Hybrid Exercise Blog

Squat 101 | Part 2 - High Bar vs Low Bar

Posted by Lacey Byrd on

Squat 101 | Part 2 

High Bar vs Low Bar

The Back Squat is a fundamental movement for building strength in our legs.
 
It is one of the most difficult exercises out there because it requires physical and mental effort to get under the bar.
 
The form of the Back Squat is hard to master and this is probably the reason why we see so many scared trainees that think squatting is bad for their backs.
 
Remember that ugly form is what is bad for your back.
 
Performing a perfect deep squat to the ground with your core tight can only benefit your posture and make you stronger.
 
Today, we are investigating further into everything you should know about the two variations of the Back Squat.
What is the difference between High and Low Bar Squat?
While the two types of squat may look almost identical to a novice, there is a big difference between them.
 
The primary one is in the position of the torso.
 
While doing the High Bar Squat, the bar is placed on our upper trapezius and the torso is more vertical to the ground.
 
With the Low Bar Squat the bar is placed around our back shoulders (deltoids) and the torso is more horizontal to the ground.
 
This means two things when we perform a High Bar Squat:
 
  •       There is less work for our erectors (lower back muscles)
  •       There is more work for the opposite of the erectors - our abdominal muscles
 
On top of that, while doing High Bar Squat, the angle in the knees is smaller, compared to the Low Bar Squat. (if we squat deep)
 
For this reason, the knees go forward and the pressure in the lower back is decreased.
 
With that being said, High Bar Squat uses more of our quadriceps, core, and upper back, while the Low Bar Squat puts more pressure on our erectors and hamstrings.
Which one is more efficient?
Efficient is a subjective term.
 
You can build muscle mass in your body with either variation.
 
As you have learned from the previous paragraph, the difference is in the main muscles involved.
 
If your primary goal is to build strength and add as many kilos to the bar as possible, then the Low Bar Squat is the way to go.
 
The High Bar Squat has a bigger range of motion and puts less pressure on your erectors.
 
If your goal is general hypertrophy and strength, or you are training the Olympic movements, then the High Bar Squat might be the best option for you.
 
One of the “cons” of the High Bar Squat is that you squat less, compared to the Low Bar Squat.
 
To make it easier for you:
 
  •       Low Bar - Strength (1) and Hypertrophy (2)
  •       High Bar - Hypertrophy (1) and Strength (2)
 
With “1” being the primary target and “2” being the secondary target without excluding the first.
 
You may already have learned this but let’s explain...
Which One Is Safer?
At the beginning of this article, we mentioned that a perfectly performed squat can only benefit you.
 
In general, the Low Bar Squat puts more pressure on our lower back and this may be a reason someone can mark it as “unsafe”.
 
The High Bar Squat is our go-to variation if you want to progress significantly fast and put less stress on your erectors.
Take-Home Message
Both High Bar and Low Bar Squat can be implemented in your training program.
 
They can both be used as primary leg movements and also as assisting ones.
 
Use them wisely, according to your goals.
 
Thank you for reading this article

Read more

Squat 101 | Part 2 - High Bar vs Low Bar

Posted by Lacey Byrd on

Squat 101 | Part 2 

High Bar vs Low Bar

The Back Squat is a fundamental movement for building strength in our legs.
 
It is one of the most difficult exercises out there because it requires physical and mental effort to get under the bar.
 
The form of the Back Squat is hard to master and this is probably the reason why we see so many scared trainees that think squatting is bad for their backs.
 
Remember that ugly form is what is bad for your back.
 
Performing a perfect deep squat to the ground with your core tight can only benefit your posture and make you stronger.
 
Today, we are investigating further into everything you should know about the two variations of the Back Squat.
What is the difference between High and Low Bar Squat?
While the two types of squat may look almost identical to a novice, there is a big difference between them.
 
The primary one is in the position of the torso.
 
While doing the High Bar Squat, the bar is placed on our upper trapezius and the torso is more vertical to the ground.
 
With the Low Bar Squat the bar is placed around our back shoulders (deltoids) and the torso is more horizontal to the ground.
 
