Four Quick Ways To “Fix” Your Squat
Ask any trainer what their biggest form pet peeve is? Almost always, it’s squats. It drives us crazy, lol. Men & women alike. Beginners & advanced alike. Squats are always high on the list for biggest fitness offenders.
Squats are all about the booty, but many people feel it in their quads more. While your quads are doing some of the work, overcompensation for improper form may put too much strain on the front of the thigh (and knees) instead of the back of the thigh (booty, hamstrings). A few quick fixes can help put the work back where it belongs. :)
YOUR FEET ROLL IN
If your feet “roll in” (knees tend to lean in for a kiss as you squat), you’re probably putting too much strain on them (hence why many people worry about their knees when they squat). If this happens, try to spread the floor apart with your feet: imagine trying to smooth out a wrinkled towel that you’re standing on. This usually rights the issue, but it will feel uncomfortable at first. It gets easier with practice.
Spring has sprung and this girl is taking advantage! The bulk of my workouts are OUTSIDE during these months: playgrounds, parks, parking lots, the canal, the mountain - the city becomes my ‘gym’. I’m on my 5th ‘outsy’ in a week, and feeling oh, sooooo good. Just the thing I needed. :)
Working out outside has MANY perks: it’s free, fresh and you can do something different everyday. Unlike working out at home or at the gym, you’re free to explore the world and play without confinement or limitations. It can be a lot of fun (and a great mood booster), but despite all it’s awesomeness, there are a few drawbacks to getting sweaty on the go. If you’re smart, they are fairly easy to overcome with a wee bit of planning.
When it comes to getting sweaty outside, here are a few takeaways, tips, tricks and ideas that I’ve accumulated over the last few years!
9 SWEAT OUTSIDE Tips
1. Don’t ditch your old, dirty yoga mats! Old mats are the bomb. Your brand new, gorgeous, super expensive yoga mat WILL get dirty on the go. Save it for fancy yoga class, and bring old ratty-tat-mat with you to the park. (Towels & blankets work too, or you can buy a cheaper mat for your outdoor adventures for around $15-$25 bucks).
2. Not all parks are lean, clean havens. When doing work on the ground, take a quick look and make sure you’re not about to put your hands in glass, trash, dog poop, little rocks etc. I always have sanitizer & bandaids with me: you never know when you’ll need them and I don’t want to have to slow down if I can help it. I also like to wear gloves when working out outdoors: less mess, a little padding and yeah, they make me feel bad ass. You can opt for a fancy pair of workout lifting gloves, or inexpensive, plain cut off, cotton winter mini-gloves.
3. Bring water (duh) and a snack (double duh). Make sure to eat before, but have something ready to nosh on if you’re doing a long workout (if you have to stop for a snack when you’re already hungry, chances are it won’t be as good for you). I like bananas, carrots, protein bars, and even sometimes a small turkey/chicken wrap.
Fitness and body odor. Oh boy.
Hey, it happens, right? To be expected? Part of the game?
While the VAST majority of people go to great lengths to minimize their own stink at the gym, sometimes you have to deal with those who could use a little Body Odor 101. And it can be VERY uncomfortable to have that conversation whether you’re a friend, trainer, instructor or just another regular at the gym.
Thought I’d shed a few tidbits about what I’ve learned about B.O., hygeine, how to tell if YOU smell and how to tell someone else they smell… when you REALLY don’t want to.
Dealing With Body Odor As A Trainer
First off, being a personal trainer is AWESOME. I get to watch people get stronger, faster & more confident. I get to see change first hand and teach people new things. I get to be a part of someone’s transformation, and I love being able to witness the speed bumps and triumphs along the way.
But there are downsides to being a trainer. And one of them is dealing with other people’s odor. 99% of the time, it’s cool. I don’t mind it and it doesn’t even faze me. Most of the time, I don’t even notice or think about it. But that other 1% of the time? I sometimes feel a little nauseous. And uncomfortable. And awkward.
I’m sorry if that offends you. But it’s true. And every, single trainer or instructor out there will tell you that it’s one of the MOST uncomfortable topics when it comes to training someone for the first time.
Here are a few tips that can help you stay motivated before, during and after your workout! They’ll help save you time, help you get a more effective sweat on and prevent oh-so-horrible burnout. :)
1. On The Warmup: Swap The Jump Rope For Squats & Pushups
Instead of jumping rope, jogging or other typical warm up activities, focus more on the muscle groups you’re planning on using during THAT workout. That means if you’ve planned pushups later on, do a few modified versions in your warm up. Body weight squats, lunges, kicks, punches etc. Warm up and target the specific muscle groups you’re about to kill.
Sometimes, especially if I’m doing a circuit, I’ll do an easy version of it during my warmup: modified pushups, burpees, body weight squats etc. In addition to raising my heart rate, it also pumps blood into those muscle groups.
Switching it up in this fashion can mean you’re able to do more reps, burn more calories, and put more intensity into the moves during your workout. Just one rule: conserve your energy. Don’t go full out! Do just a few reps &/or modified versions.
2. On Excuses: Shhhhh, Enough!
We’re all busy, sore, tired, lazy etc… The list of reasons NOT to exercise will always be longer than the list of reasons TO exercise.
If we only worked out when we felt amazing, most of us would hardly workout at all! We also all have cycles of feeling lazy, less enthusiastic etc. The real work comes into play when we push past those points.
Double check your excuse: if you’re procrastinating, feeling lazy or otherwise putting it off, call yourself on your own bullshizz. The best tough love comes from ourselves!
Tip: Commit to 5-10 minutes and see how you feel. Work on getting your head in the game and have FUN with it. Remember that while you might not feel like exercising right NOW, that can change after a good 10 minutes of moving.
3. On Long Workouts: All Or Nothing? Nah…
You don’t have to pack your workout into just one time slot and it doesn’t need to be a full hour to be effective.The more intense your workout, the shorter it can be. So add short sprints of high intensity, do intervals, or split up your workout into 2 mini-sessions if you can’t do everything all at once.
You also don’t have to do an intense workout each and every time you hit the gym! 20 minutes of something is better than nothing, and can certainly help you reach your goal faster. If nothing else, it’ll feel oh so good. :)