Improve Mental Health With Exercise by Coach Tony

Hey Famiglia,

Coach Tony here to talk about the benefits of exercise on mental health. The physical benefits of exercising go without saying. The focus of this post though, is of the more underlying benefits that are not as obviously observed. The psychological and emotional benefits of regular movement show us the real value of having a fitness routine. With anxiety disorders affecting about 40 million adults and depression hitting more than 15 million adults in the U.S. alone, the advantages of finding your preferred form of exercise can be life changing.

The Benefits On Mental Health

As you become more active, neurotransmitters (such as norepinephrine, serotonin, and dopamine) and endorphins are released in your brain that specifically help you feel better, manage stress better and reduce the perception of pain. In addition, regular exercise has been shown to be connected strongly to help keep you cognitively sharp into later life as it helps prevent degeneration of the hippocampus, which is used in memory and learning. Moving on a regular basis can also help you get a better night’s sleep, which again goes hand in hand with stress reduction. Also, various studies have shown that keeping fit can create new brain cells and improve overall brain performance.

Put simply, if you want to have a higher sense of overall well-being, you should start moving.

Where Do I Start?

Now that we know exercise is good for you, let us make a game plan.

Now I know that life happens and then priorities start to shift. Try not to have an all-or-nothing mentality. Instead, see if you can have more of an Always Something. See if you can do just a little something most days of the week. Just a 5 min walk will help, if you feel like you can’t do it because you are exhausted.You can also schedule physical activity just like you would with work to fit small amounts into an already overwhelmed schedule. If you do not want to start out being in front of people, maybe home workouts may be better. Need to be held accountable? Find a walking buddy.

Walking is good way to start slow with something that is low impact if you are starting from scratch and not sure what to do first. All it takes it moving 30 minutes a day a few times a week. If you don’t have that kind of time in one block, try breaking it up. Go for 3 10-minute walks or 2 15-minute walks. If the work week does not even allow for that, then become a weekend warrior and fit in physical activity any way you can. Moderate intensity is a good place to start. If you are going for a walk with a friend, you should be able to have conversation comfortably and feel a little bit warmer.

Also, set yourself up for success. If you have higher energy levels in the morning, go for a walk or a jog when you wake up and make yourself a nice breakfast when you get back home. Busy work schedule? See if you can get yourself moving in the middle of the day.

The Takeaway

The body and mind are closely related. When you start to treat the body better through exercise and relieve physical tension, the mind will start to relax. The mind-body connection is strong. Capitalize that fact and leverage it to your advantage. Tend to the body and mind will reap the benefit. Find something you enjoy and stick with it. I should mention though, that if you do want some of these benefits faster, you will have to bump up the intensity. Do with this what you will. Have fun and be healthy.

Until next time Famiglia,

Tony

Want to learn more? Click here and here to learn how to adjust your diet to eat, move and live better.

Tips On A Healthier Breakfast by Coach Tony

Hey Familia,

Coach Tony here with a few thoughts on one of my favorite meals of the day – breakfast. One of the things that I love is starting the day off on a strong meal. Personally, that means having a hearty feeding that also happens to be healthy and tasty. That helps to fuel me for the day and leaves me feeling light and strong. That being said, it is not so easy doing that consistently with work and life. In a time where convenience and novelty dictates the majority of our decisions, we need to keep our eyes on the bigger picture. With US adult obesity rates consistently rising since 1990, rates range from as “low” as 20% to as high as 35.9% in 2014. New York, by the way, ranks 39th with an adult obesity rate of 27%. Guys, this isn’t about doing the healthy things because we want to – we have to.