This means two things when we perform a High Bar Squat:
 
  •       There is less work for our erectors (lower back muscles)
  •       There is more work for the opposite of the erectors - our abdominal muscles
 
On top of that, while doing High Bar Squat, the angle in the knees is smaller, compared to the Low Bar Squat. (if we squat deep)
 
For this reason, the knees go forward and the pressure in the lower back is decreased.
 
With that being said, High Bar Squat uses more of our quadriceps, core, and upper back, while the Low Bar Squat puts more pressure on our erectors and hamstrings.
Which one is more efficient?
Efficient is a subjective term.
 
You can build muscle mass in your body with either variation.
 
As you have learned from the previous paragraph, the difference is in the main muscles involved.
 
If your primary goal is to build strength and add as many kilos to the bar as possible, then the Low Bar Squat is the way to go.
 
The High Bar Squat has a bigger range of motion and puts less pressure on your erectors.
 
If your goal is general hypertrophy and strength, or you are training the Olympic movements, then the High Bar Squat might be the best option for you.
 
One of the “cons” of the High Bar Squat is that you squat less, compared to the Low Bar Squat.
 
To make it easier for you:
 
  •       Low Bar - Strength (1) and Hypertrophy (2)
  •       High Bar - Hypertrophy (1) and Strength (2)
 
With “1” being the primary target and “2” being the secondary target without excluding the first.
 
You may already have learned this but let’s explain...
Which One Is Safer?
At the beginning of this article, we mentioned that a perfectly performed squat can only benefit you.
 
In general, the Low Bar Squat puts more pressure on our lower back and this may be a reason someone can mark it as “unsafe”.
 
The High Bar Squat is our go-to variation if you want to progress significantly fast and put less stress on your erectors.
Take-Home Message
Both High Bar and Low Bar Squat can be implemented in your training program.
 
They can both be used as primary leg movements and also as assisting ones.
 
Use them wisely, according to your goals.
 
Thank you for reading this article

Read more


Squat 101 | Part 1 - Front vs Back Squat

Posted by Lacey Byrd on

Squat 101 | Part 1

Front vs Back Squat

 
Legs are a neglected muscle group by many for one reason - it requires a bigger effort to train them.
 
However, legs form one half of our body and it is really important to train them for two reasons:
 
  •       Aesthetic physique isn’t possible without training legs
  •       It is good for our general health
 
The squat is undoubtedly one of the best compound movements to build strength in our legs and make them grow.
 
It is part of the big 3, along with the bench press and the deadlift.
 
Furthermore, it is used by novices, intermediaries, and advanced lifters to reach their goals.
 
Yet, there are a couple of different variations of the traditional squat, and today we are delving deeper into them.
What Is The Difference Between Front and Back Squat?
As we mentioned above, squats require a lot of effort and concentration.
 
Whether you are doing a front or back squat you have to be prepared physically and mentally to get under the bar.
 
The main differences between the two are in the position of the bar and the primary muscles targeted.
 
By changing the position of the bar our torso also changes positions when performing each one of the squats.
 
The Front Squat targets the quadriceps, the adductors, the glutes, the core, and also the upper back (upper trapezius) of the trainee, however, your hamstrings are NOT significantly contributing to the movement.
 
The exercises can be used as a primary leg movement OR it can be used as an assisting exercise.
 
The Back Squat on the other side puts our torso in a more horizontally position and allows a bigger range of motion.
 
The Back Squat is split into High Bar and Low Bar Squat, which are analyzed in detail here. (insert link for the article)
 
In general, the Back Squat targets the quadriceps, the hamstrings, the glutes, the lower back, the upper back.
 
In other words, the whole body is engaged when performing a back squat.
 
Another thing to keep in mind is that the front squat puts less pressure on your lower back.
 
The reason for this is because when performing a front squat we are leaning forward less, compared to the back squat.
 
Now, that doesn’t mean the back squat is more dangerous for your lumbar spine.
 
When executed perfectly, the back squat can only strengthen your lower back and it is the same for the front squat.
 
But you probably wonder...
Which One Is Better For Growing Your Legs?
There is no better exercise than others.
 
In general, if you are looking for optimal strength and hypertrophy in your legs you should go with the back squat.
 
