Category: Fitness
scotland-iceland-womens-football-match-nordic-personal-trainer-certificate

Personal Training students feature in International women’s football match

COMMENTS 0

The Algarve Cup 2019 tournament

The 2019 Algarve Cup was the 26th edition of the international women’s invitational football tournament held in Portugal between 27th February to 6th March. One scheduled women’s football match was special for a slightly different reason.

During the tournament, on 4th March, Scotland (FIFA ranking 20th) played against Iceland (FIFA ranking 22nd) in an exciting matchup that delivered 5 goals in total with Scotland taking the victory. The full match reports, can be found on the Scottish FA website and also the Icelandic FA website.

In addition to the exciting game and football talent on show, there was another lesser known fact about this specific football match. There were also four personal training students/graduates from the same school playing alongside each other during the match.

Icelandic football team:

iceland-flag-womens-football-match-nordic-personal-trainer-certificate

Playing for Iceland, Dagný Brynjarsdóttir was the very first graduate of the Nordic Personal Training Certification (NPTC), obtaining her European Level 4 personal training qualification in January 2018. Regarding her learning experience, Dagný said: “The NPTC is a great programme which gave me the opportunity to study while pursuing my professional football career.”

Sigriður Garðarsdóttir, also playing for Iceland, is the most recent graduate of the NPTC programme (per date of publication). She achieved her Level 4 personal training qualification in February 2019, just a few days before this international game with Scotland. In respect to her journey to becoming a certified personal trainer, Sigriður rated the NPTC course as “Excellent,” and that she would “recommend the course.”

Needless to say, here at Nordic Fitness Education, and our mother training company Keilir Academy, we are very proud of both of these personal training graduates. We wish them continued success both on the football field and through their educational achievements as certified personal trainers.

Glódís Viggosdóttir, who was selected in the starting 11 for this match, is currently halfway through the NPTC programme. Similarly to her football skills, she is performing very well in her studies to date.

Scottish football team:

scottish-flag-womens-football-match-nordic-personal-trainer-certificate

Finally, on the Scottish side, Fiona Brown, who played in the second half of the game, is also halfway through her NPTC studies. Fiona is proving to be a very capable student as she works towards her Level 4 personal training qualification.

The team here at Nordic Fitness Education will continue to support both Glódís and Fiona as they work hard towards the completion of their Level 4 personal training certifications. No doubt they are gaining valuable knowledge that will help support them as they continue to play football at an international level.

We wish all four women the very best as they continue with their national football careers.

2020 Update:

Since this blog was written regarding this women’s football match, Glódís and Fiona have also completed the programme so that all 4 of the NPTC students mentioned have successfully graduated from the course and are now certified European Level 4 personal trainers. We are proud of their educational achievements as well as their performance on the football pitch!

Could you become a certified personal trainer?

Undertaking a career in personal training can be a great option for those who are seeking a secondary field of expertise to focus their professional careers. Whether you work in sport or perhaps in some other field of expertise, why don’t you find out more about the Nordic Personal Training Certificate.

The NPTC programme has been fully accredited by Europe Active to meet all the required professional fitness industry standards across the European region. NPTC graduates are eligible for registration with the European Register of Exercise Professionals.

EA_STANDARDS_LOGO-2c.png
perfect-your-posture-nordic-fitness-education-blog

Perfect your posture

COMMENTS 0

perfect-your-posture-nordic-fitness-education-blog

We are living in a modern world that often requires us to engage in repetitive movements. Often we may need to adopt long-term fixed positions that impact on human posture and movement capacity. Office employment, manufacturing work, packaging lines, schooling, computer gaming, driving, commuting, long distant flights and many other elements of modern living dictate our fixed bodily positions on a daily basis. As human posture adapts to our modern environment the knock-on effect on our movement capacity can have significant negative implications on physical fitness, movement purity, and even athletic performance. Let’s dig a little deeper into methods to help combat the modern environment and how to perfect your posture.

perfect-your-posture-seated pain points
Impact of prolonged seating at a computer work station

What is posture?

