Not Crossfit, Better than Bootcamp…Duffy’s Ultimate Functional Fitness on CORE DON’Ts

It’s definitely beach season here in Mount Pleasant and Charleston…perfect time to delve into one of our favorite topics, THE CORE!  But first of all, just to make sure we’re all on the same page—what exactly is your core?  Self Magazine spells it out like this: “Your core is made up of a group of muscles that work together to support and stabilize the trunk of your body. While we often think of our core as our abs, the abs are only one part of the equation. The core wraps around the entire body, and includes muscles like the rectus abdominus (the abs), obliques, and yes, the muscles in your lower back.” So beyond your belly, your core is exactly like it sounds, the CENTER of your body.  If you want to delve deeper into the matter, we did an article a while back (click HERE to find it).     This week we are debunking some myths with our TOP FIVE CORE-BUILDING DON’Ts #1 Don’t Be Afraid to Hold Still Contrary to popular belief, getting a strong center does not mean blasting out 500 sit-ups.  It’s time to debase the exercise myth that the more crunches you do, the stronger your core becomes.  In fact, research is showing that JUST doing crunches can actually HURT you. Nowadays the crazy “ab cruncher” craze of the 80’s is giving way to the idea that when it comes to building a strong core foundation, there is STRENGTH in STILLNESS.    NBC News quotes Brian Bott, certified functional strength coach, founder of Aspire Fitness and co-author of Get With the Program: “When...

Not Crossfit, Better than Bootcamp…Duffy’s Ultimate Functional Fitness on CUPPING!

You might have seen athletes around Mt. Pleasant and Charleston sporting the ubiquitous purple spots—or even seen celebs like Michael Phelps and Gwyneth Paltrow tout the wonders of CUPPING in the press.   So what is up with all of that bruising?    This week we break down what exactly CUPPING is and WHY it’s all the rage among athletes! WHAT EXACTLY IS CUPPING? According to cupping expert Michael Mancuso, as quoted in People Magazine, “[Cupping is] a ‘suction cup-like tool’ used to apply negative pressure to a person’s underlying sore tissue.  The patient then moves into a position that stretches out that spot. The cups stay in place for about five to 10 minutes.” WHAT HAPPENS TO YOUR BODY DURING CUPPING? MindBody explains that cupping is almost like an ANTI massage: “Rather than applying pressure to muscles, the suction uses pressure to pull skin, tissue and muscles upward…the underlying tissue is raised, or sucked, partway into the cup.”   While you will get tissue relief with massage, cupping goes about targeting the tissue in a radically different way. WHY ARE PEOPLE CUPPING? According to Kevin Rindal, who works with USA Swimming and Michael Phelps specifically (as quoted in Time Magazine): “The intent [of cupping] is to minimize fascial restriction so the motion is more smooth..Instead of pushing down on muscle and fascia, as massage does, cupping pulls the layers of muscle and fascia apart, much like separating the layers of a flaky pastry, so fluid can flow more easily in between them to keep them well-oiled.”  Or in more simple terms: ‘The purpose of cupping is to enhance...

Not Crossfit, Better than Bootcamp…Duffy’s Ultimate Functional Fitness on MIXING UP YOUR CARDIO

We all know that getting into an exercise routine is a good thing!  And while the gym is essential for strength and fitness, it’s always good to add cardio into the mix too!  The problem we’re seeing however, is that lots of people get into what we call “workout ruts”—routines that repeat the same activities over and over.  And it makes sense that people get into these grooves! If you’re a runner, you’re going to want to hit the trails all over Mount Pleasant and Charleston!  If you’re a rower, you’ll hit the water.  But what we’re seeing is that people are doing TOO MUCH of the same thing, which leads to fatigue and injury! So this week we’re focusing on WHY IT’S IMPORTANT TO MIX UP YOUR CARDIO! Mixing up your Cardio—Helps you Lose those Last Few Pounds One Medical quotes expert Arnold Lee, MD: “When you do the same activity all the time, your body gets used it and becomes very efficient.  Eventually, that adaptation will mean that you burn fewer calories even when you’re doing the same amount of exercise. “The solution: Challenge you body in a way that it’s not used to. Your body will have to work harder as it adjusts to the new activity, which means that you’ll burn more calories when you work out. And don’t forget to eat sensibly; regular exercise and a healthy diet are both important for weight loss.” Mixing up your Cardio—Helps Protect your Muscles and Joints Health Magazine warns that doing too much of the same thing can cause injury.  They quote Joe Holder, a Nike trainer...

