Lose it all while performing a spin bike workout at home

There are many people who like to challenge themselves when it comes to working out. And these are the type of people who will actually be pushing their body to the right limits and making the best use of their workout regime. If you are one of them, then there is something new that you could try. We are talking about the spin bikes. They are not something fancy as the name may suggest. In fact, it is the simple activity that you used to do in your childhood. Cycling is a fun activity and the stationary bikes in your gym can now be bought for your house too.

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If you are not a fan of spin bikes, then you should try something better which is called the spinning classes. you get to meet new people who have the same goal as yours – to get back in shape. And it has been proved that when you exercise in a group, you tend to sweat more and be serious about your weight loss targets.

Burn the calories on the bike

You would be amazed to find out how helpful a simple spinning session or an hour on the spin bike could be for you. A single minute on the spin bike could help you burn upto 12 calories. And since you are pedalling all throughout your exercise, you would be getting your legs and butts in an excellent shape and who doesn’t want that.

The spin bike only allows for one type of exercise but you can alternate it between high intensity workout sessions to low workout sessions to give you an amazing result. A blast workout is something that has become recently popular and it helps you in burning more calories. You can burn as much calories as much you can burn with the best treadmills at home.

The idea is to do reps and cycles that are alternated between high and low motion pedalling. You should start with moderate pedalling that will be 80 RPM (rotations per minute) on the bike. This will go on for 4 minutes and then you can speed up your workout session by going for the higher intensity spinning which will be around 85-100 RPM for 4 minutes.

You can repeat this cycle for as long as you want and this will give you the right of exercise routine. Even with one exercise on the spin bike, you can always make it more fun and ensure that you get the most out of your workout.
With this workout routine, you will be able to burn around 250 to 350 calories in just 30 minutes. And you can always increase the time of your workout when your breaking point lowers.

In order to have the right training session, it is important to buy a spin bike that gives you the best results. When you are looking for a spin bike online, the first thing you should always do is read the spin bike reviews. They will give you an idea of what types of bikes are there are what you can expect out of them.

Spin bikes are an amazing gym equipment and if you have the time and space in your house, then you can easily purchase this bike. The idea is to exercise on a regular basis so that you don’t regret buying it. Many people don’t have the time to make it to a gym everyday and this is the reason they are using the spin bike and other such equipments.

But, do buy the right type of bike as it is a one time investment in good health and physique. Follow the right diet and you are there.

Key to Top Performance | Correcting Muscular Imbalances

Key to Top Performance | Correcting Muscular Imbalances

If a car has one tire that is misaligned, the car can drive with you putting extra pressure on the wheel to keep it straight. But over time, that action will wear down the car more, affecting everything from the frame of the car to gas mileage.

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Operating with a muscle, or more likely for most folks – multiple muscles, that are imbalanced is like doing the same thing to your body. Muscles that do not have the proper length-tension relationship create performance problems; including poor movement patterns that affect joint health, poor recovery from workouts because of overused muscles, & lost power & endurance from musculoskeletal weaknesses.

Recently, ProKine held a functional training camp to teach a group of endurance athletes how to overcome their specific musculoskeletal imbalances & increase their overall performance, & the results of the 4 hours they spent with us were clear. While 4 hours does not cure a problem that took weeks, months, or years to develop – the athletes were moving more successfully at the end of their session with us than when they began the day. This is especially clear in the photos we took of each athletes’ overhead squat assessment. We put together the following before/after photo to show the improvements. We asked the athletes to squat however they felt comfortable & then showed them the changes from picture 1 to picture 2 (the span of 4 hours of corrective exercise work done with us).

This is Marie. Look at her before picture on the left. We added lines through her shoulder joint, from her hip to knee joint, & from her malleolus (ankle bone) through the medial portion of her big toe. You can see in the first picture how large the bend in her elbows is – the arms should be fully straightened above the head – by the end of camp, she’d greatly reduced her elbow bend & was able to lift her arms higher. In the first picture, her right leg is turned out at the hip, you can see how her knee leans out to the side on the right leg. In addition, her feet turn out. The legs should be more forward-facing, the toes should also point forward & the knees should be inline with the hips & ankles, not splayed out to the sides. Look at the second picture how much closer she gets to that optimal position. See how much straighter her thigh is- it sits in-line with her hip & ankle. Her feet face much more forward at the end of the day than they did at the beginning.