The reasons for that are stated below:
 
  •       The Back Squat has a bigger range of motion, which means that there are more muscles activated
  •       You can progress on a weekly basis and get to more kgs on the bar, compared to the front squat
  •       When squatting heavy our core is activated more, which is a general benefit
 
However, that doesn’t mean you should totally exclude front squats from your training routine.
 
Nevertheless, doing both will bring you nothing but welfare.
 
You can implement some heavy back squats (intensity) and some light front squats (volume) for the best results.
 
Your legs will grow IF you are eating optimally and are progressively overloading the weight on either exercise.
Final Words
Front and Back squats are both awesome exercises to put some muscle mass in our legs.
 
The one isn’t necessarily better than the other and they both should be included in our training for the biggest impact.
 
Share this article with a friend, who might need to read it!

Read more

Squat 101 | Part 1 - Front vs Back Squat

Posted by Lacey Byrd on

Squat 101 | Part 1

Front vs Back Squat

 
Legs are a neglected muscle group by many for one reason - it requires a bigger effort to train them.
 
However, legs form one half of our body and it is really important to train them for two reasons:
 
  •       Aesthetic physique isn’t possible without training legs
  •       It is good for our general health
 
The squat is undoubtedly one of the best compound movements to build strength in our legs and make them grow.
 
It is part of the big 3, along with the bench press and the deadlift.
 
Furthermore, it is used by novices, intermediaries, and advanced lifters to reach their goals.
 
Yet, there are a couple of different variations of the traditional squat, and today we are delving deeper into them.
What Is The Difference Between Front and Back Squat?
As we mentioned above, squats require a lot of effort and concentration.
 
Whether you are doing a front or back squat you have to be prepared physically and mentally to get under the bar.
 
The main differences between the two are in the position of the bar and the primary muscles targeted.
 
By changing the position of the bar our torso also changes positions when performing each one of the squats.
 
The Front Squat targets the quadriceps, the adductors, the glutes, the core, and also the upper back (upper trapezius) of the trainee, however, your hamstrings are NOT significantly contributing to the movement.
 
The exercises can be used as a primary leg movement OR it can be used as an assisting exercise.
 
The Back Squat on the other side puts our torso in a more horizontally position and allows a bigger range of motion.
 
The Back Squat is split into High Bar and Low Bar Squat, which are analyzed in detail here. (insert link for the article)
 
In general, the Back Squat targets the quadriceps, the hamstrings, the glutes, the lower back, the upper back.
 
In other words, the whole body is engaged when performing a back squat.
 
Another thing to keep in mind is that the front squat puts less pressure on your lower back.
 
The reason for this is because when performing a front squat we are leaning forward less, compared to the back squat.
 
Now, that doesn’t mean the back squat is more dangerous for your lumbar spine.
 
When executed perfectly, the back squat can only strengthen your lower back and it is the same for the front squat.
 
But you probably wonder...
Which One Is Better For Growing Your Legs?
There is no better exercise than others.
 
In general, if you are looking for optimal strength and hypertrophy in your legs you should go with the back squat.
 
The reasons for that are stated below:
 
  •       The Back Squat has a bigger range of motion, which means that there are more muscles activated
  •       You can progress on a weekly basis and get to more kgs on the bar, compared to the front squat
  •       When squatting heavy our core is activated more, which is a general benefit
 
However, that doesn’t mean you should totally exclude front squats from your training routine.
 
Nevertheless, doing both will bring you nothing but welfare.
 
You can implement some heavy back squats (intensity) and some light front squats (volume) for the best results.
 
Your legs will grow IF you are eating optimally and are progressively overloading the weight on either exercise.
Final Words
Front and Back squats are both awesome exercises to put some muscle mass in our legs.
 
The one isn’t necessarily better than the other and they both should be included in our training for the biggest impact.
 
Share this article with a friend, who might need to read it!

Read more


Is Cardio a waste of time or a useful tool?

Posted by Lacey Byrd on

Is Cardio a waste of time or a useful tool?

Since the dawn of the fitness industry, cardio has been used by bodybuilders and novices to achieve one goal - decrease body fat percentage.
 
