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How To Become More Present During Your Workouts

So you are working out at the gym or at your home and you are constantly becoming distracted by people walking around, remembering what happened during your day, or thinking about what you are doing after your workout. These distractions happen to all of us and may hinder us from enjoying our experience during our workout. The following are reasons why considering to become more present in your workouts can possibly help you out in the short and long term: (from my own personal experience)

·        You feel your body moving more effectively and also become aware of any weak points you may have.

o   Especially with compound movements (squats, push ups, etc.) We can easily get lost with the ideal of completing the workout without considering any aches or pains. Being more present and aware can help us spot these weak points and make adjustments or even stop if necessary.

·        Feeling if you are moving to quickly and need to slow down your tempo to increase time under tension.

o   Do you ever feel that you are moving too quickly and the movements feel too easy? Maybe slowing the movement down and actually feel your muscles doing the work in a slow, controlled manner may help out.

·        You have a better idea with how long your rest periods need to be in between sets.

o   Having a timer can be great or listening to your body to see if you are rested enough or if you are over-resting can help dui=ring your workouts.

·        Knowing if what you are doing is actually enjoyable for you and you aren’t just ‘going with the flow’. (minimizing or even preventing boredom)

o   No one likes a boring workout. Maybe you are in the habit of doing the same exercises over and over which aren’t proving results. In some cases people don’t know other exercises or feel uncomfortable doing new exercises on their own. Having a trainer can help you create exciting, safe, and new workouts.

o   Bonus tip: Creating your own or having a trainer create a workout plan with the exact exercises need with reps, sets, rest periods, and tempo can help you become more present and immersed in your workout since you don’t have to think about what to do next and you can focus on the current rep you are performing.

 Share this with a friend that can use these tips and feel free to ask me any questions, provide feedback, or give suggestions on future topics. Thank you for your time and see you next week!

 

Marcos Hurtado CPT, CES

Owner of On The Go Fitness

 

onthego.fitness

 

Are Carbs Evil or Are They Healthy?

The simple answer is not all of them. But you clicked on this post to find out more so I’ll explain how carbohydrates work and the difference between simple and complex carbohydrates.

For starters, let’s talk about Complex Carbohydrates. Carbs are our main source of energy (that explains why people on low carb diets usually resort to coffee and pre-workout supplements) and are easily metabolized by the body. Our cells use it for energy after it’s converted to glucose and also store in our muscles and liver as energy stores. It’s also needed for our vital organs to function properly, and aid the synthesis of nonessential amino acids (the ones our body creates)

Fiber, which is a form of carbohydrate found in plant foods that is essential for a healthy digestive system. Unfortunately, most Americans consume on average 15 grams of fiber a day due to a lack of consuming whole plant foods that are rich in fiber. It is suggested to eat about 40-50 grams of fiber per day from food instead of depending on a fiber supplement.

There are two types of fiber:

·        Soluble Fiber can lower LDL Cholesterol and aid with regulating blood sugar. It is found in legumes, oats, and berries.

·        Insoluble Fiber prevents constipation and can be found in grains, seeds, and many vegetables.

Carbs don’t sound so evil now right? But I know you may still have some doubts since there are countless diets that recommend eating less carbohydrates, but at times forget to mention the real ‘villain’ of this story: Simple Carbohydrates.

Simple Carbs are usually highly refines grains that lose around 80% of their nutrients while being processed. Although some of these foods are fortified with vitamins and minerals, but our body can absorb nutrients from whole plant foods more effectively. Also, simple carbs increase blood sugar and insulin which can lead to Type 2 Diabetes and obesity.

In a nutshell, eat plenty of whole, plant based foods (good carbs) and minimize or avoid all processed, refined foods (bad carbs)

Share this with a friend that can use these tips and feel free to ask me any questions, provide feedback, or give suggestions on future topics. Thank you for your time and see you next week!

 

Marcos Hurtado CPT, CES

Owner of On The Go Fitness

 

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Source: Adapted from Campbell TM. The China Study Solution: The Simple Way to Lose Weight and Reverse Illness,

Using The China Study's Whole-Food, Plant-Based Diet. New York, NY: Rodale, Inc.; 2015. (previously published as The

Campbell Plan)

 

There Is NO SUCH THING As a Magic Pill, But There is…

…hard work, consistency, and enjoying the process. I can end this blog post right there, but I will go more in depth. ‘Magic Pill’ products are usually sold as a shortcut that will give you your desired result as in fat loss, muscle gain, increased strength, increased energy, or a combination of any of the previously mentioned. Although there has been success stories using these types of products in the past, they are usually obtained with the combination of an effective and consistent exercise and nutrition plan.

               So what I’m trying to say is that the results can be obtained without any magic pill. What I can work as a placebo to get you started and motivated on a healthier routine, so they aren’t the worst investment ever, but I wouldn’t say they are necessary to reach your goal or kick start a healthier lifestyle.

               Besides, being present in a healthier lifestyle is one of the most gratifying experiences you can have on a daily basis. From my own experience, eating mostly foods in their close to their whole, original state and exercising with compound, whole body movements has been beneficial with body fat loss, muscle gain, strength gain, and increased energy throughout the day. Maybe the magic pill we are looking for isn’t in store shelves or being promoted by photoshopped Instagram models. Maybe it’s within us and we may need a bit of help to begin and maintain a healthier lifestyle. Check out my web site at onthego.fitness to see if I can be of service to you to help kickstart your mind and body to make healthier choices in your everyday life.