Posture has been defined as the ‘attitude or position of the body’ which should be able to fulfil three important functions:

  1. Maintaining the alignment of the body’s segments in any static position: supine, prone, sitting, quadruped, and standing
  2. Anticipating change that will allow for engagement of voluntary, goal-directed movements such as reaching and stepping
  3. Reacting quickly to unexpected perturbations or disturbances in balance or centre of gravity

This clearly indicates that the concept of posture includes both a static and an active/dynamic state of being. Maintaining effective posture is vital for balance and control of the body when motionless as well as during a wide variety of different types of human movement. To provide for the long-term health of the spine, shoulders, hips, knees, ankles and feet, developing the ability to stay within optimal postural parameters is a desirable goal at all times when holding static positions or moving in three dimensions. This is much easier said than done as habitual postural position is predominantly controlled through subconscious neural controls and is rarely at the forefront of our daily thinking.

perfect-your-posture-anatomical-position
Anatomical anterior posture

Human movement

The conscious mind is usually preoccupied with goal-oriented movement, rather than the exact positioning and motion required for each specific joint involved in a larger chain reaction of physical movement. Thank goodness for that! Can you imagine trying to apply your conscious mind to control every muscle, joint and body part to synchronize different joint angles, tempo’s, range of movement, joint impact, joint loads, and other biomechanical responses just to perform the basic function of walking? The conscious mind boggles at such complexity in an attempt to perfect your posture. Thankfully our more powerful subconscious brain can manage all of these immensely detailed neural functions without our focused mind needing to be invested in this.

The body has numerous sensory receptors, called proprioceptors, found within the muscles and joints that help to provide neural feedback regarding one’s own limb and spinal position, speed of movement, and the forces passing through the muscles and joints in order to subconsciously control any necessary response. Perhaps the most well known of the primary 6 categories are the muscle spindle and the Golgi tendon organ. All proprioceptors constantly gather vital information on behalf of the nervous system to ensure we are fully aware of and can respond to our own daily movements and the forces that we are subjected to constantly throughout each day.

perfect-your-posture-sway-spinal-alignment
Sway posture with altered spinal alignment

Muscular imbalance

Where joint or muscular dysfunction has crept in unawares, resulting in posture and movement purity corruption, subconscious human movement may no longer fall within an optimal range. Such adulterated movement will likely lead to a shift in centre of gravity, faulty loading through the muscles and uneven forces passing through the joints (see sway posture example above). If left unchecked the chronic application of such faulty movement can lead to muscular tension, fascial adhesions, joint wear and tear and the gradual breakdown of important structural tissues. These undesirable, dysfunctional outcomes can be managed and reversed if they are identified, and a suitable corrective strategy is introduced and applied in an effort to improve and perfect your posture.

A corrective strategy should involve a carefully planned process of adjustment and relearning of motor control. An effective way to support a client and plan to correct their faulty movement patterns is as follows:

  1. Carry out a postural assessment and identify any existing faulty positioning
  2. Carefully assess movement purity and identify any visible restrictions
  3. Determine the dysfunctional muscles based upon the posture and movement assessment observations
  4. Mobilise joint and muscle range of motion where limitations exist
  5. Select relevant activation exercises for any under-active muscles within the kinetic chain
  6. Apply an appropriate level of intensity within each stage to ensure good position and technique are always paramount
  7. Gradually progress the physical challenge towards optimal function provided movement purity is maintained

It would be impossible in a simple blog to cover all variations in postural position and movement dysfunction. But here is an example of a common and relatively simple dysfunction to address.

The Flat Back posture

perfect-your-posture-flat-back
Hyper kyphosis of the thoracic spine

Joints position:

  • Thoracic spine in a flexed position – resulting in protracted shoulder girdle
  • Cervical spine in an extended position – resulting in forward head carriage
  • Pelvis is in a posterior tilted position
  • Hips are in an extended position

Overactive, shortened muscles that most likely require stretching:

  • Hamstring group
  • Rectus abdominis
  • Upper trapezius
  • Sternocleidomastoid
Stretches for kyphosis

Underactive, lengthened muscles that most likely need strengthening:

  • Mid-trapezius and rhomboids
  • Neck flexors
  • Lumbar erector spinae
  • Iliopsoas
Exercise for kyphosis

These stretches and exercises may become part of an effective workout preparation strategy for 10-15 minutes before each gym session. They can even be done as part of planned light activity on a rest/recovery day. Committing to the regular application of such a strategy can be a powerful tool in resolving imbalances to help progress and perfect your posture. This will, in turn, improve functional daily movement, which ultimately will lead to better performance in the long term.

Check out our course

We teach similar posture and movement analysis content within our flagship certification, the Nordic Personal Trainer Certificate, within the Consultation, Testing and Programme Design module.

high-intensity-training-nordic-fitness-education-blog

High-intensity Intermittent Training (HIIT) science – fact or fiction?

