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NIFS Healthy Living Blog

DEKA Training Program: Steps to Success

Starting a new DEKA training program requires careful planning and commitment. DEKA is a fitness competition that requires functional fitness to complete 10 Zones of activity. Here's a checklist to help you prepare for and embark on your DEKA training journey.

  1. 210916_Ball_BW-scaledSet Clear Goals: Define your specific DEKA goals, such as achieving a certain time, completing all the obstacles, or improving your overall fitness.
  2. Fitness Assessment: Evaluate your current fitness level by assessing your endurance, strength, and agility. This will help you gauge your starting point. Speak with one our Certified Personal Trainers to schedule your fitness assessment. 
  3. Join Our Facebook Group: Be sure to join NIFS DEKA Facebook group and be a part of our community of tips, tricks, and encouragement.  
  4. Hydration & Nutrition: Stay well-hydrated, especially during intense training sessions. Be sure to follow a well-balanced diet and look out for our nutritional tips in weekly newsletters.
  5. Gear and Equipment: Ensure you have the appropriate gear for DEKA, such as suitable running shoes, workout attire, and any necessary accessories for obstacle courses.
  6. Rest and Recovery: Schedule rest days and prioritize recovery methods like stretching, foam rolling, and adequate sleep.
  7. Track Progress: Keep a training journal to record your workouts, times, and any obstacles you encounter. Take progress photos! DO IT! It’s a wonderful way to track our progress. The scale does not always reflect our fitness gains. 
  8. Have Fun!! Remember to smile! Enjoy your journey – the highs and lows. Every step you take in the journey is one for the better 😊

DEKA training can be demanding, so it's essential to approach it with dedication, patience, and a commitment to improving gradually. As you work through our 6-week program, stay focused on your goals, maintain a positive mindset, and enjoy the journey of becoming a stronger and more capable athlete.

Ready to get started? Get registered for our 6-week DEKA training program! Training begins September 25, 2023. Prepare for NIFS first DEKA Strong event on November 11th!

DEKA Screenly
 

This blog was written by Tim Howard, NIFS Operations Manager, Ironman Triathlete, and hot dog connoisseur. To learn more about the NIFS bloggers, click here.

Topics: functional training training small group training high-intensity circuit training DEKA

DEKA: Train with a Purpose

220118_Austin_row-1-1NIFS is excited to become a DEKA affiliate and bring DEKA group training and a new DEKA Strong event to NIFS this fall. You might be familiar with Spartan obstacle races, well, DEKA training and events are part of the Spartan brand, but this programming provides training and fitness options and events for ALL levels.

The DEKA Zones

With 10 DEKA Zones, training provides a well-rounded functional test for all levels of fitness. Every zone is based on rudimentary movements that don’t require any specific training to complete. Just think thousands of years ago when it wasn’t called exercise, fitness, or training. It was survival. Lifting, carrying, pushing, pulling, kneeling, jumping/stepping/climbing over something, getting down on the ground and standing back up, and three basic forms of transportation – row, ski, & cycle.

No matter what your current fitness level is, you are an athlete who trains with the purpose of becoming a stronger version of yourself.

3 Weekly Workouts/3 Pillars

The DEKA training system is built on 3 pillars of fitness:

  • #1 Strength and Power (DEKA FORGE): 10 Zones, 4 rounds, 30 Seconds ON/30 Seconds OFF
  • #2 Anaerobic Conditioning (DEKA BURN): 10 Zones, 3 Rounds, 60 Seconds ON/30 Seconds OFF
  • #3 Endurance (DEKA GRIT): 10 Zones, 2 Rounds, 90 Seconds ON/30 Seconds OFF

These 3 weekly workouts will elevate your fitness, improve daily performance and prepare you for your first DEKA event.


6bf6bc99-a7df-4015-84bf-d962a928d958DEKA Group Training at NIFS

NIFS offers a 6-week DEKA training program that hits all 10 DEKA zones and helps participants track their progress. Nine training sessions will be offered each week, each class a different pillar. Attend at least three sessions a week, making sure to attend each pillar. Cost is $99 for members and $205 for non-members.