With what Marie did at ProKine’s Functional Training Camp, she will be able to go running, cycling, or anything else she’d like to do with muscles that will allow her to move more efficiently, without creating abnormal wear-down of the bones, tissues & muscles. She began un-doing overly tight muscles in her upper body, hips & calves. She started to activate muscles in her upper back, glutes & core.

Think of the car analogy again…at the start of camp, Marie (and all the athletes) had imbalances that were increasing wear-down of their bones, tissues & muscles. These imbalances were reducing overall power & endurance output because energy was being wasted by the body trying to compensate for the imbalances – just like if you have to apply extra pressure to the wheel to keep the car straight when it’s out of alignment.

Once we discovered the athlete’s imbalances, we taught them foundational training techniques they must do on a regular basis to fully overcome the imbalances, and then to maintain the new balanced musculoskeletal system. With such great improvements as what we saw in 4 hours, consider the larger effects of doing these training techniques on a regular basis!

ProKine will be holding more camps in the future, but if you’re interested in improving your performance, reducing injury-risk, increasing longevity in your sport, reducing chronic aches & pains, and intelligently training for optimum performance output, schedule a one-on-one assessment now. In the assessment, we’ll uncover your strengths, weaknesses, imbalances & areas for opportunity, then recommend a plan to correct & improve them. The fee is $84. Click HERE to setup your appt.

Antidepressants: Some notes to be taken

Antidepressants: Some notes to be taken

Depression is a serious medical illness related to the brain. Symptoms can include: bored, lose interest or pleasure in activities you used to enjoy, change in weight, difficulty in sleeping or oversleeping, loss of energy, feeling worthless, thoughts of death or suicide. The method is used to treat depression antidepressants combined with psychotherapy.

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Need to monitor abnormalities during treatment

The drug treatment of depression include: SSRIs (reuptake inhibitor selective serotoni), SNRIs (serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors), MAOIs (monoamine oxidase inhibitors) and tricyclics. However, taking any depression medication on depression should follow doctor prescription. It is important that during the medication, if you experience one of the following symptoms : headache, nausea, insomnia andstress, agitation or jitteriness, decreased sex drive, dry mouth, constipation, blurred vision or sad sleepduring the day… you should immediately inform your physicians to know, because this could be the sideeffects of the drugs.

For the cases that medicine or psychology therapies, or a combination of both methods are not effective, you can use electrical therapy (ECT). In recent years, this therapy has been greatly improved and can helppeople with severe depression and have not been able to feel better with other treatments. ECT may cause short -term side effects, including confusion, disorientation and memory loss. These side effects will typically clear soon after treatment. The study also showed that after one year of ECT treatment, the patient does not have adverse effects on cognition.

Warning about antidepressants

Despite the fact that SSRIs and other antidepressants are generally safe and reliable, however, a number of studies have shown that drugs can have unintentional effects on some people, especially young people. In 2004, the Agency for Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has reviewed data from studies of antidepressants involved nearly 4,400 children and adolescents being treated for depression. Reports indicate that 4 % of these people appeared suicidal thoughts (although no suicides occurred), compared with 2 % of those who had placebo pills. This information led to FDA’s putting warning on the label of allantidepressant medications to alert the public about the possibility of an increased risk of suicidal thoughts drugs.

Warning also emphasizes that children, adolescents and young adults taking antidepressants should be closely monitored, especially during the first weeks of treatment with such depressive symptoms as moresevere, think or suicidal behavior. These include unusual changes in behavior such as sleeplessness, agitation. However, considering the results of trials in children in 1988 – 2006, it is shown that the benefits of antidepressant medications is likely to have greater risks when treating children and adolescents suffering from depression and anxiety disorders.

