Dynamic stretching

A good warm up not only increases blood flow and body temperature to reduce injury risk, it should also improve your kinesthetic awareness by mimicking the actions you are going to be performing later on. Though commonly used, static stretching is actually a very poor way to warm up because it fails to achieve any of these things. Its much sexier cousin, the dynamic stretch, on the other hand, passes these criteria with flying colours and is the preferred means of warming up for all professional athletic teams. How does it work? Try these six movements for the best full body warm-up you could ever hope for.

  1. Step and overhead reach. Step forward and reach up over your head to warm up the upper body and abdominals.
  2. Step and rotate. Step to the side and rotate your upper torso over your leg to warm up the obliques.
  3. Step and toe touch. Step and reach down to touch your toes to warm up the lower body.
  4. Lunge and lean. Full body warm up and also good for balance. Lunge forward bringing your back knee to the floor and lean sideways over your front leg.
  5. Side lunge and toe touch. An athlete’s favourite lower body stretch. This one is especially good for the abductors and adductors.
  6. Side bend. Great for warming up the back and core.

Is it better to work out in the morning or in the evening after work?

IS IT BETTER TO WORK OUT IN THE MORNING OR IN THE EVENING AFTER WORK

Many of our customers at Prime often ask us this question. Though there is a science to performance maximization by arranging your training schedule in accordance with your circadian rhythm, the reality is that people train when it’s convenient, when they can or feel like it. Hey, better train than not train, right?

But for those Prime Fitness fans who would like to learn more about optimizing their training to recover better, gain more muscle and reduce the chance of injuries, here is an explanation about the impact of circadian rhythms on your workout.

The circadian rhythm is a person’s main biological cycle (in other words, your sleep-wake cycle). And like all biological cycles, the circadian rhythm is controlled by an inter-nal clock that sets and resets itself based on external stimuli: light.

In this study published by the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research researchers examined the influence of the time of day on body temperature and power output. In theory, the best time to exercise has to do with a person’s body temperature –the more warmed-up the body is, the better for exercise. And since we have moved our body around (and thus increased our core temperatures) during daytime, one can jump to the quick conclusion that exercise performance in the evenings are higher.

Does that mean that those who have been working out early in the morning are doing it all wrong? Not at all. While the variations that impact ones workout will vary by time within a given day (since as mentioned before, light dominates the circadian rhythm), they stay fairly consistent at a given time from day to day. So, for those morning people who come to Prime to exercise early, the good news is that consistency in your training schedule probably moderates those variations a bit, and thus your body prepares itself to work out. Plus, you start the day with one less task on your to-do list.

The Importance of Bodyweight Training

Portrait of a healthy young guy doing push ups exercise against grunge background

We’ve all done bodyweight training before even if you’ve never thought of it as such at the time. Classic bodyweight exercises include push-ups, sit-ups, burpees, and squats, but even activities like running, climbing, and yoga should be considered as forms of bodyweight training, or calisthenics as more properly known. What we are talking about is any type of exercise where our own bodyweight is the source of resistance for the movement.

As a piece of exercise equipment, the human body itself is without rival. Whether your goal is burning fat, building strength, improving coordination, or developing cardiovascular fitness, this can all be achieved without ever touching a machine or lifting a weight. Bodyweight training is the safest type of exercise as we are working with a load and within parameters completely familiar to us. And it is also the most functional type of exercise. Fortunes have been made selling new devices and techniques for functional training, but by definition, nothing can be more functional than moving the one object you are guaranteed to always have with you.

A common misconception is that bodyweight training is for beginners and that using equipment or heavy weights is for more advanced athletes. But this flies in the face of all the evidence at our disposal. Perhaps the biggest name in the fitness industry today –Frank Medrano, continues to astound people with his superhuman physique. What’s his secret? His videos (over 100 million Youtube views and counting) show him going through an endless repertoire of pull-up and push-ups variations with little else besides. Numerous elite athletes have relied primarily on bodyweight training to achieve their fitness goals –Bruce Lee, Vasily Alekseyev (who set 80 world records in weightlifting), and Herschel Walker (who gained more yards than anyone in professional football history) to give just three notable examples.

At Prime Fitness, we always use a combination of bodyweight and free weight training to achieve many of our customer’s fitness goals. And for those who travel a lot and don’t have access to a gym, check out our Workouts On The Go guide. The focus from having nobody and nothing else to distract you from your workout can be worth more than all the equipment in the world combined. As Mark Lauren famously said, “You are your own gym”. Now get out there and use it.