4 Summer Shape-up Mistakes

Uploaded by ACEfitness on 04.05.2010

Jessica Matthews, Academy Exercise Scientist: With warm weather right around the corner,
today we're going to discuss four common mistakes that people make while trying to get fit for the summer.
The first of which being: skipping breakfast.
We've all heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, yet it's one that many people skip, often in an effort to lose weight.
However, research has shown that skipping breakfast is not an effective way to lose weight.
In fact, regularly eating breakfast can actually help in the process of losing weight and in the maintenance of weight loss long-term.
Those who eat breakfast tend to consume less dietary fat, snack less impulsively,
and engage in slightly more physical activity than non-breakfast eaters.
When it comes to food choices, one study found that individuals who eat cereal,
both ready-to-eat or cooked, or quick breads for breakfast, tend have to have significantly lower body mass index
when compared to those who skip breakfast, or those who eat meat and/or eggs for breakfast.
If you're exercising early in the morning, try eating a small amount of rapidly digestible carbohydrates,
such as a slice of whole-wheat bread or a banana, about 30 minutes or so before the start of your workout session.
The second mistake people make are performing too many crunches.
With beach season right around the corner, awesome abs are on the minds of many.
However, performing an endless number of crunches is not the best approach to toning your midsection.
When performing crunches, just like any other resistance exercise, ideally you want the last few repetitions to be difficult to complete.
When performed correctly, 10 to 25 repetitions for one to three sets of an abdominal exercise
provide a more than adequate training stimulus.
If you can perform more than 25 repetitions of an abdominal exercise,
you're most likely performing the repetitions too rapidly, or with improper form.
Research has shown there's more effective exercises to strengthen the abdominals than just the traditional crunch.
Using EMG equipment to monitor muscle activity, researchers found a number of abdominal exercises
that elicit a much higher mean percentage of muscle activity than the traditional crunch, including bicycle crunches and stability ball crunches.
Keep in mind that strengthening the abdominals is just one aspect of core training,
which serves a much higher purpose than just simply touting a midsection that's easy on the eyes.
A strong core is essential for maintaining good posture, alleviating back pain, reducing the risk of injury,
improving athletic performance, and enhancing over all daily function.
The front plank, side plank, and bird-dog are examples of exercises
which effectively challenge the muscles of the torso and enhance stability, all while sparing the spine.
Mistake number three that people make is placing too much emphasis
on trying to avoid the knees extending beyond the toes when performing squats or lunges.
While it is correct to avoid excessive forward movement of the knee during squatting and lunging movements,
it is a myth that the knee should never extend beyond the toes when performing squats or lunges.
This belief originated from a 1978 Duke University study that found maintaining a vertical lower leg as much as possible
reduced sheering forces on the knee during a squat.
The truth is that leaning too far forward is more likely what is truly causing the problem or injury.
In 2003, research from the University of Memphis confirmed that knee stress increased by 28 percent
when the knees were allowed to move past the toes while performing a squat.
However, hip stress increased nearly 1,000 percent when forward movement of the knee was restricted.
As a general pointer, when performing a lunge, try to keep the knees aligned over your second toe
so that the knee is moving the same direction of the ankle joint.
If you happen to have long limbs, then it is realistic to expect your knees to move forward over or beyond the toes.
When performing squats or lunges, to ensure safety and maximize effectiveness,
initiate the movement by pushing the hips backwards before lowering towards the floor.
This movement is referred to as the hip hinge.
The final mistake that people make is not drinking enough water.
Staying hydrated is so important, especially during the warm months of summer.
Yet, it's something that many of us tend to overlook.
By the time the sensation of thirst sets in, our bodies are typically already at a 1 percent dehydrated state.
That is, we've already lost 1 percent of our body weight.
Research has shown that dehydration states of 2 percent of body weight lost, or greater,
can negatively impact exercise performance and also increase the potential for heat illness.
To stay properly hydrated, aim to consume 17 to 20 ounces of water about two to three hours prior to the start of exercise.
Once you begin your workout session, aim to consume 7 to 10 ounces of water every 10 to 20 minutes.
For more health and fitness information, visit the Get Fit section of our website, acefitness.org.
We'll see you next time.