If you've been keeping up with our Personal Training Case Studies, you may be familiar with our work with Laura B.
Since our last post (which contains details of Laura's goals, and an overview of our first training cycle) we have continued to work on Laura's upper body strength and deep core stability.
During our first training cycle, Laura and I worked diligently to condition and prepare her body for working with free weights. This meant working with low weights and plenty of variety, to ensure all muscles, joints, and tendons we accustomed to performing the relevant exercises with sound technique.
As soon as we entered our second training cycle together it became clear that that time as well spent - Laura was able to steadily and confidently increase the amount of weight she was working with, while still maintaining great technique on all her lifts. Half way through the cycle we even introduced the kettlebell swing - an advanced move that requires a formidable combination of low back, gluteal, and hamstring strength, as well as good motor coordination and buckets of confidence! (See vid below.)
In order to increase the weights Laura was working with, we removed the instability component from the majority of her exercises, and added various training systems to maintain variety and challenge her muscles. To advance Laura's core stability training, we introduced a series of breathing and isolation exercises designed to isolate deep, inner unit muscles such as the multifidus muscles around the low spine, and the transverse abdominus inside the abdominal cavity. As our training progresses, Laura will work on continually engaging these deep muscles, while asking her outer abdominal and back muscles to fire on and off. Tricky stuff, but integral to the complex movements involved in dance, acrobatics, and gymnastics.
We also continued to work on Laura's inversions, still using the Swiss ball to assist with the pike mount, but this time advancing the movement by taking it from the head to the hands.
Example session (Week 4):
Marching, mobilisers, high knees
Skipping rope intervals
Kettlebell deadlift & squat superset (12 kg, 8 deadlifts straight into 8 squats, no rest in between - repeat x 2 supersets)
Kettlebell swings (12 kg, 8 reps x 2 sets)
Upper body (descending pyramids for all exercises: 8 reps at 3 kg, 8 reps at 2 kg, 8 reps at 1.5 kg, no rest in between):
Bent over flys
Swiss ball pike into headstand - lift both legs at the same time
Inner unit isolations - '6-dimensional breathing' exercises
Foam roller / stretch
Great work, as ever Laura, you are an inspiration! :D