by Andy Gaustad, MS, NSCA-CSCS Certified Personal Trainer
Leg workouts are a tough day for anyone. They’re hard, they’re exhausting, they hurt in good ways and sometimes in bad ways. Knees, hips and back hurt occasionally. Most of the time, the pain part is short term. Oftentimes, it’s a lingering ache that we just ignore and keep pushing through. Muscle and joint pain are usually signs of dysfunction somewhere in the kinetic chain. Short and long term overuse, weakness, muscle imbalances, tightness, poor posture, among other issues are reasons behind lingering pain. When “leg day” pops up during the week, many of us experience pain stemming from these dysfunctions.
by Olivia LaPlante, ISSA Personal Trainer
One of my personal favorite leg day exercises is to do pistol squats. For those of you who do not know what a pistol squat is, it is a single leg squat that requires a great deal of balance. The idea of the pistol squat is, while standing on one leg, squat to the lowest point without letting yourself fall back or rest on the ground.
Benefits: Develop full range of muscle recruitment, isolation of each leg for balancing strength deficits, increases flexibility and mobility, increases ankle joint mobility and flexibility, and greatly improves balance.
by Dan Chojnacki, NETA Certified Personal Trainer, NETA Certified Group Exercise Instructor
In the current state of today’s world, it has become imperative that we take care of our bodies in order to stay healthy. Many of us are beginning to re-think or re-focus how we go about daily activities that would normally have never required a second thought. This attention to detail, which keeps us from getting sick, is a concept that can also help us stay healthy during our workouts.
by Casey Alger-Feser, NASM Certified Personal Trainer
Today I would like to discuss how increasing your ankle mobility can improve your squat form. While increased ankle mobility can help with multiple moves in and out of the gym, today we will key in on the squat. The first issue we need to address is some of the causes of poor ankle mobility. Some common causes include ankle sprains, high-heeled shoes, tight calves, arch pain and even genetics. When the joint and muscles around the ankle are tight and restrict your range of motion, your ankle will not be able to fully flex. This will inhibit your ability to get below parallel when you squat. Two ways to help improve this issue include self-myofascial release and static stretching...
by Casey Alger-Feser
This article is meant to clarify a few things I have seen done differently in the gym and my own personal experience with squatting. Many people use a standard "toes pointed forward" and feet "shoulder width apart" when squatting. If you have the mobility and strength for that...