If you’ve read some of my blog posts, you would probably think of me as someone being very critical when it comes to training and nutrition. Well, you’re right. But there’s a bunch of stuff out there that I do like when it comes to training and nutrition. So trying not to be so critical on this beautiful second day of fall, here are some things of my favorite things:
- Single Leg Training: It’s been said that having asymmetries between the left and right sides is a good indicator of future injury. Single leg training will identify these asymmetries. You’re also getting a lot of bang for your buck with single leg training as you bring your stabilizing muscles into play and get a great conditioning effect.
- Push Up Variations: Push ups caught a bad rap for causing shoulder injuries or not being good for you when coming back from a shoulder injury. But when done right (elbows @a 45 degree angle to the torso, retraction of the shoulder blades on the lowering phase, rigid core) they are an excellent upper body pushing exercise. They could also be classified as a core exercise since they are basically a long levered plank with dynamic movement. And the variations are endless. Whether you can only do one push up or whether you can do 50 there are always ways to make them easier or harder according to your strength levels.
- Valslides: I bring these with me to almost every training session with a client. They’re basically portable slideboards. They can be used for lunge variations, push up variations or core exercises. They’re easy to pack in a bag and they’re not that expensive.
- Barefoot Warm Ups: With tall the advanced shoe technology and elevated heels in shoes and sneakers our ankles are more immobile than ever. Even with the advances in shoes and orthotics the incidence of foot and ankle related injuries is climbing. So it helps to get out of those shoes for at least 10 minutes prior to a workout and try to get some of that ankle mobility back. It’s not just your foot and ankle area you’ll be helping, but everything up that kinetic chain including your knees, hips and lower back.
- Fish Oil: I can’t believe I still have to get on people about taking fish oil daily. The evidence is there. This stuff works. The benefits are numerous whether it’s joints or cardio vascular health we’re talking about. Personally, I’ve taken 3-5 grams a day for the last five years or so and I’ve never really had any serious joint pain even though I’ve been training4-5 days a week for that same time frame. Is fish oil the only reason why? No. But I believe it to be part of the reason why.
- Band Assisted Pull Ups: I love pull ups. I love when my clients are able to do pull ups. But I also realize that not every body is able to a pull or chin up. So out come the bands. In my opinion band assisted pull ups are superior to any type of Gravitron machine. They’re a lot more natural since you’re not in a fixed path on the way up or down. Plus you’re not getting the same amount of help the entire way as you would with a Gravitron machine. As the band starts to loosen as you get closer to the bar, you’re doing more of the work. Plus it’s nice to see someone progress form a thicker band to a thinner band and then to no band.
- Oatmeal: Pretty sad, but the first thought that comes across my mind ever morning I wake up is “Can’t wait for my oatmeal.” And I’m not talking about those packets filled with sugar. I’m talking about some whole grain rolled oats. I love it because what I can do with oatmeal is endless. I can use water or I can use milk. I can even use chocolate milk. I can mix in blueberries or strawberries or both. I can up the protein by adding some peanut putter or protein powder. And no matter what ever I put in there it tastes great. A great start start to what is hopefully gong to be a great day.
- Coconut Water: A far better alternative to any toxic, radioactive looking sports drink on the shelves today is coconut water. Unlike some of that other junk out there it’s all natural and contains 15 times more potassium than a banana. It’s not expensive and it’s just starting to make it’s way to the mainstream market. I also think it tastes pretty good.
There’s a bunch of other stuff out there that I do happen to like, but these are some of the things that just crossed my mind. I guess that wasn’t so hard to come up with after all. Check back next week for guess what? Things I don’t like. I might have to narrow that list down.