Training runs September 25th — November 4th and leads up to NIFS’s first DEKA Strong event on November 11th. All training session times are listed on our website. Click below to register.

Get REGISTERed for DEKA

Join us for free DEKA training preview days!

Try out the 10 zones and train for free at our preview days. September 18, 19 at 6-7a, 12-1p and 6-7p and again outside in White River State park on Sept 21 from 12-1p behind the NCAA building. Enter to win 6-weeks of DEKA training!

What Is a DEKA Event?

DEKA events are not just a competition, they are a milestone of your fitness journey. In the same arena, on the same day, using the exact standards, every level of fitness can come together and celebrate fitness.

  • DEKA STRONG: Fitness testing, assessment, and event featuring our 10 DEKA Zones with zero running.
  • DEKA MILE: A unique and memorable fitness challenge for the masses combining our DEKA Zones each preceded by 160 meters of running (1 mile total).
  • DEKA FIT: This Super Bowl of Fitness event combines ten functional training zones (DEKA Zones), each preceded by 500 meters of running (5k total).

NIFS will be hosting our first DEKA Strong event on November 11. We are excited to run this competition for members and non-members and look forward to bringing this event to our facility. Registration information for this event willing be coming soon.


Topics: circuit training

Three 30-Minute (or Less) Summer Dinner Recipes

As we head into late summer, balancing a busy schedule with healthy eating can be difficult. Here are three quick and easy dinner recipes you can make in less than 30 minutes, giving you more time for fun summer activities! 

GettyImages-1389858280Shrimp Sushi Bowl

Servings: 4

5 TB light mayonnaise
2 tsp red curry paste
10 ounces (2 standard packages) frozen riced cauliflower
3 TB sesame oil 
1½ lbs uncooked shrimp, peeled and deveined 
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp salt 
1 medium ripe avocado, seeded, peeled, and sliced 
1 medium cucumber, sliced
½ cup julienned carrots 
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 lime, sliced into wedges 

  1. In a small bowl, mix mayonnaise and red curry paste.
  2. Prepare riced cauliflower according to package directions.
  3. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add shrimp and cook until pink, or about 5–7 minutes. Add garlic and salt and cook for 1 additional minute. Remove from heat. 
  4. Divide cauliflower among 4 bowls. Top each bowl with shrimp, avocado, cucumber, carrot, and green onion. Drizzle each bowl with curry mayonnaise mixture and garnish with lime.

Nutrition Facts: 377 calories, 22g total fat (3.5g saturated fat), 14g carbohydrate (5g fiber, 4g sugar) and 32g protein.

GettyImages-1204163374Grilled Zucchini Hummus Wrap (Vegan)

Servings: 2

1 zucchini, sliced 
Salt and pepper, to taste 
1 TB olive oil 
1 medium tomato, sliced (or 1 handful cherry tomatoes)
⅛ cup sliced red onion
1 cup kale
2 slices white cheddar cheese 
2 large tortillas 
4 tablespoons hummus (any flavor)

  1. Heat a skillet over medium heat. 
  2. Toss zucchini in olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add to skillet and cook for 3 minutes before flipping and cooking for an additional 2 minutes. 
  3. Remove zucchini from skillet and reduce heat to low. Heat tortillas one at a time in skillet for 1 minute each. 
  4. Remove tortillas from skillet and assemble wraps with sliced zucchini, tomato, onion, kale, 1 slice of cheese, and 2 TB hummus. Wrap tightly and serve. 

Nutrition Facts: 366 calories, 20g total fat (6g saturated fat), 660mg sodium, 38g carbohydrates (7.5g fiber, 6g sugar), and 13.5g protein. 