Benefits Of A Healthy Breakfast

Having breakfast is always a personal choice, but let me be clear about the benefits. Those that have breakfast consistently also usually notice:
  • Less body fat
  • Less chronic, non-communicable disease
  • Improved learning/retention
  • Improved mood
  • Better food choices later in the day
  • Improved energy
  • Muscle preservation
  • Increased strength
  • Lower cholesterol
  • Improved bowel movements
  • Balanced blood sugars

How To Construct The Perfect Breakfast

Now that we’re all on the same page about the benefits, let us now clear up what a better breakfast looks like. Under ideal circumstances, breakfast should be made up of real, unprocessed foods that are protein dense, varied vegetables, and whole grains such as oats, millet, quinoa, amaranth, sprouted grains, etc.

When The Real World Hits

We all know the real world doesn’t always allow for the perfect breakfast. That’s when the donuts, pastries, fast food, frozen meals, and other polluted calories take over. Now, let me be perfectly honest – I love the way all these things taste. They’re delicious! But what I hate with a burning passion of a thousand suns is how I feel afterwards. The super sugary, factory made, nutritionless, processed crap sold for cheaper than a carton of eggs and “cooked” faster than it takes for you to send an email offers no real substance.  Feeling heavy, slow, bloated, and irritable makes just daily living activities uncomfortable. Add in a workout and holy crap am I hurting! In my world, I value strength and resilience. I’ll be damned if anything compromises that, even my own choices.

Tips For You

We now know that eating breakfast is good for you. We also now have a better understanding of what types of food to avoid. Let’s now get to what you can do right now. Include foods and meals you can have that can become routine. Here’s how I like to approach my morning feeding. Like meat? Go for quality such as uncured bacon, sausage made in the traditional way, and ham that looks like it came from an animal instead of square packaging. Like starch? Opt for english muffins instead of bagels, croissants, and rolls. Throw in plenty of veggies with your eggs. Make a quiche or frittata so you only have more feedings from cooking once. One great healthy meal is worthless if you only eat it once a year. Make it routine. It needs to become habit for you to reap the benefits. Once breakfast is second nature, then you can start playing around. Does it have enough protein? What vegetables are in it? Are these whole grains? Is this food real, unprocessed and made with love?

With the knowledge of why we need to eat a healthy breakfast, what categorizes as healthy, and well as some guidelines to follow – you should now be well on your way to having a better start to each and every day.

Until next time Familia.

Cheers,

Coach Tony

Celebrate National Physical Fitness and Sports Month

As these April showers turn into May flowers and the weather starts to turn for the better, your opportunities to continue to improve your physical health multiply immensely. With May being National Physical Fitness and Sports Month, the time is now to start making yourself your priority and to help your family and friends as well.

When I think of National Physical Fitness and Sports Month, the first thing that comes to my mind is our youth. Much of my experience in this field comes from working as a Certified Athletic Trainer and Strength/Performance Coach for the youth population. My past experiences include working with local high schools and currently at John McEnroe Tennis Academy as an Assistant Performance Coach.

For your reference: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services found that only 1 out of 3 children are physically active every day. This include less then 5% of adults participating in 30 minutes of physical activity a day. Also, children now a days can spend up to 7+ hours per day in front of some type of screen.

The benefits to youth health run two-fold; one, for your kids and second, for your family. For you as the as the adult, it gives you an immediate connection into the lives of your kids. Taking your kids on a hike, going a bike ride together, or a walk around the block is invaluable time that you won’t be able to get back. We at Body Space Fitness encourage you to Celebrate National Physical Fitness and Sports Month as a family!

How to Partake in National Physical Fitness and Sports Month:

Below are some links to help find out more about youth health and fitness or feel free to ask me when you stop by Body Space Fitness:

Post by: Coach Andy Wegman. Come check out Andys’ class Mondays at 8PM! Sign up here.

My Journey to Going Alcohol-Free by Coach Crystal

As the weather gets warmer, more opportunities arise for a night on the town or hanging out at an awesome, trendy, brewery or rooftop bar all while trying to get your body “summer” ready. Of course, at all of these new trendy spots, there’s a 99.9% chance you’ll find alcohol and will likely end up with a glass in your hand.

