Poor training is a sad sight to behold 😪. I wanted to revisit a key component of ‘sound technique’, as I wrote about it many years ago but it remains no less topical as ever-more fitness converts venture to the gym to kickstart their lifestyle changes. It’s also pretty perfect for this time of year when no doubt people are more likely to head outside for their sessions. So, if like me, you love the outdoors & perhaps don’t have access to / don’t always feel like going to the gym – but you still want a workout which is challenging and effective – well then, this post is for YOU! First consider the following 3 different training techniques, and some of the exercises I suggest doing to put those techniques to use! Also, it requires no weights; just a nice summer’s day, like the ones scheduled for the coming week… (more…)
This little colorful Tofu Salad with Cashew Dressing is something I designed to make the most of the fridge leftovers – salad innovation is a totally freestyle discipline in that you can literally chuck in whatever you fancy; I’ve chosen a mixture of colorful everyday affordable vegetables with a mixture of crunchy textures, supplemented with the silky softness of the tofu parcels and augmented by the deep and rich flavours of turmeric and cumin as well as the thick breadth of the cashew dressing. The dish is undisputedly vegetarian, but the cashew and tofu add a decent source of plant protein, and since it’s properly summery in London right now, this is a real ‘sit outside in the evening sun‘ dinner dish which is both filling yet light enough to enable an unconstrained night’s sleep! Click MORE for the ingredients and ‘how to’… (more…)
These days you’ll find ‘Foam Rollers’ in pretty much every gym, generally in the ‘stretching mats’ area. This is great news as it suggests we ‘exercising types’ are becoming more aware of the importance of taking time to stretch, which helps us to stay flexible and prevent injury (as you might remember from my previous post on stretching, here).
WHAT DOES IT DO & HOW DOES IT WORK ???
I had key-hole surgery on my knee a few years ago and my doctor recommended I use a foam roller, as it’s a fabulous tool in the physiotherapy industry – it massively helped my recovery by encouraging correct and supple muscular rebuild. By applying pressure using your own bodyweight on sore spots, it’s a kind of self-accu-pressure technique (self myofascial release) – or simply a nice self-massage! Manipulating the soft tissue will support and massage muscle groups whilst improving balance, stabilisation, flexibility and core strength. It’s a valuable part of any workout and I recommend incorporating it in a warmup (to help increase blood flow, and relieve muscle tightness to encourage better training) and likewise in a cool-down (to flush out toxins and help soften muscles for faster recovery).
They are available in different densities from relatively soft foam, to high-density rollers that are like granite. The more accomplished, athletic and muscular the user, the more dense the roller should be. Try out a few different ones and see which one’s for you. Work your way up from the softest as a beginner. If one of this blog’s goals is to share great tips that help you train smarter, this intermediate Foam Roller from Myprotein (which provides unlimited self-massage for under £15) comfortably ticks that box!!
HOW TO USE IT ???
This collection of pictures I shot in Regent’s Park below should help to demonstrate some of my favourite exercises with this training aid. Try to target the areas that are more tender, then roll them out to release & decrease some of the over-activity. It can be hard work and can even border on being painful or uncomfortable, much like stretching. It’s important to distinguish between a moderate level of discomfort and a discomfort that can lead to injury – your body will tell you this loud & clear! Below are just a handful of many exercises to try!