Monday, 3 March 2008

8th February

As you know I completely fell of the health wagon last weekend so I’ve been trying to make up for it ever since. I went to see my new personal trainer again and he’s actually really good. I told him my goals, to have a flat stomach and a great bum without losing any weight. He did a posture assessment by watching me do squats and told me that he can see I wear very high heels a lot. I have a slight shoe fetish and buy shoes that completely destroy my feet. I bought a pair of Cesare Paciotti shoes before Christmas, which actually trapped a nerve in my little toe! Ouch!! They look hot though ☺ Anyway back to my personal trainer. He said wearing heels has affected some of the muscles in my legs and unless I stretch them before I work out, I won’t get results from exercises like squats. It’s good to have a personal trainer. You don’t need one every time you’re at the gym but they’re good for advising you on what to do to achieve your goals. They’re also really useful for advising you on your technique, which is really important. A lot of gyms offer a free session with a personal trainer when you start. Ask them to write you a programme. It’s best to see a personal trainer again after a month or so to discuss your progress and change your programme accordingly and also so you don’t get bored doing the same routine. I’ve heard that if you do the same exercise for a long time your body gets used to it and stops improving so it’s good to keep trying different things. The other thing he showed me was how to do a plank properly. I’ve been doing planks for years now, they’re meant to pull your core in and strengthen your stomach. I’ve been advised to do them by personal trainers in the past and done them in Legs, Bums and Tums classes and a lot in Pilates. He asked me to do one and tell him what muscles I can feel working. I’d never thought about this before but I couldn’t actually feel my abs working at all even though my whole body got tired quickly. He said he’s trained loads of women who have done Pilates for years and that almost all of them don’t know how to do a plank properly and that even a lot of the teachers don’t know. So here it is… Lie on the floor as you would normally to do a plank, instead of pushing straight up into it, tuck your toes under, tense your leg muscles, then tense your bum and stomach muscles and lift it to shoulder height. Finally tilt your hips under a little to a neutral hips posture. If you push straight into it you’ll mainly feel it in your shoulders and arms. You should feel the difference. Hold for 30 seconds to a minute. Do 3 times.

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