Fuel for Performance | Sweet Potato

Fuel for Performance | Sweet Potato

By : Drew Whitehead – Co-Owner ProKine Performance

When most people look at a sweet potato they do not think “high performance fuel”. They think “mmmmm that would be good with marshmallows melted on top!” That is how I pictured sweet potatoes while growing up. Over the past year of eating gluten free and JERF’ing it up – #jerf : just eat real food : ) I have experienced how much sweet potatoes fuel athletic performance.

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After my naturopath found I had a candida overgrowth from eating grains and sugars to much I began asking myself  ”How can I get enough carbs to utilize during my workouts, races and competitions without bread? How can I get enough fiber without grains? How can I have energy without sugar?” I found myself researching for an optimal way of eating and sweet potatoes became a big part of my eating. My athletic performance has improved, I have felt better, my pH is stable and my body composition is steady at 6.5%. If you are looking for some quick race fuel for your performance considering sweet potatoes may be a good idea. Here are some sweet potato benefits and facts:

Burn Carbs Replace Carbs : They are high in carbohydrates that are needed during exercies. 1 cup contains 41.4 grams (166kcal) of carbs. mainly consisting of glucose. Glucose is a primary fuel for muscles as well as the central nervous system.  See one study here.

Price : $1.50 per lb at your local grocery store! We are all looking for cost effective race fuel, and sweet potato is at the top of the list!

Time : You can have your sweet potato ready in 3 minutes – Pop in microwave, hit button, come back in 3 minutes, good to go. Ready to eat anytime anywhere. Just keep them cool. Also, you can have them done in the grill or oven in no time just wrap them in foil and let em’ cook! Many studies show that you should not eat the skins, so if you are trying to perform the best you can, why eat them? Peel the skin off and eat! For more on why not to eat the skin do some research here.

Alkalizing : Sweet potatoes are alkalizers. If you dont know about body PH – here is a good article.

Low Glycemic : Sweet potatoes are low on the glycemic index. These low glycemic carbs fuel your body like an IV which is great for atheltic performance. Keeping your insulin levels stable is also very important for overall health.

Athletic Fuel : Sweet potatoes provide fuel for many different types of athletes. Motocross, Endurance, Power, Explosive, runners, triathlon, action sports, football, hockey, basketball, baseball…..ok you get it the list goes on. They provide a great source of energy for aerobic and anaerobic sports.

Multi Vitamin :  Containing vitamin A, Vitamic C , Calcium, Iron, B6, Potassium as well as some protein (4g per cup).
Details here.

In 1992, the Center for Science in the Public Interest compared the nutritional value of sweet potatoes to other vegetables. Considering fibre content, complex carbohydratesproteinvitamins A and C, iron, and calcium, the sweet potato ranked highest in nutritional value. According to these criteria, sweet potatoes earned 184 points, 100 points over the next on the list, the common potato.

Will sweet potatoes benefit your performance? You won’t know unless you try! Please comment and let us know your thoughts and experiences.

Movement Prep | Gearing you up for Exercise

Movement Prep | Gearing you up for Exercise

Research has gone back and forth on the benefits of stretching. When to stretch, how to stretch, when not to stretch – are all valid & important questions – and what is the correct answer will vary depending on the activity you are doing. The title of this post is “Gearing you up for Exercise”, but really, you should consider this for anything that requires your body to move, twist, turn, lift things or otherwise stress your structure (your skeleton/muscles). You can get an awesome stretching machine for stretching your legs or full body.

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A game of golf. A workout. A heavy day of chores that could possibly wrench you up from all the heavy lifting & twisting. Coaching your kids little league team. All of these things require your structure to move & any impingements, or ‘hang ups’ that your body has, could create the opportunity for injury & dysfunction. So do you do those stretches you remember from grade school holding them for a minute at a time? In almost every case, the answer is no.

So do you go “cold” into your workout? The answer there is also no. You want to do a series of movements called Movement Prep, which raise your core temperature, prepare your nervous system for physical activity & strengthen your body. In addition, most individuals have at least one grouping of muscles that are entirely shut off. Failing to get them turned on can lead to overuse issues & injuries.

How Movement Prep Works

As opposed to a traditional warm-up, movement prep actually makes you stronger and helps yield long-term flexibility gains. You’ll actively elongate your muscles in a series of movements, which can improve balance, mobility and stability. Think of it as warming up with a purpose.