As fitness professionals, we hear, “do I have to give up alcohol?”, or something of the sort. Do not get me wrong, I am also guilty of asking the same question when I began my journey into strict dieting and the competition life.

The Beginning:

Many people don’t know that I used to drink a lot; in frequency and quantity. I had my fun in college but I began drinking more as a post grad; going to bars every night or drinking by myself at home. I drank pretty much anything! If I didn’t like it, I would still drink because it gave me the escape I looked for daily. My drinking habits consisted of a frequency of 6 days a week; around 4 to 6 glasses of wine, maybe throw a cocktail in between there if I were with friends. If I were home alone, I’d have maybe 2 to 3 drinks of a distilled beverage; whiskey, rum, it didn’t matter.

Fast forward to beginning my fitness journey in New Jersey when I began working out consistently.  I participated in boot camp classes, got myself a trainer and took yoga for variety and restorative purposes. I felt better about myself while I was getting into better shape. Still, I drank like a sailor and didn’t watch what I ate too closely.

The Struggle of Cutting Out Alcohol:

After becoming a Flywheel Instructor, I made the choice to become the person I preached about in my classes. I found myself as a competition coach and began dreaming of becoming a female bodybuilder. Placed on a strict diet, I ate as clean as possible; no processed foods or anything with a shelf life. I made a significant cut on my sugar intake and began drinking tons of water (a gallon a day to be exact).

I struggled with it for months. Struggling to eat 5 to 6 times a day and drinking that much water was hell on my bladder. While I stuck to my diet and workout plans, I would still hang out with my friends and drink to get DRUNK! I was limited to ONLY three glasses of red wine per week. This was torture because 3 glasses of wine was my version of “pre-gaming”.

I followed the rules and stuck to three glasses a week. I was so focused on my fitness goal that sometimes I had less than the limit of three. One day, I recalled not drinking for about 3 weeks. At that moment, I decided to have a glass of wine and the result was feeling like a truck smacked me in the face the next morning.

After that, I stopped drinking for 11 months and the change was remarkable.  Most of the time, others are reluctant to commit to fitness goals because it takes a great deal of sacrifice. Cutting back on the drinks is one of them. While the choice is yours on how significantly you want to cut back, I recommend under two to three drinks a week. Whether you are trying to build muscle, maintain your current figure, or lose weight, limiting your alcohol intake is important because it plays a crucial role is digestion. When you consume your adult beverage, your body wants to metabolize the alcohol first. It lowers the body’s ability to generate new proteins, a process crucial for building muscle. Not only that, but we’ve heard it before; alcohol dehydrates you. Water is essential for weight loss but it also plays a role in building muscle mass. Composed of about 70% of water, alcohol acts as a diuretic and pulls water out. Thus, reducing the process of breaking down proteins, fats and carbohydrates. Alcohol impairs the recovery period and has a direct effect on athletic performance.

Tips for you:

While everyone’s fitness goal may vary and we enjoy having a drink or two with family and friends, I challenge you try limiting yourself to 2 to 3 drinks of wine or clear spirits per week. (If you need a mixer, try club soda. No added sugar!) Not to worry, I’ll be there with you. My next drink won’t be until after October 2017.

Eight months of working out, clean eating, and no alcohol.
Crystal Fraser October 2015/July 2016

Who is Crystal Fraser?

Crystal is one of our newest coaches here at Body Space Fitness! She joined us in November 2016 and currently coaches on Saturday mornings. Crystal is also a FlyWheel Instructor and an IFBB Figure Professional. Join her on her continued journey of going alcohol-free!

3 Reasons Why a Pushup Should Be in Everyone’s Training Program

The top three reasons I think a pushup should be a mainstay in everyone’s training program:

In a recent article in Shape Magazine, I gave my advice on what form I think you should use while doing a pushup. I want to take a second to step back and be clear on why are we doing a pushup and why I think they’re a great exercise that should be in every training program.

