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Accomplish Your New Year’s Fitness Goals Safely!

If one of your New Year’s Resolutions has been to either get back into the gym regularly or just increase your current fitness level, make sure you do it safely without injury!

In the first month or two of the new year I commonly treat patients that may have progressed their routine too abruptly, whether it was increasing the frequency, load or limited knowledge of correct form.

Take these few tips into account when setting your fitness goals:

Don’t be a hero!

Start with body weight versus loading on the plates or dumbbells. If you are unable to perform a bodyweight squat with control of your glutes and lower abdominals or challenged by holding a plank without letting your spine sag for 30 seconds you probably need to focus on body weight strengthening until you are able to perform these tasks successfully. There are plenty of body weight specific exercises that can increase strength and stability.

Focus on strengthening your core muscles

Lower abdominals (internal obliques and transverse abdominus), glutes and inner thighs (that influence your pelvic floor) are all crucial to avoiding injury and maintaining good posture. There are specific exercises that train these groups, however, ALL weight training exercises should involve your lower abdominals! Whether it is a squat, bench press or a bicep curl - stabilizing your spine, pelvis and ribcage by drawing your belly button to your spine is crucial for good form.

Maintain your mobility

It is common for a lot of the people working out at the gym to also hold a sedentary desk job. Some of our big muscle groups: hip flexors, lats, pecs and back of hips tend to stiffen up when you are at a desk for long periods. When these muscle groups lock up it can cause postural dysfunction and injury. Focus on stretching these groups to improve postural alignment and allow the deeper stabilizing muscles to work more appropriately!

For specific tips on how to achieve these tips or for an injury prevention screen contact Dr. Greer Mackie at Knowing what your specific postural, strength and mobility needs will help you achieve your goals!

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