GettyImages-927760516Chicken and Cucumber Lettuce Wraps with a Simple Peanut Sauce 

Servings: 4 (2 lettuce wraps per serving) 

¼ cup creamy peanut butter 
2 TB low-sodium soy sauce 
2 TB honey 
2 TB water 
2 tsp toasted sesame oil 
2 tsp olive oil 
3 scallions, sliced (separate whites and greens) 
1 Serrano pepper, seeded and minced 
1 TB minced fresh ginger 
2 tsp minced fresh garlic 
16 ounces ground chicken breast 
1 cup diced jicama 
16 Bibb lettuce leaves 
1 cup cooked brown rice 
½ medium English cucumber, thinly sliced 
½ cup fresh cilantro 
lime wedges, for serving

  1. Whisk peanut butter, soy sauce, honey, water, and sesame oil in a small bowl. 
  2. In a large nonstick skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add scallion whites, Serrano pepper, ginger, and garlic and cook until slightly soft, or about 2 minutes. Add chicken and cook until cooked through, about 3–4 minutes. 
  3. Add the peanut sauce to the chicken mixture and cook until sauce has thickened, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in jicama and scallion greens. 
  4. Prepare lettuce wraps by dividing rice, chicken mixture, cucumber, and cilantro among the each lettuce leaves. Serve with lime wedge garnish. 
  5. Nutrition Facts (per 2 lettuce wraps with sauce): 495 calories, 19g fat (4g saturated fat), 400mg sodium, 39g carbohydrates (6.5g fiber, 14g total sugar, 8.5g added sugar), 44g protein. 

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This blog was written by Lindsey Recker, MS, Registered Dietitian. To learn more about the NIFS bloggers, click here.

Topics: nutrition healthy eating recipes summer time management fruits and vegetables dinner

The Sizzling Health Benefits of a Sauna

GettyImages-1056635854In my last blog post, I wrote a little bit about the benefits of taking ice baths and cold plunges. Very similar in benefits, but on the opposite end of the spectrum, is the scorching room that is a sauna. And like the ice baths, I think there is a case to be made for incorporating saunas into your everyday routine.

What Are Saunas?

To start off, let’s talk a little bit about what exactly saunas are. Saunas are simply heated and enclosed wood-lined rooms that offer many different therapeutic benefits. Mainly they can be quite relaxing in the heat and help with sore and aching muscles as well as releasing perspiration as a way to cleanse the body of impurities.

The history and use of saunas as a therapeutic modality can be traced back to Finland. Starting in the 12th century, saunas began to appear as a log building in which rocks were heated with a fire, and the smoke was released through a small opening in the building. After the smoke cleared, one would enter the sauna and it would remain hot for about 3–4 hours. These saunas were revered by the Finnish people, and are still a big part of their culture to this day.

The Benefits of Saunas

Since saunas have been around for so long, their benefits have been studied time and time again. They have been found to relieve stress thanks in part to the release of endorphins that occurs in the heat. The heat can also help with blood flow and muscle relaxation as the blood vessels expand in the heat. Anecdotally, many have reported that saunas are instrumental in their daily routines and mental health: a place of solitude and a place to truly, deeply relax.

The Risks of Saunas

You should, however, consider the risks of sauna use. Mainly when you’re in the heat, there is a risk for blood pressure to drop. Saunas also carry a risk of dehydration due to the sweating they cause. Due to the intense heat that is present inside a sauna, limit sauna use to 10–15 minutes and drink plenty of fluids before and after.

In conclusion, there are many benefits to the use of saunas and getting in the high heat. There are many different techniques you can use and there is no right way to use a sauna—just do what you feel most comfortable with and are able to tolerate. It’s a great tool to utilize and get your sweat on!

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This blog was written by Ricky Rocha, Health Fitness Specialist. To learn more about the NIFS bloggers, click here.

Topics: relaxation stress relief heat sauna detox perspiration

Fixing Some “Not-So-Healthy” Nutrition Habits

GettyImages-944651980Sometimes you might think you’re doing the right things (or at least not really wrong things) when it comes to healthy eating. But those habitual behaviors might actually cause you to consume more food and calories.

