Linear Leg Press (Exercise How to &YouTube Video)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fdaRhKPRzvA

Most gyms will carry this machine, but I have seen them shaped seemingly different. The above video is of myself demonstrating how to use one (I did 4 x 20 at 180 lb) but of course depending on your goals and fitness level that could be different for everyone. Something I want EVERYONE to keep in mind during this exercise since so many people have gotten hurt utilizing this machine (because they did not use it properly) is DON’T LOCK YOUR KNEES! also, this machine weight DOES NOT MEAN YOU WILL BE ABLE TO BARBELL SQUAT IT! so many people assume because they can leg pres 500 lb they can then squat 500 lb — that is not how this works and you will harm yourself assuming otherwise. Please head to my warnings, if you want to see some videos of people who have broken bones during this exercise, let me know.. ha. 

 

So now that I have the warnings out of the way, this exercise is actually a decent workout, now people with knee problems or issues this machine might not be for you (ask your medical doctor first) but I have known people with knee surgery, etc to utilize it afterwards (post their surgery after rehab) so don’t assume you will not ever be able to – anything is possible with a mindset of success. I personally use this machine as a superset and pyramid workout as well, I think it definitely is one that will leave your leg day worthwhile after doing so many reps and sets. 

 

How does one use this machine/do this workout:

 
  1. Sit down at the machine and place legs on the platform in front of you. There are three stances you can use on this machine but I will be talking about the medium (shoulder width) foot stance. 
  2. Lower the safety bars while pushing the platform all the way up until your legs are fully extended (without locking your knees)
  3. Inhale and lower the platform until your upper and lower legs make a 90 degree angle
  4. Push using the heels of your foot, and quads.. go back up to starting position.
  5. Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions and be sure to remember to lock the safety pins again when finished. 

What muscles are being worked?

  • quads
  • hamstrings
  • glutes
  • calves
  • hip and torso for stabilization

Depending on foot placement on the platform you can isolate which muscles you want to work on more directly. I tend to like the variety this machine offers. 

 

I would recommend this machine for beginners as well as intermediate athletes, because like I said it can be used as a superset, pyramid or even just a way to strengthen your leg muscles. 

 

Fitness WonderWoman,

Shay-lon 

 

Do any of you not like using this machine? 

 

Advertisements

Hamstring Strain (injury/injury prevention)

I hope you know where your hamstrings are located, because today we will be talking about “pulling a hamstring” — (Pst, just in case you don’t know where your hamstrings are, look at the above picture). This particular injury is more common than you think, especially among runners and people who lift improperly- and those with imbalances. Think of it as a big OUCH! you definitely feel it; but don’t take my word for it, ask anyone who has experienced one.  I’d like to be the one to give you some inner insight on the matter and possible share some fun tips, advice, and prepare you for what is possible – but I always recommend talking with a medical doctor for more support and answers and of course for help with any injury (they are the professionals) – lol. 

 

What is a hamstring strain you ask?

A tear that occurs in one of the hamstring muscles – range from mild to very severe. 

 

How do I know I am experiencing this?

Trust me when I say, YOU WILL FEEL IT, YOU WILL KNOW WHEN IT HAPPENS! with that being said, normally there is a sharp pain at the back of the thigh. If it is more severe, you might notice some swelling or bruising in that area as well. 

 

I don’t want this to happen to you, so.. 

Pay particular attention to your exercises and how you are doing them

 

when stretching, stretch properly

 

When sprinting.. well.. you are a taking a chance because it tends to happen to runners. But don’t allow this to keep you from running! 

 

Treatment please:

 
  • Protection, ice, compression, elevation and rest
  • cold therapy and compression wraps should be used immediately and applied for 10-15 minutes and repeat it every hour for the 1st day. 
  • compression bandage and thigh supports are helpful to reduce swelling and help with the internal bleeding
  • After the initial acute stage, you have a choice to use hot and cold alternating between the two.
  • Using a foam roller will be helpful
  • Professional therapist can perform massages on the area
  • rehab may be necessary if more severe from a physical therapist

In all honesty this isn’t an injury you want to obtain and if it does happen, it isn’t the end of the world, but it might hurt a whole lot. Just for kicks, who has “pulled a hamstring” muscle before? how long did it take for yours to heal? I would love to hear everyone’s answers in the comment box & do me a favor.. 

 

Share, like, comment and follow! Thanks!

 

Fitness WonderWoman,

Shay-lon xo

Tennis Elbow (Injury/Injury Prevention)

Also know as .. ‘Lateral Epicondylitis’. 

From the title, it can assumed it is probably an injury one occurs from playing tennis, BUT don’t be mistaken it is an injury that can occur from other sports as well. It is important that we know what kind of injuries are out there so we can help ourselves by knowing what to look for, how to handle the situation and causes so we can prevent it from happening again. 

My goal is to help you with understanding different injuries, and how to manage them, buALWAYS KEEP IN MIND: TO SPEAK WITH A MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL! 

What is this injury?