Share this with a friend that can use these tips and feel free to ask me any questions, provide feedback, or give suggestions on future topics. Thank you for your time and see you next week!

 

Marcos Hurtado CPT, CES

Owner of On The Go Fitness

 

onthego.fitness

Is Getting Ready For a Summer Body Every Year a Good Idea?

It’s late March again and you want to get ready for your beach body since it’s becoming warm again. Your eating habits dragged on a bit passed the New Year and those resolutions slipped away the second you woke up feeling sore from, your first workout in months. Why does this keep happening? Why are you constantly going in a cycle? Why aren’t these fad diets and trendy workout plans delivering as promised? One or all of these questions have come to mind for us and yet, we feel that we are in a never ending loop of rushing to get in shape to go enjoy the warm weather and the beaches to the fullest extent, yet we forget the main reason why our goals seem so far from our reach….. healthy fitness and nutritional habits are a year-round habit.   

The following points are commonly seen with the trendy summer body routine:

·       You may unintentially be stuck in a cycle of fluctuating weight on a drastic level. As in 20-25 lbs heavier in the winter than in the summer, which can lead to health issues.

·       You may not feel or be healthy year round

·       It can become expensive to constantly spend money on supplements and workout programs every year.

·       Lowered self-esteem from constantly expecting from reaching a certain weight

·       Trendy diets and workout plans are usually ineffective

·       Deprivation from certain foods may lead to binge eating in the long run

Instead of constantly being in a seasonal cycle, why not become active and healthy year round? You will feel great, be ready for your vacation or the beach every month of the year,  and you will feel healthier!

Here at On The Go Fitness, we place a HUGE emphasis in creating simple and effective steps to move, look, and feel better year round by guiding you towards building habits for yourself. We hold you accountable until you are ready to venture on your own and also provide online resources to help you improve on your habits or help you get back on track if you happen to slip up a bit. Check out our website at onthego.fitness for more info. I hope this information helped and provide you a different perspective from what is commonly practiced.

Share this with a friend that can use these tips and feel free to ask me any questions, provide feedback, or give suggestions on future topics. Thank you for your time and see you next week!

 

Marcos Hurtado CPT, CES

Owner of On The Go Fitness

 

onthego.fitness

Protect Your Back: How To Hip Hinge

           The Hip hinge, also known as the bend pattern is usually ‘forgotten’ by the body from sitting down so much and bending through your spine instead. Which leads to chronic back pain and muscle imbalances. Common bending patterns are deadlifts, kettlebell swings, Olympic lifts, and picking stuff off the ground (shocking, I know).           

The key points to keep in mind while performing the hip hinge:

·       Feet: On your toes, pointing straight, weight on your heels, toes down.

·       Legs: Straight and braced for stabilization. Knees over toes, not caving inwards.

·       Hips/Torso: Abs and glutes braced while keeping a neutral spine and pelvis

·       Shoulders: Neutral and should not round forward

·       Neck/Head: Neutral, chin down. Be mindful if your head protrudes forward.

·       Keep your chest up, shoulders back, and brace your core and glutes.

·       Bending from your ankles, knees, and hips.

 

Here are the 5 hip hinge variations that I will demonstrate today. Try doing 2-3 sets of 15-20 reps in a safe and proper manner before advancing to the next variation:

 

 

1.     Body Weight Hip Hinge:

a.     If you have never done a hip hinge pattern or have trouble doing one, start here.

2.     Single Leg Toe Touch:

a.     When the hip hinge become too easy on two legs, try it out on one leg.

3.     Single Leg Deadlift:

a.     Similar to the single leg toe touch, except with added weight on one hand.

4.     Kettlebell Swings:

a.     Quick tip: Make sure your shoulders do not round excessively while holding the kettlebell.

5.     Deadlift:

a.     Start off with your feet shoulder width apart, feet pointing forward, bodyweight on your heels,  neutral pelvis and spine (back not rounding or arching), bracing your abs and glutes, shoulders rolled back to neutral state, shoulder blades neutral (not shrugging) and eyes looking forward.

b.     Have your toes go over the barbell on the ground, then reach for the barbell with your arms shoulder width apart.

c.      Maintain a solid grip on the barbell, keep your elbows pointing behind you and bend forward from your ankles, knees, and hips.

d.     Straighten your legs while pushing the ground with your heels and bracing your abs, glutes, and legs.

e.     Remain upright and then proceed to bend again from your hips, knees, and ankles to lower the weight while keeping a neutral spine.

 

 

Share this with a friend that can use these tips and feel free to ask me any questions, provide feedback, or give suggestions on future topics. Thank you for your time and see you next week!

 

Marcos Hurtado CPT, CES

Owner of On The Go Fitness

 

onthego.fitness

5 Core Exercises For Stability And Posture Awareness

            How many crunches does it take to get a six pack? A common question that is asked by many people. The thing is that your core (your trunk, everything that is not your limbs and your head) work as isometric or dynamic stabilizers and not as prime movers. The core is the battleship and your limbs are the cannon. You need a stable core while moving your limbs for optimal movement.

 

Today, I’m going over 5 exercise that emphasize on the core as a stabilizer while moving your arms and/or legs. Try them out yourself and see if you feel a difference.

            The key points to keep in mind while bracing your core with all of these exercises:

·       Hips/Torso: Abs and glutes braced while keeping a neutral spine and pelvis

·       Shoulders: Neutral and should not round forward or shrug

·       Neck/Head: Also neutral. Be mindful if your head protrudes forward.