Not-So-Healthy Habit #1: Eating Too Quickly

You might have heard that it takes approximately 20 minutes for your body to send a signal to your brain that it is full. While the exact amount of time likely varies from person to person and the amount of food consumed, it is typically true that satiety doesn’t occur immediately after consuming something. Therefore, if you’re still hungry right after after eating something, you should allow yourself a few minutes to see whether satiety kicks in, or if you truly are still hungry. Additionally, eating too quickly can cause you to swallow air, which may result in GI discomfort such as gas or bloating, and also poses a risk for choking.

THE FIX: To help slow down the rate at which you eat, try taking smaller bites, chewing more slowly and thoroughly, putting your utensil down between bites, including sips of water between bites, and making conversation throughout the meal if eating with others.

Not-So-Healthy Habit #2: Skipping Meals

Overeating can also result from skipping meals or following irregular eating patterns. For example, some individuals may use compensatory thinking after skipping meals, such as, “I didn’t eat anything all day, so it is okay for me to eat whatever I want tonight.” Similarly, skipping meals may lower your inhibitions, making it more likely for you to choose unhealthier food options. Skipping meals can disrupt your metabolism, blood-sugar levels, and mental and physical performance.

THE FIX: To prevent skipping meals, it’s important to establish a regular eating schedule. There is no “one-size-fits-all” perfect eating regimen: three meals a day may suffice for some, while others prefer five or six “mini meals” or snacks. If an irregular appetite is the issue causing you to skip meals, try eating smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day. If you find that time is the problem, plan your meals and snacks in advance (for example, the night before) and keep plenty of portable snacks on hand (such as granola bars, apples, oranges, and trail mix).

Not-So-Healthy Habit #3: Eating While Distracted

Similar to when an individual eats too quickly, eating while distracted may interfere with the body’s ability to signal satiety to the brain, thus increasing the odds of overeating. If you aren’t focusing on what you are eating and how you feel while you are eating, you might not recognize when you’ve had enough.

THE FIX: The next time you’re eating a snack or meal, be sure to sit down in a quiet, comfortable setting and unplug from all distractions such as your cell phone, computer, or TV.

Not-So-Healthy Habit #4: Over-restricting Intake

Over-restricting your intake can also lead to overeating. For many people, the idea of not being able to have something only makes them want it more. The same is true with food. Restricting certain food groups can also restrict certain nutrients that your body needs to function properly. For example, when an individual aims to restrict all carbohydrates, they are also restricting the good components of carbohydrates, such as fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

THE FIX: Instead of banishing the foods you love and depriving yourself of them, try allowing yourself to have them more frequently—just in moderation. For example, if you’re someone who finds yourself swearing to never eat ice cream again at the top of every week, only to find yourself indulging in an entire pint by Friday, try allowing yourself a small bowl or serving of ice cream several times each week to satisfy your cravings.

***

If you’re working on practicing healthy eating, try to be mindful about your eating habits, plan ahead, and give yourself some grace.

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This blog was written by Lindsey Recker, MS, Registered Dietitian. To learn more about the NIFS bloggers, click here.

Topics: healthy habits weight management mindfulness eating habits distractions skipping meals moderation

Managing Stress Eating

GettyImages-1160210442It’s no secret that our emotions impact what we eat, when we eat, and how much we eat. In fact, sometimes it seems that the strongest cravings hit when our emotional and mental well-being is at its weakest. Emotional eating is a way to, in the short term, relieve or suppress negative feelings, such as sadness, stress, anger/frustration, or boredom. However, emotional eating can also lead people to make poor choices, such as skipping or forgetting meals, consuming fast food frequently, or consuming alcohol or caffeine in excess, all of which may have health consequences, including unintentional weight gain.

To help prevent emotional eating, focus on the following steps.

Identify the difference between emotional hunger and physiological hunger.

