Stand Up Straight Kid!

Stand Up Straight Kid!
27 Apr

How many of you were told to stand up straight as a kid? Maybe it was a school teacher or your grandma that said it. Maybe it wasn’t said enough. Now days it seems most of us spend a lot of time with our faces in our phones. Not that there’s anything wrong with technology, I use it all the time. But there are some things wrong with how we use it and maybe how much time we spend on it. As human beings we create new habits very easily, and one very bad habit almost all of us gain at one time or another is bad posture.


Believe it or not posture was taught in almost every school less than 100 years ago. When public schools became more prevalent and eventually required in the early 20th century. Many people thought the system of making children sit in desks for hours at a time was detrimental to their health and well being. The school desk itself was even blamed for abnormalities of the spine due to the child being forced to sit for prolonged periods. This sounds like something from a modern chiropractic or physical therapy study but these are common sense ideas that concerned parents picked up on early. Today children suffer from the same and even more postural problems like slouching which can lead to Lumbo Pelvic Hip Complex Dysfunction, a sway back and anterior pelvic tilt, which eventually lead to chronic low back pain if left unchecked. Modern postural problems include cell phone neck or a forward head and shoulders due to constantly leaning down looking at something.


Thankfully though many postural problems, and much of the pain associated with them can be prevented and even reversed, through a good total body strengthening program and a conscious effort to maintain good posture whenever possible. As a personal trainer I find that a big part of my job is to be the posture police. Not only is posture very important in our every day lives but it is extremely important at the gym. If you have never had a trainer show you the proper way to perform an exercise, for all you know you may have been doing it wrong for a very long time. Not performing an exercise properly can not only lead to a less effective workout but it can even cause more harm than good. Take the bench press for example. For years, before I became a trainer, I just benched how I thought I saw other people do it. More often than not they were probably doing it wrong themselves. I never  even knew there was a right way to bench. With cues like keep your shoulders back and down to create a more stable base to press from, or placing your hands in the right place, and using a good bar path, you can not only save yourself from future shoulder problems, but even bench more weight with better form!


If you have suffered with back, neck or shoulder pain for a long time, chances are it may be posture related. An experienced fitness professional can assess these postural issues and help you to correct them. Or maybe you’re a life long gym rat that never had anyone show you the proper form for your favorite exercises and you want to burst through some plateaus, your local trainer can help! But at the very least listen to your grandma’s advice, create new habits, and STAND UP STRAIGHT KID!

I Don’t Have Time to Workout

I Don’t Have Time to Workout
20 Apr

We’ve all heard it and probably even said it, “I don’t have time to workout.”  I’m a mom, a wife, a teacher… I get it. Sometimes our lives leave us with very little time to dedicate to fitness.  But, dedicating SOME time to your well-being is better than nothing at all.  It is possible to cram a decent workout (with a warm-up and cool-down — which are important! — built in) into a small, 20-minute window.  Given such a tight time frame, certain things are impossible – you won’t be able to lift super heavy, nor will you be able to run a 10k.  When restricted to a 20-minute training session, compromises must be made.  Your warm-up will be short and focused or may be embedded into the first couple rounds of a workout, and cool-down/stretching will take away from your workout time.

Here’s an example workout that you can do in 20 minutes, from warm-up to cool-down.

Use 7 minutes to build up the deadlift weight (prescribed for women is 155 lb., men 225 lb. – but a lighter load on the bar will allow you to complete more rounds) and warm up your low back and legs.  Do some burpee box jump-overs, banded good mornings, and hamstring stretches.

For the actual workout complete as many rounds as possible in 10 minutes of:

3 burpee box jump-overs

3 deadlifts

6 burpee box jump-overs

6 deadlifts

9 burpee box jump-vers

9 deadlifts


Use remaining time after workout for a quick cool down.

Those of you who have worked out with me know that you can get a good sweat going in 10 minutes!

GET CREATIVE with your workouts!  You can do more than just walk on the treadmill if all you have is 20 minutes.  You do NOT need to give up on fitness because you are short on time.


Don’t Hit a Brick Wall: change it up

Resolutions Friday Fit Tip with Stacey - New Heart Fitness, Belle Fourche SD
13 Apr

Are you stuck in a rut? Same ol’ same old gettin  old? I’m here to tell you, you do not want to do the same thing every time you go to the gym.
First, we need to incorporate a little muscle confusion to bust through plateaus. Our human body is too good at adapting when we do the same thing over and over. If you feel like you never get sore anymore or you are just not making any growth you definitely need to change things up a bit.

So try this:
1. Change up the reps: if you normally do less reps for more growth and strength then change it up to higher reps or even max reps for muscle endurance for a week. However, the opposite is more likely. Most people lift higher reps with lighter weights so if this is you, be brave and go heavier with less reps, less than 10!
Another great idea is to do drop/add sets, partial reps, 21’s, more time under tension or adjust your rest time by doing EMOMs (every minute on the minute)

2. Add new exercises:
Don’t get me wrong the big bang compound movements like squats, benchpress, deadlifts, and overhead press are the best bang for your buck but you can really get inventive and creative with your variations and accessory movements! Just try something new!

The other major reason to change it up is to keep things exciting and fresh. I don’t know about you but I get bored very easily.
Why not try mixing in some short intense cardio bursts right in with your lifting? That might shock the system huh?!

But wait a minute, what if you are thinking ‘this all sounds way too confusing?’ You might be a good candidate for a workout class with a certified personal trainer at New Heart Fitness. Yeah, why not let us do all the thinking for you?

Friday is Leg Day!

Friday is Leg Day!
05 Apr

It’s Friday! That means it’s the last work day, it’s also my last workout day. For me it’s Leg Day, or should I say Glutes day. Yea that’s right I’m going to talk about butts again… If you’ve known us trainers for long then you know we talk about the glute muscles A LOT! Why is that anyways? Are we just weird like that? Or do we maybe know a secret about the human body that we can’t help but shout from the rooftops every chance we get! I’m gonna go with the latter choice, because I think it is that important.

Did you know the Gluteus Maximus (the main muscle that makes up your posterior) is the largest muscle in the human body? This also makes it one of the most powerful, and most used muscles. Other than your heart, the glutes are probably one of your hardest working muscles. It is the primary muscle involved in hip extension (moving your leg backwards) making it the muscle that propels your body forward. Without this muscle you couldn’t walk, run, climb stairs, or even stand, it is also very important to your posture. Inactive glutes can lead to a forward tilt to your hips because the glutes help to pull your hip bones down to straighten your lumbar spine. If you suffer from low back pain there’s a big chance you have weak glutes.

So, what do you do to strengthen this all important area of your body? The best exercises are the Squat & Deadlift and their many variations. Other exercises like hip bridges and kickbacks work great as well. If these exercises are new to you, you’re in luck because the trainers at New Heart Fitness are all well versed in these exercises and we can show you the proper form and help you to get stronger. Now go grow your glutes!

  • Happy Leg Day Friends! -Jesse Hoffmann