Karate – Workout & Anti-Bullying Safeguard: Interview with Tony LaSelva Explains Karate’s Appeal for All Ages

Résultat de recherche d'images pour "karate"An interview with Tony LaSelva sheds some light on why people are turning to the Martial Art of Karate for many reasons.

Who is Shihan Tony LaSelva?

Shihan LaSelva has owned Northern Karate School in Richmond Hill, Ontario, one in the NKS group of schools covering the Toronto area, for the last 13 years. Tony’s title of Shihan means teacher of teachers (or Sensei) which is an instructor title. He does, however, take the time to teach everyone from other Sensei to people starting out with their white belt, the first step in a hierarchy that involves graduating through a series of coloured belts and acquiring the skills to eventually achieve black belt excellence.

Although one would never guess from the way he carries himself now, exuding confidence and integrity while always ready with a smile and a handshake, Shihan LaSelva was once a bullied child. He did not come from a karate family, but asked his parents if he could take lessons when, in grade 7, he needed a way to deal with being bullied at school. At the time, Tony was quiet, non-athletic and wanted to learn self-defence.

After starting his karate training, Tony found more confidence and was able to stop confrontations from happening, but that is not necessarily why he stuck with karate and eventually made a career out of it.

Karate has Lasting Power

As Shihan LaSelva tells his students when discussing karate, “Every few years you are doing it for a different reason. As stages of life change, it means something different to you.” When asked what it means to him now, he replies, “Helping people. Once you do it long enough, you change…it becomes apparent when you see the children change. You start a business, then what? I wanted to give something back.”

According to Tony, anti-bullying seems to be a more popular reason than ever for kids to sign up for karate training. The NKS schools are, in fact, holding a series of Bully Proof® workshops in April.

He added that eighty percent of business in the school comes through referrals and promotions such as “Bring a Buddy” days.

Are Kids Changing?

With so much in the news about rudeness and aggression becoming the norm, Tony was asked if he notices any of these trends with kids during his daily interactions with them.

The Shihan describes how generally, the students seem to respect and revere the Sensei, almost like they are in awe of these authority figures. This comes not only from the respect of their abilities, but from the whole culture of respect that is part of karate. People must bow when entering the dojo and wait for permission before joining the class. Every class ends with an oath promising to do one’s best in all personal undertakings and to aim for excellence of body and character.

This carries over to Tony’s own home and family. His wife is a 4th degree black belt and his children, now 13 and 9 both undergo karate training. Tony explains how respect is such a part of their daily lives that his son thinks nothing of standing whenever someone enters a room and waiting until that person sits before reseating himself. If that person takes his seat…he finds another, this is a guest.

Does a child need to already possess some modicum of self-motivation and discipline to succeed in karate training? Shihan LaSelva says no. Discipline can be learned 100%. He has seen children transformed through the dojo, but parents need to ensure that children attend classes regularly. Caretakers need to be supportive without hovering. Tony describes the families whose children attend the school as “regular people who are busy working and lack time.” He explains how these families need support in instilling values and look to karate for this support.

Although Tony has not noticed any new behavioural trends in children these last few years, he has noticed two others that are noteworthy. One is that kids, overall, seem to be more out of shape. The other is that children seem to be more pressured now, academically. He does not remember doing any homework until grade 8.

Karate’s Biggest Benefits

In Shihan LaSelva’s opinion, the most important thing karate can give an individual is a work ethic. After that, “how to be strong individuals, discipline and respect… everything else is a peripheral benefit.” As far as fitness goes, karate provides a good all-around exercise, including cardio, core-strength training, flexibility, stress relief and coordination.

Karate certainly seems to have a lot to offer, for the body, the mind and the soul. How many sports offer all of that along with a way to give back to one’s community while concurrently promoting a culture of respect and discipline?