Number one, a pushup is a great core exercise. What a lot of people don’t realize is that you’re using force generated in your upper body to affect your dead weight in your lower body. That force needs to be transferred in your core, so in its most basic state, a pushup is a core exercise.

Number two, a pushup is metabolically challenging, meaning relative to other exercises, you can get a lot more metabolic response out of doing a proper pushup potentially than doing, say, a dumbbell chest press, or a bench press, or a cable press.

Number three, no matter what the situation, a pushup is easily measurable. What I mean by that is you may have a gym, you may not have a gym. You may have a gym with a bench, with dumbbells, you may not have a gym with a bench with dumbbells. No matter where you are, no matter what you’re doing, no matter what equipment you have access to, you can always do the exact same pushup. Therefore, it’s an exercise that you can measure consistently no matter what the situation.

Now, that being said, a couple of things about a pushup that I do want to mention is A, I try as much as possible not to do pushups from our knees. That pretty much takes the need to have a strong core not necessarily out of the picture, but it reduces the need, and that’s one of the things that we’re going for. B, I do want you to have a full range of motion with my neck in line with my shoulders. C, when necessary, I do want you to regress or progress the pushup, meaning if I cannot keep proper form, I want to first elevate my hands.

What I mean by this is put my hands up on a 12-inch box, a 6-inch box, an 18-inch box, or even a bar on a squat rack. When ready, I then want to maybe potentially put my hands on an unstable surface, or elevate my feet to progress. Enjoy reading this, and enjoy reading the article in the March edition of Shape Magazine, and feel free to ask questions if you have them.

Kelvin and his expert advice were featured in the 2017 March issue of Shape Magazine. Grab one at your local bodega and skip ahead to page 68 to get the deets!

21 Questions with BSF’s New Trainer, Alyssa Exposito!

To help BSF’s clients get to know Alyssa better, we played 21 questions with her. Find out how she teaches her clients how to deadlift, her personal “fitspiration,” favorite workout song, and much more here!

1. How did you first hear about BSF?
I met Kelvin at a fitness event and we bonded over being alum’s of the []_[] (The University of Miami).. the rest was history! I knew he’d be my coach.

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2. What made you want to work here?
The family environment. From clients, coaches, front desk staff, everyone was just so close and I knew immediately this was a team that cares about each other and always strives to get better.

3. Where can we find you in between training clients?
Either lifting something heavy, running, or reading. Being back in school means #nevernotreading

4. What will we find in your gym bag?
Whey Protein, water, 2 pairs of outfit changes, a biostat book (see previous answer) and Justin’s dark chocolate peanut butter cups (da bomb.)

5. What do you do when you’re feeling unmotivated to workout?
I watch Eric Thomas’ speech, “How bad do you want Success?” Gets me going every.single.time. Watch it.

6. When you’re planning out a class, what do you think about?
How can I make the program both effective and challenging, all while making it a fun experience. At the end of he day I want to connect to clients to ensure they trust me and want to come back.

7. What is your favorite exercise to do?
Deadlifts (with a donut on the side)

8. What is your favorite exercise to teach?
Deadlifts. Most people aren’t familiar with picking things up with their legs and not their back. When you say “Take your ASSets to the back wall”, everyone immediately chuckles and knows what to do.

9. What will we never find you working out without?
Iced Coffee.

10. What do you do to relax?
Sit and read on my roof, lay on my yoga mat and not do yoga, or binge Netflix.

11. What do you tell clients who are intimidated by working with a personal trainer?
To choose one they feel the most themselves and comfortable with. In a lot of ways, a personal trainer should be, and most likely will be, more than just a personal trainer. They truly are people who will become so close to you, helping, guiding, and watching you progress.

12. Who is your “fitspiration”?
Not sure I only have one, but any strong bad-ass lady. The best part is, I don’t have to search far.. we have 3 at BSF!

