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Why You Need Cardio Lab: Basics

posted on February 25, 2019

By Ryan McUmber

Learning the basics is always important for any movement or activity that we pursue. It builds the foundation that helps us become more efficient while also preventing injury. As fun as it is to learn the finesse of certain exercises to show off to all your friends, the finesse will fall apart quickly if you don’t have the base to hold it. People might get tired of hearing one of us yell “knees out” on a squat but this simple cue holds the key to larger squats. Now, don’t think that you can hear the basic cues once and think that you are set for life. The core cues can easily be forgotten when focusing on speed or how many reps we can get during a workout. Like in the Strength Lab, we can focus on a similar mindset in the Cardio Lab- luckily we have a wonderful class called CardioLab: Basics. The Basics class is important for keeping efficiency in the movement, preventing injury, and possibly learning new cues that you have never heard.

Efficiency: achieving maximum productivity with minimum wasted effort. Being efficient is important if you want to finish quicker during those rounds for time workouts or get that one extra rep when you are performing as many reps as possible. This will make sure every calorie you expend is driving towards being better. When you are completely efficient your overall fitness will shoot up. Think about this scenario: You have two people who are working out. Person A is moving inefficiently through the workout and person B has been taking the new sweet CardioLab: Basics class, so person B is moving with precision. Person A after a short period of time gets tired and must rest while Person B has more in the tank to keep going. Person B will be able to work out much longer since no energy is wasted hence allowing them to push themselves for a longer period of time. Person A realizes that they need to take Basics and after only a couple of classes is hanging with Person B with ease.

Basics not only allows you to perform better but I would argue that the most important reason is to learn how to avoid injury. Injury is no fun. Along with the pain that it can cause, your progress will be put on hold, and you won’t get to see the wonderful staff of Union fitness. The basics class covers how to protect yourself while using the movements that we perform during class. Taking the Basics class will also allow you to apply what you learn to all movements in and out of the gym. A hinge is the perfect example of this. Mastering a key movement such as hinging will allow you to stay safe during more than half the movements that are done in ALL of our classes as well as in everyday life. It can be applied to the ski erg, good mornings, deadlifting, picking up a box at home, and even picking up your child!

So what does this class look like? Lindsey constructs this mastermind of a class into sections. The warm-up usually includes drills that are essential for all movements along with bracing drills. Bracing drills teach you how to stabilize that mid-section of your body. This allows strength throughout the body when performing exercises to create efficiency and safety. After the warm-up, we go over the concept of that day’s class. Whether it is the Rower, Bike, or Ski Erg. Eventually we’ll touch on the idea of pacing-how to approach a long workout vs a full out sprint. Don’t worry!- We also cover floor exercises that are so common in our CardioLab classes. Although you may consider most of the floor work, such as med ball slams, a walk in the park it can be beneficial to go a little more in depth into these exercises. Med ball slams are a great exercise to cover what is called the “triple extension.” There are multiple books and viewpoints on the importance of triple extension – think “full body movement”- but if you are curious what this is and how to do it properly, I think it’s time to sign up for the class. Of course this is CardioLab and what would be it be if you didn’t feel like your lungs were burning and legs like Jell-O? So you can still prepare yourself for a finisher right before you walk out the door.

The Basics class can only make you better. This class is not only for beginners but for anyone that wants to improve their overall movement. Check out our new class to see if you can fine tune the exercises you already know or maybe learn something completely new.


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