Rock Climbing Training Leg Exercises & Workouts: Training Hamstrings, Calves, Quads, Core, & Flexibility for Climbing

Résultat de recherche d'images pour "Rock Climbing Training"While not as obvious as other areas of the body, strong, fit, and balanced legs can help rock climbers succeed at rock climbing and avoid injuries. However, each individual has to figure out just how much leg training will help, rather than hinder, their rock climbing performance. Read on for warnings about leg training for climbers, and then learn some climbing-specific leg exercises that might help you reach new heights this year.

Some Caveats About Leg Training for Climbing

Bigger, bulkier legs are undesirable for most rock climbers (especially sport climbers and boulderers), since strength-to-weight ratio does play a role in rock climbing success. This is why each rock climber should evaluate their own strengths and weaknesses and plan their leg training accordingly. You do want legs that are strong enough to handle a powerful heel hook or a quad-sapping rock-over move. You don’t want huge tree trunks that overtax your arms.

So if your legs aren’t powerful enough to handle that heel hook, or you can’t kick out high enough to get that key rest, or your calves aren’t strong enough to take the pain and strain of a calf-pumping 100-foot face climb, you might want to consider adding some moderate leg workouts. The exercises given below can help you build up your specific area(s) of leg weakness while potentially avoiding future leg-related climbing injuries.

Cultivating Active Leg Flexibility

One of the best ways for rock climbers to develop stronger, fitter, and more balanced legs is to incorporate regular stretching for climbing into their climbing training regimens. This means including some active flexibility exercises along with passive stretches. Yoga and Pilates classes can also help climbers develop more active flexibility overall, including stronger, leaner, and fitter legs.

Specific Leg Exercises for Climbing

Along with striving for more toned, flexible legs, some climbers may benefit from working on strengthening and toning specific muscle groups, depending on their climbing goals and strengths/weaknesses. Common areas that often need attention include hamstrings, calves, and quads. Doing three sets of 8-12 reps once or twice a week of the following simple, at-home exercises can help improve these areas:

  • Hamstrings: Hamstring curls can help you improve your heel-hooking power and decrease the potential for pulling or tearing a hamstring muscle. If you notice that heel hooking and pulling with your leg is difficult or strains your hamstring, these exercises are probably worthwhile for you.
  • Calves: Calf raises (see photos A and B) can help develop calf power for specific moves and endurance for longer, calf-pumping routes. If your calves are always tired and you have trouble standing on your tiptoes and maintaining this position without calf pain for 10 seconds or more, calf raises will probably help improve your climbing.
  • Quads: Squats, with or without a weight vest on. If you can already do a one-legged squat (see photo C) all the way to the ground and back up on both sides, your quads are probably as strong as they’ll ever need to be (or close to it) for most rock climbing purposes. If you can’t, you might encounter a quad-strength-dependent rock-over move that will stymie you at some point. Train quads to address this weakness.

Other Ways for Climbers to Train Their Legs

In addition to the above suggestions, climbers can improve their leg strength by adding specific core conditioning exercises to their climbing training plans. Since core and legs together play a key role in keeping body tension, a regular core workout can help develop and maintain this area.

Adding moderate cardio training, such as dance classes, jogging several days a week, walking, bicycling, and/or swimming, can also help climbers maintain balanced, fit, and toned legs along with good cardio fitness.

Training Legs to Improve Climbing Performance and Avoid Climbing Injuries

Prevent climbing injuries and enjoy better climbing performance by making sure that your legs are strong enough for every climbing position you put them in. Evaluate your own strengths and weaknesses to decide whether or not specific leg exercises for climbing are worthwhile for you.

All climbers should strive for good active flexibility, either through regular stretching or a yoga/Pilates class (or both). Beyond this, consider adding specific exercises for quads, calves, hamstrings, and core training, if necessary. Finally, add in a good core workout and some light cardio to tone and balance your legs for top climbing performance.

One final word of caution: Be sure to rest your legs before attempting to climb at your limit. This means that you shouldn’t go running or do a leg workout (besides light stretching) on the day before or on the day of an anticipated peak-performance climbing day. Though it’s not always obvious, even moderately tired legs can lead to sub-par climbing performance.