13. Favorite cheat meal?
Oh my, I can only choose one? I am a sucker for chicken wings and FRIES. I will judge a restaurant off their fries sometimes harsher than the food. Terrible, I know.

14. Pre-workout fuel?
Iced Coffee / Banana and PB

15. Post-workout fuel?
Justin’s dark Peanut butter cup!

16. Personal theme song?
Such a hard one! It depends on the day, right now Backseat Freestyle by Kendrick Lamar.

17. What did you want to be when you were growing up?
Brain surgeon. Neuroscience is still my favorite.

18. Celebrity doppelgänger?
I have gotten so many randoms that I don’t even see it. What do you think?

19. What celebrity would you love to train and why?
Jim Carrey; because I’m sure when I’d tell him to take his “ASSets to the back wall” he’d reenact the talking butt scene from Pet Detective.

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20. What is your favorite song to workout to?
When I’m lifting I’ll listen to anything Kanye West. When I’m running, anything Mumford and Sons. Weird, I know but the heavy acoustics give me rhythm for my cadence.

21. What is the best advice you ever received?
Where there’s a will there’s a way. Something my mom always reinforced on me growing up. It has been sort of a measure for me to know when I really, really want something. It’s a willingness to go after it, and find out how, but also what I’m willing to sacrifice to get it done.

Not a Snacker? Why you should be!

One of the biggest issues I have seen among clients lately is the lack of snacking. Many people are not eating snacks because either A) they don’t think they should or B) they don’t know what to eat that is healthy. Snacking is a beautiful opportunity to fuel your body between meals. Many of us will go 4-6 hours without eating anything and this causes over eating at your next meal, poor meal choices, and a lack of energy (I get HANGRY and irritable). Eating something small & healthy in between meals will truly help prevent this AND help boost the immune system work faster. Here are 4 of my favorite snacks to have:

1) Greek Yogurt with Honey and Fruit
This is a combination of fiber, healthy fats, and protein that will definitely get you over your afternoon hunger pains and away from the chips, pretzels, etc that most of us will go for cause it is easy! Easily do a single serving of greek yogurt with a  cup of fruit (I prefer blueberries!) and a 1/2 a tablespoon of honey.

2)Oatmeal 
Oatmeal is full of fiber, and helps regulate blood sugar levels from crashing. Add a little bit of blueberries for a taste of sweetness and some Vitamin C! Easily purchase a single serving (PLAIN!) of oatmeal and add about a half cup of blueberries. 

3) Banana w Almond/Peanut/etc. Butter
It is as simple as tablespoon of whichever nut butter you like and a banana, definitely can not go wrong there. The carbs will give a quick mood and energy spike and the protein will keep the energy train trudging along for hours. 

4) Handful of almonds
Almonds contain the healthy fat our body is looking for! However, be sure to only grab a handful (about 10-20 almonds) because although they are great for you, they are also high in calories.

Blog post by: Coach Stephany.

Follow her on Instagram for more helpful tips: @StephanyB15

Also follow @BodySpaceNYC to keep up to date with all the BSF fun!

21 Questions with BSF’s New Trainer, Stephany Bolivar!

To help BSF’s clients get to know Stephany better, we played 21 questions with her. Find out what she tells clients who are intimated by working with a trainer, her personal “fitspiration,” favorite workout song, and much more here!

1. How did you first hear about BSF?
I met Eddy through a Crossfit training facility in Astoria, then we ran into each other on the train one day, he told me about Body Space Fitness and we exchanged info. The rest is now history!

