Front Page, The Moves

My Hip Pain Doesn’t Lie

PhotoFunia Quadriptych Regular 2015-01-30 08 59 51Our hips are the base for most of our body’s movement. They are the powerhouse that offers stability for the core and they are the foundation behind locomotion. They propel us in walking and moving up stairs. They are the structure that gives us strength behind a squat, in kneeling, or in lifting heavy object. The hips and lower back are connected though the pelvis. Your hip muscles attach to the pelvis from below (i.e. psoas major, iliacus, quadriceps femoris group, and the addudctors) and the lower back muscles (erector spinae and quadratus lumborum muscles) attach to the pelvis from above.

When we have restricted mobility in our hips, the body compensates and begins to recruit low back muscles to do the work your legs should be doing. A restricted range of motion in the hips creates instability in the low back, oftentimes resulting in low back pain and injury. Why? The low back (lumbar spine) is designed for slight movements—it is not designed to bear loads to compensate for the hips. The body will find the path of least resistance—this is oftentimes where low back pain begins.

Our modern day sedentary lifestyle exacerbates hip immobility. Most Americans sit for over 9 hours per day. Americans, on average, sleep less than 8 hours a day! It is shocking that we sit more than we sleep. Our bodies were meant to move. To walk. To be active. Movement is vital for the health of our hips because the act of movement regenerates fresh cartilage, activates synovial fluid, and maintains range of motion. Sitting most of the day stiffens the hips and can make them weaker from prolonged rest. In order to maintain a healthy hip joint, the ball and socket joint needs to be exercised within all ranges of motion. Walking is the simplest and easiest way to pump nutrients into the hip joints but does not capture the ball and socket’s full range of motion.

At Southside Booty Camp, we incorporate a number of joint rotations and stretches every day that aim to address hip mobility and prepare us for success as we exercise together each morning. However, there are several of these movements you can incorporate in your day-to-day routine to help improve hip mobility gradually. Rather than overwhelm you with stretches and joint rotations, we offer 4 exercises to incorporate into your daily routine. Perform each joint rotation/stretch for 30 seconds on each leg. Give yourself 4 minutes of self-love a day and feel the difference in your hips!

  • Front to Back Leg Swings: Keeping your legs straight, swing leg forward and back. The leg should be nice a loose in the hip socket. (20 swings per leg)
  • Side to Side Leg Swings: Similarly, keeping your leg straight, swing leg side to side across the front of the body. (20 swings per leg)
  • Fire Hydrant Hip Circles: Get into table top position. Pick up one leg. Make big circles in the air with the leg. Do 10 circles to the front and 10 circles to the back for both legs.
  • Figure 4 Hip Stretch (or variation): Lay on your back. Plant your feet. Cross one ankle at the knee. Slowly draw your knee in toward your chest. Use your arms to assist the stretch. Hold for 30 seconds. Switch to the other leg.

-Contributed by Trainer Gina

Front Page, The Moves

Total Body Break Week Workout

Don’t let travel and holiday time plans get in the way of your fitness goals.  Looking for a routine you can do anywhere/anytime? This break week workout requires no dumbbells or bands…just your own body! The circuit is a mix of body weight and cardio exercises.

Perform the circuit 2-3x’s depending on how much time you have available. Make sure you warm up for 5-10 minutes before the workout and give yourself some time for stretching at the end.  You deserve it.  Then go enjoy your holiday and send us pics!

Break Week Workout:

Warm Up

5-10 minutes of warm up consisting of: joint rotations, light jog around the block, cardio warmups like jumping jacks, high knees/breaking sticks, etc.