Emotional hunger typically comes on suddenly with an urge to resolve the “hunger” quickly, often involves a desire for a specific type of food or food group, and usually results in overeating. In contrast, physiological hunger tends to be more gradual, allows us to stop eating when we are full, and doesn’t typically cause guilt that is experienced with emotional hunger.

Establish a healthy eating routine.

Aim to eat two to three well-rounded meals each day. Meals don’t have to be complicated: the easier and quicker, the better. Try pairing a protein source (chicken, salmon, ground turkey or lean beef, and so on) with various grilled, roasted, or steamed vegetables and seasonings and sauces of your choice for a quick, inexpensive, and easy meal.

Ensure you’re consuming enough of the right foods. Consume plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and low-fat dairy products while limiting your intake of highly processed foods, added sugars, salt/sodium, and alcohol. Talk with a registered dietitian to develop a healthy eating routine that meets your individualized needs while helping manage causes and symptoms of emotional eating.

Manage your overall stress.

There is evidence to suggest that increased cortisol, the hormone released during stress, may result in an increased appetite, leading to overeating and potential weight gain. Rather than turning to food for comfort, be sure to control stress by journaling, exercise, practicing mindfulness/meditation, and/or social support.

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This blog was written by Lindsey Recker, MS, Registered Dietitian. To learn more about the NIFS bloggers, click here.

Topics: stress healthy eating weight management emotional stress eating

Conjugate Training: What It Is and How to Implement It

GettyImages-1448297445Conjugate training is a term coined and expanded upon by the late, great Louie Simmons, a well-known strength coach at Westside Barbell. Conjugate means to bring together, so conjugate training is literally joining together different training styles into one micro or meso training cycle. Conjugate training is bringing together training styles such as power, strength, agility, and hypertrophy into one training cycle.

Balancing Across Different Days

The key to conjugate training is to balance the volume across the different days. It’s common to have a setup as follows (but this is only an example):

  • Day 1: Upper-body pull—hypertrophy
  • Day 2: lower-body push—strength
  • Day 3: Upper-body push—power
  • Day 4: lower-body pull—speed

With these days an athlete or coach will need to make sure to balance out the loads and not have too much volume across the days. So if the hypertrophy day has a high level of volume, the power day needs to be lower to not apply too much load to the upper body, which can increase the risk of injury. The athlete or coach will also need to know the recommended rep ranges, set ranges, and percentages of max for each of the different training styles in order to find that necessary balance to push the body but not hurt it.

Pushing the Body to Adapt to Change

This approach is a great way to keep the body guessing what your next move is and pushing the body to adapt and change to reach your goals. So, if you find yourself plateauing and your maxes are not moving, maybe the conjugate method is for you.

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This blog was written by Grant Lamkin, Health Fitness Specialist. To learn more about the NIFS bloggers, click here.

Topics: strength power speed lower body hypertrophy upper body plateaus adaptations agility conjugate training

Should You Be Taking Cold Plunges?

GettyImages-1305264062So, if you’re like me and have been scrolling through the various social media outlets out there, you might have been seeing an uptick in a very niche fitness trend. Lately it’s all I see on TikTok, and I will admit it is intriguing watching these people on social media freeze their butts off in a cold tub of water. Often, the results are hilarious as people realize how unbearable sitting in a tub full of ice water really is. I mean look at this video and tell me whether you think this looks enjoyable. I think not, but watching these poor people suffer did have the gears turning in my mind about whether there is anything that can come out of subjecting your body to frigid temperatures, and maybe I should be partaking more regularly in these freezing experiences.

Cold Water Therapy Through the Ages

The experience of taking plunges into cold or even freezing water can be traced all the way back to nearly six millennia ago. Ice baths and cold-water immersion have been used for recovery purposes for centuries. Even as far back as 3500 B.C., the ancient Egyptian medical textbook Edwin Smith Papyrus (named for Edwin Smith, who purchased it in 1862), referring to using freezing water as a therapeutic modality. The ancient Greek physician Hippocrates in the 4th century B.C. wrote about the benefits of immersion in his work On Airs, Waters, and Places.