You’ll do approximately 5 to 10 repetitions of each exercise in your movement prep routine. Not only will it feel like part of your workout (as opposed to a boring precursor to the real thing), at first it might feel like a workout itself.

Benefits of Movement Prep

Most importantly – injury prevention! You don’t want your workout to end up setting you back because you injure yourself doing it. Since most people have some muscles that don’t fire properly, you need to reactivate them as you get ready for your workout. An example of this would be the small muscles of the hips, the gluteus medius, which if not activated will lead to lower-back problems, knee pain, and groin strain. It’s as if someone flipped the circuit breaker, cutting off power to these little muscles. With movement prep, you’re turning the switch back on. These exercises, which require no equipment, enable your body to recall those movements that perhaps haven’t been used since childhood.

By strengthening muscles in this new range of motion, you stabilize all the tiny muscles around your joints that help hold the joints together. That will improve posture and performance and decrease potential for injury.

A Wake-Up Call for Dormant Muscles

We spend most of our time sitting on our butt (glutes), which causes the muscles opposite of them—the hip flexors—to become tight and inactive. The neuromuscular relationship of these opposing muscle groups is known as reciprocal inhibition, which is a fancy way of saying that when one muscle group contracts, the other relaxes. Movement prep is reciprocal inhibition at work.

Your movement prep routine wakes these muscles up—and not just for your workout. They’ll remain switched on for the rest of the day.

Here’s why that’s important: Let’s say you’re walking on a winter day, and your foot slips on some ice. How well your body reacts to that slip on the ice depends on your proprioception, the system of pressure sensors in the joints, muscles, and tendons that your body uses to maintain balance.Movement prep, in switching on your body’s small muscles, also tunes your sense of proprioception. It prepares your body for random chaotic movement by fine-tuning its nerves and feedback mechanism.

Better Than Old School Stretching

There’s tremendous value in traditional stretch-and-hold, or “static” stretching if executed properly and done after a workout. However, static stretching routines performed before exercise can increase flexibility only for a short time. There is little scientific evidence that such routines can improve exercise performance, reduce delayed-onset muscular soreness or prevent injuries.

A difference between traditional static stretching and movement prep is that the goal of the former is to relax muscles, to allow you to get into a stretched position and hold it. In movement prep, you’re going to contract your muscles, which is to say you’ll be activating them by squeezing them. This improves the long-term mobility and flexibility of muscles. Rather than have them stretch and go back to where they were—as is the case with traditional stretching—movement prep helps your body remember those ranges of motion.

Just doing movement prep alone can make your body stronger and more stable, and can also help increase speed and power output. Do it before every training session. Use static stretching after your workout.

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Welcome to ProKine Performance!

Welcome to ProKine Performance!

Thanks for your patience while our site is built! While our business officially launched on 4/1/11(and branding/website/etc. are in the works as we write so thank you for your patience), the core of what we do is something we’ve honed as our craft for the last 6 & 8 years, respectively. As professionals in the field of movement performance, we use our background in exercise science & kinesiology, along with our certifications in functional movement & personal training to develop tailor-made programs for our clients.

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To perform your best, the little things make a big difference. If you want to perform at your highest level, with longevity, and injury prevention as you age – you need to have a solid foundation. Your foundation is more than just your core – it’s your kinetic chain linking, your stability, your posture, your balance, your spatial awareness, your flexibility, your mobility, your overall function as it relates to your level of performance. Once your foundation is set, you can train your body with more intensity & with less risk of injury – and we’ll be there with you, teaching you the path to achieve your personal best.

Who is our client? Any person who wants to move better – in the most optimal way that they can – to aid their performance in sport, fitness & life. We will find your strengths, weaknesses, imbalances, & areas for opportunity and use them to give you a pin-point program to target what you need and keep out any of the fluff that you don’t need.

Do you want to perform at your highest level? We want that for you too. Welcome to ProKine! We’ll be updating here soon, so check back for more. We’ll also be at many endurance races around Chicago this year so look for us there as well! In the meantime, if you’d like to be contacted regarding our services for YOUR performance goals, please use the ‘contact us’ button at the top right of the site. THANKS!