Circuit:

  1. Football Fast Feet: Get down into a low, wide squat; run in place with fast feet. Pump arms vigorously. (50 steps total)
  2. Stutter squat:  Slowly move down into a squat position for the count of three/slowly return to standing in a three count (30 total)
  3. Plank Leg Raises: Hold a plank (elbow or on hands). Lift one heel up in the air and return to the ground in a slow and controlled manner. Alternate legs.  (15 each leg/30 total)
  4. Marching Bridge with kick (30 leg kicks total)
  5. Tricep Pushups or Dips (15)
  6. Bicycles (30 total)
  7. Side plank hip dips:  Hold an elbow side plank; dip hip toward ground and return to side plank position (15 dips on each side)
  8. Jumping Lunges (30 total) (or step back into alternating reverse lunges for low impact option)
  9. Spider Crawls: Hold a plank; draw R knee toward R elbow. Return to start.  Draw L knee toward L elbow.   Repeat. (30 total- 15 each leg)
  10. Speed Skaters (30 total)

-Contributed by Trainer Gina

Front Page, Motivation, The Moves

Getting Started with Running

“As to methods there may be a million and then some, but principles are few. The man who grasps principles can successfully select his own methods. The man who tries methods, ignoring principles is sure to have trouble.”

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

What’s the best way to train to run a race? Any race, be it your first 5k, or your 8th marathon?

The answer is simple; you have to run. Yes, it’s that simple. The principle of running is that you run to run. But how far? And how often? And what do I eat? And what shoes are the best? What about speed work? And hill training?

Congrats to the Booty Babes who did their first ever 5k at the Shore Run last weekend!

What follows is a very basic outline of how to get started and get the most out of your training experience.  (Please note – we will be offering a 5k to Half Marathon Training Series starting March 28 and ending on June 13, 2015 at the Rock n’ Roll Half Marathon … another goal setting opportunity perhaps?!! xo)

  1. Your Attitude

“I hate this.” “Running sucks.” “I’m not a runner.” Do any of these sound familiar? Have any of these thoughts bounced around in your mind? Don’t worry, everyone has these thoughts; even Olympic marathon medalists. But you can change that message.

“I love this!” “I’m getting stronger with every step.” “Running is keeping me healthy.” “ I AM a runner!.”

No one but you can lace up your running shoes and get out there. You don’t need to win races, or even beat anyone in a race to be a “runner.” If you run, you’re a runner! End of story.

      2.    Your Running Schedule

Ah, here’s the rub. Basically, to have a successful race, you need to train. Build a base. It’s the foundation on which you can then increase distance and speed. That means lacing up those shoes and going out for a run. The bonus here is, that as a Booty Camper, you’re already doing that, at least 4 times a week! You need to have an aerobic base to run any given distance successfully. That means putting in some miles. Slow, easy runs.  How far depends on what you’re training for, as does how often. But a good rule of thumb is to try to run at least 3-4 days a week.

Hill workouts are only needed AFTER you’ve built your base. Same with speed, or track, workouts.

      3.    Your Shoes

Wear good running shoes. Your body will thank you, and you’re less likely to get hurt. Yes, they can be expensive, but if you really want to be successful, good shoes are key. Each person has different feet, be it high or low arches, pronation or supination, and so on. Go to a local running store and try on different shoes to find the ones that are perfect for you. They are experts in what they do, and will allow you to actually run in the shoe and will watch your gait to see what is best for you. I’ve had success with these stores in particular:

Super Jock n Jill

Everyone for everyone and everyone for themselves… the journey and uplift of having and completing a “race” goal.

Balanced Athlete

Fleet Feet

West Seattle Runner

The owners of these stores are local runners themselves.

      4.    Your Clothes

Be comfortable, above all. Cotton is not your friend, as when it gets wet (as it will when you sweat) it clings and can lead to chafing. The running stores have good gear, but you can generally wear the same thing you wear to booty camp. Stick with tech or wool.  Layer when needed, and remember that as you stand there being cold, you’ll warm up very quickly when you start to run.

 

      5.    Your Recovery

Listen to your body! If you are just starting out, you may need more rest. If there’s a certain body part (usually knees or feet) that is starting to nag at you, stop then to assess it. If you try to “run through it” or “tough it out”, you’ll probably get injured. Talk to your trainer at that point. Sleep is key, as is stretching, and when needed, a foam roller.  Epsom salt baths relax the muscles before sleep, as well as a magnesium/calcium vitamin before bed.  Also, hint hint: Join us for Yoga Fridays here!