Running Workouts to Build Endurance and Stamina

Résultat de recherche d'images pour "running workout"After a runner has completed three weeks of “base work”, they are ready to incorporate into their workout routine some strength and stamina building workouts. Base work can be described as consistent medium to long runs of four to eight miles. The strength and stamina inducing workouts can be divided into three categories.

Hill Workouts

One of the best types of workouts to build up a runner’s endurance and stamina is hill workouts. One such workout is the “figure eight hill” workout. This workout is done on a somewhat decent sized hill. A runner begins by running up at fast pace circling back down at a slower pace and then running back up to the top at a fast pace and running back down at the slower pace thereby completing a figure eight loop. The workout should be last up to forty minutes long.

Another variation of the hill workout would be to find a longer hill and run up one side at an even pace, run comfortably along the hilltop, and then run at a slower pace down the hill. Circle around and start anew. This workout should also last approximately forty minutes in duration.

Yet another world-class runner workout is the gradual uphill run. With this workout a hill with a gradual slope is best. The runner starts running up the hill exploding into a sprint near the top and jogging once at the top. While at the top the runner stops to do ten sit-ups. Upon completion of the sit-ups, the runner then jogs down the hill. This workout is run best at twenty-five minutes.

Stair Workouts

Similar to hill workouts, stair workouts build strength and endurance. Many high schools do not have the luxury of an indoor field house. Consequently, this is an excellent workout, particularly in colder climates, to get a great workout in. In a long building a runner can run up one set of stairs touching each step with one foot. The runner then runs the length of the hallway and down the next stairwell. Another variation of this workout is running up the stairs of a multistory building and then running back down.

Stadium stairs in the bleachers also make a good workout area for runners. These can be run up in one aisle and then back down the next. On and on the runner strides until each aisle is traversed.

At the Track

During the nice spring, summer, and fall months there is no better place for a serious runner to workout than at a local track. One workout that should be considered is a barrier run on a 400-meter track. Near the finish line, set up at least ten short one-foot high barriers approximately two feet apart. A runner could go through a normal 200-meter or 400-meter run and then upon encountering the barriers work through them with high knee lifts until hitting the finish line. This type of workout builds strength for the end of a race. It helps condition the body to lift the legs while pumping the arms for sprinting to the finish line.

A most difficult workout that builds strength, stamina, and endurance are the twenty times 400-meter workout. A runner would set out to run each 400-meter at a pace that mimics what race conditions would be. For example if a runner desires to run at five minute pace in his/her next 5k race, they would set a goal to run each 400 meter at that pace of 75 seconds. The difficulty of this workout is that a runner gets only 90 seconds rest between each 400 meter. During that 90 seconds add in five pushups. This top workout is not for the novice runner. It will build a great deal of stamina for improving a runners overall performance.

Building a solid base is important in running. The “palindrome” workout adds to a runners existing base. This workout adds up to a total of five miles not including warm-up and cool down. A runner will first do a one-mile run around the track. The second stage is two 800-meter runs. The runner then runs four 400-meter runs at race pace. Then another two 800 meter runs. Finishing with a one mile run around the track. With the exception of the 400-meter runs, the balance should be done at a fairly fast tempo. The goal here is to increase endurance.

As with any type of workout regime a runner should always warm up by running at least a mile and then stretch. A cool down run of a least a mile and then stretching afterward is also important. Adding these workouts to a runners workout schedule will help build endurance, stamina and strength. All should be used during the conditioning part of a runners workout schedule well in advance of the prime races of the season.

Avoiding the Bench and Building the Chest

Résultat de recherche d'images pour "Building the Chest"This example of mixed method training is based around everyone’s favourite muscle group, the chest, for the strength and hypertrophy portions. It also incorporates running for conditioning. This can even be split up into two separate workouts, with one part in the gym and the second taking place outside later on in the day or even the next day.