Not Crossfit, Better than Bootcamp…Duffy’s Ultimate Functional Fitness on LACROSSE BALLS!

You may have seen them in the glass jar at the front of the gym or in fitness stores all over Mount Pleasant and Charleston…little orange and white rubber balls.  What are these colorful bouncy balls for and why are they EVERYWHERE?!?!?!  Move over foam rollers!  This week we are talking about the AWESOME massaging power of Lacrosse Balls!!! WHAT is so great about LAX Balls? According to HealthLine, “Lacrosse balls can be used as a powerful massage device that can help relieve pain and improve function in sore muscles. “Lacrosse ball massage is a form of self-myofascial release. Fascia, the thin sheath of connective tissue that covers all the muscles and organs of the body, is responsible for connecting muscle groups. When disrupted, it can cause pain and poor movement patterns. Tight fascia can pull the body out of alignment and increase pressure on muscles and joints, causing pain. The goal of myofascial therapy is to stretch and loosen the fascia so the underlying tissue can move freely.” So when you’re feeling tight and/or sore from a hard workout at the gym, these dense, concentrated balls of rubber can be used to free up that tight tissue. HOW do I use a LAX Ball after my Workout? Here are FIVE ways that our favorite experts recommend that you use an LAX ball to give yourself some tissue relief! 1. Soften your Shoulders Shape Explains: “Positioning the ball in this area can be tricky, so place it in an old stocking or sock to give you more control. Stand tall with your back close to the wall. Hold the...

Not Crossfit, Better than Bootcamp…Duffy’s Ultimate Functional Fitness on OUTDOOR EXERCISE!

Last week we talked all about why working out outside is good for you!  With all of the gorgeous spots around Mount Pleasant and Charleston to explore, there is no better place on EARTH to hit the ground running! This week we have our FIVE FAVORITE OUTDOOR EXERCISES. Outdoor Exercise Idea #1: SUP! Shape Magazine recommends taking it to the water: “Stand-up paddleboardinging (SUP) is an amazing way to tone your whole body without feeling like you’re exercising (Because it’s fun, but it’s not so easy.) Standing on a oversized long board, you use a paddle to navigate across flat, calm waters. Don’t be fooled by how easy it looks. SUP requires the use of your entire body, with a major emphasis on core stability and control. Former pro surfer Jodi Nelson describes it as ‘hiking on water,’ making it a great choice for anyone who wants to add some water to their workout routine without having to swim in it.” Outdoor Exercise Idea #2: Break out the Bike! WebMD reminds us why biking is the best: “Not only is bicycling an excellent cardiovascular exercise, but you can really explore your community by cycling to different neighborhoods or in parks, bike paths, or trails. Many people cycle to commute to work.  While running tends to target the hamstrings (the muscles in the back of your thighs), cycling uses the quadriceps (the muscles on the front of the thighs) more.” The Today Show adds: “Riding a bike outdoors offers even more benefits than a stationary bike since you’ll have to balance, steer your bike and respond to changing terrain as...

Not Crossfit, Better than Bootcamp, Duffy’s Ultimate Functional Fitness on EXERCISING OUTDOORS!

We DUFFNATICS love our gym.  There is no better place to sweat it out when you’re in group fitness classes, working the weights or using our equipment. BUT with all of this gorgeous weather hitting the LowCountry, we’re dedicating this week’s blog to reasons why EXERCISING OUTDOORS is GREAT FOR YOU! There are countless amazing places to break a sweat all over Mount Pleasant and Charleston, so read on to get inspired to take it OUTSIDE! Exercising outside is A BREATH OF FRESH AIR…LITERALLY LiveStrong explains, “Inhaling fresh air helps clear your lungs and enables you to take deeper, longer breaths of air — which increases the amount of oxygen that’s transported to your body’s cells. Increased oxygen in your body translates to greater energy and clarity of mind.”  Exercising outside GIVES YOU A DOES OF D Everyday Health adds to the health benefits of working out in the daylight: “Scientists recommend outdoor exercise as a way to get your vitamin D through sunlight. This is especially important if you are overweight — a recent study found that people who are overweight are almost twice as likely to be deficient in vitamin D.” Exercising outside BRIGHTENS YOUR MOOD Time Magazine consulted Dr. Pamela Peeke, a fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine and author of Fit to Live:  “Nothing makes you feel more childlike than being outdoors.  You’re modulating stress hormones, increasing endorphins and increasing the secretion of serotonin.”  And as the article explains, the higher your levels of serotonin, the brighter your mood. Exercising outside SHAKES THINGS UP Take it from Active, who explains that variety is...
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