     6.    Your Nutrition

You need fuel to run. We could spend days covering this topic alone, but suffice it to say that the fuel should come in the form of carbs (burn quickest) and a little protein. Protein is more for after you run, for helping to build muscle tissue. Staying hydrated is also key, so make sure to drink your water.

     7.    Your Race Day

The main event! Have your clothes laid out the night before, with your race number pre-attached if at all possible. Whatever you’ve been doing in terms of nutrition and clothing during training, stick with this on race day. Never wear new shoes or clothes on race day! That is, clothes or shoes you’ve not worn before this day. That just opens the door to chafing, blisters and a generally bad time.

This is a VERY brief synopsis to get you started. So let’s hit the road!

-Contributed by Trainer Michelle

The Moves

Mobility and Stability

Ever wondered why your knee hurts, when you’ve never injured it? How about your low back? Ever felt pain there?

To keep it simple, think of the body as a stack of joints. Each joint has a specific function, either mobility (movement) or stability (bracing).  The joints alternate between mobility and stability. Now, this isn’t to say that the joints are only mobile or stable, but just primarily so.

We get a basic, alternating set of joints.

From the bottom up, here are the joints and their primary function:

Ankle – Mobility

Knee – Stability

Hip – Mobility

Lumbar spine – Stability

Thoracic spine – Mobility

Scapula – Stability

Shoulder – Mobility

 

Given that these are the primary functions of these joints, what happens when a joint that should be mobile is immobile? Problems at one joint usually show up as pain in the joint above or below.

Thus, when you lose ankle mobility, you get knee pain. When you lose hip mobility, you get low back pain, lose thoracic mobility, you get neck and shoulder or low back pain.

Why?

If you look at the body as a chain of joints, it makes sense. For instance, if the ankle becomes immobile, the knee, a joint that should be stable, becomes unstable. The ankle is supposed to be mobile; its job is to absorb the stress of landing on the foot as we walk or run. If the mobility isn’t there, then the stress is transferred to the joint above, the knee, which is not built for absorbing this stress. Hence, knee pain.

The hip should be mobile. It is meant to flex and extend. Flexion allows you to lift your leg forward to the front, extension allows you to bring your leg to the back. It also allows you to rotate your leg in and out and also to move your leg out to the side, and to cross your leg in front of the other. When these movements are stymied by immobility, there is compensatory movement in the lumbar spine (low back). Low back pain can result. There are, of course, other causes of low back pain, but one that is fixable with flexibility exercises; stretching, yoga, and other modalities.

If you can fix the cause of the problem, instead of treating what actually isn’t hurt, you can end your pain, and move like you were meant to move.

The above is a very simplified version of joint mobility/stability and resulting pain. As always, please consult your provider for medical assistance and advice.

 

-Contributed by Trainer Michelle

The Moves

February Break Week Workout!

Here’s a workout that will get all of your muscle groups and in a short amount of time. Use your weights or bands.

Warm up for at least 5 minutes with light jogging, high knees, arm circles, butt kicks and backstroke/front stroke.

The Workout!!

Do each exercise 12 times. You can go through this up to 4x.

  1. Plank jacks (in plank position, jump your feet out wide) – OR – knee pushups
  2. Squat to overhead press
  3. Partial burpees (come down to a crouch position, walk both legs out so you’re in plank, walk both legs back in to arms, stand up. That’s one)
  4. Rear lunge to kick
  5. Skull crushers (lay on mat. Start with arms up lined up over shoulders. Bend elbows so arms bend, and weights come to either side of head.)
  6. Deadlift
  7. Warrior 3, alt (also known as drinking bird)
  8. Bicycles, 12 per side
  9. Delt lifts (arms at a 45 degree angle, lift up to shoulder level)

10. In-outs (on back, up on elbows, legs together, send feet out, then back)

Please cool down with some cobra, down dog, quad stretches, calf stretches, figure 4, delt stretch, and tri stretch.

Contributed by Trainer Michelle

 

The Moves

How About Those Hammies?