 

Here are the 5 core that I will demonstrate today. Try doing 2-3 sets of 1 min (for #1-2) and 10-12 reps (for #3-5) of each exercise. If done incorrectly, you may feel a bit of discomfort so adjust accordingly.

 

 

1.     Plank:

 

a.     Feet: On your toes, curled up

b.     Legs: Straight and braced for stabilization.

2.     Isometric standing with resistance:

 

a.     You can use resistance tubing or a cable machine for this exercise.

b.     Stand upright and hold the handle in front of you and preventing the resistance from pulling you.

c.      Make sure to do this exercise on both sides.

3.     Dead Bugs:

a.     Start out on your back with your arms extended at shoulder height.

b.     Have your feet raise and knees bent.

c.      Raise your arms towards your head and extend your legs, then return to the starting position.

4.     Standing Diagonal Twists:

a.     You can use resistance tubing or a cable machine for this exercise.

b.     Stand upright and hold the handle in front of you and preventing the resistance from pulling you.

c.      Twist your torso without shrugging your shoulders diagonally

d.     Return to the starting position.

5.     Hanging Leg Raises

a.     Hang on to a pull-up bar with a solid grip.

b.     Lower your shoulder blades and raise your legs to about 90 degrees. Come back down in a controlled tempo.

 

Share this with a friend that can use these tips and feel free to ask me any questions, provide feedback, or give suggestions on future topics. Thank you for your time and see you next week!

 

Marcos Hurtado CPT, CES

Owner of On The Go Fitness

 

onthego.fitness

5 Lunge Variations

Lunges are really long steps….. that’s a good way to describe them. They are great for single-leg strength, stability, and balance (works your core too). They are also an exercise that is commonly practiced, yet it is commonly done incorrectly in an unsafe and ineffective manner. Poor posture from daily activities and lack of knowledge of doing them. I am here to provide simple, step-by-step progressions to be able to perform lunges in a safe and effective manner.

            The key points to keep in mind while performing all variations of Lunges:

·       Feet:

o   Forward foot: Toes pointing straight, weight on your heels, toes down.

o   Back foot: Toes pointing straight, weight on your toes/balls of feet, heel off the ground.

·       Legs:

o   Forward foot: Triple flexed (ankle, knee, and hip) on the way down, triple extension on the way up. Knees should not pass your toes while coming downwards. Brace your leg muscles on both legs.

o   Left foot: Starting position is already flexed and stabilizing.

·       Hips/Torso: Abs and glutes braced while keeping a neutral spine and pelvis

·       Shoulders: Neutral and should not round forward

·       Neck/Head: Also neutral. Be mindful if your head protrudes forward.

 

Here are the 5 Lunge variations that I will demonstrate today. Try doing 2-3 sets of 10-12 reps on each leg in a safe and proper manner before advancing to the next variation:

 

 

1.     Static Lunge:

a.     If you have never done lunges or have trouble doing one, start here. Just follow the steps above.

DSC00019.JPG

2.     Forward Lunge:

a.     Start this lunge out in a standing position with both feet together. Take a step forward and then proceed to do the lunge pattern. Return to the standing position and repeat with the same or opposite leg.

3.     Back Lunge:

a.     Start this lunge out in a standing position with both feet together. Take a step backward and then proceed to do the lunge pattern. Return to the standing position and repeat with the same or opposite leg.

4.     Side Lunge:

a.     Start this lunge out in a standing position with both feet together. Take a step sideways and then proceed to do the lunge pattern. Return to the standing position and repeat with the same or opposite leg.

5.     Jump Lunge.

a.     A more advanced lunge that should only be done when you have the proper stability, strength, and power to do so. It’s similar to the static lunge except for the explosiveness of the jump.

 

Share this with a friend that can use these tips and feel free to ask me any questions, provide feedback, or give suggestions on future topics. Thank you for your time and see you next week!

 

Marcos Hurtado CPT, CES

Owner of On The Go Fitness

onthego.fitness

5 Pull Up Variations

            Pull Ups. An exercise that is commonly practiced, yet it is commonly done incorrectly in an unsafe and ineffective manner. Poor posture from daily activities and lack of knowledge of doing them. I am here to provide simple, step-by-step progressions to be able to perform planks in a safe and effective manner.

            The key points to keep in mind while performing all variations of Pull Ups:

·       Hands: Grip the bar with your thumb parallel to the bar, palms pointing outwards. Curl your other fingers over. Keep your hands shoulder width apart.

·       Legs: Straight and braced for stabilization.

·       Hips/Torso: Abs and glutes braced while keeping a neutral spine and pelvis

·       Shoulders: Neutral and should not round forward, let your body hang, then lower your shoulder blades right before pulling your body upwards.

·       Neck/Head: Also neutral. Be mindful if your head protrudes forward. Look slightly upwards.

·       Torso upright.

·       And simply pull your body upwards by pointing your chest upwards, driving your elbows down, and bringing your shoulder blades together. Touch the bar with your chest or come as close as possible. Come back down in a slow, controlled manner.

 

Here are the 5 Pull Up variations that I will demonstrate today. Try doing 2-3 sets of as many reps as you can in a safe and proper manner before advancing to the next variation:

 

1.     Banded Pull Up:

a.     If you have never done a pull up or have trouble doing one, start here. Grab a resistance band and wrap it around the band and step on the band to assist you with doing pull ups. An additional option is using the pull up assistance machine in certain gyms/health clubs.  If this one is too challenging, perform a small hop to give you a boost.

