the trainer’s gender? Some people do better working with a trainer of the same sex; others prefer the opposite sex. You should consider these and any other personal compatibility concerns you may have before beginning a working relationship with a trainer.
- Benefits of hiring an online fitness coach
2021 has finally arrived and everyone has their own version of their New Year’s resolutions. If yours includes being fit and healthy, then you may be looking to hire a fitness coach. Working with a fitness coach can help you achieve your goals faster than if you were to navigate the fitness journey on your own. But with the current situation right now, finding a fitness coach in your area can be quite difficult. The good news is that you can hire a virtual trainer to help you with your newfound objective. With everything being done through the internet nowadays, online fitness coaching has become more prevalent than ever. The question now is, should you hire an online trainer? In this article, we’ll be discussing the benefits of hiring an online fitness coach so that you can make an informed decision. The benefits of online coaching You may be thinking to yourself, why should you hire a virtual trainer when you can just watch tutorial workouts instead? The difference is that with an online fitness coach, you get expert advice based on your desired results. That can be hard to achieve when you’re following advice that caters to a general audience. But that’s not the only thing that makes online coaching attractive. Here are a couple of reasons why hiring a virtual trainer is a good idea. Flexible schedule – Online training allows you to work out on your own schedule. Whether that’s 9 in the morning or 10 in the evening, you have the freedom to work with your personal trainer virtually at any time you want. The best part is you get to train right at the comforts of your own home. Nutritional advice – Working out is only half the equation. If you truly wish to achieve your fitness goals, then you will need to follow a strict diet. With the help of an online fitness coach, you can create solid meal plans and make lasting changes to your physique. Cost-saving – A single workout session with an in-person trainer can cost you anywhere from $50-100 depending on your location. If you can’t afford to hire a fitness coach, then don’t worry. An online trainer offers incredible value and cost-savings so that you can stay on top of your fitness goals regardless of your budget. Custom-made programs – Whether you want to build muscle or lose body fat, a virtual trainer will create custom workout programs designed to help you achieve your dream physique. They will even make adjustments on things like intensity, duration, and frequency to ensure the workouts are according to your personal preferences and goals. Accountability – This is perhaps one of the biggest benefits of hiring an online fitness coach. It can be difficult to stick to your fitness goals if you haven’t established the right mindset and discipline. With online training, your coach holds you accountable and pushes you to become a better version of yourself. In fact, they even require you to send updates so they can track your progress and see meaningful results. What to look for in an online fitness coach When it comes to online training, you will need to pick a coach that knows how to work with you. Make sure to consider the following before you hire a virtual trainer: Experience – The first thing you should look for in a coach is their experience. How long have they worked in the fitness industry? Did their clients go on to have successful transformations? Good coaches are dedicated to their craft and are successful enough to make online coaching their full-time careers. Credentials – With so many “fitness gurus” taking over social media nowadays, finding the right coach can be quite challenging. To filter out the real coaches from the frauds, look for their credentials. Did they study physical education and kinesiology? Do they have sufficient knowledge about workout science? Keep this in mind when hiring a virtual trainer. Coaching style – Do you prefer a coach that’s tough and gritty? Or do you want a coach that’s supportive and understanding? Each person responds differently to a trainer’s coaching style so make sure you’re comfortable with how your coach approaches your workouts. You can get a good feel for their coaching style by reading success stories from their clients. Pay for contact – With online coaching, you want to make sure that you’re paying for your coach’s expertise based on human interaction and not just written programs. This means being able to talk to your coach about your struggles, preferences, and adjustments to make your workouts more effective. If you need a coach, make sure you are getting one that allows you to contact them via their app or preferred communication method, if you don't need a coach but need a program - most offer this as well. Online fitness coaching is a great way to keep up with your New Year’s resolutions. That said, it’s not a shortcut to achieving your goals. You still have to put in the work and be dedicated to seeing meaningful results. By hiring the right online trainer, you will get one step closer to achieve the ultimate physique you’ve been dreaming of.