It is not a secret that many athletes want that six-pack and the first thing that is associated with nice-looking abdominal muscles is cardio...
 
However, is cardio really that useful for dropping these extra kilos or is it just a waste of time?
 
Well, today we are going to find that out, but first...
 
What is the price of cardio?
Though cardio may offer a variety of benefits that can help us get closer to the ultimate goal of burning extra calories and losing weight, there are hidden costs to it…
 
So let’s have a look at those!
 
Cardio is time-consuming.
 
We live in a world where everything moves fast and if we are not adaptive, we may fall behind.
 
Putting these extra 30-40 minutes after training is something not many people could afford.
 
Students, working adults, pregnant women, and entrepreneurs are managing their schedules very strictly and don’t have any spare minutes.
 
We know for sure that our time is our most valuable asset, so we should spend it wisely.
 
Furthermore, time spent on cardio is NOT the only price we pay.
 
Cardio right after strength training decreases our performance.
 
Our anaerobic work (weight lifting) suffers when we combine it with aerobic work (cardio)
 
In other words, doing cardio right after our strength training is NOT a good idea.
 
These are two different types of stress for our body and they require the adaptation of two different types of muscle tissues.
 
We want to be as efficient as possible.
 
That’s why we shouldn’t be doing cardio right after our weight lifting session.
 
But does this mean that cardio is bad for us and we shouldn’t be doing it at all?
 
Let’s find out in the next paragraph...
Should we totally exclude cardio from our training?
It really depends on our goals.
 
For instance, if you are trying to lose some body fat for the summer because you want to look good on the beach, then cardio might not be necessary.
 
Walking 10k steps per day or adding some other aerobic work such as swimming, running or cycling is a great way to increase your physical activity.
 
However, if we are preparing for a bodybuilding competition or a photoshoot, then cardio might be able to come in handy.
 
“But you said that cardio right after training will make our progress in the gym suffer.”
 
Yes, and the solution is simple.
 
You should split the cardio from your strength training!
 
Simply, do cardio a couple of times per week when you are NOT having a weight lifting session at the gym.
 
If you are very busy on your rest days, you can try doing cardio in the morning and then have strength training in the evening.
 
If your goal is to lose body fat as fast as possible, leave cardio for the last couple of weeks of your plan.
 
Keep your physical activity high and progressively add cardio if you feel that you’ve hit a plateau.
 
Things to keep in mind:
 
  •       Strength training burns more calories than cardio
  •       HIIT training burns more calories than cardio and requires less time
 
Takeaways:
 
Cardio is NOT a magical tool that makes you lose fat.
 
It is just a tool to increase your physical activity and burn more calories.
 
Cardio could be used to manipulate our calorie consumption. In other words, you could eat your favorite cake IF you have burned some extra calories this day (via cardio)
 
Focus on progressing on the compound movements in the long-term and walk more.
 
Take the stairs, instead of the elevator, park further away from the supermarket.
 
Implement cardio ONLY if it gives you pleasure and you can afford to spend your time on the cardio machines.
 
We hope that this article helped you understand some important information on this “magical” thing called cardio.
 
If so, feel free to spread the love by sharing it with a friend who might need to read this.
 

Read more

Is Cardio a waste of time or a useful tool?

Posted by Lacey Byrd on

Is Cardio a waste of time or a useful tool?

Since the dawn of the fitness industry, cardio has been used by bodybuilders and novices to achieve one goal - decrease body fat percentage.
 
It is not a secret that many athletes want that six-pack and the first thing that is associated with nice-looking abdominal muscles is cardio...
 
However, is cardio really that useful for dropping these extra kilos or is it just a waste of time?
 
Well, today we are going to find that out, but first...
 
What is the price of cardio?
Though cardio may offer a variety of benefits that can help us get closer to the ultimate goal of burning extra calories and losing weight, there are hidden costs to it…
 
So let’s have a look at those!
 
Cardio is time-consuming.
 
We live in a world where everything moves fast and if we are not adaptive, we may fall behind.
 
Putting these extra 30-40 minutes after training is something not many people could afford.
 
Students, working adults, pregnant women, and entrepreneurs are managing their schedules very strictly and don’t have any spare minutes.
 
