Exercise You Should Be Doing: Front Foot Elevated Split Squat

Single Leg exercises are amazing. However, they are often not fun to do so many people never perform them.

The classic single leg exercises provide a ton of benefits. They’ll build your quad, hamstring and glutes. They also challenge your hip to remain neutral through a complete range of motion. Both of these factors go a long way towards building bigger legs and asses and also beating back pain.

In short, single leg exercises kick ass. You need to be doing them.

Some people, however, have a hard time performing single leg exercises like lunges and step ups due to hip pain and knee pain. Some people also get bored doing them.

Luckily there’s a simple variation you can employ if you fall into either of those camps.

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Patrick Henigan
Fix Your Warm Up, Fix Your Body

Each of your limbs, joints, muscles and tendons are dependant and affected by every other limb, joint, muscle and tendon in your body.

That’s why it’s so important to focus on creating a connection between your mind and your body at the beginning of each workout.

Turning this mind-muscle connection on will enable you to build more muscle, move better and function at a higher physical level. Once you can signal and feel each muscle contracting you will enable your body to recruit more muscle fibers into each movement.

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How Much Protein Should I Eat?

If you come to me and say “I need to lose inches” “I need to gain muscle”  “I need to lose weight” or “I need to tone up” there is one piece of advice I will give you.

You need to eat more protein.  

As a Personal Trainer I say this so frequently I'm thinking of getting it tattooed on my forehead.

Protein is necessary to build and maintain muscle.  This is of extra importance if you are aiming to lose weight, inches or reshape your body.

Adequate protein intake while eating a caloric deficit will expedite the fat loss process.

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Patrick Henigan
Use Isometrics to Get Stronger

Using a heavier weight is not always the best way to make an exercise more challenging.

Adding a longer Isometric is more beneficial than butchering reps with a heavier weight.

If you're trying to gain muscle the quality of your movement matters and this is an intelligent way to challenge yourself.

If you are someone who has joint pain adding a heavier weight is only going to further your joint problems.

There is always a way to get results by thinking outside the box.

Every exercise has three portions. The concentric- where the muscle shortens or flexes, the eccentric- where the muscle elongates and stretches and the isometric- where the muscle is fully contracted and the motion is paused.

You can manipulate all 3 of these phases to achieve greater results. Today I’ll show you how to manipulate the isometric.

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Patrick Henigan
How to Fix Your I.T Band

Your iliotibial (IT) Band is NOT a muscle. It's NOT a ligament. It's a bundle of fascia whose sole purpose is to stabilize the relationship between the knee and the hip. 

It has a role in both knee flexion (bending your knee) and extension (straightening your knee). That means it's CONSTANTLY being used. 

A lot of people, especially runners, think they have IT band issues when really they have HIP STABILITY ISSUES. 

If your hip capsule is weak, unstable or imbalanced it is going to put an incredible amount of pressure on the IT band.

To fix this you are better off doing band work like banded hip thrusts, band abduction and clam shells than you are foam rolling your IT band. 

Single leg work will also go a long way towards fixing an IT band that is bothering you.

Most of the time pain is just a symptom of a bigger movement problem. Don't spend a lot of money on massages or therapy without exploring your basic movement patterns.

Here's how to fix your hip so you never have IT band issues again.

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Patrick Henigan
Exercise You Should Be Doing: The Banded Deadbug

I bet I know a few things about you.

I bet you want abs.

I bet you want better posture.

I bet you want to get rid of lower back pain.

Nailed it. Now what if I told you there was one exercise that could check all of those boxes? An exercise that would greatly challenge your abs, while simultaneously improving the relationship between your pelvis and ribcage and improving the muscles responsible for easy, healthy posture.

It’s called the Deadbug and it looks kind of stupid but it works fantastically.

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Patrick Henigan
One Huge Mental Mistake

Most mistakes you make in the gym will not be physical.

They will be mental.

From a lack of intensity, to a lack of focus your mental game is an important as your physical game if you are truly trying to change your body for the better.

A HUGE mental mistake every lifter/ person in the gym makes is a lack of focus.

Or rather, placing their focus in the wrong area.

This has probably happened to you. You’ve been training for a while and you know you are stronger, so you’re ready to lift a heavier weight.

You start your first set with that heavier weight and it’s going great.

Your first couple of reps feel smooth as butter. But after those first few reps you lose the lift and have to cut it short.

Learn why that is and how to fix it right here:

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Patrick Henigan
How to Bench Press Without Shoulder Pain

When people hurt their shoulder they make a giant mistake.

They avoid using it.

You cannot avoid functions of your joints if you want to beat pain. In fact avoiding certain motions not only prolongs pain but it sends neurological signals to your brain that there is a serious injury. This, again, will only prolong the injury.

Now, this is not to say that you shouldn’t take some time off from Pressing movements when you need it, you absolutely should for a short period of time.

However, it’s most likely that your shoulder pain is caused by bad technique. In this video I’ll show you the bad technique, and tell you how to fix it. Bad technique puts your joints in bad positions. Combine that with a weighted barbell and it’s a recipe for disaster.

You can avoid future shoulder pain by changing the pressing exercises you do. I’ll show you two amazing variations of the bench press we use here at Jacksonville Fitness Academy.

Both variations will hammer the chest, while keeping your shoulder in the safest position possible. That means they will build muscle while beating pain. You really can’t ask for much more than that in a movement.

This video will detail everything you need to know.

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Patrick Henigan
How to Fix Shoulder Pain

Your upper back is the foundation for strong shoulders. A weak upper back causes poor posture, poor shoulder positioning and a bunch of other physical problems that will lead to injury.

Learn a couple drills to strengthen your upper back.

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Patrick Henigan