- Everyone used to think tomatoes were poison
Way back in the 1800’s, people thought tomatoes were deadly, to the point of referring to them as ‘poison apples’. While tomatoes are part of the nightshade family, which does contain some pretty unpleasant plants, this fruit (not a vegetable!) is unlikely to cause you harm and may in fact contain some tasty health benefits when eaten. HAPPY TASTY HEALTHY TOMATOES Tomatoes contain a number of compounds called phytochemicals, which can provide a range of health benefits when we eat them. Lycopene and β-carotene, both carotenoids (a type of phytochemical) found in tomatoes, are believed to play a role in protection against cardiovascular disease¹. Another carotenoid lutein has been also shown to help prevent cardiovascular disease, as well as maintaining eye health as we age². Tomatoes are also a good source of vitamin C, which acts as an antioxidant and helps with healing and supporting your immune system, as well as reducing total cholesterol. And all the compounds mentioned above have anti-inflammatory effects, which can improve our overall health and wellbeing. The best thing about tomatoes is that you get the same (and sometimes more!) nutritional value from eating them cooked or raw, which meals there are a ton of ways you can include them into your diet without getting bored. RECIPE: SUPER SIMPLE TOMATO SAUCE Tomato based sauces for pizza or pasta are great, and really easy to whip up yourself to avoid all the added sugar found in popular store bought overly processed brands. INGREDIENTS 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 onion, diced or minced 4+ cloves of garlic, diced or minced (we suggest 4 cloves, but feel free to add more if you really love garlic!) Fresh basil, oregano, thyme – about a handful of each, roughly chopped. If using dry herbs for convenience, about 1-2 teaspoons of each is suggested. 1 tin of diced or crushed tomatoes Salt & pepper to taste METHOD Heat olive oil in a large pan over a medium heat Add chopped garlic & onion, and cook until soft (5-8 mins) Add tinned tomatoes and herbs, and stir to combine Simmer until sauce thickens up, then remove from heat. STORAGE If you’re not eating the sauce that day, wait for it to cool then pour into air tight sealed containers. This sauce will keep in the fridge for 2-3 months, so it’s super easy to portion out and freeze until you need it for something. SERVING This tomato sauce recipe can be used on its own as a pasta sauce, just pour over cooked pasta and top with a few pine nuts, some fresh basil, and a sprinkle of parmesan (or brewer’s yeast for a vegan option). You can also prepare a delicious & simple bolognese by browning lean beef or chicken mince in a pan while the sauce is thickening, then stirring the sauce through the cooked mince and serving on cooked pasta, fresh zucchini noodles or some cauliflower rice! REFERENCES Kirstie Canene-Adams, Jessica K. Campbell, Susan Zaripheh, Elizabeth H. Jeffery, John W. Erdman; The Tomato As a Functional Food, The Journal of Nutrition, Volume 135, Issue 5, 1 May 2005, Pages 1226–1230, https://doi.org/10.1093/jn/135.5.1226 Raiola, Assunta et al. “Enhancing the health-promoting effects of tomato fruit for biofortified food” Mediators of inflammation vol. 2014 (2014): 139873 http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/139873
- FML Fast Food Swap: Pizza edition
WE’VE ALL BEEN THERE – YOU’RE HUNGRY, YOU’RE TIRED, AND ALL YOU CAN HEAR IS THE SWEET SONG OF PIZZA BEING DELIVERED TO YOUR DOOR. If you’re trying to achieve specific goals which depend on fuelling yourself with nutritious or low calorie meals, this can be cause for despair. A Pizza Hut Large Chicken Supreme Pizza has 234 calories (976kJ), 26g carbs, 14g protein and 8g fat per slice. Ok, sure, that’s not that bad – IF you only stick to one slice! Let’s be real, who actually stops at one slice of pizza? Let’s say 2 slices of a Chicken Supreme pizza is a serve, that’s 468 cals (1952kJ), 52g carbs, 28g protein and 16g fat BEFORE you add in some garlic bread, fries and a beer. For us pizza lovers, it’s so easy to eat 2 or 3 (or 12) slices of pizza. Then add on your sides and beverages and all of a sudden your daily macros are looking more like a weeks worth. FOR A MORE GOAL FRIENDLY PIZZA, GIVE PIZZA HUT & DOMINOS A MISS AND TRY OUR CHICKEN PIZZA RECIPE BELOW. 1 serve = 1 tortilla and is only 286 cals (1196kJ), 27g carb,10g fat and 25g protein per serve, so you can enjoy some homemade oven baked chips on the side without feeling like you have over indulged. You might even find that making your own is cheaper and quicker than ordering one! FML CHICKEN SUPREME PIZZA INGREDIENTS: 4x Mission Low Carb wraps 200g mozzarella cheese 80g pineapple pieces 1 small red onion (approx. 1/2c diced) 1 red capsicum sliced 1/4c mushrooms 200g shredded chicken breast (or if you’re lazy like me just chop the chicken into bite sized pieces) 2TB tomato paste METHOD: Preheat oven to 240C /220C fan forced Line a tray with baking paper and place a tortilla on it (you will need 2 trays to cook all 4 at the same time). Spread the tomato paste evenly over each wrap Divide the toppings up evenly and place on each wrap, top with mozzarella cheese Bake for 3-5 minutes until the edges are browning Serve immediately. This meal also makes a good lunch the next day – if you have any leftover that is! Just reheat in the microwave until warm. Enjoy!