We know for sure that our time is our most valuable asset, so we should spend it wisely.
 
Furthermore, time spent on cardio is NOT the only price we pay.
 
Cardio right after strength training decreases our performance.
 
Our anaerobic work (weight lifting) suffers when we combine it with aerobic work (cardio)
 
In other words, doing cardio right after our strength training is NOT a good idea.
 
These are two different types of stress for our body and they require the adaptation of two different types of muscle tissues.
 
We want to be as efficient as possible.
 
That’s why we shouldn’t be doing cardio right after our weight lifting session.
 
But does this mean that cardio is bad for us and we shouldn’t be doing it at all?
 
Let’s find out in the next paragraph...
Should we totally exclude cardio from our training?
It really depends on our goals.
 
For instance, if you are trying to lose some body fat for the summer because you want to look good on the beach, then cardio might not be necessary.
 
Walking 10k steps per day or adding some other aerobic work such as swimming, running or cycling is a great way to increase your physical activity.
 
However, if we are preparing for a bodybuilding competition or a photoshoot, then cardio might be able to come in handy.
 
“But you said that cardio right after training will make our progress in the gym suffer.”
 
Yes, and the solution is simple.
 
You should split the cardio from your strength training!
 
Simply, do cardio a couple of times per week when you are NOT having a weight lifting session at the gym.
 
If you are very busy on your rest days, you can try doing cardio in the morning and then have strength training in the evening.
 
If your goal is to lose body fat as fast as possible, leave cardio for the last couple of weeks of your plan.
 
Keep your physical activity high and progressively add cardio if you feel that you’ve hit a plateau.
 
Things to keep in mind:
 
  •       Strength training burns more calories than cardio
  •       HIIT training burns more calories than cardio and requires less time
 
Takeaways:
 
Cardio is NOT a magical tool that makes you lose fat.
 
It is just a tool to increase your physical activity and burn more calories.
 
Cardio could be used to manipulate our calorie consumption. In other words, you could eat your favorite cake IF you have burned some extra calories this day (via cardio)
 
Focus on progressing on the compound movements in the long-term and walk more.
 
Take the stairs, instead of the elevator, park further away from the supermarket.
 
Implement cardio ONLY if it gives you pleasure and you can afford to spend your time on the cardio machines.
 
We hope that this article helped you understand some important information on this “magical” thing called cardio.
 
If so, feel free to spread the love by sharing it with a friend who might need to read this.
 

Read more


How To Bulletproof Your Knees

Posted by Lacey Byrd on

How To Bulletproof Your Knees

The knee is one of the hinge joints in our bodies that gets injured so often due to the total compression force being put on it during the day.
 
It allows flexion and extension movements on our legs.
 
Whether you are an active athlete with knee pain, a teenager struggling with knee aching, or just a regular adult experiencing some sort of discomfort, you want to get rid of the knee pain.
 
We are strong advocates of a pain-free active lifestyle, so today, we are showing you how to make your knees bulletproof...
Why Having Strong Knees Is Important?
Your knees support the bulk of your body weight and take most of the impact from regular activities such as walking, running, and jumping.
 
Having strong knee joints is a major part of living a pain-free life when performing an activity.
 
There are millions of people suffering from knee pain in one way or another.
 
Moreover, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, more than 1 million people replace their knee joints every year in the US.
 
Yet, surgery should be your last option if you experience any sort of knee pain.
 
In fact, keeping healthy knees should be our priority for living a fulfilling life.
 
Strengthening the muscles in our legs will help support the knee joint.
 
Having strong front muscles (quadriceps) and back muscles (hamstrings) on our legs helps our knee joint absorb stress.
 
Flexibility also plays a big part in having stronger knees.
 
Stretching before and after a workout is a great way to reduce stress on our knee joints.
 
Stretching does not only help with reducing stress, it also helps with decreasing soreness of the muscles.
 
Now, let’s look at some of the best exercises to make your knee joints strong and flexible.
Top 5 Best Exercises To Bulletproof Your Knees
  1. Quad Set
 
Sit on the ground with your feet pointing forward. Start flexing your quadriceps and imagine that you are pushing your knees down. Mind muscle connection is very important when doing this exercise!
 
