Nicholas Fainlight

A young professional interested in sports and fitness.

Home Workouts for Improving Core Strength

Home Workouts for Improving Core Strength

Home Workouts for Improving Core Strength

Your core is among the most important sections of your body to work on for a number of reasons. From improving balance and dexterity to building those oh-so-important six-pack abs.  And your core makes up a larger amount of your body-mass then you might expect – basically everything that isn’t a limb is part of your core. In order to develop the many muscles that make up your core, you need to pick the right exercises that will cover the proper muscle groups. Read on for the top core exercises that can be done anywhere.

Plank

The plank is a deceptively simple exercise to perform, and many despise it. This is a favorite of gym teachers and coaches, so many are familiar with its difficulty. However, that difficulty is why it is so useful for exercise.

To perform a plank properly, you need to lay down on the floor – or exercise mat – and support your body weight with just your forearms and toes. Keeping your body straight in this position takes very firm core muscles and good posture.

Side Plank Crunch

This is a focused exercise that provides your obliques with a tougher workout, requiring balance and strength. This is excellent for seeking a more mobile core workout, as well as supporting any activity that requires rotation of the upper body – Tennis, climbing, and more.

To perform a side plank crunch, you’ll want to take a knee and place one hand on the ground while the other is straight upwards – your body will form an angled ‘T’ shape. Then slowly try and bring your upper knee to your chest and the same side’s elbow to the knee. Switch sides after 10 or so repetitions.

Glute Bridge

Though the Glute bridge largely focuses on the glutes, you’ll find this engages all of your lower core as well, engaging a similar muscle group to the squat. However, this might be better if you struggle with joint pains thanks to the angle and distribution of weight.

To perform a glute bridge, lay on your back and bend your knees while keeping your feet flat to the ground. From this position, lift your hips up while engaging your glutes and hold for at least 5 seconds before returning to rest.

Best Smart At-Home Gyms of 2020

Best Smart At-Home Gyms of 2020

Smart technology has made huge strides in recent years. The Internet of Things (IoT) has made smart refrigerators that can order food and beverages, home security systems that can be controlled with a touch of an app, even driverless automobiles. It seems only logical that home fitness equipment would also start getting smart as well. 

Throughout this COVID pandemic, many people have had to come up with new and inventive ways to maintain their fitness regimes from home. Some people have even looked at this period of social distancing as a time to finally make the fitness leap that they have been putting off for someday in the future. Fortunately, technology has reached the level of providing at-home smart fitness technology that caters to the homebody of today.

While it is still possible to purchase traditional workout gear such as dumbbells, and then follow along to any number of live feed broadcasts produced daily by fitness personalities, influencers, celebrities, and virtual classes provided by large-chain gyms, if a person wants to take their fitness to another level, there are now smart home fitness options to keep them in contact with a whole community and to simulate the one-on-one personal trainer experience. 

People who love to bike ride are embracing the Peloton bicycle for a number of reasons. The bike mimics the workout of a group spin class or a one-on-one session. A large touchscreen display provides options such as live and on-demand classes, as well as a library of various scenic rides that range from urban to rural. Peloton has also conquered the smart treadmill market with Peloton Tread, providing a number of routes to please any type of runner or walker.

The idea of a smart mirror sounds like something belonging to future generations years from now, but the truth is, they already exist. An LCD full-body mirror display provides a library of workouts that not only give you a personalized experience with a professional trainer, but it also lets you check your form at every step along the way. This not only helps maximize the outcome of every exercise but it also helps to avoid injury. The live adjustments based on your goals and personal preferences, combined with a personalized playlist maximize the individual experience. 

 

How physical exercise supports mental fitness

How physical exercise supports mental fitness

Experts agree that there are many reasons to incorporate exercise into your daily, if not weekly, life. Some advantages include helping to quit smoking, helping to control weight, managing blood sugar, keeping learning skills sharp as you age, and improving your mental health and relative mood. 