Hamstring tightness and lack of flexibility is a concern for many of us, and something I get asked about frequently at Booty Camp. We work out to build strength and flexibility and this can be compromised when an integral part of our body, such as the hamstrings, are overactive or tight, making what would be a good workout session a painful or injurious event. Our goal is to provide preventative measures to help strengthen those hamstrings and provide flexibility tips to help lengthen and loosen the hammies and keep you moving smoothly throughout your daily life.

What the Hamstrings Do:

Three muscles make up the hamstring muscle group–the bicep femoris, semitendinosus and semimembranosus

The hamstrings flex the knee joint and extend the hips.  They are critical in ensuring a normal range of leg and joint movement and play a major role in forward propulsion—transferring power between hip and knee joints.    When we jump, they are one of the first muscles activated to propel the leg motion.

Some Factors That Contribute to Tight Hamstrings:

  •        Decreased back mobility
  •        Pelvic tilt/lumbar curve
  •        Poor posture
  •        Lack of core strength
  •        Long hours sitting
  •        Unconscious tension held in the body
  •        Prior injuries
  •        Weak hamstring muscles relative to stronger quadriceps muscles

 

When our hamstrings are tight or inflexible, the body compensates for this restriction, typically by increasing pressure on the lower back/lumbar spine. Those of us with tight hamstrings often have associated lower back pain.

Flexibility Tips:

There are a few simple techniques we can employ to lengthen and loosen the hamstrings, thus creating more fluid movement through the legs and take the stress off the lower back. Correcting the length of the hamstring, through strengthening and stretching exercises, while simultaneously strengthening the lumbar region, is important to the body’s overall well-being and something we work on regularly in Booty Camp. Some tips:

  • Perform hamstring stretches when your muscles are warm
  • Do not force any stretch. Only perform the stretch to the point where you feel it but are not experiencing acute pain.
  • When you do stretch, start with low back and calf stretches first before progressing to hamstring stretches.
  • Back exercises for core stability and coordination help with hamstring tightness! It’s all interconnected.
  • Foam rollers, tennis balls, etc are your friend.   Use them to roll out problems spots in your body, especially the legs and back.
  • Most importantly, listen to your body.  Hamstring strains and tears take a long time to recover from. After you have strained a hamstring, they are more susceptible to injury moving forward.  If you have injured a hamstring muscle, don’t push through the pain! Modify. Ask your trainer for suggestions.  We are here to help with your overall fitness health.

– Contributed by Trainer Gina

The Moves

The 7 Minute Wonder

Hiya Booty Campers!

Here’s a quick and effective workout that you can do anywhere; your home or a hotel room, or even your office!

This specific workout was designed by the ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine) for purposes of high intensity/short time. You can do it that way, in which you do each exercise for 30 seconds, going all out for that 30 seconds, with 10 seconds rest. It is a 7-minute workout if you do that. For that 7 minutes, you’ll be doing as many reps as you can.

You can also do it at a lower intensity, longer duration, such as 45 seconds on, and 15-30 seconds of rest. We’ve done all of these exercises in camp before, so they will be familiar to you. Either way, you will be working your entire body as well as getting a good cardio workout.

Warm up for at least 5 minutes with some tap outs, light running in place, high knees, arm circles and butt kicks.

You can do this set once, twice or even three times.

  1. Jumping jacks
  2. Wall sit
  3. Push-up (Whatever style you like best; knees, toes, chaturanga, etc.)
  4. Crunches (Knees bent with feet on the floor, or legs in table top. Exhale as you come up)
  5. Step ups (Use a chair if you’re inside. Make sure that chair is placed against a wall for stability)
  6. Squats
  7. Tricep dips on chair
  8. Plank (Knees or toes, straight arms or on elbows)
  9. Running in place w/high knees

10. Lunge, alternating legs

11. Push-up with rotation (Alternating sides)

12. Side plank, each side

Make sure to cool down completely. Quad stretches, calf stretches, figure 4, delt stretch, tricep stretch, cobra.

-Contributed by Trainer Michelle

 

The Moves

Preventing Kyphosis of the Upper Back

What is Kyphotic Spine or Kyphosis?

