What does a workout look like at Specialty Athletic Training? We get this question A LOT! You would understand why if you knew the current obesity epidemic that is currently sweeping across the United States, especially how it is impacting the special needs community. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that 1 in 5 children with special health care needs are considered obese. That number jumps to over 1 in 3 for adults. That is 38% and 58% higher than their peers! So it is no wonder why parents are asking for help getting their children moving.
Our current clients visit Specialty Athletic Training twice a week an hour workout. Is this enough to meet the recommended physical activity guidelines? Absolutely not. But we aim to make fitness enjoyable and provide guidance so that our clients feel empowered to exercise on their own, hopefully getting close to the weekly recommended activity levels. That being said, we try to ensure that many of the exercises that they do with us (or at least variations) can be done at home. Here are 6 exercises that are in a majority of our programs for our clients that are easily done in the gym or at home.
Our Favorite Squat Variation
Are you an athlete that is trying to improve their athleticism? Are you someone that is trying to improve their overall fitness? The front squat is our favorite squat variation for athletes and general population clientele. Here is one of our trainers demonstrating what it looks like using a barbell, but you could also use a dumbbell, kettlebell, or medicine ball to do the same exercise. For more variations, make sure to check out our YouTube channel!
1) To begin place the bar on the rack approximately armpit height.
2) Grasp the bar with closed pronated grip, slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
3) Begin to rotate arms under and around the bar so that the bar is placed slightly below shoulders.
4) Keep elbows lifted up and forward, wrists should be hyperextended.
5) Lift bar away from rack, take one step backwards. Position feet shoulder width apart.
6) Starting downward movement of the squat, begin descending toward the floor like you are going to sit on a chair.
7) After thighs are parallel to the floor, start the upward movement by pushing up through your feet until back at starting position.
8) Step forward and rack the bar after recommended repetitions are complete.
Is there really any better way to spend your rest time in between sets? We think not! Talk about active recovery ;)
We strive to make fitness fun and have our clients leave with a smile with anticipation of their next session. Here our buddy Wyatt and trainer Alex have a little dance off during Wyatt's rest time. Look at those moves!
Five Exercises for Airplane Travel
Think back to the last time that you traveled on an airplane. My guess is that you tried to pass the time by sleeping, watching a movie, reading a magazine or book, or playing the video games that are available on the head rest of the person in front of you. How did you feel when your plane finally landed? Most of us get are excited to get off the plane because our bodies are tense and aching and we want to feel. Here are 5 exercises that you can do to help you feel refreshed and less fatigued next time you step off the plane.
Do each of the following exercises once an hour for the duration of your flight.
EXERCISES WHILE YOU ARE SEATED
Seated Calf Raises: Sit up right in your seat with your feet about six inches apart and flat on the floor. Take a breath. Exhale and lift your heels off the ground and hold the contraction for 2-3 seconds. Return heels to the floor. Do 10-15 repetitions. You can increase intensity by placing you carry on bag across your lap.
Toe Lifts: Sit up right in your seat with your feet about six inches apart and flat on the floor. Take a breath. Exhale and lift your toes off of the floor and hold for 2-3 seconds. Return your toes to the floor. Do 10-15 repetitions.
Ab suctions: Start by sitting up right in your seat. Take a deep breath in and then exhale removing all of the air from your lungs. Instead of inhaling some more air, pull your stomach as high into your chest cavity as possible. Imagine that you are trying to touch your belly button to your backbone. Hold for about 8-10 seconds and repeat.
EXERCISES WHILE YOU ARE WAITING FOR, OR ARE IN, THE BATHROOM
Body Weight Squats: This is a great exercise to do while waiting in the line for the bathroom. Standing upright, place your feet about shoulder width apart. While inhaling, squat down keeping your torso tight and upright with your weight on your heels. The depth that you want to squat will depend on your flexibility, but to imagine that you are squatting to sit on a first grader’s desk chair. While exhaling, stand back up keeping your weight on your heels and an upright and tight torso. Your knees should stay aligned and not turn inward. Do 10-15 repetitions.
Wall Presses: Standing upright with your feet about shoulder width apart, place your arms straight so that your hands are flat against the wall and fingers pointed towards the ceiling. Your hand should be slightly wider than shoulder width and the tips of your fingers should be at armpit level. Inhaling and keeping your body rigid, touch the wall with your nose. Keep your elbows close to your body. Exhale and press off against the wall and return to your original position. Do 10-15 repetitions.
About the Author
Ryan Lockard, CSCS*D, CSPS*D is the Founder and CEO of Specialty Athletic Training. He is accredited by the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) as a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and a Certified Special Populations Specialist. Lockard is a member of the board of directors for the Autism Society of America and the advisory board for the NSCA Oregon chapter.