High-intensity training has been a hot media topic over the last couple of years, from magazine and newspaper articles to prime time television shows on the BBC. It seems that the idea of achieving as much benefit within less time is a solution that appeals to many people in a world where available workout time is at a premium. However, the idea of using higher intensity training to boost physical benefits is certainly not a new one. Early research by scientists like Bahr, Tremblay and Tabata, all of which have become renowned in this field, date back to the early 1990s. Take note that not everything published in the media or blogosphere on high-intensity training is justified by the scientific literature. Fitness professionals and enthusiasts often use the basic concept of high-intensity interval training and embellish the truth a little, perhaps unknowingly, to suit their own desired outcome. The intent in this post is to glean the facts around this popular training method from the scientific literature so that you are correctly informed going forward in your utilisation of HIIT as a training modality.

high-intensity-training-group-circuit-nordic-fitness-education-blog
  • Tremblay showed in 1994 that a 15 week HIIT programme reduced total skinfolds 14 mm subcutaneous body fat compared to a 20-week endurance training (ET) programme that only reduced by 4mm total skinfolds. The HIIT protocol being 3.5 times more effective.  The ET programme was steady-state exercise beginning at 30 minutes at 60% and progressing to 45 minutes at 85% HR max as the test subjects were able. The HIIT protocol was 30 minutes of short bursts, beginning at 10 x 15-second bursts progressing to 15 x 30-second bursts as the test subject was able.
  • In 1996 Tabata published a study demonstrating that 8 bouts of 20 seconds at 170% VO2max with 10 seconds rest in between each set had the same benefits to the aerobic system as 60 minutes of steady-state training at 70% VO2max. However, the HIIT protocol also caused a 28% improvement in anaerobic capacity that was not observed in the low-intensity protocol.
  • Borsheim and Bahr are renowned for their work on increased metabolism following exercise, also known as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC). In 2003 they carried out a substantial review of the scientific literature and showed that exercise intensity has a curvilinear relationship with EPOC whereas exercise duration is linear. Increased EPOC for 8-12 hours after intense training periods was common.  In simple terms, you get more bang for your EPOC buck by driving CV intensity up rather than spending longer at moderate intensities.
  • Talanian in 2006 showed that a 2 week (7 sessions) aerobic HIIT training protocol (10 x 4 min, 90% bursts with 2 min rest periods) significantly (up 25%) increased muscle fatty acid oxidation.
  • Trapp in 2008 showed that HIIT training is effective even in overweight deconditioned women as well. A 20-minute cycling HIIT protocol was compared to a 40-minute steady-state cycling regime of the same frequency for 15 weeks. Both groups had similar CV improvements but the HIIT group had significantly greater body fat loss on legs and trunk and improvements in insulin resistance.
  • Boucher in 2010 reviewed the available scientific evidence surrounding HIIT and concluded that while there was valid evidence to show it is more effective at decreasing both subcutaneous and abdominal body fat compared to steady-state training, there is also clear evidence of individual variation in response – not all participants appear to receive the same level of fat loss benefit.
  • Resistance training has also been shown in scientific studies (Melby 1993, Laforgia 1997) to influence EPOC and fat burning when lower volume, higher intensity weight training is utilised in preference to higher volume, moderate resistance work, but the research is still ongoing in this field.

While this is just a brief look at some of the science on high-intensity training, it does illustrate that in comparison to steady-state exercise, the benefits of HIIT training are:

  • it may be as good at providing aerobic training benefits
  • it is better a stimulating anaerobic training benefits
  • it significantly improves body fat reduction
  • it increases EPOC for up to 12 hours’ post-training
  • it improves insulin sensitivity to working muscles

It is important to note that the majority of these studies have been performed in a highly controlled environment and most often using a cycle ergometer (bike) or a treadmill. Whilst it is reasonable to assume these benefits may also carry over to other training modalities, such as circuits, group training or resistance work there is much less current evidence to suggest this is true. Perhaps in time the science will more fully support and provide confirmation that high-intensity training has a broader application across a range of training modalities with the same beneficial results.

In the meantime, while we wait for science to catch up, it is clear that the many different methods of HIIT training can be great fun, they definitely save on time in the gym and it can deliver a real motivational boost to your training. If it does provide an increased fat burning boost as well, then all the better!

Do you love fitness? Ever thought about making a career out of your passion? Find out more about how you can do that through the Nordic Personal Trainer Certificate from Nordic Fitness education. 

Privacy Settings
We use cookies to enhance your experience while using our website. If you are using our Services via a browser you can restrict, block or remove cookies through your web browser settings. We also use content and scripts from third parties that may use tracking technologies. You can selectively provide your consent below to allow such third party embeds. For complete information about the cookies we use, data we collect and how we process them, please check our Privacy Policy
Youtube
Consent to display content from Youtube
Vimeo
Consent to display content from Vimeo
Google Maps
Consent to display content from Google
error

Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word :)