2.     Box/Chair Pull Up

a.     When Banded Pull Ups become too easy, stand on a stable chair or box (careful please) and then proceed to do the pull up.

3.     Neutral Pull Up:

a.     For this variation, repeat the steps shown above.

4.     Chin Up:

a.     For this variation, simply switch the grip with your palms facing towards you.

20170214_112558.jpg

5.     Wide Grip Pull Up:

a.     For this variation, simply have your hands wider than shoulder width apart.

 

I hope you learned something new from this blog. Share this with a friend that can use these tips and feel free to ask me any questions, provide feedback, or give suggestions on future topics. Thank you for your time and see you next week!

 

Marcos Hurtado CPT, CES

Owner of On The Go Fitness

onthego.fitness

5 Plank Variations

Planks. An exercise that is commonly practiced, yet it is commonly done incorrectly in an unsafe and ineffective manner. Poor posture from daily activities and lack of knowledge of doing them. I am here to provide simple, step-by-step progressions to be able to perform planks in a safe and effective manner.

            The key points to keep in mind while performing all variations of Planks:

·       Feet: On your toes, curled up

·       Legs: Straight and braced for stabilization.

·       Hips/Torso: Abs and glutes braced while keeping a neutral spine and pelvis

·       Shoulders: Neutral and should not round forward

·       Neck/Head: Also neutral. Be mindful if your head protrudes forward.

·       Torso slightly upright.

 

Here are the 5 plank variations that I will demonstrate today. Try doing 2-3 sets of 45- 60 seconds in a safe and proper manner before advancing to the next variation:

 

 

1.     Incline Plank:

a.     If you have never done a plank or have trouble doing one, start here. If this one is too challenging, try doing it from your knees,

2.     Neutral Plank:

a.     When incline planks become too easy, find a flat surface and follow the key points shown above.

3.     Decline plank:

a.     For this variation, make sure your torso does not sink downwards.

4.     Single Leg Planks:

a.     Be aware if your body wants to lean on one side. Keep your body as neutral as possible and don’t forget to do this variation with each foot up.

5.     Weighted Planks:

a.     Have someone there to help you place and remove the weight for you. Keep your spine and hips neutral.

I hope you learned something new from this blog. Share this with a friend that can use these tips and feel free to ask me any questions, provide feedback, or give suggestions on future topics. Thank you for your time and see you next week!

 

Marcos Hurtado CPT, CES

Owner of On The Go Fitness

 

onthego.fitness

5 Unloaded Squat Variations

Squats. An exercise that is commonly practiced, yet it is commonly done incorrectly in an unsafe and ineffective manner. Poor posture from daily activities and lack of knowledge of doing them. I am here to provide simple, step-by-step progressions to be able to perform squats in a safe and effective manner.

            The key points to keep in mind while performing all variations of Squats:

·       Feet: On your toes, pointing straight, weight on your heels, toes down.

·       Legs: Straight and braced for stabilization. Knees over toes, not caving inwards.

·       Hips/Torso: Abs and glutes braced while keeping a neutral spine and pelvis

·       Shoulders: Neutral and should not round forward

·       Neck/Head: Also neutral. Be mindful if your head protrudes forward.

·       Torso parallel to your shins while squatting.

·       Bending from your ankles, knees, and hips.

 

Here are the 5 unloaded squat variations that I will demonstrate today. Try doing 2-3 sets of 15-20 reps in a safe and proper manner before advancing to the next variation:

 

 

1.     Box (chair) Squat:

a.     If you have never done a squat or have trouble doing one, start here.

2.     Swiss Ball Squat:

a.     When Box Squats become too easy, find a stable wall and place a swiss ball in between your back and the wall. Make sure you are not leaning too much on the swiss ball.

3.     Wall Squat

a.     For this variation, make sure your legs are in a 90 degree angle. Take quick short breaths and hold this position as long as you can while bracing your legs, glutes, and core.

4.     Standard Squats:

a.     These are pretty challenging and if possible, hold a weight in front of you for a counterbalance and to strengthen and better align your core.

5.     Jump Squat

a.     A more advanced squat that should only be done when you have the proper stability, strength, and power to do so. 

Share this with a friend that can use these tips and feel free to ask me any questions, provide feedback, or give suggestions on future topics. Thank you for your time and see you next week!

 

Marcos Hurtado CPT, CES

Owner of On The Go Fitness

 

onthego.fitness

5 Progressive Variations For Push-Ups

Push-ups. An exercise that is commonly practiced, yet it is commonly done incorrectly in an unsafe and ineffective manner. Poor posture from daily activities and lack of knowledge of doing them. I am here to provide simple, step-by-step progressions to be able to perform push-ups in a safe and effective manner.

            The key points to keep in mind while performing all variations of push-ups:

·       Feet: On your toes, pointing straight

·       Legs: Straight and braced for stabilization

·       Hips/Torso: Abs and glutes braced while keeping a neutral spine and pelvis

·       Shoulders: Neutral and should not round forward

·       Neck/Head: Also neutral. Be mindful if your head protrudes forward.

·       Elbows: ‘Tucked in’ as in pointing behind you instead of flaring outwards (pointing on the sides)

·       Hands: Flat on the ground, underneath your shoulders, shoulder width apart from each other, and fingers spread out. Keep your weight on the entire hand and not just your wrist.

·       Starting: After you found your ideal starting position, keep your core braced and push your body off the ground while keeping a neutral spine and extending (straightening) your elbows.

·       Finish: Keep your core braced, maintain a neutral spine, and bend your elbows to about 90 degrees. Repeat.

