Good Posture & Weight Loss
Congrats if you're a new mum! Or even if you aren't such a new mum, we can all benefit from learning more about how our bodies work. Not that this is or should be every mum's goal, but good posture is important for fat loss because if your body functions better, you can then exercise at higher intensity without fear of injury; increasing the amount of fat you can burn through cardio.
This article will give you some tips so you can improve your posture through exercise. Please always stay safe and consult with your physician before commencing any exercise program.
What is the core? If you're like me, you'll be sick of hearing trainers going on about the 'core' but what do they actually mean? Probably the position of the hips – if these are as close as possible to their ideal alignment, the body will work better mechanically further up and down the chain of the body; neglect the hip alignment and imbalances will magnify up and down the chain.
To keep the hips as close as possible to their ideal alignment, we need to address the muscles that are directly attached i.e. the legs, hips and trunk muscles. Three main exercises will cover all the basics, working these muscles as functionally as possible. These are:
1 Deadlift. Working the 'Posterior Kinetic Chain' muscles is essential to holding you upright.
Note: Feet flat and back straight, shoulders retracted. Your butt should go straight backwards so the bar goes straight downwards; avoid letting the bar move away from your legs. Choose an appropriate weight so you can do 12 reps in 60 seconds. Nice and slow on the way down, pause just before you touch the floor, then nice and smooth on the way up.
2 Squat. Bending at the hips is crucial for good posture.
Note: Feet flat, not on the heels. Back IS arched. If possible, the knees will be slightly ahead of toes at lowest point. Make sure you're not upright but leaning forward appropriately as shown. Choose an appropriate weight so you can do 12 reps in 60 seconds. Nice and slow on the way down, pause just below 90 degrees knee flexion if possible, then nice and smooth on the way up.
3 'Proper' abs exercises. The most common abs exercises are actually counter-productive. Smarter, functional moves are required. So how do we work them? The answer is very simple: knee raises, gym ball twists and barbell twists. Why have we selected these 3 particular exercises when there are dozens of abs variations out there? Because my base philosophy is that every exercise must be performed at maximum efficiency.Knee raises: try straight leg first. You can then switch to bent knee if fatiguing. Aim to curl the pelvis upwards and squeeze. Do as many as you can, then switch to the ball immediately.
Ball: Keep the ball still so that you twist and the ball doesn't roll. Finish off up to 60 seconds (or more if you can).
We must hit the type IIb muscle fibers that work between 0 – 15 seconds and the type IIa fibers that are most effective for 15 – 60 seconds. We must do this in such a way that the muscles are used the way they were originally designed. Ditch those waste of time floor based exercises and target the abs scientifically and more effectively. These 3 abs exercises do the job perfectly. The knee raise starts us off as it hits the type IIb fibers effectively. Do as many of these as you can and then immediately switch to the ball to work up to 60 seconds total. These 2 exercises always go together and in this order.
For the next set, the barbell twist works alone, 1 side only for 60 seconds. You do have the choice, however, of using 1 barbell for 60secs, or 2 barbells, 1 heavy for 15secs and then immediately 1 light for 45secs. Keep rigid, the arms straight and pivot on the balls of the feet.
Squats and deadlifts. If you've never done these exercises before, start with one set only on week 1 and 2 sets on week 2. From week 3 move to the recommended four sets of each. Expect some soreness in the lower back muscles - this is perfectly normal. However if this is severe sharp pain or pain that does not subside after 3 days, there may well be an underlying spinal issue. If this occurs, please stop and seek medical advice immediately. Once conditioned though, you will ideally do four sets of deadlifts and four sets of squats once per week.
The knee raise/ball combo is one set. Do 4-8 sets of these (depending upon fitness level).
4-8 sets (each side) of barbell twists (depending upon fitness level).
You could do all these on 1 day if you're really in good shape, or on different days (squat and deadlifts together on 1 day, then abs on another day).
Only do these 3 main exercises once per week to allow for proper muscle recovery. Soon, you will have a body that works infinitely better mechanically. Work smarter and get right to the core of the issue.
About the Author. Significantly better qualified than a Personal Trainer, Jon Robinson is an Exercise Physiologist with many years experience. Balance the Body, Burn the Fat from Makethisworkout is an extended app that can be used with any smart phone or tablet. It is a focused training technique that uses science for good posture and maximum fat burn. Check out the trailer at www.makethisworkout.com.
Please note that you should consult with your doctor before commencing an exercise program. Stop immediately if you feel pain, light-headed or dizzy and contact your health practitioner. Bumps & Babes Co. Limited cannot be held responsible for any exercise program you undertake after reading this article.