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2. What made you want to work here?
I love the energy here! Everyone is really friendly and even the members seem excited to be here, which is great to see!
3. Where can we find you in between training clients?
Once it is warmer outside (hopefully soon), either at the park reading a book or there is an outside movie night by my apartment in Astoria I love!
4. What will we find in your gym bag?
My lifting shoes, VooDoo floss band, wrist wraps and a lacrosse ball.
5. Favorite athletic brand?
Lulu (Lemon), of course!
6. What do you do when you’re feeling unmotivated to workout?
Watch really cheesy inspirational videos on YouTube.
7. When you are planning out a class, what do you think about?
How can I make everyone more excited to come in next time because they had so much fun?
8. What is your favorite exercise to do?
Squatting and snatching.

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9. What is your favorite exercise to teach?
Squatting or deadlifting. Both are very essential for the human body and typically, people don’t know how to do it without hurting themselves. I love teaching people how to do it correctly.
10. What do you do to relax?
Netflix or read.

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11. Perfect Sunday afternoon activity?
Church and then coffee, preferably outside.
12. What do you tell clients who are intimidated by working with a personal trainer?
I tell them I am on their team. I’m not here to beat them up but to make them better!
13. Who is your “fitspiration”?
Camille Leblanc-Bazinet, a Canadian crossfitter.
14. Celebrity doppleganger?
Everyone says I look like Selena (Quintanilla, not Gomez. Ha!).

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15. Favorite cheat meal?
A burger with the works.
16. Pre workout fuel?
Avocado and fruit.
17. Post workout fuel?
Sweet potato and coconut water.
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18. What did you want to be when you were growing up?

An astronaut. I find stars and space so fascinating!
19. What celebrity would you love to train and why?
Ryan Reynolds or Ryan Gosling…so I have an excuse to touch their butts!

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20. What is your favorite song to workout to?
Roar by Katy Perry. I don’t know why but that song gets me GOING!
21. What is the best advice you ever received?
“Life is a journey, not a race.”

A Few of the Perks of Being a Female Athlete by Coach Nicole

Almost a year ago, I officially ended my career as a student-athlete at Princeton. Upon concluding the season, I wrote a similar article to this for my weekly column in the “Prince”, our school newspaper. It focused mainly on the sense of identity I formed as a female athlete, and consequently, the confidence I developed with regards to my body and its athletic abilities. Having been in the “real world” now for nearly 8 months, I am pleasantly surprised to find that these lessons I learned as a college student have allowed me to further evolve as a female athlete and fitness professional. Here are a few of the “lessons” I’ve learned throughout this ongoing journey- which I think every woman should embrace, regardless of her level of athletic experience.

1) I own my body and its strengths

Throughout the last few years, I have noticed how almost all women are self-conscious about their bodies (I am not exempt from this). However, being a female athlete has made me much more aware of and also more comfortable with my body. Sure, there are times when I wish I could wear flowy frocks that look good on thin, frail models. But then I remember how weak I feel on the squash court after having failed to fuel properly before a practice. I remember how my body helps me to run, bike and hit a squash ball. The sense of accomplishment and personal pride I gain from success in athletics far outweighs the feeling of being a delicate model. Is my butt too big for those pants? Oh well, I can lunge on the squash court. A sweater is too tight on my shoulders? Hm, well I (almost) did a chin-up yesterday and that was pretty cool.

In my opinion, if you feel good in your body, it probably looks good too. And to be honest, who is scrutinizing it anyway? Playing squash, which appeals to a wide range of body types, has certainly opened my eyes to the variety of talent and skill which is used in the game, and for that I am grateful.

2) I appreciate eating well

Another topic that is somewhat contentious amongst females in our day and age besides body image is food intake. As an athlete, I eat to perform. My primary reason for eating well is not to keep a certain body fat percentage so I can wear a smaller-size squash dress (which, to be honest, fits me like a long shirt anyway). I eat well so that I can play well in the dress. Furthermore, I feel fortunate to not worry about being judged for what I eat. I truly enjoy good food, and being an athlete not only gives me a pass to eat as healthy as I want, but to splurge on “other” foods as well. Having a specific reason (such as an upcoming tournament) not only helps me stay on track, but also helps me avoid judgement from my friends and dinner companions.