 
  • commonly occurs near your ‘funny bone’, located on the outside of the elbow. 
  • can occur at the elbow and travel down to the forearm or hands when the elbow is in use. 
  • Tendinitis – swelling of the tendons

Causes:

  • Overuse is the more common reason- repetitive gripping and grasping activities. 
  • Trauma- a direct blow to the elbow can cause degeneration and in turn make it more susceptible to an overuse injury

Symptoms:

  • pain near the bony part of the elbow
  • weakness in the forearms, wrist and elbow region
  • Keep in mind that with activity the pain can start near the elbow and travel down to the forearms and hands

Treatment:

  • The activity which causes the injury will need to be limited
  • Ice the elbow for 20-30 minutes every 3 hours for 3-4 days until pain is gone
  • medication can help alleviate pain
  • Physical therapy for stretching and strengthening exercises
  • Might have to wear a brace
  • Having injections of steroids or painkillers to help with swelling and pain
  • Rest 
  • Sport massages are said to be useful for this injury
  • Surgery might have to be an option

Recovery can take several months or some people have been lucky enough where it recovers in less time than that depending on the severity of it. I noted up top that speaking with a medical doctor will be your best chance of dealing with it. 

 

Have any of you had this injury? if so, how long did it take for you to recover and how did you end up with this injury?

 

Fitness WonderWoman,

Shay-lon

 
 

Romanian Deadlift (Exercise How To)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JCXUYuzwNrM

One of the BIG 3 LIFTS! 

So this lift will be exciting to talk about because I know my blog has some heavy lifters for sure and people who implement this workout on a more daily basis, but if you aren’t someone who has done this particular exercise, don’t fret, today is your lucky day to learn! The above video shows Scott Herman demonstrating it with the barbell, but it can be done with dumbbells (will be discussed in separate post) so, if you don’t have a barbell, this is one of those versatile exercises. The ONE thing to keep in mind is to ALWAYS do this exercise using the correct form and technique or you will end up injured or with unnecessary soreness.  I know I always tell you guys to watch for form and technique, but this one of those exercises it is extremely important because many people do not do this exercise correctly. If you are like me, you should be putting most of the effort in your legs and not so much your back – although you will use your back muscles as well. Pay attention to the above video and the step by step directions. 

 

How to perform the movement:

 
  1. Using a barbell, hold it at hip level, with a pronated grip (palms facing down). Shoulders back, back arched,  and knees slightly bent. Starting position.
  2. Lower the bar by moving your butt back as far as you can, keep the bar close to your body, head looking forward and your shoulders are back. Should end up just below the knee. 
  3. Return to starting position by driving the hips forward and standing up tall. 
  4. Repeat for the recommended repetitions. 

Now this exercise is easier said than done, pay attention to your full ROM and making sure you aren’t compensating in any way that could cause injury. I obviously recommend for beginners, using the bar only and if the 45 lb bar is too heavy, try using the 35 lb bars or using a body bar. 

 

Muscles being used:

  • Hamstrings
  • Quads
  • hip flexors
  • glutes
  • back muscles
  • abdominal muscles help keep you from folding in half 

So for those of you who do this deadlift, what is your max? 

 

Fitness WonderWoman,

Shay-lon xo

P.S I have actually spoken to Scott Herman on Instagram! lol 

Man-Makers (Exercise How to)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iMNnvhg1JcM

 

I call these WOMAN MAKERS! 😀 

It is probably obvious why I call them “Woman makers” instead, basically because I am female and I am cool like that; but don’t get offended men, because they are formally called “man-makers”. 

Now the majority of you are probably thinking “WHAT IN GOD’S NAME IS THIS” and I don’t blame you because in ordinary gyms, you don’t normally see this workout being performed BUT in a CrossFit gym, oh yeah this workout is being done like no tomorrow baby, lol. I would know.. just ask me how 🙂

If none of you have tried this particular exercise, look out because it is no joke and no easy movement and imagine having to do this timed (having to get so many done in under a certain time) – yes I was THAT person. I however, used about 20-25 lb dumbbells .. so that didn’t make my job any easier and some people use heavier than that and others go lighter – doesn’t matter because this workout isn’t easy. I will start by saying that this workout is performed differently depending on the CrossFit box and who is teaching you, so don’t be alarmed by the video up top, some people perform it this way and others add other things to it but this video will give you an idea on how to perform the movement, good luck 🙂

How Do You Perform A ‘Man-Maker’:

  1. Start with positioning a pair of dumbbells (that you know will be easy for you to do with this movement) in front of you, parallel to each other.  You will want to keep your back flat, bend forward, and squad down grasping the dumbbells. 
  2. Initiate the movement by kicking one leg back and the other so that you are in the push up position while holding onto the dumbbells. You will do a one-arm row on each side (bring the elbow up as high as you can)
  3. Hop with your weight forward and rise up by cleaning the weights (bring dumbbells up to shoulder level), descend into a squat, and explosively rise up, then press weights overheard to full arm extension. 
  4. you will lower the dumbbells back to shoulders, then bend over as you squat down to return the weights back to the floor in front of you
  5. Repeat for the recommended repetitions

As you can tell this movement can be highly difficult for beginners and with few steps, there is still a technique involved so that you minimize injury. The important part not choosing too heavy of dumbbells to do this movement because that can be the DIFFERENCE between hurting yourself and making it all the way through. 

