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Tip of the month
Let’s talk about squats
Squats are a great exercise for the glutes, hamstrings and quads. A great quality of the squat is there is room for progression and the option to incorporate other major muscle groups.
Start with your feet shoulder width apart. Keep your eyes and shoulders facing forward, gently lower yourself in a control manner ensuring you keep a straight spine and stop when you reach a 90% angle at your knee. Pause then return to the starting position.
If you find you’re tight in your calves and your heels are coming off the ground try taking a wider stance. This should stop the heels rising and give more stability.
To progress the intensity of this workout you can add a new variable such as, dumbbells, Olympic bars, kettlebells or a VIRP to create a new stimulus.
To increase the intensity of the exercise you can incorporate different muscle groups and compound movements.
A few good combinations are:
- Squat to shoulder press
- Squat to bicep curl
- Squat to frontal or lateral rise
Try mixing squats with different exercises for a great full body workout
For more information on Personal training see www.feelgoodpt.co.uk
Dominic Burns Reps Level 3
How do you recognize a ‘good’ fat?
There has a been a deluge of information about fats in the media but how confident are you that you know what makes a ‘good’ or ‘bad’ fat? Fats can be broadly considered in three groups – saturated, unsaturated and trans-fats. The classifications may be based on the chemical structure but there are everyday observations that help us identify which fat is which.
Saturated fats contain no double bonds and are solid at room temperature e.g. Butter, lard. Saturated fats are not essential to good health but they are probably not as harmful as previously thought. A diet containing low levels of saturated fat is consistent with good health. Most saturated fats come from animal products with palm oil and coconut oil being the only significant vegetable sources. When heated saturated fats cannot form trans-fats and are therefore suitable for heating.
Unsaturated fats contain at least one double bond and are therefore liquids at room temperature e.g. olive oil, sunflower oil. Diets containing unsaturated fats are essential for good health. Omega 3 fats and omega 6 fats are essential in the diet as our bodies cannot form these fats any other way. These oils, found in nuts and seeds, avocados, oily fish, olives, eggs etc should be included in the diet daily. However when heated unsaturated fats can form trans-fats, which are the most dangerous fats to our health. Don’t use olive oil or other low smoke point unsaturated oils to fry foods.
Trans-fats are unsaturated fats found both in nature and in processed foods such as hydrogenated oils and heated unsaturated fats. Naturally formed trans-fats such as those found in milk are not thought to be harmful whereas those formed by processing are considered very harmful. Avoid all foods containing hydrogenated fat and foods cooked at high temperature in unsaturated oils.
For more information see www.clairebarkernutrition.co.uk
Claire Barker DipION mBANT, Nutritional Therapist
Nutritional plan and online exercise programs
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