 

Here are the 5 push-up variations that I will demonstrate today. Try doing 2-3 sets of 15-20 reps in a safe and proper manner before advancing to the next variation:

1.     Wall Push-Up

a.     If you have never done a push-up or have trouble doing one, start here.

2.     Incline Push-Up

a.     When Wall Push-Ups become too easy, find a stable area in a decline where you can perform your push-ups.

3.     Knee Push-Up:

a.     Finding an area that can support your knees helps with doing these properly and without discomfort. 

4.     Standard Push-Up:

a.     Placing a dowel rod or PVC pipe (not shown) while doing these help with alignment awareness.

5.     Plyometric Push-Up:

a.     A more advanced push-up that should only be done when you have the proper stability, strength, and power to do so. 

Share this with a friend that can use these tips and feel free to ask me any questions, provide feedback, or give suggestions on future topics. Thank you for your time and see you next week!

 

Marcos Hurtado CPT, CES

Owner of On The Go Fitness

 

onthego.fitness

My 4 Favorite Standing Barbell Exercises

Hi everyone, today’s blog is all about my favorite exercise tool. The barbell! For those of you who aren’t familiar with the barbell, it’s the long, metal bar that ranges in weight from 15-45lbs (45lbs being the most common) There are many variations to the barbell ranging from the handles, size, and purpose.

            These 4 exercises I’m demonstrating today can also be done with other equipment that is not the barbell, like dumbbells, resistance bands, kettlebells, etc. But I personally prefer the barbell since more weight can be added. Doing these exercises while standing helps with core engagement and proper body alignment when used properly. 

1.     Overhead Press

a.     Start off with your feet shoulder width apart, feet pointing forward, bodyweight on your heels, neutral pelvis and spine (back not rounding or arching), bracing your abs and glutes, shoulders rolled back to neutral state, shoulder blades neutral (not shrugging) and eyes looking forward. (I know it’s a lot, but it’s worth doing these in a safe manner)

b.     Grab the barbell with your hands shoulder width apart, elbows pointing downwards and bring it to your collarbone area.

c.      Press the barbell over your head, bracing your abs and glutes, and going upwards in a direct path (as close as possible)

d.     Slowly bring the weight back down to your collarbone area.

2.     Bent Over Rows

a.     Start off with your feet shoulder width apart, feet pointing forward, bodyweight on your heels,  neutral pelvis and spine (back not rounding or arching), bracing your abs and glutes, shoulders rolled back to neutral state, shoulder blades neutral (not shrugging) and eyes looking forward.

b.     Have your toes go over the barbell on the ground, then reach for the barbell with your arms shoulder width apart.

c.      Maintain a solid grip on the barbell, keep your elbows pointing behind you and bend forward from your ankles, knees, and hips.

d.     Brace your abs and glutes and pull the weight off the ground by bringing your shoulder blades together to the height of your body. Lower the barbell in a controlled manner.

e.     Start off with your feet shoulder width apart, feet pointing forward, bodyweight on your heels,  neutral pelvis and spine (back not rounding or arching), bracing your abs and glutes, shoulders rolled back to neutral state, shoulder blades neutral (not shrugging) and eyes looking forward.

3.     Back Squat

a.     Start off with your feet shoulder width apart, feet pointing forward, bodyweight on your heels,  neutral pelvis and spine (back not rounding or arching), bracing your abs and glutes, shoulders rolled back to neutral state, shoulder blades neutral (not shrugging) and eyes looking forward.

b.     Step towards the barbell and place the middle of the bar on your upper traps (the upper back muscle bellow your neck)

c.      Step back and position yourself in a comfortable, yet, powerful position.

d.     Bend from your ankles, knees, and hips while remaining upright, maintaining your posture while bracing your entire legs and torso.

e.     Straighten your legs while pushing the ground with your heels and bracing your abs, glutes, and legs.

4.     Deadlift

a.     Start off with your feet shoulder width apart, feet pointing forward, bodyweight on your heels,  neutral pelvis and spine (back not rounding or arching), bracing your abs and glutes, shoulders rolled back to neutral state, shoulder blades neutral (not shrugging) and eyes looking forward.

b.     Have your toes go over the barbell on the ground, then reach for the barbell with your arms shoulder width apart.

c.      Maintain a solid grip on the barbell, keep your elbows pointing behind you and bend forward from your ankles, knees, and hips.

d.     Straighten your legs while pushing the ground with your heels and bracing your abs, glutes, and legs.

e.     Remain upright and then proceed to bend again from your hips, knees, and ankles to lower the weight while keeping a neutral spine. 

Share this with a friend that can use these tips and feel free to ask me any questions, provide feedback, or give suggestions on future topics. Thank you for your time and see you next week!

 

Marcos Hurtado CPT, CES

Owner of On The Go Fitness

 

onthego.fitness

5 Exercises To Improve Your Single Leg Balance

According to the National Academy of Sports Medicine, Single Leg Balance training has many benefits including:

·       Reduced rate of ankle sprains

·       Less chance of lower extremity injuries

·       Improvement in biomechanics

·       Great for building a stable foundation for strength and performance training

·       Helps with loss of balance with the elderly (I know, it’s obvious, but a reminder helps)

Balance training can be done in 10 minutes 3-4 times a week. So you don’t need to sacrifice too much time to implement balance training into your routine. The preferred rep/set range for these exercises (except for static holds) is 10-12 reps on each leg for 1-2 sets. Many tools can be used to create balance training progressions like BOSU balls and half foam rolls. I can write a separate blog on these tools if you guys request it and share this post with your friends. So without further ado, here are 5 single leg balance exercises you can do to help improve your balance.

