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Burlington, Ontario, Canada
I choose to focus training and nutrition on the individual. I believe in a totally holistic approach emcompassing body, mind and soul and the interaction between them. Utilizing the disciplines of weight-training , pilates, ballet and yoga to ease pain, heal injuries and strengthen the body,and the spirit. Never give up! Never step down!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Bounce Back Into Shape This Spring It’s that time again – if you’ve let your muscles go over the winter, here’s the best way to get them back. The first glimmer of spring sets things in rapid motion as eager sports buffs emerge from months of hibernation with golf club in one hand, tennis racket in the other and a baseball bat impatiently waiting its turn to send that ball sailing over the bleachers. Too often, however, a lack of conditioning means the only thing soaring is your elevated risk for injury. “Would you trust your car in a cross-country race after it has basically sat in the garage all winter? Probably not. So don’t expect your body to give you its best performance when it’s basically rusty, seized-up and in need of a tune-up!” says Alwyn Cosgrove, a former world Taekwondo champion and internationally renowned specialist in athletic preparation currently living in southern California. While popular early-bird activities such as tennis, golf and softball appear at first glance to be fairly low key pursuits, their emphasis on explosive movement and stop-and-start action makes unconditioned players particularly vulnerable to getting hurt. “Aside from poor performance, which some would say is the biggest risk, the obvious problem associated with spring sports and inadequate conditioning is injury. Although people think of golf, softball and tennis as fun recreational activities, they are still high force, high velocity, ballistic activities that you need to prepare for several weeks prior to the season,” Cosgrove says. Cardiovascular training, which goes a long way to promoting good health, is not enough, according to Cosgrove. “Strength and flexibility take priority, followed by cardiovascular conditioning. Doing cardio first, as most people do, is akin to putting a new V8 engine in your car, with no back wheels, a broken axle and a front end out of alignment. You need to work on the structure before we work on the capacity of the body.” Work to condition the entire body, with the aim of becoming injury-resistant and enhancing athletic performance by building overall muscle strength. Cosgrove also recommends focusing on the big stretches — hip flexor, glutes, hamstrings and lower back – all the muscles involved in rotation. “For conditioning you can’t go wrong with classic exercises such as squats, lunges, push ups and rows. You must, however, train in all three planes of motion — so rotational lunges, rotational push ups, for instance, will all be extremely valuable.” Spring into Shape: “I’d start with two to three sessions of strength and flexibility each week with one cardio session each week for the first three weeks and build up to three strength/flexibility sessions with two to three cardio workouts,” says Cosgrove, who suggests the following exercises: Bulgarian Split Squats: “Perhaps the most single hated exercise in my training facility — so simple yet brutally effective that I think it’s a must for any training program” Start in standing position with the bench behind you Facing away from the bench, place one foot on bench and one foot two or three feet in front of bench — you are in a modified lunge stance With bulk of bodyweight on front leg, bend front knee until your thigh is below parallel and the knee of your trailing leg is grazing the floor Pause and return to fully upright stance. Repeat for desired reps and then switch sides Supine Hip Extension with Leg Curl: “One of only two exercises that target both functions of the hamstring—hip extension and knee flexion—simultaneously.” Lie on the floor with calves on exercise ball, arms out to your sides with palms face up Extend upward from hips until your body forms a straight line with your feet, hips and shoulders Keeping hips elevated, draw the ball toward you by bending your knees. Hips should remain in line with shoulders and knees Slowly straighten legs and lower hip to starting position

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