Kyphosis is an exaggerated or excessive curvature of the upper back.  There are many causes of kyphosis including degenerative diseases (i.e. arthritis), osteoporosis, developmental problems, injury, trauma, and poor posture.

Poor posture and a sedentary lifestyle are the main causes behind kyphotic spine symptoms in children and adults.  When individuals have weak abdominal muscles and tight hamstrings, it can result in bad posture, mild to severe back pain, stiffness or tenderness in the spine, muscle fatigue and slouching.  Today, many Americans spend hours unconsciously slouching in front of a computer or television, or sitting in workspaces with poor posture and bad ergonomics.  It can take its toll on our bodies.

Kyphosis Exercises

Preventative Care:

As with many health concerns, it is much easier to prevent kyphosis from occurring that it is to reverse the condition.  The good news is that stretching and exercise can help prevent kyphosis from occurring.  There are several simple exercises you can incorporate in your daily life to help bring awareness to your upper body and posture.

Target areas: 

The goal with kyphosis exercises is to stretch the tight areas like the chest and hamstrings and to strengthen the weak areas such as the upper back and abdominals.  Here are a few exercises designed to address these target areas:

Shoulder Blade Squeeze

While seated or standing, slowly tuck your chin to your chest.  Keeping your chest open, draw your shoulder blades together and hold for a couple of seconds. Repeat.   Reminders! Relax and drop your shoulders while you perform this exercise.  Breathe.  Do this multiple times a day. You can do it anywhere!  Also Jessica demonstrates here another option.

Door Frame Stretch

You can stretch your chest and shoulders in a number of ways using a door frame. Position your body close to a door frame with one foot generally centered in the frame and the other foot one step back.  Place hands on door frame (your hands should be slightly in front of you in the starting position.  Gently shift your weight forward until you feel a good stretch (see photos). Switch which leg is forward and repeat stretch.  You can place arms at other angles to get a different stretch.

Hamstring Stretch

Lie on your back on the floor or on a mat.  Wrap a towel, robe tie, exercise band, etc. around one foot or leg.  Keep the other leg stretched out and relaxed on the floor. Gently pull the towel toward you until you feel you are getting an adequate stretch, keeping the other leg relaxed and flat on the mat.  Hold the stretch for three slow and controlled breaths and release.  Repeat stretch on same leg.  Switch and repeat on opposite leg.  Reminders!  Many of us have tight hamstrings.  Be gentle with this stretch.  The towel/strap is designed to provide you with the control you need to adjust the stretch so it works for your body and comfort level.  Don’t forget to breathe continuously throughout this exercise.

Reverse Fly

For this exercise, you will need a set of dumbbells. Keeping your back straight and your abdominals engaged, sit on a stool or chair and hold the weights. Bend over with your chest toward your knees, head down and the weights below your knees. Lift your arms out to the sides, no higher than shoulder level, the shoulder blades together. Return to start position. Perform 3 sets of 10 repetitions. Reminder! Make sure your elbows are slightly bent. Do not lift arms higher than shoulder level.

Benefits of Core Conditioning

Most people may think of core conditioning as “abdominal conditioning/strengthening,” but core conditioning is more than the proverbial six pack abs.  While abdominal strength is important, core conditioning focuses on back (erector spinae and multifidus); abdominals (external and internal obliques, traverse abdominis, and rectus abdominus); and pelvis/hips (pelvic floor).  Core conditioning builds balance and stability and improves posture. It trains the muscles in your upper body to all work together as a solid unit to support your frame and minimize injury, aches, and pains.  Core conditioning tackles many of symptoms of kyphosis—weak upper back and abdominal muscles/tight chest and hamstrings. Integrating core conditioning into your daily routine, even one or two of the simple stretches outlined above, will make a difference in the way your body feels on a regular basis and may help prevent kyphosis in the future.

The Moves

A Weekend Workout from Trainer Michelle

Equipment needed: YOU!

This is a full body workout that is pretty low-impact, though strength intensive. It is a body weight workout, so you can do it anywhere! To make counting easy, do 15 of each exercise and go through each set 2-3x, depending on how much time you have available. In between each set, there will be a cardio “burst” to get your heart rate up and blood pumping!