 

1.     Static Balance:

a.     Start off with both feet shoulder width apart, feet pointing forward. Keeping your weight on your heels and placing your big toe down.

b.     Lift one foot off the ground and hold the position on one leg for 30 sec

2.     Multiplane Balance:

a.     Similar to the Static Balance, except you move your foot forward, sideways, then backwards while holding each position for 10 seconds on each foot.

3.     Toe Touch:

a.     Start off with both feet shoulder width apart, feet pointing forward. Keeping your weight on your heels and placing your big toe down.

b.     Bend from your ankle, knee, and hip while reaching for your toes. If you can’t reach your toe, reach for your knee or shin, whatever you can reach safely.

c.      Return to the standing position while engaging your abs, glutes, and hamstrings.

4.     Box Squat:

a.     While sitting on a chair, bench, or box, start off with both feet shoulder width apart, feet pointing forward. Keeping your weight on your heels and placing your big toe down.

b.     Stand up on one leg while engaging your abs, glutes, and hamstrings.

c.      Slowly sit back down on one leg while remaining as upright as possible and repeat. 

5.     Deadlift:

a.     While holding a dumbbell on one hand, start off with both feet shoulder width apart, feet pointing forward. Keeping your weight on your heels and placing your big toe down.

b.     Bend from your ankle, knee, and hip while reaching for your toes. If you can’t reach your toe, reach for your knee or shin, whatever you can reach safely.

c.      Return to the standing position while engaging your abs, glutes, and hamstrings.

Share this with a friend that can use these tips and feel free to ask me any questions, provide feedback, or give suggestions on future topics. Thank you for your time and see you next week!

 

Marcos Hurtado CPT, CES

Owner of On The Go Fitness

 

onthego.fitness

Five Of The Best Self-Myofascial Release Tools

Self-Myofascial release, commonly referred to as ‘foam rolling’ is a common practice to help relieve tension from the fascia, calming down overworked muscles, and helps with muscle recovery after a workout. There are plenty of tools in the market and each one has its own use. All of these tools are not required and you’ll most likely be fine with just one or two of them depending on your needs. These can be found on Amazon or at your local sporting goods store. So here is my list of 5 of the best tools for self-myofascial release.

1.     Foam Roller: The most common and known tool for self-myofascial release. You see these in your local health club or your trainer may carry one too. This tool is multi-purposed as it has uses beyond myofascial release. It can be used to improve mobility in certain areas like the thoracic spine. It is also available in different materials varying from not too hard and foamy, to having a PVC pipe with a thick, bumpy layer to grind out your muscles. I would recommend this as your number one option. Especially for beginners.

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2.     Lacrosse Ball: The most common tool suggested by massage and physical therapists (at least by my knowledge) since it is much smaller and tougher to target smaller areas. It’s pretty intense the first few times you use it on a needed area, but it gets the job done.

3.     Peanut: The peanut can be made my taping two lacrosse balls together, put them in a sock, or you can purchase a pre-made one. These work best in the upper back area in between your shoulder blades or in the areas by your knee.

4.     The Orb: The orb works similar to the lacrosse ball, except it is much larger in size. It is made of a thick, bumpy foam that is great to carry in a bag. 

5.     Thera Cane: This tool is the most unique from the five since it cannot roll, but has handles. This tool is best for hard to reach areas, like your back and neck areas. 

Our workouts, jobs, and lifestyle place a toll on our bodies. Using self-myofascial release is an effective and easy way to reduce discomfort in the body. I have gone over exercises and techniques in previous blog posts. So feel free to check those out if you like. Share this with a friend that can use these tips and feel free to ask me any questions, provide feedback, or give suggestions on future topics. Thank you for your time and see you next week!

Marcos Hurtado CPT, CES

Owner of On The Go Fitness

onthego.fitness

Overcoming fear and mental blocks while working out

A common trait that we all have (to a certain extent) as humans is fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of being judged, fear of a metal barbell with a bunch of metal and/or rubber plates, fear of monkey bars….. You get the gist of it. I will go over a few common fears that I see with people that I have worked with, seen in the gym, and also from my own experiences.

            I’ll start with one that should be brought up more often. Becoming too attached to the outcome of an exercise. Whether it’s expecting dramatic results after jogging a quarter mile, sprinting for the first time, or having an expectation of lifting a certain weight. Paying too much attention to the end result removes yourself from the actual process, which usually leads to disappointment and feeling too fearful to try again. Using all of your energy on consistency, patience, and improving on a daily basis would help you obtain those goals instead of thinking about the end result.

I’ll give two different examples to clear any confusion:

-        Before making a heavy lift in the gym, clear your mind of completing the actual lift. Just focus on your form and alignment and just go for the lift. Don’t let it intimidate your of make you feel like you accomplished a huge goal. Do your best, give yourself a pat on the back, and continue the growth process.

-        Losing/Gaining weight takes time. Letting go of the expectation that working out alone will bring you instant weight loss would help out mentally. There are many factors to weight loss including exercise intensity, nutrition, genetics, sleep patterns, stress, drugs/alcohol, etc. Having guidance in all these areas along with being patient and taking MASSIVE action lead to a higher chance of achieving your goals. (Not just wishful thinking)

Many people avoid the gym setting since they do not want to be judged. This varies per person and should be approached differently for each individual. For example, women are usually less likely to go to the free weight area full of men due to receiving too much attention. Some women just throw on their headphones, ignore everyone, and just get their workout in. Which is what I suggest for women wanting to workout in that type of environment.