Repeat for 2-3 sets x 10 reps per leg and hold 3-4 seconds on each rep.
 
  1. Straight Leg Raises
 
Sit on the ground as in the previous exercise. Flex your quadriceps hard and lift one of your legs. Try to keep your foot as straight as possible without bending your knee. Reach a position where you start to feel the burn in your hamstring and hold for 3-4 seconds.
 
Repeat for 2-3 sets x 8-10 reps per leg.
 
  1. Bridges
 
The simpler version of the Hip Thrust.
 
Lay on the ground with your feet touching the ground, banded in the knees. Lift your torso until you reach a horizontal position and squeeze your glutes.
 
If this is too easy for you, lift one of your legs and hold it straight as you reach a horizontal position.
 
Repeat for 3 sets x 10 reps.
 
  1. Quadriceps Foam Rolling
 
Put your hands in a push-up position, shoulder width, and lay on a foam roller with one of your legs on top. Rollback and forth and keep a slow pace while performing the exercise.
 
You can adjust the pressure with your hands or even lift your other leg to make it harder.
 
Repeat for 2 sets x 10 reps per leg.
 
  1. Single-Leg Calf Raise
 
Put one of your feet on an elevated platform. You can use a weight disc or even a staircase for this purpose. Start raising your leg until you are fully extended. Slowly return to starting position.
 
Repeat for 3 sets x 15 reps per leg.
Final Thoughts
Preventing knee injuries is only possible by maintaining decent strength and flexibility in your legs.
 
Having strong knee joints is vital for your everyday life and shouldn’t be neglected as it could have consequences.
 
Thank you for reading this article and don’t hesitate to spread the love by sharing it with a friend!

Read more

How To Bulletproof Your Knees

Posted by Lacey Byrd on

How To Bulletproof Your Knees

The knee is one of the hinge joints in our bodies that gets injured so often due to the total compression force being put on it during the day.
 
It allows flexion and extension movements on our legs.
 
Whether you are an active athlete with knee pain, a teenager struggling with knee aching, or just a regular adult experiencing some sort of discomfort, you want to get rid of the knee pain.
 
We are strong advocates of a pain-free active lifestyle, so today, we are showing you how to make your knees bulletproof...
Why Having Strong Knees Is Important?
Your knees support the bulk of your body weight and take most of the impact from regular activities such as walking, running, and jumping.
 
Having strong knee joints is a major part of living a pain-free life when performing an activity.
 
There are millions of people suffering from knee pain in one way or another.
 
Moreover, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, more than 1 million people replace their knee joints every year in the US.
 
Yet, surgery should be your last option if you experience any sort of knee pain.
 
In fact, keeping healthy knees should be our priority for living a fulfilling life.
 
Strengthening the muscles in our legs will help support the knee joint.
 
Having strong front muscles (quadriceps) and back muscles (hamstrings) on our legs helps our knee joint absorb stress.
 
Flexibility also plays a big part in having stronger knees.
 
Stretching before and after a workout is a great way to reduce stress on our knee joints.
 
Stretching does not only help with reducing stress, it also helps with decreasing soreness of the muscles.
 
Now, let’s look at some of the best exercises to make your knee joints strong and flexible.
Top 5 Best Exercises To Bulletproof Your Knees
  1. Quad Set
 
Sit on the ground with your feet pointing forward. Start flexing your quadriceps and imagine that you are pushing your knees down. Mind muscle connection is very important when doing this exercise!
 
Repeat for 2-3 sets x 10 reps per leg and hold 3-4 seconds on each rep.
 
  1. Straight Leg Raises
 
Sit on the ground as in the previous exercise. Flex your quadriceps hard and lift one of your legs. Try to keep your foot as straight as possible without bending your knee. Reach a position where you start to feel the burn in your hamstring and hold for 3-4 seconds.
 
Repeat for 2-3 sets x 8-10 reps per leg.
 
  1. Bridges
 
The simpler version of the Hip Thrust.
 
Lay on the ground with your feet touching the ground, banded in the knees. Lift your torso until you reach a horizontal position and squeeze your glutes.
 
