Pilates Vs Weight Training

In ALL, Movement by Mikki Reilly2 Comments

I get a lot of questions from my clients about Pilates and how it compares to weight training. And my response is that I’m a big believer in the good, better, best approach to health and fitness. Pilates is definitely better than sitting on the sofa, but is it the best way to achieve your goals? But before I get …

Exercise Tip: Split Squat

In ALL, Movement by Mikki ReillyLeave a Comment

The split squat is another great exercise for improving single leg strength which works almost every muscle in the lower body. As with most body weight exercises, begin with no external weight and as you advance add dumbbells, a bar or weighted vest to increase the difficulty. Muscles involved: Quadriceps, Gluteus Maximus (buttocks muscle), Hamstrings, Quadratus Lumborum (low back muscle), …

Weight Training, Mitochondria and Aging

In ALL, Movement, Primal Lifestyle by Mikki ReillyLeave a Comment

There’s little doubt that weight training reverses the effects of aging in human skeletal muscle. But in a new study, researchers at McMaster University wanted to see if the loss of mitochondrial function, related to the loss of muscle mass in older individuals, would also be reversed. (The mitochondria convert food into energy). So they compared the effects of six …

Exercise Tip: Lying Hip Abduction

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Lying hip abduction is a great exercise for working the Glute Medius, a hip muscle which stabilizes the knee during single leg movements such as walking, running and one leg squats. Weakness in this muscle can cause problems such as chrondromalacia patellae (softening of the knee cartilage), Patellar tendinitis, patellofemoral syndrome or the more common “runners knee.” To strengthen the …

Exercise Tip: Prone Bridge

In ALL, Movement by Mikki Reilly2 Comments

The prone is bridge is a great exercise which develops stunning core strength. There are three different levels to this exercise and the version illustrated in the photo is the most advanced. I suggest working up to that exercise using the method outlined below. Muscles involved: Rectus Abdominis, External Obliques, Hip Flexors Action: Lie face down on the ground or …

Plyometrics Develop Speed and Quickness

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In a recent post I discussed the fact that we lose fast twitch muscle fiber as we age if we don’t participate in activities which require the muscles to generate a lot of force. A great method for developing these fibers is plyometrics, or “jump training.” This technique was pioneered in Russia back in the 1960s and gained worldwide recognition …

Exercise Tip: Side Bridge

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The side bridge is a great lateral flexion exercise for developing stability in the lumbar spine. It’s a safe and effective way to strengthen the obliques and quadratus lumborum. Muscles involved: Internal and External Obliques, Quadratus Lumborum and Transversus Abdominis Action: Lie on one side with your top hip stacked above your bottom hip. Raise yourself up until your body …

Add Foam Rolling To Your Program

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Want to increase your flexibility? The foam roller is one of the most effective self-maintenance tools you’ll find for releasing tension and improving your overall range of motion. We all accumulate tension in our muscles from over use, lack of stretching, and the aging process. Foam rollers release this chronic muscular tension and restructure your skeletal system in such a …

Exercise Tip: Swiss Oblique Crunch

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In a recent post I discussed the fact that exercises done on the stability ball develop the deep segmental muscles that stabilize the spine. The Swiss Oblique Crunch is a great exercise for recruiting those spinal stabilizers as well the powerful rotators of the torso: the internal and external obliques. Muscles involved: Internal Obliques, External Obliques and Spinal Stabilizers. Action: …

What Is Evolutionary Fitness?

In ALL, Movement, Nutrition, Primal Lifestyle by Mikki ReillyLeave a Comment

I came across a compelling theory on fitness and nutrition, recently, that’s based on our evolutionary past. The idea is that our minds and bodies are a product of millions of years of evolution. And since our genes haven’t changed over the last 40,000 years, our DNA is that of the hunter-gatherers. Athlete/scientist, Art De Vany suggests that our genes …