Personally speaking

Martin Petrie of MP Personal Training answers your health and fitness questions.

Q: Having just had a hernia operation I would like to start training again, when would you envisage the best time? What would you advise as the starting point, ie the type of exercise to start with? Malcolm Brett

A: After having a hernia a few years ago, i think i can help you out with this one. I wasn't allowed to train using weights for 12 weeks after the operation. it was highly suggested to just work my core, only lightly mind. Core training would involve static holds, so no leg lowering, reverse crunches in fact no crunches at all. Hope that helps.

Q: What is the best way of building my traps? Mark Mills

A: Shrugs with dumbbells to warm up followed with upright rows, t-bar row with an underhand grip. all finished off with 2-3 sets of power shrugs performed with a BB (you may need straps to aid your grip on the bar). But don't forget that you do still work them when performing other exercises, such as shoulder press and bench press.

Q: With the TRX and bootcamps being so popular what do you think is going to be the ‘next big thing’? Dubes

A: Unfortunately, I think all these home systems such as Xbox’s Kinect fitness will be huge. Which of course has its good points as it will work well for those who lack the confidence to train within a group. But it may kill off personal training to a point. But for those who thrive on the feeling of group training then its got to be CrossFit. it is still just getting its name out there at the moment, but it is taking the world by storm.

Q: Are rolling sit ups a good exercise to do? Chris

A: I’m actually in two minds about Rolling sit ups myself. Mainly because it uses momentum created via the legs to get the upper body moving. Meaning it takes out the element of control from the abdominals flexion of your trunk. I would also see them being done to quick/wrong in the gym too. But in a core activation frame of mind I like them, but again the technique has to be spot on.

Reproduced with kind permission of Brighton Active.

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