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Quick fix for now and things to improve it. The squat is a popular exercise partly because of the amount of benefits it has that carry over to an active lifestyle. Squats can be done as a bodyweight only exercise or with added resistance. One commonly seen technical error is the person's heels lifting off the floor during reps. This is a problem as it puts a lot of pressure on the ankle joint (especially if using weights) it also shifts your centre of gravity forward onto your toes and puts more pressure through the knees. Your torso will also probably stay too vertical because of this and you won't build much or any strength in your back and glutes. So bad technique leads to bad results. Quick fix: If you notice yourself doing it in the middle of a workout a quick fix is to put something under your heels. Something 1-2 inches in height, solid and stable. Keep your heel in contact with this throughout the rest of the reps and you can finish your workout safely and effectively. Long term: Putting something under your heels is just a quick fix or a band-aid to get through the session. You will need to work on your squat technique to be able to perform squats without it. My two go to exercises would be; 1) Counter-balance squats: These will get you shifting your weight back, using your hips and sitting correctly into a squat. Use a light weight (2.5-10kg). Start the squat by simultaneously pushing your hips back and extending the weight out in front of your shoulders. Sit Down onto the back of your heels, keeping your back straight and your chest out towards the weight. As you come back up bring the weight back into your chest. I like these done barefooted so you get a feel of where your weight is on your feet. 2) Ankle Mobility Stretch: A simple stretch to target the back of the ankle joint. Keep the movement slow and controlled and keep your heel in contact with the floor throughout. You should aim to be able to get your knee an inch out past your toes. If very stiff some foam rolling with a tennis ball may also benefit. The ability to squat comfortably and safely is so important especially as you get older. Get yourself s
I'll do anything to lose weight... Except... I'm doing a series on things that people think are "too much" even though they claim to be extremely committed to losing weight. Today's topic is... Drinking more water. So this isn't one that people think of as "too much" but rather people think it's "too insignificant" to make a difference. Drinking enough water doesn't register as important enough to many people to get them to change their habits and get the benefits. Water is hugely important to keep your body working optimally. Joints, muscles, blood system, organs and brain all need water to work their best. For example if you are not drinking enough and are dehydrated your digestive system may not be breaking down and absorbing food correctly making it difficult to lose weight. Also if you are dehydrated your brain may get a little "fuzzy" affecting your motivation and energy levels Many people only drink water when thirsty which is unlikely to get you to the recommended water intake levels. Multiply your weight in Kg by .033 to get a recommended water intake. More water would be required when exercising. Make it easier to track how much water you have drank by using a large bottle so you can see how much you have drank each day. Water is the best option to stay hydrated but other drinks such as tea, coffee, juice and even fizzy drinks can go towards hydration levels. Put a conscious effort into increasing your water intake and feel the benefits from the simple change.
I'll do anything to lose weight..... Except.... I'm doing a series on things that people consider "too much" even though they claim to be extremely committed to losing weight. Today's topic is... Tracking calories. I think when people hear "tracking calories" they imagine being a bodybuilder, needing a pen and paper, calculator and a weighing scales in your pocket 24 hours a day. This is how I used to imagine it aswell and to be fair 20 years ago you would have been right. Now though it is so much easier and can be a GAME CHANGER for gaining control of your weight. Like most things there is an app for tracking calories, many in fact. So all you really need is your phone! Barcodes can be scanned to tell you calorie and nutrition contents of foods, the apps recommend a daily calorie target (not always ideal but can be adjusted), track your food for 3-7 days and the app remembers the foods you've logged before and have them ready to add with one click next time. You can estimate some food portion sizes from the app suggestions and the packaging but many things you won't be able to estimate and that is where a simple food scale can be worth it. You can also create recipes in the app so weight all the ingredients once for the recipe, decide how many portions you are making and then that will be saved which is very handy for your frequent meals. Another big benefit people get from tracking their calories for a while is that they realise how many calories are actually in some of the food they are eating and are usually surprised by a couple at least. So this helps you learn a little bit more about what you're putting into your body and what to look out for. I don't recommend anyone to constantly track their calories forever as that's unnecessary and can become a bit addictive for some people and unrealistic when it comes to meals out, parties etc. but the benefits outweigh the potential negatives and everyone can benefit from a better understanding and better control of their calories.
Breakfast- Is it necessary? Often breakfast is regarded as "The most important meal of the day" with many benefits spoken of. While I agree that it is an important meal the benefits can sometimes be exaggerated. If someone never eats breakfast, simply getting them to start having breakfast is not a magic fix to weight loss. If the rest of their day remains the same then all that has been achieved is added calories to the day. Many people fall into this trap of adding a breakfast of 300-600 calories to their day while maybe cutting out 200-400 calories from junk food later on in the day. This may not be enough to cause a calorie deficit and weight loss. If a client isn't having breakfast I would first look at their first few meals of the day. If they have no breakfast, a busy morning and then have a well balanced meal at lunch time then I see no point in pushing a breakfast into their schedule. They are basically doing a form or intermittent fasting which is a helpful weight loss technique. However, if the client has no breakfast, has tea and biscuits and then a chocolate bar at lunch time it is different. By adding a breakfast to their day it may stop them from snacking throughout the early morning. If they really are very busy in the morning then something quick and on the go with protein and fats would be ideal. Looking to improve your daily nutrition and lose some weight? Consider if adding breakfast is beneficial to your goals. Remember there are indeed many great benefits to having breakfast but do not think of it as mandatory.