For the Love of the Game and Water

Why register for your kids for our Jr Griffins Summer Aquatic and Sport Camps this summer? It’s easy to say skill development and for most people that could be enough. It gives their daughter or son an opportunity to spend dedicated time working on skills for their sport of choice. Their wants may range from making the team, to becoming a starter, to getting active and having fun, and our camps will help them achieve their individual goals in a safe, accepting environment.

Physical Skill Development

With Jr Griffins Camps, focus is placed on individual skill development and integration of broad team concepts. Our camps are designed and run by MacEwan University lifeguards, coaches and athletes, plus they adhere to the standards outlined in the Long-Term Athlete Development Strategy.

Social Skill Development

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7 Summer Nutrition Tips to Enjoy the Season

Summer is here. Vacation, gardening, hosting backyard barbecues, beaches and enjoying a cold one are staples Farmer's Market vegetablesfor any good summer. Summer events can often be filled with creamy salads, pop, chips, ice cream, cocktails and beers. You can still enjoy your summer favorites in moderation and substitute healthier options that are just as tasty.

Choose seafood. Grill salmon, tuna, lobster, steamer clams, and calamari for a low-calorie, protein-packed lunch or dinner.

Enjoy local seasonal foods. Take a trip down to the market, there is always something new each month. Include a mix of in-season colorful vegetables that provide a broad spectrum of vitamins and minerals. 

Drink water. In the summer, you are more susceptible to dehydration, so carry a water bottle at all times as a reminder. Only go with a sports drink for activities/workouts lasting more than 45 minutes. Water is adequate for activities shorter than 45 minutes and no need to add the extra calories when controlling caloric intake.

Moderation in Celebration. Nothing beats a cold lager on a hot day after work. If you are going to indulge, enjoy it in moderation. Lower calorie “light” options are available from most major brewers.

Cook meals together. Involve your friends and family in your healthy lifestyle this summer. A simple way to start: plan meals, shop, and cook with your spouse and kids. Planned meals leave little chance to selecting quick fast food or take out.

Take a smoothie on the go. After exercising or a midday snack to tide you over, blend your favorite frozen fruits and a scoop of whey protein into a shake to kick start the muscle-building process. Smoothies are great for on the go when you have a long time between meals. Also, refreshing on a hot summer day.

Pack for Trips. Are you planning a family trip to the beach or a road trip? Pack a cooler with ice, bottled water, loaded sandwiches with lean meat and veggies, pita chips, hummus, yogurt and a variety of fruit.

Freestyle (Front Crawl)- Pull Catch

Continuing on with the fourth step of the freestyle stroke pyramid is working on arm movements. For a freestyle or front crawl stroke the arm movements can be broken down into four sections: recovery, catch, power, and finish.

The catch phase is the segment of the stroke when you are positioning your hand and arm in the water in order to maximize the amount of pull force that you can generate. Once your arm should be fully extended in front of you, you attempt to get your forearm and wrist perpendicular to the pool bottom (from a side view) without moving your elbow from the extended position. This phase should not be rushed.

It can be useful to practice your arm movements independently so that you can concentrate on the each of the four sections. You may find it useful to use a pull buoy to help support your legs closer to the surface of the water to help minimize drag.

Check out Freestyle Pull Recovery Swim Tip

By Jason Britton and Victoria Mitchell

Jason is a full-time Lifeguard/Instructor here at MacEwan University Sport and Wellness. He has over 19 years of aquatic and coaching experience and is one of the main organizers of  SwimRun Edmonton. Victoria is a Lifesaving Society Swim Trainer and Red Cross Water Safety Instructor Trainer.  She is also MacEwan University’s full-time Aquatic Programmer. 

Hang Power Clean

Continuing with the benefits of resistance training for Endurance Performance. Our second exercise in this series is called the Hang Power Clean. This movement is taken from the sport of Olympic Weightlifting where athletes lift the maximum amount of weight possible in two lifts (Snatch and Clean & Jerk). For Endurance athletes, performing Hang Power Cleans, allows for the development and refinement of lower body strength and power in joint positions that are fairly close to those they will experience in their chosen sport.

  • Objective
    • Develop and refine Neuromuscular power in a joint range that closely relates to most endurance related activities
  • Muscle Groups targeted
    • Quadriceps, Calf, Glutes, Deltoids, Trapezius, Back Extensors
  • Starting Position
    • Athlete starts with bar held at full arm length with hands just outside hip width.
    • Athlete unlocks knees and keeps feet flat and torso vertical as if they were sliding down a wall
  • Movement
    • Athlete Quickly “jumps” the bar up and quickly rotates body and arms around the bar in order to catch the bar across the shoulders and clavicle in a “quarter” or half Squat
  • Recommended sets and repetitions
    • 3-5 sets of 3-5 repetitions of moderate-heavy weights
    • Build towards progressively heavier weights while maintaining correct positions and sequencing of joints

Check out the first exercise Clean Grip Push Press

Visit our website for our personal trainer bios and information on fitness program designs and individual and group personal training. Plus Courses & Classes like Olympic Weight Lifting, City Centre Runners and Bootcamp.

by Devin Clayton

Devin is a Bachelors of Physical Education graduate from the University of Alberta. He is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist through the NSCA and is a NCCP certified Weightlifting coach.