The recommended minimum amount of exercise, as per the Department of Health and Human Services, is at least 75 vigorous minutes of activity a week, 150 minutes of moderate activity, or a combination to each. It is highly recommended not to fulfill the entire weekly requirement within one or two days, they suggest spreading exercise out over the course of a week. It is important to follow your doctor’s advice, however. More exercise can mean more benefits but everyone is different and you don’t want to risk injury. In addition, choosing small bursts of activity, such as taking the stairs, will add up to help you in the long run. The general rule is to aim for a minimum of any type of activity for 30 minutes every single day. They don’t even need to be sequential – you can aim for five-minute walks that are spaced throughout the day.

Some examples of aerobic activity include brisk walking, running, swimming, biking, mowing the lawn and using indoor exercise machines like ellipticals and stair masters. 

In addition to aerobic exercise, weight training is highly regarded as a great way to strengthen every muscle group. Choose a resistance level or weight that will tire your muscles after 12 to 15 repetitions, then do three sets. All major muscle groups should be trained at least twice a week. 

In addition to getting up and moving, it’s important to be conscious of how long you sit. Studies show that blood clots can form if we are in a seated position for too long, so allow yourself to take a break and stretch or walk around a little each hour or so.

All of this movement will keep your mind engaged, as well as your physical being. Studies now show definitive evidence of sports affecting cognitive abilities long-term. Coordinated, team sports have been found to be the most effective when it comes to helping cognition. Complex movement patterns and social interaction with fellow players, in addition to endurance and strength training all combine to enhance one’s mental faculties more than just training alone. 

 

About Nicholas Fainlight

image of nicholas fainlight and brother on a baseball fiield

A young Nicholas Fainlight with his brother, Ben

 

Nicholas Fainlight has played a number of sports throughout his life, such as football, basketball, baseball and water polo. He has always enjoyed being active, but swimming is his biggest passion.

Swimming was not always his favorite sport. In fact, he started off with baseball. When he was young, he would always stay in the batting cages working to tweak his technique.He believes that baseball is a great way to focus yourself. Playing baseball and working on tuning his technique was extremely important to Fainlight. It allowed him to control his mind and keep it in tune with his body.

 

image of nicholas fainlight posing with the loomis chaffee basebal team

Nicholas with the Loomis Chaffee Baseball Team.

It was this precision and fine-tuning that allowed Nicholas Fainlight to fall in love with swimming as well. He got involved with swimming when he was a freshman in high school. He had been playing football, but had grown tired of it and wanted to change things up. His advisor suggested that he try out water polo since he had good arms from playing baseball. Fainlight took up the sport and it immediately clicked. Once the water polo season ended, he noticed that most of the water polo team stayed in the water by participating in the swim team during swim season. He figured he’d join in and do swimming as well. He did not yet know how important swimming would be to him.

The swim team was a close-knit group of guys that were like a family. They all worked hard and supported each other, pushing each other to succeed. Fainlight realized what a beautiful sport swimming is and it got him through high school.

Nicholas Fainlight loves everything about swimming. He loves how smooth and fluid it is. Just like baseball, swimming allows you to keep your body and mind in sync with one another. Swimming is a personal sport but a team sport at the same time. Fainlight loves being in the water and thinking about how to be as streamlined as possible. The smallest technical things can make or break a swimmer, and he is fascinated by this. Swimming is a sport that pushes you to work harder to be faster than the person next to you. Fainlight likes to use this drive to get better throughout all aspects of his life.

Image of Nicholas Fainlight posing with the Loomis Chaffee Baseball Team

Nicholas with the Loomis Chaffee Swim Team

Sports are very important to one’s development, as Nicholas Fainlight learned in a class about associating, leading, and serving. In this class, he learned that athletics allows a kid to learn at an early age whether he or she is a leading personality or an aiding personality. Sports allow kids to build camaraderie at a young age and also build respect for adults. When a young person joins a sports team, he or she is given people to look up to and a team to go to for support. Athletic kids can also learn that there is not one way to do things right.

Nicholas Fainlight believes that the most important thing to get out of athletics is confidence. As a young child, he was quiet and shy, but he was able to relax once he got into baseball. From then on, he enjoyed sports as a way to stay active and to be around people. He remains passionate about swimming and also golf as a hobby.