The top fitness trends of 2017 – and how to try them without hurting yourself

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Presented with OrthoCarolina

Bodyweight training

This fitness trend is taking us back to basics. Bodyweight exercises are strength training exercises that do not require free weights or machines. Your own bodyweight provides resistance against gravity. We love that this type of workout is becoming more popular because you can do it for free. No fancy gym membership required.

OrthoCarolina tip: Try out bodyweight training for yourself with The Free Workouts. They are located around the city and they’ll give you a good butt kicking. Visit TheFreeWorkout.com for info on locations and instructional videos.

High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

Commonly referred to as HIIT, high-intensity interval training is very popular right now. HIIT workouts alternate between quick bursts of high intensity exercises and short periods of rest. It’s been catching on like wildfire because it gets your heart rate up quicker and burns more fat in less time. It’s a great time saver, if you’ve normally got a packed schedule.

HIIT workouts are offered at various locations of the YMCA, find the closest one here.

Boxing

Channel your inner Muhammed Ali with a boxing class. If you’ve never boxed, don’t be intimidated. Most boxing gyms offer classes for all levels. It’s a great full body workout, not to mention, a good way to blow off steam after a long work week. Some gyms even offer free classes for first-timers.

Think you can float like a butterfly and sting like bee? Here’s a list of boxing gyms to check out:

TITLE Boxing Club
Where: 2016 Ayrsley Town Blvd., Suite E

FastFit Boxing
Where: 2130 Wilkinson Blvd.

Contenders Boxing and Fitness
Where: 1405 Tyvola Rd.

Dyme Boxing and Fitness
Where: 5033 South Blvd. Suite A

Aquatic Workouts

For a long time, swimming and aquatic-based workouts have been recommended by trainers and physical therapists. Why? Because it’s high return and low impact. This means it’s gentle on your joints but still a legit full body workout. If you are in the process of training for a half or full marathon, swimming is an ideal complement.

Intimidated by water workouts? Check out this guide to help you get started.

Small Group Training

Small group training is the new personal training. It’s less pressure and also typically less expensive than personal training. You’ll still get some one-on-one attention from a personal trainer but also have the encouragement and accountability of others in your group.

Fitness Together has locations all throughout Charlotte and that offer a small group personal training program called PACK®. You can find more info here.

Whether you’re planning on training for your first marathon or thinking about trying out aerial yoga, there is a lot to consider when starting a new workout program. Minimizing injury should be top of mind and the experts at OrthoCarolina gave us the lowdown on how to avoid getting hurt while you’re getting fit.

(1) Pace yourself

Don’t be overzealous and jump in too quickly. Pushing your body too hard when you’re just starting a new program can put major strain on your muscles and cause injury. Start out slow and build up your endurance. Remember that saying – slow and steady wins the race? That applies.

(2) Fuel your body the right way

Craig Duggan, a PT at OrthoCarolina recommends “adequate rest, proper nutrition and good hydration” as the major keys for success with a new fitness program. Getting those 8 hours of shut eye at night will help fuel your workout.

(3) Listen to your body

“There is a difference between muscle burn and pain. If you are feeling pain, your body is telling you that something is wrong,” says Heather Harrison, PT at OrthoCarolina. Translation: if there’s pain, stop doing what you’re doing. 

(4) Ask for professional advice

If you think you aren’t doing an exercise correctly or experiencing pain, grab a trainer or instructor and ask them to take a look at your form/technique. There’s no shame in asking for help. Plus, it could be what stands between you and an injury.

Taking the time to properly warm-up and cool down pre and post-workout can help you get the most out of your new fitness program. Yep, we’re talking about stretching.

There are two main types of stretches: dynamic and static. The experts at OrthoCarolina recommend dynamic stretching pre-workout because it helps activate your muscles and static stretching post-workout to help your muscles recover.

Dynamic Pre-workout Stretches

Butt Kicks – Perform at a walking pace for 30 seconds

High Knees – Perform at a walking pace for 30 seconds

Lateral Shuffles – Perform at a walking pace for 30 seconds

Leg Swings (front and back) – 30 seconds per leg

Static Post-Workout Stretches

Calf stretch
2 x 30 per leg
Place hands against a wall with one foot about 2 feet in front of the other. Bend the knee on the front leg and lean forward until a gentle stretch is felt in the calf of the back leg.

Quad Stretch
2 x 30 seconds per leg
Begin in a standing upright position. Bend one knee, bringing your foot towards your bottom. Push your hips forward until you feel a stretch in the front of your thigh.

Hamstring Stretch
30 seconds
Begin sitting upright with both legs in front of you. Gently leg forward, hinging at your hips until you feel a stretch on the back of your legs.

Figure 4
2 x 30 seconds per leg
Begin lying on your back with one leg bent and your other ankle resting on your knee. Grab underneath the bottom leg and gently pull your leg toward your body until you feel a stretch in your bottom.

Butterfly Stretch
30 seconds
Begin by sitting upright with your knees bent and soles of your feet together.  Using your arms, gently pull your heels toward your body until you feel a stretch in your groin.

Push yourself a little too hard with your new workout? It happens. Here’s what the experts at OrthoCarolina recommend for a safe, speedy recovery from a workout injury.

(1) Have your injury checked out by a professional

Many people who get fitness-related injuries either try to work through the pain or wait it out before seeing a doctor. This is a big no-no. By seeing an orthopedic physician or physical therapist, you can get a more accurate evaluation of your injury and a plan for how to recover. A professional can also give you advice on how to avoid similar injuries in the future.

(2) Take a break

If you want to get back into your new routine faster, you’ll need to give it a rest first. Jumping back in too soon could worsen your injury and extend your healing time. Use it as an excuse to binge on Netflix.

(3) Remember to ICE

ICE stands for Ice, Compression, Elevation, according to Jeffrey Cayo, PT at OrthoCarolina. He says ICE is a good standby for treating common injuries like muscle strains.

(4) Always stretch

Whether you are recovering from an injury or just looking to prevent one, always remember to stretch before and after your workout. Stretching will help you prevent strains and sprains. It’ll also help any keep any old injuries from coming back.

It doesn’t have to be fancy. Get moving, CLT.

(This content was co-created with OrthoCarolina.)

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