Empowering Clients to Improve Their Lives Through Fitness and Healthy Living

ROCKEY FITNESS, INC. (RFI) was founded by Jenn Rockey in 1998. RFI is best known for its professional positive approach to Fitness & Wellness. Before we start, clients are interviewed and undergo a thorough wellness evaluation before they begin their personalized program. We believe in collaborative care and often will reach out to your PCP or specialists for information and approval if appropriate. We are experienced wellness professionals with a good understanding of how the body works, are nationally-certified and highly skilled in wellness instruction.
RFI treats exercise like a “medical prescription”, an integral part of a health care program, linking it to the prevention and treatment of aging, arthritis, heart disease, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, depression and many other medical ailments.

Our Approach

RFI has a very unique approach to helping each individual client. First, we respect where the client is today….their perspective, beliefs and their own level of motivation are just a few. Second, we educate each client in the appropriate areas of importance according to their health and fitness goals. Third, we coach, train and enhance their lives, at their pace, while being positive role models ourselves.
RFI, conducts an interview intended to motivate, inspire and start the momentum in the right direction toward that of optimal well being. We do a full fitness assessment to help determine your physical strengths, weaknesses, and any areas of potential concern. An effective exercise program is designed for you, fitting your physical and medical profile, your fitness level and body type. We teach you how you can benefit from the combination of properly performed physical exercises and the correct alignment and form with each exercise and therefore minimizing any chance of injury. Particular attention will be paid to your posture and torso or CORE stability in order to protect your neck, back, knees and other joints. Our training extends well beyond vanity and into the domains of improved health, fitness and overall optimal well being.

Essential Core Training

By Jenn Rockey, CPT (ACE), CMT

CORE conditioning is an indispensable component to any exercise regimen geared towards developing a substantial level of fitness. We hear so much about the importance of cardiovascular conditioning for the heart, lungs and circulation, but muscular development and toning of all the musculature of the body is also requisite to fitness. When utilizing a quality strength training program, the body has the ability to develop a higher metabolism, giving greater sensitivity to insulin and creating a more intense “calorie burn”. When the skeletal system of the body is well supported with a toned muscular system, the body becomes more efficient at performance, creates a higher metabolic system and therefore supports ones overall health through a system more efficient for burning calories on a long-term basis.

The benefits of Core Training are often overlooked in many fitness programs. Core is a key constituent to strengthen the body against injury during running/jogging, step class, dance, weight training, or martial arts. According to the Center for Disease Control, approximately 90% of the adult population DO NOT participate in any form of strength training. Without muscle-building exercise, men and women will lose approximately 5 pounds of muscle and add 15 pounds of fat every decade during mid-life years, lapsing into senior years with too little muscle and too much fat. Did you know that 5 pounds of muscle on the body burns 50 – 100 calories just sitting, which is the reason for the metabolism increasing! Less muscle leads to a lower metabolic rate, which equals less energy used, thus more calories consumed get stored as fat. When the energy level is low, there is less physical activity. This accelerates the degenerative process. The body ages in a fast downward spiral, when the process could be a more gradual slow down. Let’s compare our choices:
Strength-Building/Core Exercise   -or-   No Exercise
Gain Strength/Lose Fat   -or-   Lose Strength/Gain Fat
Increase Energy   -or-   Decrease Energy
Increase/Maintain Physical Activity   -or-   Slowdown Physical activity
Healthy Independent Senior Years   -or-   Frail, Dependent Senior Years

It all starts with Core Training! The core is the body’s center of power. Regular conditioning of the core muscles is vital for preventing injuries, correcting posture and ensuring more efficient and functional movement patterns. Most experts agree that Core training involves integration and coordination of movement and stability throughout the entire body. Balance and core strength go hand-in-hand because a strong core transfers power distally to the arms and legs. Conversely, a weak core interrupts functional movement, increasing the risk of injury. Core training compliments a balanced healthy lifestyle. Muscles of the core are: the abdomen, low-back muscles, shoulder-scapular muscles and pelvis/hip muscles OR any muscle attaching to the pelvis or the spine. Therefore, working the core musculature means recognizing that the body functions holistically rather than as isolated muscle parts.

