We hope that you have enjoyed your first week of fitness and have been able to identify post fitness testing goals that you may like to achieve during term. Adam and I are looking forward to assisting you to achieve your health and fitness goals and are available to discuss these with you.
Exercise is a key component in achieving a healthier lifestyle along with a balance diet, this week I have attached some healthy eating tips to assist with this component, please see downloads . This week I would also like to review the technique of our famous squat, a squat is a functional move that we use every day when we sit and stand from a chair or toilet for example. But how does the squat assist in our quest for better health? Improved balance:. Using the Timed up and go test research revealed that balance was improved in individuals with spinal cord injuries, as well as healthy individuals performing squats.
Skeletal loading:Bone density comparisons were made between healthy individuals participating in a variety of sports, outcomes revealed improvements in bone density specific to the area loaded. It may therefore be implied, due to squat biomechanics, that our spine, hips, and bones of the legs, ankles and feet will show favourable increases in bone density in individuals performing squats. This will also include the upper extremities with the addition of certain loads.
Stimulation of muscle growth and connective tissueResearch revealed that the volume of the quadriceps and cross-sectional area of the patella tendon improved when participants performed squats.
Cardiovascular and nervous systems;The squat is known to produce changes in blood pressure and heart rate influencing the cardiovascular and nervous system. It is also reported that conditions affecting these systems such as diabetes, reduce squat performance.
Brain and spinal cord: Squats, due to their ability to load tissues within our body,place an increased demand on our brain.
In summary squats are beneficial to many systems within our body. The ability to hold a deep squat has been reported to assist bowel and bladder function, reduce lower back pain, and condition joints and tissues, not to mention that they improve balance, co-ordination and stability.
Below is the key to performing a good squat;
Performing a squat
Start: Feet positioned outside hips
Action: Lower your body, sitting bottom back, as if you are placing bottom over a chair. Lower until thighs are parallel to the ground, but not lower than hips (this is a full squat). Rise pushing through heels, using legs and bottom, repeat action.
Special Instructions: Keep back straight, slight squeeze between shoulder blades, chest lifted, look ahead, brace stomach throughout
Stop the squat if;
feet roll in or out of neutral
heels come up off the ground
knees roll in or out of line with your feet
knees go too far forwards past your toes
hips roll under (posteriorly tilt)
Your back bends
Correct knee alignment during the squat
Below are photos on How NOT to perform the squat:
Squats can be corrected, however if you are having difficulty, it maybe due to certain bio-mechanical factors requiring a physiotherapy treatment. Please email, call or discuss at your next session any questions that you may have regarding the squat, week 2 Squats will be our focus.
I hope that you have all enjoyed your weekend, we look forward to working with you next week.