If this is too easy for you, lift one of your legs and hold it straight as you reach a horizontal position.
 
Repeat for 3 sets x 10 reps.
 
  1. Quadriceps Foam Rolling
 
Put your hands in a push-up position, shoulder width, and lay on a foam roller with one of your legs on top. Rollback and forth and keep a slow pace while performing the exercise.
 
You can adjust the pressure with your hands or even lift your other leg to make it harder.
 
Repeat for 2 sets x 10 reps per leg.
 
  1. Single-Leg Calf Raise
 
Put one of your feet on an elevated platform. You can use a weight disc or even a staircase for this purpose. Start raising your leg until you are fully extended. Slowly return to starting position.
 
Repeat for 3 sets x 15 reps per leg.
Final Thoughts
Preventing knee injuries is only possible by maintaining decent strength and flexibility in your legs.
 
Having strong knee joints is vital for your everyday life and shouldn’t be neglected as it could have consequences.
 
Thank you for reading this article and don’t hesitate to spread the love by sharing it with a friend!

Read more


Ankle Mobility 101 | Part 2 - Mobility Exercises

Posted by Lacey Byrd on

Ankle Mobility 101 | Part 2

Mobility Exercises

After reading about the anatomy of the ankle in the first part (last week), now it’s time to get practical.
 
In this second part, you will learn how important it is to have ankle mobility and how you can achieve it.
 
Ankle mobility is simply the flexibility of the ankle joint and all the muscles and tendons that surround it.
 
Poor ankle mobility can sometimes result in pain or discomfort in the joint when doing regular tasks like walking or running.
 
It is caused by overtraining or the opposite - low physical activity.
 
Now, let’s delve deeper into the importance of ankle mobility.
Why Ankle Mobility Is Important
Have you ever struggled to get your hips below parallel when squatting?
 
Well, the reason for this might be a sign of poor ankle mobility.
 
Lack of ankle mobility can result in arching your lumbar spine to compensate and putting more pressure on your lower back.
 
As you might guess, ankle mobility can hinder sports performance and even cause pain and discomfort.
 
Having strong and flexible ankles is also required in our daily lives.
 
When walking we put 5 times our body weight on our ankles.
 
Furthermore, running puts even more pressure on the ankle joints - almost 13 times our weight.
 
As you can see, Dorsiflexion (moving your toes backward) and Plantar Flexion (pushing your toes forward) are involved in so many movements and it is extremely important that they are mobile.
 
But how do you know how flexible your ankles are? Let’s find out in the next paragraph.
How You Can Test Your Ankle Mobility
You can test your ankle mobility in multiple ways but one of the easiest ones requires no equipment at all, so we will focus on it.
 
All you need is a wall.
 
  •       Kneel in front of the wall with one of your feet steady on the ground around 12-13 cm (5 inches) from the wall
  •       Your other foot should lean backward
  •       Now, try to touch the wall with your knee that is closer to the wall WITHOUT lifting your heel
 
If you can do that, then you have good ankle mobility.
 
However, if you struggle to do it, then you might need some exercise...
Top 5 Best Ankle Mobility Exercises
  1. Eccentric Calf Raises
 
Lift up on a gym weight disc with both your calves. Now, raise one of your legs and start going down slowly with the other one. Hold down for 3-4 seconds and bend your knee forward before going up again.
 
Repeat for 3-4 sets x 12-15 reps.
 
  1. Goblet Squat With A Kettlebell
 
Grab a Kettlebell and get into a squat position. Put your elbows on your knees, so they point out at 11 and 1 on the clock. Bounce a little and get into the squat position again.
 
Repeat for 2-3 sets x 10-12 reps.
 
  1. Banded Ankle Leaning Forward
 
Put a resistance band around the bottom part of your ankle and attach it to something behind you. Start leaning forward without lifting your heel off the ground. Your other foot should lean backward as in the mobility test.
 
Repeat for 2-3 sets x 10-12 reps per foot.
 
  1. Lateral Tibia Glide
 
Lay on your back and bend one of your knees, so your foot is on the ground. Try to move the foot about 30 degrees left and right without lifting your toes or heels.
 