Looking more recently, in the 19th century, researchers looked at immersion to alleviate various ailments. Scottish physician William Cullen began prescribing cold-water therapy for patients with a wide range of symptoms including fever, inflammation, depression, and even insomnia. In the 1960s, D.H. Clark investigated cold-water immersion for post-exercise benefits. Throughout millennia and centuries, there have been numerous accounts of the benefits of immersion, both medicinal and therapeutic. But as with any modality, there is a delicate balance between the risks and the benefits.

What Are the Benefits?

Over time, a lot of work and studying has been done to investigate the benefits of cold plunges and cold-water immersion and a possible therapy for many different symptoms. There are a couple of things to consider when doing ice baths. To start, benefits of cold plunges have been studied thoroughly throughout the past couple centuries, and it has been found to reduce inflammation of sore and aching muscles, help sleep, and limit inflammatory response in the body. Anecdotally, many recreational and professional athletes swear by ice baths to help their bodies and boost their energy levels.

Know the Risks

But there are some key risks to keep in mind before plunging into freezing cold water. The biggest risk is the shock associated with plunging into cold water and the sensation that it “might take your breath away,” but a good way to combat this is focusing on breathing. Also, there is a risk for those with cardiovascular diseases as the cold water will constrict the blood vessels and create a risk for reduced blood flow. All these risks can be serious and should be discussed with a physician prior to cold-water immersion.

Something to Consider

With the introduction of cold temperatures to rehabilitate athletes and non-athletes, the benefits have proven to be significant and is something even the recreational athlete should consider.

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This blog was written by Ricky Rocha, Health Fitness Specialist. To learn more about the NIFS bloggers, click here.

 

Topics: sleep fitness trends energy social media inflammation cold thermogenesis cold plunge

All About Plyometrics (Part 1)

GettyImages-512889187In the most basic definition, plyometrics refers to jump training. Known to be a key component of many sports, such as basketball, soccer, gymnastics and football, plyometric training can enhance athleticism, strengthen the most powerful muscles in your body, and much more.

Here are some of the benefits of plyometric exercises, and how to safely add plyometrics to your workout routine.

The Benefits of Plyometrics

For you to propel your body off the ground and land safely, many things have to happen in your muscles, tendons, ligaments, and joints. Studies show that plyometrics can help you build muscle as effectively as conventional weightlifting, and if you combine the two, it can help you reach your goals faster than focusing on either one alone. Also, the impact your body absorbs from landing has benefits for your bones: they become stronger.

If you are an athlete, plyometrics can improve your agility and explosiveness when it comes to fast-response moves, such as sprinting, quick direction changes on the field or court, and jumping (such as going for a header in soccer).

How to Get Started with Plyometrics

If plyometrics is new to your workout, as with anything you should start small. This is especially important for plyometric exercises. Correct form is crucial, as you need to both lift your body off the ground and control the landing. This dual action makes plyometric exercises more difficult and complex than most exercises. If you have a movement deficiency, it will be magnified when the speed and power of a jump are applied to it.

When learning a new plyometric move, you should first perform the move without the jump to perfect the form, strength, and stability that is required to do it correctly. Once you have all of that, you can then add the jumping movement. Another way to start small is to choose lower-impact plyometric exercises, such as jumping jacks, jumps in place, and line hops (side to side, forward and back).

Do not ignore the upper body: plyometric pushup and medicine ball throws are great for building explosive power above the waist. Always be aware of your form. When you become tired, form tends to suffer, and the risk of injury increases.

Is there anyone who shouldn’t do plyometric exercises? The short answer is no, as long as your doctor has not identified a reason why you should not (such as deteriorating joints or bad knees). If you are significantly overweight, gradually adding plyometrics is the key—and stay away from high-impact moves altogether. Remember that doing too much too soon—or doing advanced exercises before you are ready for them—can stress your joints, increasing your risk of injury.