5-10 minute warm up

Include butt kicks, high knees, toy soldiers (straight legs, touch toes), tap backs (each leg taps back one at a time), side stretches, run in place, arm circles forward and back.

Set #1

  1. Squat – regular squat, feet hip width’s distance apart, keep weight on your heels
  2. Push-up on knees, or on toes on the ground, or on a bench or other stable higher surface
  3. Plank to side plank – Go from either elbow/knee, straight arm/knee, elbow/toes or straight arm/toes and lift one arm at a time bringing your body into a sideways T. Alternate sides for 15 per side

Cardio Burst

25 jumping jacks (for low impact, tap out the feet from side to side, and bring arms up to shoulders)

Set #2

  1. Lateral (side) lunge – step to the right with your right leg, shifting your body weight over your right leg, squatting to a 90-degree angle at the right knee. Keep left leg straight. Repeat. Do 15 times on right side, then repeat on left side.
  2. Tricep Side-lying Press  – lie on your left side on the ground. Wrap your left arm around your body. Your right hand will be on the ground, with your fingertips facing towards your head and your elbow bent at 90 degrees. Press yourself up with your right hand, straightening your right arm. Do 15 times, then repeat on the other side
  3. Supine elbow to knee (bicycle) – Lying on your back, with your hands behind your head, bring your right elbow to your left knee, and left elbow to right knee. Do 15 times on each side (total of 30)

Cardio Burst

Football fast feet – get low into a wide legged squat, then run in place with your arms pumping. Time yourself on this one – try to go at least a minute!

Set #3

  1. Front lunge with rotation – Step rt leg forward into a lunge, then turn torso to the right. Do 15 times on the right side, then switch to the left side
  2. Down dog pushups – From downward facing dog, bend arms, letting head go towards the ground.
  3. Bridge with leg lift – lay on back, knees bent, feet on the ground. Lift hips, and one leg at a time. Do 15 times on each leg

Cardio Burst

Burpees!  Check it:  this guy is sure excited about them!! ; )

Cool Down

Stretching to include your legs (hamstring, quad, calf), pigeon, arms (arm across chest, tricep stretch) and core (cobra, childs pose)

 

-Contributed by Trainer Michelle

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Community News, Motivation, The Moves

Put a Bird on it!

Whew what a session!

We had lots of fun in the everyday July sun with all of our dedicated campers in Seward and Volunteer Parks.  Seward Park Trainers Stephanie and Jessica, and Volunteer Park Trainer Michelle started picking up the pace in our workouts and with such wonderful weather we were able to use all areas of the parks without limitations.

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Put a bird on it! Trainer Jessica was joined by a sweet juvenile pigeon for the duration of a workout! No it’s not photo-shopped, and yes it was a live bird!

Down at Seward we used the 20 some empty but heavy metal trash cans that littered the amphitheater as spontaneous workout tools that were left by the annual Filipino festival on the weekend.  We played on the trails, the benches, the hills, and made up unique challenges for our workouts.

The most magical thing happened on the second to last day of camp… a pigeon joined Trainer Jessica’s workout standing nearby her and then jumping on her arm as she warmed up.  Jessica let the pigeon stay and in fact it stood on her head for most of the workout.  (Apparently it was a lost juvenile homing pigeon… it meeped so sweetly and luckily an early bird staff person was in the office at the Audubon Society headquarters nearby and we delivered the bird to them.)   To quote one camper: “This was the best Booty Camp entertainment ever.”  Indeed!  To see a video of the action please check out our Facebook page HERE.

On the last day of camp down at Seward Park we challenged our campers to do a 5k route with a hefty hill challenge in the middle for the morning workout.  It was a wonderful feeling to have 3 campers who had never done one before arrive without any expectations and rise to the occasion making it the whole way!  Congrats also go out to Mary R. who, after three camp sessions went from a 15 min mile to an 11 min mile.  It is on these days that we all are re-inspired to continue inspiring and keep on keepin’ on!