- Go on, eat (almost) all the blueberries you want.
SWEET, TASTY AND CONVENIENT. That’s what we all want when we’re hunting for a snack that won’t sabotage our goals. 50 grams (about 1/2 a cup) of blueberries is the perfect snack for that mid-afternoon slump or even to curb those late-night sugar cravings. Blueberries contain high levels of compounds called polyphenols, which basically means they’re antioxidant superstars. Including blueberries in your diet may also decrease blood pressure and arterial stiffness in those who are at risk of cardiovascular disease (Ingham & Shukitt-Hale, 2017). 1 CUP OF BLUEBERRIES CONTAINS: 84 calories – the perfect snack size and low GI 4 grams of fibre – this will help keep you full and regular 15 grams of sugar You may be thinking that this is a lot of sugar! But when you compare it to another sweet treat like milk chocolate (which has around 57.1g sugar per 100g), 15 grams is not actually a lot. This will still curb those sugar cravings without you feeling deprived! Blueberries also have a good dose of vitamins C, A, K, folate, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium and calcium. TRY THIS BERRY BLASTER SMOOTHIE TO TAKE CARE OF THAT 3PM SLUMP: 1 cup (250ml) canned coconut milk 1 cup frozen blueberries 1 small beetroot (approx. 100 grams), grated 2 tablespoons cacao powder Place all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. This recipe makes 2 serves so you can prepare it in advance. Keep extra in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3 days, and give it a shake to bring it back together. REFERENCES 1D.K. Ingram, B. Shukitt-Hale; BLUE VERSUS GRAY: POTENTIAL HEALTH BENEFITS OF BLUEBERRIES FOR SUCCESSFUL AGING, Innovation in Aging, Volume 1, Issue suppl_1, 1 July 2017, Pages 1362, https://doi.org/10.1093/geroni/igx004.5007
- Spice up your health with tumeric
While turmeric has been used in India for thousands of years, it’s only recently that this spice has become mainstream here in Australia. Not only does turmeric add vibrant yellow tones and subtle flavour to food, it contains a range of incredible health promoting benefits too which make this superfood a simple and tasty way to spice up your life. NATURAL ANTI-INFLAMMATORY Curcumin, a compound found in turmeric, is responsible for a number of turmeric’s incredible health properties. It acts as a natural anti-inflammatory, which can relieve pain and improve overall well being. MAJOR ANTIOXIDANT Antioxidants in food can help prevent and decrease the effects of damage done to your body from things like stress, illness, and aging. BOOST IMMUNITY Getting sick is never fun, so eating healthful foods like turmeric can improve and enhance your immune system to help keep colds and flu at bay.
- Is Quinoa all it's cracked up to be?
Quinoa (pronounced keen-wa) has been on the healthy eating radar for a while now, and this versatile seed definitely deserves it’s reputation as a nutritional powerhouse. 100 GRAMS OF COOKED QUINOA PROVIDES: 4 grams of protein, important for muscle growth and recovery. It’s also a complete protein, which is rare to find in plant sources. 3 grams of fibre, needed for healthy digestion and keeping your heart happy 502 kJ / 120 calories, with a low GI rating to keep you feeling full for longer Quinoa also provides a decent dose of iron, magnesium, zinc, and folate, all of which are essential for your body to perform at it’s best. GIVE YOUR DIET A HEALTHY BOOST BY HAVING QUINOA WITH YOUR NEXT MEAL. Try mixing cold with spinach and a tin of tuna for a quick and easy lunch salad, or replacing half of your rice with quinoa when making stir fries, curries, or similar dishes! How do you like your quinoa? Let us know in the comments below!