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.

20160830_193303_28751361824_o

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
20160830_185709

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)

20160830_185401_28753568903_o

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!

20160830_192658

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:

20160830_194043_29087425640_o

 

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

Advertisements

Guest Post: Top Three Yoga Mistakes with Yogi, Dena Dodd Perry

Yoga is our zen spot and the way we first bonded and became this crazy Batman and Robin style blogging duo.  Yes, we fight crime and do yoga…you didn’t know?  But we definitely have experienced the whole “Am I doing this … Continue reading

Giveaway: Hydrate your Summer with Propel Fitness Water

Summa Summa Summa timeeee…time to sweat!  Have you ever ran in 90 degree heat because you threw caution into the lack of wind?  You definitely need to replace those lost electrolytes to avoid muscle cramps and quick fatigue.

With 9 flavors, Propel Electrolyte Water wants to keep your summer humming with a prize pack!  Take the “What’s Your Flavor?” Quiz to see if you’re more of a bubbly blueberry pomegranate or competitive cranberry lime.

Get thirsty for these prizes:

  • A sweat replacing pack of Propel Electrolyte Water flavors
  • Cool it down with a Propel moisture wicking yoga towel
  • Throw shade with Propel Sunglasses
  • Class up your fitness class with a Lululemon gym bag

FullSizeRender (1)

Here’s our fit flavor (no wonder, we are a 2 girl fitness blog!):

Kiwi Strawberry
“You’re more of a social butterfly than a hardcore competitor when it comes to fitness.  A fun workout takes priority over the amount you sweat.  You like group workouts like Zumba, kickboxing or barre with lots of upbeat tunes, or a walk in the park to catch up with a friend.  Of course, looking good while working out is always a priority – you never forget to match and accessorize”.

 

Once you’re all quizzed up, comment on our blog on what your flavor is to win this balanced bounty!!  Winner will be picked at random and announced by 8/15.

 

20 Minute Toning: Ignite Fitness Review

Admit it.  Sometimes, during tough workout videos, you lie there huffing and puffing hoping your virtual teacher won’t catch you slacking.  That feeling is slightly guilty/awesome because you know this workout is challenging you.

It may seem that 20 minutes of fitness won’t do squat (HA!) but high intensity workouts can pack a punch for more energy and toning.  We received a complementary Blu-Ray copy of the Women’s Health Ignite workout starring Next Fitness Star winner Nikki Metzger to test its fit factor.  Nikki Metzger isn’t just some gym rat of the street.  She’s a Master Trainer and owner of BODI gym in Scottsdale, Arizona.  She’s not afraid to slap you with a bad @#s fitness routine.

20160306_155006.jpg

 

Ignite fires you up with 3 x20 minute stand alone (or get crazy and plow through all 3) workouts.  Bonus: An 8 minute bananas ab sequence in case you didn’t feel sore enough.

Workout Chapters:

BUILD

More of a traditional weights workout, but still maintains an interval format. Nikki demos the moves and sets before each change.  Free weight usage is optional, removing intimidation for the recently sedentary.

BURN

Guacs, this is a doozy.  Plyometrics take center stage for this cardio heavy chapter with crazy hard moves like the evil planky bear or real move name: Lateral Bear Crawl.

SWEAT

Your muscles will get HIIT from the front and the back with this 360 high speed interval routine.  Expect 45 second sets with 3 sets in each rotation.  Moves include modified burpees with a row added, plank walk outs and our Snapchat favsie: The Starfish Crunch.

20160306_170502.jpg

Workout Cheers

  • These 20 minute speed workouts torch calories and slow time.  You can fit this into a busy life!
  • Nikki’s lady crew each demo-ed a different move level for beginners up to bodybuilder lost your mind mode.
  • As a trainer, Nikki is approachable and encouraging.  Also, we like her fitanista style with 3 on fleek fit outfits to choose.

Workout Woes

  • 8 minute abs was like 8 minutes confused.  Transitions were too too fast so it was hard to follow where to move next.
  • Closed caption anyone?  This is 2016 so I am sure the fitness industry would want people with hearing issues to be able to follow along with verbal cues too.
  • Why do all workout videos have drum kit music created on a Casio keyboard for their background?  We suppose it’s necessary to appease a majority of viewers (?) but we think even keyboard cat could do better.

Final (Get) Cut

Extra Extra!  Get your 20 minute toning with Ignite here.  Not ready to commit? Check out a preview of Nikki’s training here.

Looking for other workouts?  Check out some suggestions from previous posts here.

Winter Running Gear: YakTrax Run

What is it about Midwestern winter (and sadly sometimes spring) that can totally diminish your run game?  The chill in the air, the icy scaled sidewalks, that daunting first inch of snow…man we wanna grab our snuggie and hot chocolate just writing this!  We kept trying to figure out how we could keep running safely when the weather outside became frightful Snow solution?  A fluffy white magical Yak picks you up and you sashay through the shivery slush…or you could try YakTrax for a more realistic tool for winter running woes.

img_20160304_121622.jpg

What’s a YakTrax you ask?  The name sounds like a new Dr. Seuss character and just in time for his birthday!  But we digress.  We read a couple of “Best of Winter Running Gear” articles and YakTrax brand traction devices dominated many a list so we ski jumped for joy when we were given a pair from Implus, fitness accessory brand leader, to trek across the blustery terrain.