 

What Muscles Are Worked:

  • Quads
  • obliques – to a lesser degree
  • shoulders
  • biceps
  • groin
  • chest
  • traps
  • forearms
  • abs
  • calves
  • middle back
  • triceps
  • lower back
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
  • hip flexors 
  • and outer thighs
  • lats

As you can tell it targets a lot of the body and muscles – because this exercise is considered a total body exercise and calisthenics workout. You really will feel this exercise throughout the body and while I don’t recommend beginners to do this exercise without first trying it with very low weight, I do recommend implementing it to your workout for those who need a good total body day! 

A good challenge with these is to see how many you can do in under 1 minute or under 2 minutes if you feel like a warrior 🙂 I had to do them within 2-3 minute ranges and on a bad day, sometimes 4-5 minutes intertwined with other workouts. 

 

Hopefully all of you are feeling extra adventurous and if so, I want to hear how many you did under that 1 minute or 2 minute 🙂 

 

Fitness WonderWoman,

Shay-lon xo

 
 
 

Athlete’s Foot (health/injury)

Wednesday Injury/health condition chats. This one might sound familiar to some of you. Have you heard of athlete’s foot? I first heard of it in middle school when a coach of mine was talking to a fellow classmate about it, but to say I have had it, would be a lie but luckily after doing research during college and learning some things, I am now more understanding of what this is. Hopefully this post will be helpful to you as well.

 

What Is Athlete’s Foot?

A fungal infection that effects the skin on the feet and is considered contagious. 

Just an Fyi, it has been known to spread to hands and toenails. 

 

There are more mild cases and some that are very severe – I shown a picture that wasn’t severe, but feel free to look at some of the more severe cases, they can be very scary. 

 

Causes?

 
  • Direct contact from someone who has it
  • touching surfaces contaminated with it
  • Can be found in locker rooms, around swimming pools and in warm & damp areas

Risk Factors:

  • Visiting public places barefoot
  • Sharing socks, shoes or towels with an infected person
  • wearing tight fitted , closed-toed shoes
  • sweaty feet
  • Minor skin or nail injury on your foot
  • keeping the feet wet for prolonged periods of time

Symptoms:

  • itching, stinging and burning between the toes
  • itching, stinging and burning on the soles of the foot
  • Blisters on the feet that itch
  • cracking and peeling skin on the feet
  • dry skin on the soles or sides of the feet
  • discolored, thick and crumbling toenails
  • toenails that pull away from the nail bed

Most doctor’s will diagnose this infection by doing a skin test or from the symptoms described

 

Treatment:

  • OTC medications (over the counter)
  • Prescription medications
  • home care – soaking feet in salt water or diluted vinegar to dry up the blisters

Something to keep in mind about Athlete’s foot, is that it can lead to more severe cases if someone is allergic to the fungus or if it goes untreated it can cause other issues with worse consequences. There are other alternatives to ridding of athlete’s foot but the above listed are some of the more popular ways. Be sure to consult with your doctor. 

 

Fitness WonderWoman,

 

Shay-lon xo

When in doubt .. cream it out..

“We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.”

Edema (Generalized)

Today’s blog post will be discussing, you guessed it! edema and more specifically I will keep it generalized, but do keep in mind that there are different types of it, and I will discuss them in future blog post so that everyone has an idea as to what they are if you don’t already. Now personally I have never experienced edema but I know people who have and this picture above is showing the puffyness in the feet and ankles. While this condition is something most of you have heard before, I still find that any health condition is an important one to discuss?

For starters, do you know what “edema” is? before scrolling down, guess and then let me know if you were spot on. 

What Is Edema?:

Swelling caused by fluid retention (aka excess fluid is trapped in the body’s tissues)

 

Causes of Edema (generalized)

 
  • Sitting or standing in one place for too long (gravity) because it is natural for water to get pulled down to legs and feet
  • weakening of valves in the veins
  • certain diseases can bring it about 
  • medications can cause it as a symptom
  • allergic reactions
  • pregnancy can cause it to happen 

How many of you have had Edema? what was the cause of yours? 

Symptoms: 

  • affected area is swollen
  • skin could look stretched out and shiny
  • pushing into the area with a figure for about 5 seconds and releasing can leave a dimple
  • trouble walking (if you have leg edema)
  • coughing or trouble breathing (if you have lung edema)

Treatment options:

Most people probably do not know this, but edema can be temporary or more permanent. 

  • treating the underlying diseases that are causing the edema 
  • putting a pillow under your legs when lying down or sitting for prolonged periods
  • try to not sit or stand for long periods of time without moving
  • wearing support stockings
  • sometimes having to limit salt intake is especially important
  • possibly seeing a professional and being prescribed a diuretic. 
  • protect swollen areas from pressure

Most importantly, see a doctor if you experience edema. 

 

Hopefully this tidbit of information will provide a means of sharing what I know with all of you and getting feedback from those who have experienced this or are doctors and want to add more to this information. Please share, follow, like and comment.

 

Fitness WonderWoman,

Shay-lon xo