What I can share from past experiences is being ‘too skinny’ or ‘too weak’ in a room full of huge, stronger men. Honestly. Just walk up there and do what you intend to do in the first place, get stronger and bigger. There is no need to overthink that is going on. 9 out of 10 guys in the gym aren’t concerned about the people around them. They are just there to make gains and get out to continue on with their day,

In a nutshell, have fun! Enjoy your workout and just focus on what you are currently doing. The result will come with time and effort. Acknowledge the fact that you may feel a bit of fear or a minor setback, then throw that thought out the window and kick ass in fitness and life every day! Thank you for your time and feel free to leave any feedback or suggestions on future topics.

 

Marcos Hurtado CPT, CES

Owner of On The Go Fitness

onthego.fitness

Prevent Low Back Pain: 5 Exercises We Do, But Forget To Engage Our Core

Low back pain can be annoying, actually, it IS annoying! It can interfere with your workout, limit your productivity at work, or stop you from playing with your kids. According to the American Chiropractic Association, 31 million people will face low back pain sometime in the next year! The problem here isn’t necessarily aging, it’s more what we do on a daily basis during every day activities and during our workouts that puts us in a position where out body can be in an awkward position that can lead to injury. As I’ve mentioned on other posts, tightness and limited movement also contribute to possible injuries.

For starters, keeping an eye on your shoulder positioning and pelvis can help ease low back pain while sitting down. I understand that is easier said than done, but we gotta start somewhere. As for exercises, forgetting to engage your core during common exercises may contribute to a weaker core, which leads to compensations from your low back, and possible injuries. So without further ado (I think that’s the 1st time I’ve ever typed that phrase) here are 5 common exercises you may be doing without engaging your core.

1.     Push Ups

a.     Start with having your hands on the ground, fingers spread out, shoulders over your wrist, and tucking in your elbows so they do not flare outwards.

b.     Brace your core by squeezing your belly button in and squeezing your glutes together. Keeping a neutral spine and pelvis. (This step will be the same for all of these exercises)

c.      Keep your toes on the ground (or knees if it’s too challenging)

d.     Bend from your elbows and do not lose control of your core. Extend your elbows to raise up. 

2.     Squats

a.     Start by keeping your feet about shoulder width, feet and eyes pointing forward.

b.     Brace your core by squeezing your belly button in and squeezing your glutes together. Keeping a neutral spine and pelvis.

c.      Bend from your ankles, knees, and hips. Maintaining an upright posture and looking forward at all times. Extend your ankles, knees, and hips to rise.

 

3.     Overhead Presses

4.     Deadlift/Bending

a.     Start by keeping your feet about shoulder width, feet and eyes pointing forward.

b.     Brace your core by squeezing your belly button in and squeezing your glutes together. Keeping a neutral spine and pelvis.

c.      Reach for the barbell with a grip slightly wider than shoulder width

d.     Extend your ankles, knees, and hips. While maintaining your core braced and keeping your spine neutral.

e.     Carefully lower the weight while maintaining your core braced and spine neutral.

5.     Planks

a.     Start with having your forearms on the ground, shoulder width apart, shoulders over your elbows, and tucking in your elbows so they do not flare outwards.

b.     Brace your core by squeezing your belly button in and squeezing your glutes together. Keeping a neutral spine and pelvis.

c.      Keep your toes on the ground (or knees if it’s too challenging)

d.     Hold it as long as you can without any sharp pain.

Next time you hit the gym, remember to engage your core and you will most likely notice reduced low back pain, increased performance, and more aligned. Share this with a friend that can use these tips and feel free to ask me any questions, provide feedback, or give suggestions on future topics. Thank you for your time and see you next week!

Marcos Hurtado CPT, CES

Owner of On The Go Fitness

onthego.fitness

5 Minute Routine That Can Replace Your Morning Coffee

Mornings can be tough. As much as we are glad that we are alive and well, we are usually half asleep and stumbling to get our day started. Most of us start the day with coffee, tea, or a failed lab experiment….. I mean pre-workout, which help out initially, but may cause a ‘crash’ after which leads you to drinking your second serving of caffeine. I’m here today to offer a quick routine to energize your body and get you ready to get out and dominate your day! 

1.     Wood Chops

a.     Start by standing upright, feet a bit wider than shoulder width apart, and grip your hands together.

b.     Raise your arms above your head, and take a deep breath.

c.      Bring your arms back down while bending your hips and knees while bracing your abs. Keeping your back as neutral as possible.

d.     Raise your body and arms again and repeat for 1 minute.

2.     Twisting Toe Touch

a.     Start by standing upright, feet a bit wider than shoulder width apart and raise one arm diagonally

b.     Reach for your toes in the opposite side while bending your hips and knees while bracing your abs. Keeping your back as neutral as possible.

c.      Return to center and repeat for 30 seconds on each side.

3.     Half Lunge To Side Bend.

a.     Start on a staggered stance and your arms raised as shown on the picture.

b.     Lunge slightly and bend your body to the side of the leg behind you.

c.      Repeat on the other leg and alternate for 1 minute.

4.     Heel Bounce

a.     Bring your heels up and down quickly and let your body shake. Take quick short breaths and repeat this 3 timed for 15 seconds. 5 second rest in between.

Excuse my small calves lol

Excuse my small calves lol

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5.     Fire Breaths

a.     Take a deep breath and expand your belly, exhale and let your belly deflate, repeat in a faster rate twice for 25 seconds with 10 second rest in between.