Inspired by a Himalayan Sherpa, the original Yaktrax model features a spikeless coil design that grips the ice and snow with each step.  Yaktrax Run’s combination of removable spikes and steel coils, providing 360° of unbeatable traction.  Continue your training during the winter with the same stability you are accustomed to on dry surfaces.  The Yaktrax Run can be worn in temperatures as low as ‑41° Fahrenheit.

Mittens Up (Yup, Thumbs Up)

Throw your mittens in the air if you just don’t care…about running in the cold.  Here’s the positives about YakTrax Run and winter running.

img_20160304_124545.jpg

  • Fit like a Glove – YakTrax Run snuggled around our sneakers and stayed put during our jogs.
  • No Directions Needed – You could dream of sugar plum fairies while putting your YakTrax on (aka daydream).  They are user intuitive and are marked to guide you (left and right/heel and toe)
  • Dashing Through the Snow – YakTrax did not have a drastic affect on our gait.  They kinda feel like you’re bouncing a bit on a cloud of snow.  We only put in a 5k distance so not sure how they’d fair on a longer jaunt.

Mittens Down (Thoughts for improvements and tips)

img_20160304_123019.jpg

  • The Weather Calls For Snowzilla – When reviewing other runners, YakTrax Run is made for a specific type of weather.  You probably shouldn’t run across an ice skating rink for prolonged amounts of time as they aren’t made for thick ice or feet of snow backwoods running.  Stick to mildly icy pavement and moderate snow for best results.
  • Slushy Slush (our new rap name) – Slushy snow can get trapped in the back of the heel so you may have to tap tap tap a tree once in awhile to get it out.

For you non-runners, YakTrax carries 6 other types of traction variations for any purpose from your ma’s walks in the afternoon, to your bestie who hits the ski slope every weekend.

Strap up your run shoes in some YakTrax Run coils for only $40 here, less than that Yak (about $2000) and besides Yaks weigh 700 pounds so where would you house them?

img_20160304_124630.jpg

For now, the weather has us chanting the mantra of the post office: Neither rain, nor moderate ice nor snow can stop us from running–now that we have YakTrax Run coils.  Maybe a tornado would stop us though…just sayin’.  What do you think about YakTrax or other run traction devices?  We would love to hear your thoughts.  Comment below and until next time, happy trails!

 

Tips for Trekking Your First Trail Run

21915129706_9b6bbe2eee_o

Now that Race-tober has come to a close, we’ve had a chance to reflect on all the “firsts” we’ve experienced this month: Monica ran her first 10K, Run 10 Feed 10, Kate took her sister to her first 5k, a very rainy yet triumphant Monster Dash and one of our most memorable races, our first trail run with the The North Face Endurance Challenge at Kettle Moraine State Park.  The North Face went above and beyond in sponsoring us, not only giving us sweet race gear before the race, but also surprising us with a backpack full of running essentials once we made our way to our hotel.

21948618591_03c1b1e1a9_o

For anyone who has been running 5Ks for a while or would love to just get out in nature more, we think a trail run could hit both those spots.

Here are some things we learned from our experience:

These shoes were made for trailin’

Invest in a pair of trail shoes.  Your feet will thank you for your generosity.  When we first received our North Face Ultra MT trail shoes, we noticed how stiff they were as compared to our norm runners.  A wise friend explained that trail running shoes and more hearty with more tread so you have better grip and can withstand stepping on wily rocks and sticks that may try to block your path.  These shoes are also waterproof to withstand wet and muddy trails.

21753422878_3f5802a303_o

Climbing every mountain 

The environment of trails can vary from run to run.  You may find well groomed trails, wild overgrown ones, or paved trails in your travels.  You may find you require more stamina and time to trail run than what you’re used to so don’t feel discouraged if you are slower paced than your average pavement jaunt.

Dress to impress–the wilderness

The weather the day of our trail run was not exactly what you would expect for early October but Midwest weather is like Forrest Gump’s box of chocolates, ya never know what you’re gonna get.  Chilly and brisk was the name of the running game for our race day.  Keeping in mind that we were going through the woods, we wore layers.  For rain, try a light or medium weight rain jacket, like The North Face Women’s Venture Jacket.  Trust us, don’t wear your poncho to run unless you want to sweat like a wild hog as you swish through the wilderness.

21929289262_22bb36a29c_o

And some advice from the trail running pros!

Runner’s World: 21 Quick Trail Running Tips

Active.com: 9 Trail Running Tips for Beginners

Trail Runner: The 10 Commandments of Healthy Running

Ready, set, go!

You can still take on the North Face Endurance Challenge in California, Washington D.C. and New York or try an Illinois trail run if you’re our neighbors.

