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Just over two years ago, I hurt my back. Pretty badly. I bent over to pull a heavy deadlift and felt a lightning bolt of pain shot from my head to my feet. A day later I found out that I had herniated seven discs in my mid-low back, an injury that would present me with an incredible physical and mental challenge that I still deal with.
No matter what your go-to sport is, functional strength conditioning is critical for muscular balance, joint stability, core strength and overall performance. You don't always need weights to get a killer workout.
BY PETE ESTABROOKS PHOTOGRAPHY BY BRIAN BUCHSDRUECKER
All-star trainers, from left, Elmira Barry, Lindsay Sali, Jari Love, Philip Ndugga, Pete Estabrooks and Amber Rotar.
Being voted the "Best Fitness Class in Calgary" recently was a charge that had my class jumping, sweating and swearing with reckless abandon. The music was off the hook loud, the backslapping, ball throwing, smile-inducing camaraderie, the hoots, hollers and laughing all proved the point I had raised early in the "competition." My TKO Sports Conditioning Circuit class was clearly the best fitness class â€” the best for these people in this room.
There is no race or long run that does not benefit from postural elegance. Head aligned with your spine, a moving inclination that leaves you leaning slightly, just a little forward of your feet in a fashion that encourages efficient forefoot-strike and quick leg turnover. This gait allows gravity to pull you continuously forward. At the same time, your arms are held comfortably crooked at your side, hands relaxed, shoulder blades held back and down leaving your chest up and able to access the volume of oxygen necessary to fuel the mechanics of your perpetual movement.
Do you perform well during training or practice but choke in competition? Pre-race jitters are common among athletes. Whether you are a newcomer to your sport or a seasoned veteran, this phenomenon can get the better of you.