If you have time to prepare or buy coffee, you have time to do this energizing routine to help you out throughout your day, It can also be done in the middle of the day or before a workout. I hope you enjoyed this post and share it with someone that can benefit from this.

Marcos Hurtado CPT, CES

Owner of On The Go Fitness

onthego.fitness 

Is your desk job ruining your body? Part 5: Strengthening Exercises

Hey everyone, today is part 5 of the 5-part series of blog posts on how desk jobs may be damaging your body. I’ll go over a few strengthening exercises that will help the muscle that became weaker due to sitting for long periods of time.

1.     Face Pull

a.     Start by grabbing a band on each side around a pole.

b.     Keep your torso upright, arms a bit lower from shoulder height, and palms facing down.

c.      Bring your scapula (shoulder blades) together while driving back with your arms bent at 90 degrees. (See pictures for example)

d.     Repeat for 15 reps at a controlled tempo

2.     Rotator Cuff

a.     Stand by the side of a pole while holding a band. One hand will be in front of you with your arm at 90 degrees and your forearm parallel to the ground.

b.     Externally rotate your forearm while keeping the rest of your arm next to your

c.      Return to center and repeat for 15 reps at a controlled tempo for each arm.

3.     Scapular Depressions

a.     Start by hanging from a pull up bar with a firm grip.

b.     Lower your scapula and hold for 2 seconds

c.      Slowly lower your body by raising your scapula.

d.     Repeat for 12 reps.

4.     Floor Cobra

a.     Lay face down on the ground, palms down.

b.     Raise your torso while keeping your neck neutral and bracing your core.

c.      Hold for 2 seconds then bring your torso back down.

d.     Repeat for 15 reps. 

1.     Floor Bridges

a.     Lay on your back on the ground, feet on the ground, knees up.

b.     Raise your hips off the ground, while bracing your hamstrings and glutes.

c.      Lower your hips and repeat for 15 reps.

I hope these exercises were helpful. That’s it for the 5 Part series on exercises to help improve your posture while working a desk job. If you have any suggestions for topics, feel free to comment bellow with any ideas you have in mind.

Marcos Hurtado CPT, CES

Owner of On The Go Fitness

onthego.fitness

Is your desk job ruining your body? Part 4: Stretching

Hey everyone, today is part 4 of the 5-part series of blog posts on how desk jobs may be damaging your body. I’ll go over a few stretches that can help lengthen the muscles that may get tight while sitting of for long periods of time.

1.     Neck Stretch

a.     Start by tilting your head to one side.

b.     Push down gently on the side of your head until you feel a stretch on the side of your neck.

c.      Hold for 15-20 seconds, repeat on other side.

 

2.     Pectoral Stretch

a.     Find a corner of a wall or something stable with a handle and grab it with your thumb facing upwards.

b.     Step forward with the opposite foot and twist your upper body to the opposite direction.

c.      Hold the stretch for 20-25 seconds, repeat on other side.

3.     Hip Flexor Stretches

a.     Start in a lunge position with both legs in a 90 degree angle.

b.     Tuck your pelvis in and keep your torso upright.

c.      Hold for 20-25 seconds, repeat each side.

d.     Then, raise your arm, rotate externally, and tilt inwards.

e.     Hold for 20-25 seconds, repeat each side.

4.     Calf Stretch

a.     Stand next to a wall, place your hands against the wall and bend one leg forward, the other backwards.

b.     Stay upright and keep your heels down, torso upright.

c.      Hold for 25-30 seconds each side.

1.     Lats Stretch

a.     Find a stable object with a handle and grab it.

b.     Lower your hips and maintain a grip on the handle, tilt your hips to the opposite direction.

c.      Hold for 25-30 seconds on each side.

I hope these exercises were helpful and keep an eye for next week’s blog post in which I share strengthening exercises to help the right muscles do their job.

Marcos Hurtado CPT, CES

Owner of On The Go Fitness

onthego.fitness

Is your desk job ruining your body? Part 3 Foam Rolling Techniques

Hey everyone, today, I’m sharing Part 3 of series of blog posts on how desk jobs may be damaging your body. I’m going to show you 5 foam rolling exercises that help relax overworked muscles.

1.     Upper Trapezius (upper back, lower neck)

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a.     Using a small lacrosse, tennis, or golf ball on the tender muscle area in between your neck and upper back against the wall or on the ground. Roll until you find the spot and vary from holding from several seconds, rocking side to side, and moving in circles. Use until tenderness decreases and feel relief.

2.     Pectorals (Chest muscle)

a.     Also with a small ball, find the tender area. Same technique as above

3.   Hip Flexors

a.     Use a small ball or foam roller for this one. Laying down sideways on the ground on top of the roller, go from your jean pocket region to the upper front part of your leg. Same as above. 

4.     Calves

a.     Use the ball or foam roller. Sitting on the ground with your legs extended, find the tender spot and make circles and move side to side while rolling.

5.     Thoracic Extension

a.     Use the foam roller for this one. Lay on the roller on your back on the ground on your ribcage are. Look slightly up and brace your core. Tilt your upper body downwards and then raise it up to neutral position. Be careful not to have your neck move by itself. Repeat for 10 reps with a controlled tempo.

I hope these exercises were helpful and keep an eye for next week’s blog post in which I share stretches to help lengthen tight muscles and reduce discomfort.

Marcos Hurtado CPT, CES

Owner of On The Go Fitness

onthego.fitness