Given that this workout focuses on different muscle groups for the strength component, there is no problem doing this the day after workout number two for those who wish to train two days consecutively.

Foam Rolling the Back

As always, a solid warm up is an integral part of the workout. For this particular session, it is possible to divide the warm up into two, doing the upper body rolling and stretches before the strength and hypertrophy and then warming up the lower body before the running.

For the upper body, here are the stretches recommmended:

  • Roll the thoracic spine.
  • Roll the trapezius and latissimus.
  • Roll the teres minor and infraspinatus.
  • chest stretch – the best way to do this is with a stretch band.
  • shoulder mobility and stretch. Take two very light dumbbells (five kilos or less is fine) and work through a shoulder press, and front, rear and lateral raises. This can be done for as many sets as are necessary until the shoulders feel loose and comfortable.

Strength and Hypertrophy

This part of the workout is going to use two movements, the dumbbell bench press and the decline close grip bench press. Many people look no further than the barbell bench press for upper body pushing, but for many people, this exercise aggravates the shoulders and becomes an ego exercise with sloppy form and a high injury potential.

For the first exercise, the aim is to work up to a heavy set of eight repetitions, then to back down to about 75-80 percent of this top set for multiple sets with short rest intervals. In practice, it should look something like this.

  • 8 reps with 15 kilos
  • 8 reps with 20
  • 5 reps with 25
  • 5 reps with 30
  • 3 reps with 35
  • 8 (or more) reps with 40
  • 8 reps with 35
  • As many sets as possible of 8 repetitions at 30 kilos with 60 seconds rest between sets.

For this last set, two things should be noted. First, the rest period is important. It should be a strict 60 seconds maximum. As fatigue sets in, it is tempting to rest more, but this defeats the point of the exercise. Secondly, the number of sets is not important. Stop when form starts to break down or it is impossible to complete eight reps. This might be two sets or as many as 10. When eight reps in good form is impossible, the job is done.

The decline close grip bench press is done in the same format as the dumbbell bench, but it is unnecessary to use as many sets to work up to the top set. Use a grip that is closer than a standard bench press, but doesn’t irritate the wrists.

Something like this should be fine.

  • 8 reps at 50 kilos
  • 5 reps at 70
  • 8 (or more) reps at 80
  • As many sets as possible of 8 reps at 60 kilos, stopping as previously when form fails or 8 reps is impossible.

After this, the chest, triceps and anterior delts should be fried. Take the time to stretch the upper body before moving on to the conditioning part.

Conditioning on the Track

The conditioning element here is sprinting. This session is based on a 400m track, but can be adapted to use anywhere. Around the outside of a park or football pitch will work just fine. For those who don’t sprint regularly, it is important to warm up thoroughly. Dynamic stretching for the hamstrings, quadriceps and calf muscles is a bare minimum. For many people, passive stretching and even rolling of the lower body is also a good idea.

Rather than just starting the first sprint flat out, it is also important to work through a series of accelerations gradually working up to top speed.

Each series of this running session involves one complete circuit of a 400m track. Depending on fitness levels, several series can be undertaken, although three should be enough for anyone if they are done properly.

Starting at the start line of the track, sprint around the bend (a distance of 100 metres) then walk back half the distance sprinted. Sprint once more,going from the 50 m mark to 150 m, before walking back 50 m to the 100 m mark. Going round the whole track like this involves seven sprints of 100 metres with 50 metre walk back recovery. These are sprints and should be flat out efforts.

Finish this session with a full stretch of all the lower body muscles holding each stretch for 15-30 seconds. Sprinting can lead to plenty of muscle soreness over the next couple of days, so this is a necessity.

Treadmill Walking Workouts: A Fitness Workout Combining Low Impact Cardio and Lower Body Toning

Résultat de recherche d'images pour "Treadmill Walking"Treadmill workouts are a great way to get in shape, but they can get old quickly. Constantly moving, but never going anywhere can start to frustrate even the most avid gym goer. For a way to break up the routine, tone the lower body and get a low impact cardio workout, try this treadmill exercise routine.