Stay tuned for part 2 of this plyometric blog. You can also read about some plyometric building blocks here.

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This blog was written by David Behrmann, NIFS Health Fitness Instructor.To learn more about the NIFS bloggers, click here

 

Topics: muscles plyometric athletic performance jumping jump training athleticism

The Why and How of Training Your Hip Adductors

GettyImages-1308568450Everyone needs strong hips. Athletes need them to perform a wide variety of movements within a given sport. Aging adults need them to help reduce the risk of falls. When we think about the hip, most people think about the glutes and abductors. You can look in any gym and see a handful of people with a band around their knees performing a plethora of movements working the glutes and abductors. However, the most neglected muscle is the one on the inside of the thigh: the adductor.

Anatomy and Function of the Adductor

The adductor muscle is situated in both the medial and posterior compartments of the upper leg. It attaches to the hip bone and to the linea aspera of the femur. The primary role of the adductor is to adduct and internally rotate the thigh at the hip joint. It also plays an important role in hip extension and stabilizing the pelvis along with the glutes and hamstrings.

Why You Should Be Training the Adductors

The adductors are a secondary muscle group that assists the larger muscle groups during compound exercises such as squats and deadlifts. However, there are important benefits to focusing accessory movements on the adductors. As I mentioned, the adductor plays a role in hip extension and stabilization of the pelvis. Hip extension is one of, if not the most powerful movements of the body. It is how we jump, stand, walk, run, and sprint. If we neglect the adductor muscles, we are missing out on added stabilization of the pelvis during all these movements.

Groin strains are the most common among athletes who are sprinting, cutting, and changing directions. Throughout these movements, the adductors take on a large load of eccentric forces. This means that just like the hamstrings during a heel strike, these muscles are force absorbers. A muscle is more likely to tear or strain if it is not strong enough to absorb an increasing amount of force. Strengthening the adductors can reduce the likelihood of a groin strain.

The adductors not only stabilize the pelvis, but they also control pelvic rotation. This is highly important for sports such as baseball, softball, golf, hockey, or tennis. All of these sports rely highly on the rotational power of your hips for swinging and throwing. Weak adductors will not help you hit farther or throw harder.

Movements for the Adductors

  • Adductor Machine: Not all gyms or facilities have one of these machines. However, if you do have access to one, it’s the simplest way to directly train the adductors.
  • Adductor Foam Roller Hold: Although you do not get the same overloading stimulus as the adductor machine, the foam roll hold could be a substitute for the machine. For this variation, all you need is a foam roller, or an object similar in width and it needs to be solid. In a seated or lying position, bend your knees to 90* and place the foam roller between your knees and squeeze. This is an isometric movement that you can make harder by holding for a longer duration. 
  • Banded Adduction: For this you will need a super band and a place to anchor the band close to the ground. To perform this movement, you will be in a standing position with your side to the band. Wrap the band around the inner foot and step out until you feel tension on the band. From your starting point, let the band pull your foot away. Stand tall and bring your foot back to the center.
  • Lateral Lunge: This is a great movement for any skill level because it can be progressed and regressed. To perform a body-weight lateral lunge, start with both legs together. Step one foot out and begin to bend that knee and start to sit your hips back. Push off that leg and bring both feet together. To progress this movement, simply add weight.
  • Copenhagen Plank: For this movement you will need a bench or a box. You will start in a side plank position with your top foot on the bench and your bottom leg either straight or bent. From this position, you will pick your hip up and hold.
  • Medicine Ball Scoop Pass: For the rotational action of the adductors, we will perform a rotational throw. With a medicine ball in both hands, shift your weight to the outside foot. From this position, push off the outside foot and rotate the hips, and then the shoulders, and throw the ball at the wall.

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This blog was written by Evan James, NIFS Exercise Physiologist EP-C, Health Fitness Instructor, and Personal Trainer. To learn more about the NIFS bloggers, click here.

Topics: injury prevention muscles senior fitness training exercises athletes hips hip mobility fall prevention