22830067591_0c2335655e_o

Still trail shy?

The North Face offers their free Mountain Athletics training sessions every Tuesday and Thursday in Boston, New York, Chicago, San Francisco, and Washington D.C. to help you prep for your next ski jump, rock climb, run or crazy jazz hand competition…whatever your goal may be.

Free Nutrition and Fitness Event with Freshii and Trainology!

Quick: Name some famous duos!
Batman and Robin
Peanut Butter and Jelly
Freshii and…Trainology?
Teaming up this week, TRAINology Fitness Chicago‘s top trainer, Michael Wollpert will bring his “A” game and freshii franchiser and former personal trainer, Alex Blair, will bring the “lettuce” for a night of health and wellness tid bits, freshii bites, giveaways (we heart these) and Q&A, so ask whatever you like!
When: Wednesday, Nov. 4 at 5 p.m.
Where: The brand new funky fresh 1871 freshii location on the 12th floor of the Merchandise Mart.
reFreshiiTrainology jpg
What: An hour long fitness and nutrition talk with experts, Michael and Alex, moderated by A Sweat Life blogger, Jeana Anderson Cohen.  Food and giveaways throughout the evening.  RSVP to allison@trainologychicago.com to save a spot!

Running towards Labor Day: 1st time (or 2nd or 3rd) 5k Tips for Success

We have a confession to make.  It’s been 2 weeks since our last post…and quite awhile since our last good run and yet, we have decided to run a 5K this weekend!  AHHHH the agony.  We have every intention of getting up at 5:30 am and running to prep but then our beds call us back loving and tenderly.  Maybe tomorrow we will start again.

For those of you who want to stretch your runnin’ legs with us and challenge yourself anyways, the Magnificent Mile Chicago Women’s Half Marathon and 5K this Sunday has super fun pre and post race events that may convince you to jump out of your bed!

The Magnificent Mile® Fitness Meets Fashion Market

Schedule of Pre Race Events

Where: Fleet Feet Sports – South Loop

What: Sneak peeks into fall apparel from trendy fitness brands, live music and giveaways!

Friday

10:00-8:00 pm: Fitness Meets Fashion Market hours

4:00-7:00 pm: Q+A, chat with running coach and Runner’s World columnist, Jenny Hadfield.

 Mag-Mile-Shakeout-Run-Header-2014

Saturday

10:00-7:00 pm: Fitness Meets Fashion Market Hours

9:15 am: Official Magnificent Shakeout Run led by Professional Oiselle Runner Lauren Fleshman and Jenny Hadfield.

10:30-11:30 am: Complimentary Yoga for Runners class presented by Yoga Six Studio.

4:00-6:00 pm: Meet Professional Oiselle Runner, Lauren Fleshman for a Q+A, photo opportunities, mingling and more!

 

Race Day! Sunday

Register here and get a high quality racerback top to wear while traveling along the fab Mag Mile, a sexy finisher medal and access to a crazy post race party at the historic Buckingham Fountain.  Keep an eye out for delicious LUNA treats at all pre and post race activities.  What a good way to tighten up before Labor day!!  And to really prepare…check out the following pre-race tips for newbies like us from Terra Castro, recently retired professional triathlete and LUNA Chix Pro fitanista!!

photo

 

Morning of the Race

  • Warm-up: remember this is short speedy distance.  Warm-ups are essential to get the muscles ready to push at the faster speeds.  No need to hurt a hamstring!  Make sure to get in 10-15 min of light running and pick ups (strides- increased speed and leg turnover).
  • Seed yourself: This means make sure you pick the right corral or group to start with.  If you are ready to rock- go to the front and be aggressive.  If you are middle of the pack,steady approach, place yourself mid group but be ready because it will be a little crowded.  It is OK to be aggressive and seed yourself a little faster than you think as it will give you more room to get moving.
  • Breakfast: Make sure you eat your pre-race breakfast 2 hours or more before because you don’t want the food to cause GI distress.  Coffee, bagel with PB and banana is always a great starting point to try.  If needed you could use a clif shot right before with some water.  Keep it simple.
  • NO NEW THINGS: don’t get excited and try any new product, shoes, socks, or routine on race morning.  Do what you did in training.
  • Race plan: I always have my athletes write out a simple race plan (strategy) of how they will approach the race.  Not only is this good for the race splits (knowing your mile splits to go for) but I also have them write out the mental side of things to process nerves and know how they will handle the WHAT IFS etc.

 

Terra Castro is a recently retired Professional Triathlete who works as an Elite Sports Massage Therapist and Endurance Coach at Detroit Tough.  Terra works with age group athletes of all levels, and has a specialization in Youth/Junior Triathlon Coaching.  Her passion to BE BOLD is something she shares with all her athletes and within her community. (Head Coach/owner of Be Bold Crew LLC).  You can follow Terra and up your run quotient @terracastro (Twitter & Instagram).

Her tips and tricks will be featured in our next few running blog posts to improve your run game (and ours for sure sure!)