Max your fitness training and prevent injury with Nike Master Trainer, Jason Raynor

Have you ever been in a fitness class and felt a twinge in your knee during a lunge? Or how about that back pinch just from your regular morning stretch?  You may feel as fit as a fiddle until one of those strings snaps, reflecting an imbalance in your body.

Full disclosure: both of us discovered the sucky-ness of injury this summer with pinched nerves and bulging discs.  Stress+work/blog computer scrunching+cell phone snapping=a toll on your bod!

Trainer Raynor Time

We were curious and a bit nervous when we got an invite to try a functional movement assessment with Jason Raynor, Master Nike Trainer.  Raynor has a flex worthy list of fitness certifications and experience including a stint as the assistant strength and conditioning coach for the Washington Redskins.

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Traynor Raynor demoing a walking side squat

We met up with him at one of his current sweat spots, the JW Marriot in downtown Chicago, to get the rehab and rebound experience of functional movement assessments.  Think of it as self-help for your fit life!

Now let’s get to the fitty gritty deets.

Functional Movement Assessment Basics

Functional movement assessments can help you identify those instabilities, not only to prevent injury but to amp your athletic performance.  Even amateur fit fiends like us could benefit by optimizing our every day movements.

Trainer Raynor guided us through the first 3 of the 7 movement patterns of the functional movement system.

  • Deep Squat
  • Hurdle Step
  • In Line Lunge
  • Shoulder Mobility
  • Active Straight Leg Raise
  • Trunk Stability Push Up
  • Rotary Stability
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Trainer Raynor evaluating Monica’s deep squat

But that was just the warm up!  After each movement, he asked follow-up questions, gave feedback, and took detailed notes.  Both of us had different areas of strengths and weaknesses.  Kate had mobility issues with her hurdle step (think slow mo-hurdle) while Monica held tightness in her hip flexors that showed up as knee pain during her split stance lunge.  (Check our short video post on Instagram)

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Trainer Raynor teaching the proper hand and feet placement for a deep squat

Raynor tackled our tensions with personalized stretches and taught us how to move to protect from injury.  Practiced consistently, these corrective exercises will wipe out your inconsistencies and put you in peak form!

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Monica practicing a corrective stretch for her hip flexors

A detailed report is sent to you after your sesh to ensure you can “work it out nowwww” more efficiently and effectively.  Trainor Raynor doesn’t just work on your fitness (although that’s Fergalicious enough).  He targets all areas of health transformation with:

  • Team or group athletic development and coaching
  • Nutrition Consulting
  • Individualized Personal Training

We are huge fit fans of the functional movement assessment and plan on going back to complete the screening.  Ready to be that agile athlete hiding inside you? Contact Trainor Raynor for appointments and rates!  Check out his profile on the following:

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*We received one shared functional movement session in exchange for an honest unbiased review*

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Kettlebell Fitness for your tush and thighs

Spring and pending summer raise the “risk” of going out for fruity umbrella drinks, thus raising the probability of expanding our shorts sizes.  YIKES!  Sometimes you gotta switch up your fitness routine to get over the summer drink hump.  But what do two fitanistas do when they’ve tried a gamut of fitness styles?

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Go to an expert!  Our bestest personal trainer friend alerted us to a Kettlebell option in Chicago that we just had to try.  Chicago Kettlebell Club is the go-to place for kettlebell sport training in Chicago, and is home of Chicago’s growing kettlebell sport team.  They also offer intro classes for greenies like us.  The only Kettlebell experience we’ve had was in circuit training-like classes where we hacked our way through the traditional wood chopper exercise.

But now, we know better!  One of the best things about Chicago Kettlebell Club is the bubbly, informative and meticulous instructor, Bea Rodriguez (read her personal story about how she got hooked on kettlebell).  When entering, we were late (we need to work on that!) to the North Side space where Bea’s small group training sessions are held, Evolution, but Bea looped us right in.  There were about 4 other people in the class and the circuit was posted on a dry erase board for more experienced classmates.  Bea warmed us up and then helped us through the entire class with basic kettlebell handling, form, and facts.  This was much appreciated as we figured out we had noooo idea how to handle that sucker.

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Basic Kettlebell Tidbits:

What Da…is a Kettlebell anyways?

Kettlebells originated in Russia and are either cast iron or steel balls with an attached handle.  They range in weight as can be quite light or supremely heavy.  Bea uses steel competition Kettlebells in her classes.

So how much do they weigh?

We started off with a 8 kg kilogram kettlebell (good ol’ pinky the Kettlebell) which equates to approximately 17.6 lbs and bumped up to the light blue 10 kg kettlebell (approx. 22 pounds).  The largest kettlebell (an appropriately colored gold bell) at Evolution weighs 48 kg lbs.

For the math curious, 1 kg=2.2 pounds (Oh you tricky metric system!)
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There are different schools of Kettlebell thought/technique: Girevoy Sport Style and Hardstyle

Girevoy style Kettlebell classes focus on endurance over time whereas Hardstyle does more explosive movements where you tire quickly.  Bea practices Girevoy Sport style, aka fluid style, but you may encounter Hardstyle at your local gym.

You can compete with Kettlebells.

No ways! There is an upcoming competition in Chicago in June, and there are many competitions that team members can attend throughout the year, in Chicago and other states and countries.

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So who should join the Chicago Kettlebell Club?

Whether you’re in Chicago or not, you can join Coach Bea‘s kettlebell sport team.  Male, female, beginner and advanced athletes are all welcome. All you need are 2 things:

1) Set aside 3 times a week to follow Coach Bea‘s weekly programming, whether at home or a gym that has competition bells (in Chicago, Evolution Fitness at 6122 N Pulaski Rd and Phenomenal Fitness at 1450 S Michigan Ave has them)

2) Set up in-person coaching (at Evolution Fitness or Phenomenal Fitness) or video technique coaching.  You may also choose to attend optional team practice sessions at Evolution on Saturdays at 12pm.

Pricing will depend on location and the training package you choose.

Email Coach Bea at chikettleclub@gmail.com with your name and phone number if interested.  More info can also be found here http://thechicagokettlebellclub.com/faqs/

ckc team

Here’s a sneak peek demo of a kick butt Kettlebell signature move, the Double Turkish Get-Up 24kg .

Umm soo..do Kettlebells make you lose weight?

As with all things, your nutritional lifestyle and exercise both factor in but yep, Kettlebells burn some major calories so they are an effective tool to get your blood pumping!

We wholeheartedly recommend this class for beginners or advanced fitness students.  Aside from being comfortable with basic swing variations and squat techniques, there was one thing we were definitely sure about…..Bea’s Kettlebell class worked us out!  Our booties and thighs were sore enough to make us think we walked up a mountain!

 

Ready to try it out?  Your first class with Bea is free!  Contact her to get started today.

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And for you competitive go-getter types, here’s a taste of what a competition looks like:

Happy swinging!