3) I can beat guys (and I like it!)

Throughout my 12 years of competitive squash, I have had my fair share of games against both women and men. This has taught me that the battle of the sexes on court can be evenly matched. Some of my best performances have been against men, who, on paper should annihilate me. Developing this confidence from the squash court has transferred over to my professional and personal life, where I now feel comfortable competing against, training, or working out with anyone- regardless of gender. (In other words- I’m no longer intimidated by the buff guy at the squat rack!)

4) I have an excuse to wear cute workout gear

Gone are the days of yoga pants being restricted to the yoga or spin studio- and thank goodness! Not only are workout clothes extremely comfortable, but they have also become increasingly more stylish! I don’t know exactly which store or which celebrity we have to thank for creating “Athleisure”, but my legs and shoulders thank you. It can be difficult being a tall woman with an athletic build trying to fit my butt into certain skirts, and my shoulders into fitted blouses. I can truly say that wearing cute workout gear makes me feel both confident and comfortable. Win-win!

Release Tight Hamstrings: Tips by Coach Stephany

Let me say that I am so excited to be joining the BSF team! I cannot to start coaching all you beautiful people and be a part of your journey to be the happiest and fittest YOU that you can be. Today, I want to cover a topic that plagues just about every person I have encountered as a trainer…the dreaded tight hamstrings. We have all been there. Walk into the gym, start stretching, try to reach down and touch your toes, and BAM! You can barely get past your knees, let alone reach your toes. We all blame it on tight hamstrings, and while that’s a possibility, it could also mean that we have a weakness elsewhere, but that’s a conversation for a different day. Today, I want to share with you my top 4 things I do to help my hamstrings.

4. Toy Solder/Zombie Walks
This is usually my first dynamic stretch I do every day. It is very simple movement.
Step 1: Raise your leg as high as YOU can. Read: Don’t try to be Misty Copeland and reach the ceiling. This should NOT hurt.
Step 2: Opposite hand reaches for your foot. Attempt to keep a neutral spine through the movement.
Step 3: Switch sides. I typically do about 10‐12 ‐ possibly more if I had a tough workout the day before. This video is an example. She is stationary, but I walk forward with each step.

3. Eccentric Stretch

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I’d like to thank Eric Cressey for giving me a better title for number 3. As you will all soon find out, I tend to give exercises crazy names. Hold each move for about 10-20 seconds on each leg. I don’t do this one every day, usually just once or twice a week. Again, make sure you are feeling that STRETCH and not feeling any pain. I cannot reiterate that enough. We never, EVER want to feel pain during warm-up.

2. COLD Showers
I know, I know. Sounds crazy but funny enough, taking a cold shower has so many health benefits (besides waking us up in the morning!). I’ve been doing this since middle school cross country and I still swear by it to this day. No, I don’t do it everyday, but it’s great after a tough workout, or lots of squatting or deadlifting. Now, I’m a chicken when it comes to cold water so I typically only make it cold for the last 2‐3 minutes. I just let the water hit my legs and do some quick stretching. Such a simple thing will truly help with DOMS or delayed onset muscle soreness.
Here is an article that shares a few other reasons why cold showers are so great for us!

1. Foam Rolling

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I swear by foam rolling. It’s the very first thing I do before I warm up or even think about touching a weight. There are a bunch around BSF so there’s no excuse not to use them! Place the foam roller on the hamstrings and just roll your body back and forth, hitting from right above the knee to right underneath your glutes! BOOM! Before a workout, I do about 5‐7 rolls just to workout any soreness from the day before. After a workout, I will hang out for about a minute or so, really getting every little part of my hamstring and doing little pulses on any part that is extra sore.

Alright guys, these are my top 4 ways that I help my hamstrings out in the gym! Nothing crazy and something we can all do without having to go out and spend thousands of dollars. I look forward to meeting you all personally!