Getting Started

Before beginning this exercise, it’s important to take a few things into account. This exercise requires the exerciser to increase the treadmill incline to its full height, while lunging, walking sideways and backwards. The exerciser should feel confident that they can maintain their grip on the treadmill handle bar to avoid falls. If the treadmill has a strap which connects to the “Stop” button, used to stop the machine in case of falls, it is highly advised that it is used during this workout.

Be sure to stretch all muscle groups in the lower body before beginning this routine, to help maximize the reach of the legs, and therefore get the best toning possible. Before getting started, set the treadmill incline to full height, and set the treadmill speed to 1.5. After completing this exercise a few times, some users may find they can safely increase the speed, but it is advised to keep the speed low until the coordination of the routines is finalized.

The Treadmill Fitness Workout

After setting the treadmill to full incline and a speed of 1.5, grasp the handle bar of the treadmill tightly in both hands, and move as far back on the belt as safely possible. Begin moving forward by lunging deeply toward the front of the machine with each step.

Lunging while walking on an incline will help to engage all major muscle groups in the lower body, helping to tone them, while the steep incline gives the workout enough of a degree of difficulty to get the user’s heart rate up.

After lunging for five minutes, carefully turn to the left, so that the right hand is still grasping the front bar, while the left hand holds the left hand bar of the treadmill. Continue moving forward by crossing the left leg in front of the right. This will engage the abductors and adductors, while continuing to keep the heart rate high.

After five minutes, carefully switch sides, and cross the right leg in front of the left. Continue on this side for five minutes.

After completing both sides, carefully turn to face the back of the treadmill, with both hands grasping the handlebar firmly behind the back. Walk backwards, up the incline for 10 minutes. This will engage the hip flexors, as well as the quads and calves.

When walking backwards on the treadmill, some people may feel most comfortable holding on to the sides of the treadmill, or behind their backs, at the bar. According to Lorra Garrick, CPT however, most able bodied treadmill users, no matter what their age or size, should be able to walk backward without holding on. Garrick recommends starting slowly, even with the machine going as low as 1mph, and not to exceed a speed of 4mph while moving backwards. Attempting higher speeds while walking backwards without holding on may be unsafe, and holding the sides while walking too quickly will cause the user to bend too far at the waist, slumping over and straining the lower back.

Users getting comfortable with walking backwards on the treadmill can ask a trainer to spot them as they turn around and get comfortable, to ensure they are doing so safely.

Many users may find that they need to take small, quick steps to safely complete this portion of the exercise, which in turn continues to keep the heart rate high.

At this time, when 25 minutes total have elapsed since beginning the workout, carefully turn to face the front of the treadmill, and begin lunging again.

At this point, any user who has increased the treadmill speed, may wish to decrease it again to finish the workout. Lunge for a final five minutes before lowering the treadmill incline, and raising the speed slightly to walk at a moderate pace on a flat surface to cool down.

The Benefits

Exercisers who begin growing bored with their routine, may begin skipping workouts and will therefore stop seeing benefits. This in turn further discourages exercisers from continuing their regular routine. Therefore, changing up the workouts involved on a regular basis, by doing an exercise routine that is challenging to the user, may provide additional interest and motivation.

This treadmill exercise uses the exerciser’s weight, combined with the incline to help tone the lower body. The difficulty of continuously moving forward at such a steep incline, while engaging the muscles will get the user’s heart rate into cardio zones quickly, keeping it there for the duration of the workout.

Because the workout is low impact, yet weight bearing, it can burn a lot of calories, without jarring motion to the joints.

Incorporating low impact, strenuous treadmill workouts into an exercise routine as often as once a week can help a user increase their fitness level, while keeping the experience interesting. Try this fitness workout the next time a treadmill is available, and start a new routine today.