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Exercise Programs

Here are 15 different exercise and flexibility programs including
  • Top 10 Exercises for the Office Worker
  • Corrective Programs: to Improve Posture and Movement and Prevent Injuries
  • Progressions from Introductory to Advanced Unstable Exercises
  • 16 Pushup Variations
  • Travel Workout
  • Beginner to Advanced Stretching Progressions and Techniques
  • Transition from Desk to Gym or Road
The programs are general and appropriate for most people, however, if you have been treated for an injury you should talk to your physical therapist or doctor and get clearance before proceeding. You can feel free to contact me to develop a more customized program, or program for other issues, and for personal instruction.

Top 10 Exercises and Stretches for the Office Worker
Appropriate for almost any fitness level and help transition from  extended periods of siting and computer work to the demands of the gym and athletic competition. 

Targeted programs are good "post-rehab" workouts if you've been treated for injuries or problem areas, and can also be done as "prehab" to prevent future injuries.  Refer to the mini self assessment on this website to help select the best corrective exercises for you, or contact me for an assessment and customized recommendations.

Low Back Pain Corrective Exercise Program 
Program for post rehab, recovery and prevention from back pain and injuries, poor posture and arched back.

Lower Extremity Corrective Exercise Program - Foot, Leg, Shin, Knee and Hip
Program for problems including plantar fascitis, achilles tendinitis, shin splints, IT band syndrome, knee and hip injuries, knock-knees and turned out feet.
Upper Extremity Corrective Exercise Program - Shoulders, Neck, Rotator Cuff
Program for issues including rotator cuff, labrum injuries, neck strain, rounded shoulders, neck pain and poor posture.


Take the first step above a machine-only workout with the introductory strength training program, Reinvent or progress to simple or advanced unstable exercises.  Take your program on the road with a travel workout.

Introductory Strength Training

Unstable Exercises - Incorporate Core Training with Strength Training

Advanced Unstable Exercises - Includes a unilateral workout, advanced core training

Travel Workout

Reinvent your push up with these 16 Different Pushup Variations

Most people do only Static Stretching, where you should be holding a position for 20-30 are some more advanced stretching programs.

Active Isolated Stretching is a progression from static stretching, appropriate if you have no postural distortions. These stretches typically are performed in 1-2 sets of 5-10 repetitions, each repetition is held for 2-4 seconds. Some require assistance, be very careful with these, I dont recommend having someone who is not a trained professional assist you with stretches.

A Dynamic Warmup actually more like exercise than a stretch, and includes lunges, pushups with rotation, walking sideways with a resistance band. The general rule for Dynamic Stretching is to perform similar movements to those that you will do in the rest of your workout or fitness event and also to activate needed muscles.

PNF Stretching (AKA Neuromuscular or Contract Relax) PNF means Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation, and it basically tricks the brain into lengthening a muscle. A trained professional will alternate between stretching your muscle and having you resist against the stretch. Again, many require assistance and I do not recommend having someone who is not trained assist you.

Self Myofasical Release (Foam Rolling) -  a technique for working out knots and adhesions that limit ability of your muscles to fully extend. Pressure is applied to the knotted area with a foam roller or other device.  After about 30 seconds, the brain sends a signal to the muscle to relax.

Here is a good general program incorporating a variety of stretching techniques and exercises to help transition from desk or road to gym.  Think of it as an "Unsitting Program."

Fitness Articles for You

The NASM OPT Model: Periodized Training and Progression

Until now, most training programs have been based mainly on the experiences and goals of body builders, coaches and athletes. There's aproliferation of scientifically unsupported trainingprograms that are not designed to meet the needs of an increasingly deconditioned and injury-prone society. NASM’s Optimum Performance Training (OPT) method is a comprehensive training program based on scientific research that provides results specific to individual needs and goals.

Assessment At the center of the OPT method is the assessment. This fitness and performance evaluation assesses an individual’s strengths and weaknesses in the areas of posture, movement, strength, flexibility and athletic performance. Before embarking on a training program, it is essential to address any existing imbalances to ensure success.

Optimum Performance Training: Individualized Program Design The OPT method provides a system for exercise selection based on the client’s needs, abilities and goals. The endless c…

Do You Need To Change Your Workout?

