New Year’s Eve is a time for resolutions; one of the most common being to get into shape. Neil Jones, owner of Trans Canada Fitness, offers four simple but effective exercises that can be done in the comfort of your own home whenever you have a few minutes to spare.
Jones has operated a gym in Revelstoke since 1983 with a goal of offering a comfortable, safe, non-intimidating workout atmosphere. He is both an exercise therapist and a certified personal trainer. In the Jones household, fitness is a family affair. Jones’ wife Theresea and daughter Jaana are also both certified personal trainers.
“Our first move is a lunge,” Neil says. “Lunges are good for everyone and anyone, especially skiers and boarders.”
Jones notes that it is important to keep your core activated, to keep all of the pressure in your heel, and to keep your front knee behind your toes and maintain a pelvic tilt. This means keeping your spine straight and not hinging forward at your waist. “If it’s too difficult, step back into a lunge rather than forward,” Jones recommends, “and use the wall to touch for balance.”
Next, Jones suggests grabbing a couple cans of soup as weights and trying a squat shoulder press.
Keeping your knees behind your toes with the pressure in your heels, bend your knees 90 degrees so your femur is parallel to the floor. Your back is straight (which means it feels like you’re sticking your butt out a bit, not tucking it in). As you stand up, bring your forearms to your shoulders in line with your ears and raise them above your head. “Remember to keep a soft knee as you stand up, don’t lock it when it’s straight,” Jones explains.
Now grab a chair, table, or something that can support your weight. “We’re going to do a triceps push up,” Jones says.
“Bend your elbows, keep your pelvis square to the apparatus and your knees soft. Turn your core on and come down until you are 90 degrees at the elbow, then push back up.”
Last, it’s times to give those abs centre stage. Jones suggests finding a sofa or something you can hook your toes under. Lay on your back with your knees bent about 45 degrees.
A simple way to ensure you have engaged your core is by bringing your belly button in and up, opening your chest and lengthening your back. Place your hands over your ears, look up to avoid neck strain, and bring yourself into a crunch. Lower and repeat.
“Start doing each move 10 times (this is one set) and try to work yourself up to three sets,” Jones explains. “Stop if anything hurts. These moves can be difficult; it’s better to do it once slowly and correctly than thirty times wrong.”
It’s important to remember that media marketing of fitness isn’t how fitness actually works. “I spend a lot of time dispelling rumours,” Jones says, “I’m happy to educate people to ensure they are doing what works best for their body.”
Fitness is clearly both a passion and a priority for Jones. If you’re unsure about doing the move correctly or have any questions, head on down to Trans Canada Fitness. The Jones family are happy to help and you may want to consider a private sessions to plan a short home routine.