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Velocity Sports Shows How to Gain Core Strength 

As a personal trainer at Velocity Sports Performance (4115 S. Carrollton Ave., 861-5000; www.velocitysp.com), Jasman Marks merges his love for sports with his desire to help others. "I was pre-med in college, but I didn't want to lose my involvement in sports," Marks says. "I realized that sports science would allow me ... a career between the two fields." Marks graduated from Nicholls State University with a degree in sports science and is currently pursuing his master's degree in kinesiology at Georgia Southern University.

  Marks often trains high school and college athletes, but fitness is important for everyone, even patients undergoing or recovering from cancer treatments. According to the National Comprehensive Cancer Network's website (www.nccn.org), moderate exercise during cancer treatment can reduce patient fatigue by 40 to 50 percent, in addition to boosting cardiovascular health and alleviating the stress and depression that often accompany a cancer diagnosis.

  To help women recovering from a mastectomy rebuild strength and stay in shape, Marks suggests an exercise routine that includes core and lower-body strength training. Marks suggests cycling as a cardiovascular workout, as it does not require use of the arms. After surgery, these women should focus on posture and breathing while limiting use of the arms and shoulders for the first few weeks, Marks says.

  "Movement starts at the core," he says, "so you want to begin strengthening this area."

  Marks demonstrates a hip tilt exercise, a gentle movement that strengthens back and abdominal muscles — the "core" muscles. Before undertaking this or any exercise program, consult your doctor, who may refer you to a physical therapist who will design an individual exercise program tailored to your body's needs and your recovery.



Begin by lying on a mat with your heels on the floor, knees bent and spread slightly apart.
  • Begin by lying on a mat with your heels on the floor, knees bent and spread slightly apart.


Cross your arms over your chest and raise your pelvis toward the ceiling, creating a 45-degree angle between your body and the ground. Hold this position for two to three seconds, squeezing your glutes and core muscles, and then return to the original position. Do not hold your breath. Perform 12 to 15 repetitions.
  • Cross your arms over your chest and raise your pelvis toward the ceiling, creating a 45-degree angle between your body and the ground. Hold this position for two to three seconds, squeezing your glutes and core muscles, and then return to the original position. Do not hold your breath. Perform 12 to 15 repetitions.
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