Whether your goal is to improve performance, slim down, cut-up, bulk-up, reduce risk of injury or work around a problem area, a carefully considered change up in your workout might be just what the doctor ordered.  In this issue, the signs that your fitness program needs a change and the changes that can take you to the next level.  
If any of these statements are true, a change in program is overdue.
You've been doing the same exercises for more than 6-8 weeks, the only change has been to increase weight.   Your body adapts to the exercises, you will experience a diminished return on investment in terms of muscle development, and changing body composition (gaining or losing weight). Planned changes, or periodization, can help you break through the plateau.   What's more, continually performing the same exact movements makes you more susceptible to repetitive motion injuries.  Read more here Machines vs. Free Weights

You're taking up or increasing participation in a sport or …

Get the Results YOU Want

Whether you're new to the gym, returning after a break, or resolved to bust through a plateau and take your fitness to a new level in 2013, this newsletter has you covered.  In this issue,  the tools you need including  help Setting Goals, Assessing Your Current Fitness, Scheduling and Commitment, Program Design and Measurement, and sample programs that you can adopt or adapt.  Effective Fitness Goalsare measurable, achievable, yet challenging.  Break big goals up into smaller goals so that you can track progress and be motivated by little successes along the way. Choose the right measurements of success: Some goals like strength and athletic performance and weight loss are easily measured in pounds, or with a ruler or stopwatch. For toning, body measurements, clothes size and subjective assessments of how you look and feel and move are often a better indication of change in body composition. Ensure successby incorporating the following into your plan:…

BUSTED: Haagen-Dazs Corn Syrup Ingredient Alert

If you think that paying the price for super-premium products is a way to avoid ingredients WE don't want - like corn syrup - think again. After reading the fine print ingredients when I got it home, I recently discovered that the pint of Haagen-Dazs gelato that I paid about $5 for was made with corn syrup. I wrote to complain and was a bit taken aback by their response shown below. Let's forget that he called me Ms Raffle instead of Mr Raffle, and misspelled Karo syrup. Can we talk about arrogance?

According to Haagen-Dazs, corn syrup is a "kitchen friendly" ingredient. Is Lard also kitchen friendly? I think they really mean "bottom-line friendly." The thing that concerns me is that I like Haagen-Dazs Ice Cream, and I don't think it contains corn syrup ... yet. But I don't want to have to read the fine print to make sure I am not getting ingredients I don't want.

No apology for my dissatisfaction. No refund. No suggestion that i…


by Cary Raffle
Pro Trainer, New York Sports Clubs, NASM Certified Personal Trainer
Copyright ©2005 Cary Raffle
We want results. We don’t have much time. And we want value. That’s why circuit training with supersets is working for my clients and me.
Circuit training involves a series of different exercises done one after another, with a brief rest period in between, like XPRESSline® at New York Sports Clubs. Circuit training is popular because it efficiently uses time, and can burn more calories than other workouts because there is limited rest. The National Academy of Sports Medicine says that circuit training is ideal for individuals trying to alter their body composition. The increased activity level and volume can help you to lose weight faster.
A superset combines sets of two or more different exercises, often for the same muscle group, with no pause to rest in between. By combining two exercises for the same muscle group into a s…

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1.  Don't Starve- Watching your calories is good, starving yourself and skipping meals actually works against you. When you skip meals or reduce your calorie intake too low, your body thinks you're starving and goes into "survival mode." It actually lowers your metabolism so that you burn less calories. Instead, plan on increasing exercise and reducing caloric intake so that you have a daily "calorie deficit" of 500-1000 calories. At this rate, you should lose 1-2 pounds of fat per week. The American Dietetic Association and American College of Sports Medicine consider this level optimal for long term weight loss.
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Myths About Perspiration, Fluid Replacement Guidelines, Your Personal Hydration Program

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This posting  reviews common myths about perspiration and provides hydration and fluid replacement guidelines to enhance performance and avoid heat related illnesses.  Information comes from authoritative sources including position stands of The American College of Sports Medicine and peer reviewed publications of the National Strength and Conditioning Association.

#1 - The More I Sweat the More Calories I Burn.  FALSE.  Perspiration is part of our body's cooling system, it does not necessarily require burning calories or correlate with caloric expenditures.  Example:  stand outside on a very humid 90 degree day, and you will sweat profusely.  Run indoors in a very dry 65 degree environment, and you may hardly break a sweat.

#2 - I Can Sweat The Weight Off.  FALSE.  -Weight loss due to sweating indicates dehydration.…