Repeat for 2-3 sets x 10 reps.
 
  1. Overhead Squat
 
Grab a small bar and lift it up as you are doing overhead press and get into a squatting position. By keeping your hands up, you put your torso in a more vertical position and it will be easier for you to go deep as you squat.
 
Repeat for 2-3 sets x 10 reps and keep the weight low.
Final Thoughts
We hope that these two parts helped you understand how the ankle works and how you can improve your ankle mobility.
 
Thank you for reading and don’t forget to share this article with a friend!

Read more

Ankle Mobility 101 | Part 2 - Mobility Exercises

Posted by Lacey Byrd on

Ankle Mobility 101 | Part 2

Mobility Exercises

After reading about the anatomy of the ankle in the first part (last week), now it’s time to get practical.
 
In this second part, you will learn how important it is to have ankle mobility and how you can achieve it.
 
Ankle mobility is simply the flexibility of the ankle joint and all the muscles and tendons that surround it.
 
Poor ankle mobility can sometimes result in pain or discomfort in the joint when doing regular tasks like walking or running.
 
It is caused by overtraining or the opposite - low physical activity.
 
Now, let’s delve deeper into the importance of ankle mobility.
Why Ankle Mobility Is Important
Have you ever struggled to get your hips below parallel when squatting?
 
Well, the reason for this might be a sign of poor ankle mobility.
 
Lack of ankle mobility can result in arching your lumbar spine to compensate and putting more pressure on your lower back.
 
As you might guess, ankle mobility can hinder sports performance and even cause pain and discomfort.
 
Having strong and flexible ankles is also required in our daily lives.
 
When walking we put 5 times our body weight on our ankles.
 
Furthermore, running puts even more pressure on the ankle joints - almost 13 times our weight.
 
As you can see, Dorsiflexion (moving your toes backward) and Plantar Flexion (pushing your toes forward) are involved in so many movements and it is extremely important that they are mobile.
 
But how do you know how flexible your ankles are? Let’s find out in the next paragraph.
How You Can Test Your Ankle Mobility
You can test your ankle mobility in multiple ways but one of the easiest ones requires no equipment at all, so we will focus on it.
 
All you need is a wall.
 
  •       Kneel in front of the wall with one of your feet steady on the ground around 12-13 cm (5 inches) from the wall
  •       Your other foot should lean backward
  •       Now, try to touch the wall with your knee that is closer to the wall WITHOUT lifting your heel
 
If you can do that, then you have good ankle mobility.
 
However, if you struggle to do it, then you might need some exercise...
Top 5 Best Ankle Mobility Exercises
  1. Eccentric Calf Raises
 
Lift up on a gym weight disc with both your calves. Now, raise one of your legs and start going down slowly with the other one. Hold down for 3-4 seconds and bend your knee forward before going up again.
 
Repeat for 3-4 sets x 12-15 reps.
 
  1. Goblet Squat With A Kettlebell
 
Grab a Kettlebell and get into a squat position. Put your elbows on your knees, so they point out at 11 and 1 on the clock. Bounce a little and get into the squat position again.
 
Repeat for 2-3 sets x 10-12 reps.
 
  1. Banded Ankle Leaning Forward
 
Put a resistance band around the bottom part of your ankle and attach it to something behind you. Start leaning forward without lifting your heel off the ground. Your other foot should lean backward as in the mobility test.
 
Repeat for 2-3 sets x 10-12 reps per foot.
 
  1. Lateral Tibia Glide
 
Lay on your back and bend one of your knees, so your foot is on the ground. Try to move the foot about 30 degrees left and right without lifting your toes or heels.
 
Repeat for 2-3 sets x 10 reps.
 
  1. Overhead Squat
 
Grab a small bar and lift it up as you are doing overhead press and get into a squatting position. By keeping your hands up, you put your torso in a more vertical position and it will be easier for you to go deep as you squat.
 
Repeat for 2-3 sets x 10 reps and keep the weight low.
Final Thoughts
We hope that these two parts helped you understand how the ankle works and how you can improve your ankle mobility.
 
Thank you for reading and don’t forget to share this article with a friend!

Read more