Freestyle (Front Crawl)- Pull Recovery

The fourth step of the stroke pyramid is working on arm movements. For a freestyle or front crawl stroke the arm movements can be broken down into four sections: recovery, catch, power, and finish.

The recovery phase is the portion of the pull where your arm is out of the water. You want a relaxed forearm and wrist, and the hand should be close to the water surface with the elbow high. Once the hand is beyond your shoulder, you may put your hand in the water and reach forward.

It can be useful to practice your arm movements independently so that you can concentrate on the each of the four sections. You may find it useful to use a pull buoy to help support your legs closer to the surface of the water to help minimize drag.

Check out Freestyle Breathing Swim Tip

By Jason Britton and Victoria Mitchell

Jason is a full-time Lifeguard/Instructor here at MacEwan University Sport and Wellness. He has over 19 years of aquatic and coaching experience and is one of the main organizers of  SwimRun Edmonton.

Victoria is a Lifesaving Society Swim Trainer and Red Cross Water Safety Instructor Trainer.  She is also MacEwan University’s full-time Aquatic Programmer.

Athletic Therapy- Keeping you in the Game

Athletic Therapy Jenn Dunn works on a patient.June happens to be National Athletic Therapy month, so what better topic to write about than the exciting profession that is Athletic Therapy?

Have you ever been watching sports when someone got injured and been curious about the unfolding chain of events? That first person to run onto the field of play is often an athletic therapist.

Athletic therapists have a unique skill set that allows them to provide emergency care for injuries and medical emergencies at sporting events, as well as clinical assessment and treatment skills to see their patients through the course of healing.

With AT’s often being the first on-site, they are highly trained in concussion identification and rapid decision making for injuries. They specialize in working with athletic populations and for that reason they tend to have a strong foundation in rehabilitative exercise. They use a wide variety of manual therapy techniques for soft tissue and joints, as well and electrical and thermal modalities when required.

Many athletic therapists are fortunate to have team of medical professionals that they can consult and collaborate with to ensure patients are returning to play as soon as they possibly can. Athletic therapy patients range from weekend warriors to professional athletes and Olympians.

The services we provide include:

  • Massage, myofascial release, soft tissue release, joint mobilizations.
  • Electrotherapeutic modalities including interferential current therapy, ultrasound and muscle stimulation.
  • Pre- and post-operative care.
  • Strength and conditioning for injury prevention, rehabilitation and performance.
  • Pilates for spinal rehabilitation.
  • Concussion management including assessment, treatment and return to play.
  • Baseline concussion testing.
  • Access to physicians and sport psychologists through MacEwan University Health Centre.

MacEwan University Sport and Wellness offers Athletic Therapy services to Griffins athletes, student, staff and pubic patrons. MacEwan students and staff, plus many benefits plans cover Athletic Therapy.

Happy athletic therapy month everyone!

by Jenn Dunn

4 Tips to Keep Fit this Summer

Many of us have already begun training for our summer races, outdoor adventures, or simply our summer body. Often the excuse arises that we are too busy or Split Squat, on stairsdon’t have time to stay active – we’re here to encourage you to keep the momentum going and stay faithful to fitness during the summer. If you’re new to exercise, take advantage of the warm weather and start a new fitness routine today!

  1. Start with a schedule. In the summer, many of us get busy with the extra chores, nights on the patio, or weekend trips, which can leave physical activity at the bottom of the to-do list. Treat fitness just as you would any other appointment and pencil it into your schedule– do not make excuses to cancel no matter how busy you get. Within your fitness plan, be sure to include a balance between aerobic activities and strength training to achieve the full benefits of exercise. Aerobic exercise should be scheduled at least three times a week to help improve heart and lung health. So start playing outdoor games, dust off your bike, or go for a run in the sun. Then add in resistance training at least once a week to improve bone health, body composition, and strength.
  2. Stick to your plan. Plan ahead. Bring your shoes, a change of clothes and a water bottle with you in the morning to use as a friendly reminder of your intent. Also, go with a set plan to maximize the time you have given yourself for your workouts and keep track of what you have done.
  3. Take your workout plan with you on holidays.  Many people take long summer holidays from work and go on vacation. But, this doesn’t mean they should take a vacation from their fitness routine too. Activity should be maintained on holidays to avoid reversibility of training or detraining. It doesn’t take long to backslide and start losing the health benefits you have worked so hard to achieve. With regards to aerobic capacity, research has shown measurable reductions in performance and physiological function after as a little of 1-2 weeks. Reductions in strength take a bit longer to occur, but are still significant after only a couple of weeks of inactivity. Maintaining a fitness routine while on vacation will also help maintain our desired body composition as we indulge in the extra food and beverages that tend to be associated with holidays.
  4. Need a plan that travels with you?  To maintain our strength and fitness, we don’t need to bring the gym with us. Although the equipment at the gym may be the best for seeing results quickly, we can maintain our strength and endurance with little to no equipment necessary. This can be done through a structured plan that uses body weight exercises or small portable equipment such as a TRX or a resistance band. Furthermore, the exercises can target our full body and can be completed in a short time. Exercises such as lunges, squats, step-ups or Bulgarian split squats can all be used to challenge the legs without any equipment. Likewise, various push-ups, dips, planks and pull-ups can all be done to target the upper body and can be adapted to meet anyone’s fitness level. While on holidays be sure to keep up with your running, walking and other outdoor activities as well to maintain your progress. For a detailed and personalized fitness program you can take with you on holidays, come to MacEwan University Sport and Wellness to meet with one of our highly qualified personal trainers.

