Friday, September 20, 2013

Happy Friday! Roll into the weekend

Good Day -'s Friday! 

Friday's have long been my favourite day of the week - even more than Saturday's. It's that feeling one has knowing that there are two whole days of freedom ahead. Even though I have retired from the post office, that Friday feeling hasn't diminished. It means that it's the weekend for my wife Joanne and we can do things together. I am so fortunate to be able to practice and teach karate full-time now and develop my personal training endeavour at the same time.

The great thing about not having a day job is that  feeling of Sunday evening gloom is gone!

So onto the abdominal roll-outs. Most people have probably seen an ab-wheel. They are only around $10 - $15 to purchase, but are a great tool. Not only do you train your abdominal muscles when you use it, but also the lumbar and erector muscles in the back, plus the shoulders and upper trapezius. When doing the roll-out be sure to contract the abdominal muscles with a slight crunching action or upper pelvic tilt to prevent the low back from sagging - therefore keeping a neutral spine. As well - even the glutes and hamstring muscles become engaged on extension.

*This can be a difficult exercise if you've never tried it and you should be careful not to go into a full extension of the movement at first attempt. A foundation of core strength is important before attempting this exercise. Movements like leg-raises, sit-ups, crunches, and planks should be employed first. If you have any doubts about your ability to perform this or any other exercise- or if you have sustained any type of injury- particularly in the  back or neck region- contact your physician or qualified  physio-therapist beforehand to get clearance.

Click here to view exercise demo clip

So now onto the advanced version of the movement which is performed from your toes instead of using the knees as a pivot point. This obviously increases the percentage of your body-weight being supported and puts tremendous strain on the lower back. It's like having a long dowel in your closet being used to support too many heavy garments. If all the clothing is crowded into the middle, the dowel will sag and even break. By putting an extra support at the mid-point of the closet rod this is avoided. The way that we solve this problem in regards to the exercise is to employ an exercise band as we did in the supported pull-ups. The heavier the band one uses (in relation to body-weight), greater is the support that is achieved. As one becomes stronger, a lighter rubber band can be substituted until the exercise can be performed without one.
No -I'm not there yet. But you can be sure that I will post it when I am!

Again -  use caution when attempting this or any other exercise. If you can't perform at least ten repetitions of the basic roll-out do not do this one yet. Don't get hurt- it just sets you back days, weeks or even months in achieving your fitness goals

Click here for the video clip -advanced/supported version

Check in frequently for updates and exercises. The next installment will be another back exercise with a new person performing one of the movements.

Have a fantastic weekend!!