Since the dawn of Pinterest and Instagram, fitness “tips” are now just a search bar and a hashtag away. There’s the ever-questionable squat challenge, a multitude of self-proclaimed yogis and yoginis and Instagram personalities like Jen Selter, who’s famous for the rather significant bump on her behind.
While some are credible, they tend to get lost in the sea of advice from your girlfriend’s best friend’s brother-in-law, who figured he’d offer up his guidance since he hits the gym every once in a while.
On the quest to the torch the fat and define those muscles, we forget to double-check our source’s credentials – yes, I’m guilty of it too. But let’s hit the pause button for a second and drop those dumb bells.
Janine Tiede and Kirk Slobody, former NCAA athletes and the founders of SloBody in Delray, were gracious enough to sit down with Boca mag to offer advice on what to do, what to focus on and what you may be doing wrong.
1. Find a good instructor. You need someone that understands your body and can tailor your workout to what you need, based on your fitness level, any health conditions and so on. When a client joins SloBody, Janine and Kirk start with a personal assessment to help them find the workout plan that’s best for you.
2. Understand your body mechanics. Is your weight distributed equally through both feet? Do your knees fall together? Is your pelvis aligned? These can all affect your body mechanics, which is how your body moves in space, and in turn affect your workouts. When assessing a client, Janine and Kirk often start at the feet and move upward because of the body’s kinetic chain of activity. By understanding your body mechanics, you can adjust your workouts so it’s more effective and reduce the chance of injury. “It’s all about form,” Janine says.
3. Set your goals. Maybe you’re training for a half-marathon. Maybe you’re trying to lose weight. Maybe your focus is on overall improvement in fitness. Depending on your goals, your schedule and training program will differ. For those trying to lose weight, Kirk says they recommend cardio three or four times a week. For those trying to increase endurance, the focus is on the technique. For every fitness goal, there’s a method to achieve it.
4. Work your core. People tend to work out the visible muscles. But neglecting those core muscles that support the spine can be problematic. When doing strength training, always incorporate exercises that build up the core.
5. Warm up and cool down. It could be anything as simple as swinging your legs back and forth and circling your arms to a brief set of yoga stretches. Regardless, take two minutes before and after your workout to “strengthen and lengthen.” It’s the step that’s often missing from everyone’s workout, Janine says.
Other quick tips? Ditch anything that seems a bit too dogmatic, Janine says. Think crash diets and 30-day challenges that don’t translate into lifestyle changes – ehem, the previously mentioned squat challenge.
The key is to find a workout plan that’s sustainable, Kirk says.
When it comes to workout supplements, do your research. Janine and Kirk aren’t big on workout supplements, but they acknowledge that there are some good ones out there. Just make sure you understand what you’re putting in your body.
To get more fitness tips and find out more about SloBody, visit slobody.com. SloBody is located at 209 N.E. Fifth Terrace, Delray Beach.