Visit our website to learn more about our trainers and the testing and training programs we offer. Or purchase a discounted summer membership at MacEwan University Sport and Wellness.

 

Getting Green and Lean

If you garden for pleasure, you may not be aware of how beneficial this hobby is for your health. Gardening ranks up there with other moderate to strenuous forms of exercise, like walking and bicycling. Approximately 300 calories an hour can be burned just by gardening! Working in the garden gives all major muscle groups a good workout whether from digging up soil, setting plants, carrying water, weeding, pruning, mowing, sweeping and even walking around the yard can increase heart rate – exercise is taking place!

Research is showing that gardening for just 30 minutes daily will help increase flexibility, strengthen joints, decrease blood pressure and cholesterol levels, lower your risk for diabetes, and slow osteoporosis. Additionally, gardening is beneficial for your mental health, allowing you to do something calming, creative and fun!

How much is enough? You can break up the sessions into short bursts of moderate activity throughout the day. For example, if you weed for 10 minutes in the morning, push a mower for 10 minutes in the afternoon, and dig up soil for 10 minutes in the evening you get similar health benefits as you would doing 30 consecutive minutes of comparable activities.

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Clean Grip Push Press

While the benefits of resistance training for power athletes has been known for some time, research is now starting to discover the benefits of resistance training for endurance performance. With this year’s wave of endurance competitions (marathons, obstacle races, fundraisers, etc.) upon us we thought it would be a great time to speak to these benefits and give you a few exercises that will help you stay healthy and fit for your chosen competition. Our first exercise of the endurance training series is the clean grip push press.

  • Objective
    • Develop upper and lower body strength and power while building up efficiency in muscles and tendons of the lower body in a joint range that closely relates those ranges experienced in most endurance related activities.
  • Muscle groups targeted
    • Quadriceps, calf, glutes, deltoids, trapezius
  • Starting position
    • Grip bar just outside shoulder width with bar resting across shoulders and on top of collarbone.
    • Feet hip width apart with toes pointed straight forward.
  • Movement
    • While keeping chest up and heels down, unlock knees to “dip” down before extending on to toes and “driving” bar overhead as fast as possible.
    • After extending onto toes press bar into lockout position overhead while simultaneously returning to flat foot position.
    • Hold bar overhead to maintain balance, control bar back to start position.
  • Recommended sets and repetitions
    • 3-5 sets of 3-5 repetitions with moderate load initially.
    • Build towards progressively heavier weights while maintaining recommended sets and repetitions.

Visit our website for our personal trainer bios and information on fitness program designs and individual and group personal training. Plus Courses & Classes like Olympic Weight Lifting, City Centre Runners and Bootcamp.

by Devin Clayton

Devin is a Bachelors of Physical Education graduate from the University of Alberta. He is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist through the NSCA and is a NCCP certified Weightlifting coach.

Freestyle (Front Crawl)- Breathing

Last month we discussed the concept of the skroke pyramid: the order in which stroke progressions should be implemented when learning and correcting a swimmer’s strokes. To review, the first step is body positioning: being able to maintain a relaxed, streamlined body position will enable you as a swimmer to move efficiently through the water. The second step of the pyramid which we discussed last month is kicking. Mastering a relaxed flutter kick which is generated from the hips will prevent injury and add to the efficiency of your freestyle stroke.

Check out Flutter Kick Swim Tip

The third step of the pyramid is breathing. Breathing is one of the hardest aspects to swimming. Due to your face being predominantly underwater, breathing is required to be controlled and rhythmic in order to fit into the motion. Exhale underwater, then turn your head to the side as your opposite arm is fully extend in front of your body. Allow your head to roll back into position as your shoulders roll. The idea is to minimize the movement as much as possible so as to limit the break to body position. Eventually you may be able to ge to the point where you only need to turn so that just your mouth is out of the water, with one eye still underwater.

It is largely recommended that you breath in a rhythmic pattern, every three or four strokes. In practice, this is a good drill for promoting balance in stroke technique. However, in a situation where you are trying to swim fast, you may need to breathe more often. Breathing every two strokes to a favorite side may in fact be preferable for you.By Jason Britton and Victoria Mitchell

Jason is a full-time Lifeguard/Instructor here at MacEwan University Sport and Wellness. He has over 19 years of aquatic and coaching experience and is one of the main organizers of  SwimRun Edmonton.

Victoria is a Lifesaving Society Swim Trainer and Red Cross Water Safety Instructor Trainer. She is also MacEwan University’s full-time Aquatic Programmer.