More than Washboard Abs
IDEA Health & Fitness Source (March 2003), reports in a Fitness Programs & Equipment Survey, that in 2 years time the popularity of Core conditioning classes versus conventional abdominal classes, and the number of fitness facilities offering Core conditioning jumped from 61 percent in 2001 to 72 percent in 2002. (See October 2002 issue of IDEA Fitness Manager). One reason Core conditioning is increasing in popularity is that it is a major component of a larger movement toward “functional fitness”. With its emphasis on strengthening and stretching the muscles of the abdominal, pelvic and lower back regions, core training is helpful in sustaining the ability to perform the activities of living. One of the challenges of fitness professionals today is to teach people that the benefits of Core conditioning go well beyond achieving washboard abs. Most people think they know how to train their “core”, but my professional experience shows that they often neglect their gluteus maximus, lower back and shoulder scapular muscles. Core training is the foundation of all human movement patterns. Every exercise in the gym or workout facility can employ Core conditioning. Its appeal reaches every level of athlete, from the elite, to the average class participant, to senior citizens.

Functional Movement
Core is a buzzword for the foundation of quality movement in the whole body. If you have a dysfunctional core, you’ll have dysfunctional movement patterns. Core training is about establishing a proper sequence of muscle firing patterns. In functional movement, the stabilizer muscles should be firing before the prime movers do. In other words, before you pick up a heavy object, stabilizer muscles in the body’s core should already be activated. Repeated core training exercises help facilitate this process. Most experts agree that core training involves integration and coordination of movement, in addition to stability in the entire body. Ask experts how to best train the core and you’ll get a number of different responses. Most exercise specialists agree that the core involves the entire trunk musculature. When it comes to identifying the specific muscles, some believe in training the transverse abdominals and the anterior pelvic floor, as well as the thoracic diaphragm’s role in establishing proper breathing. Others say it’s the abdominals working in conjunction with the upper and lower back, the muscles surrounding the pelvis and the muscles around the shoulders. Because the core musculature is closely connected with postural alignment, the first step in Core conditioning is proper postural alignment during activity. For the body to work most efficiently, we must look at posture from three planes ? sagital plane, frontal plane and transverse plane. It is my goal to teach how to exercise effectively with proper firing of muscles and proper alignment and form. Proper recruitment patterns need to be present before the exercises progress to advanced levels. Learning how to activate certain muscles before weight training is the key to a successful weight-training program. In order to activate certain muscles correctly, like teaching transverse abdominal activation of the abdominal muscles, requires starting with a very low weight load and good body awareness level. Once a person is able to properly engage the transverse abdominal and pelvic floor musculature, they’re ready to add intensity by moving the limbs, and eventually incorporating resistance and equipment. Since the core encompasses the entire trunk musculature, drawing on exercises that work the muscles of the back, pelvis and shoulders is essential. Examples of such exercises include back extension, hip abduction and adduction mover and scapular stabilization. Key to success: Starting slowly with control and low weight is CRUCIAL to learning how to activate muscles correctly. If the process is too fast, the body will simply compensate with muscles that are already well activated and strong. Those muscles will become overused which can likely lead to injury.

Strength Training Tips for Good Health

A sure pathway to strong healthy development of musculature in any exercise program is good form and technique. For example, bad form during a lunge or squat exercise is when the knees move in front of the toes during performance. This can put undue stress on the knee joints. The knees should maintain alignment over the ankle joints and abdominals should contract to stabilize the lower back. Another example is using the back to gain momentum during heavy lifting, when exercises should be done with good alignment awareness and control throughout. Yet, something to watch out for is leaving abdominal muscles relaxed while performing exercises when they should be well contracted in order to hold the lower back stable. Be sure to use full range of motion when following the path of motion throughout an exercise, in order to gain good health within the active joint. These are all ways that lead to a healthy exercise program.

Heavy weight training should NOT be done everyday on the same muscles groups for an extended period of time. Recuperation time between sessions is essential. Tissue is damaged during a workout and must have time to rebuild and repair itself. This is when the body needs to rebuild tissue and therefore demands more calories to do the work. The time needed to recuperate depends on the individual and the intensity of the workout. Usually, at least one day of rest is necessary for a muscle group.

Push-ups and abdominal curls can be done everyday provided the individual is able to do the exercises competently and does not consider them to be a “heavy” workout. Striving to do some form of exercise every day is a good healthy goal.

These can be done everyday provided the individual is capable of maintaining the intensity and volume level performed. The downside to performing the same exercise everyday is that the same muscle groups are used and the benefits of the activity decline as the muscles adapt. These activities are certainly better than nothing, but to get the most benefit, the intensity and volume need to be increased over time.

The ability to move from the center is different than movement patterns generated from the extremities (arms and legs). When there is weakness, the weakness creates dysfunction. Imagine yourself inside a circle, standing in the center, on a dot. When you reach out, extending your arm and your body and you are not thrown off your center dot ? that shows how strong you really are. In other words how far can you reach before getting thrown off balance? Remember, all movements have components of dysfunction. Core is your center and how far you can reach without getting thrown off your center determines the strength and vitality of your CORE. The body can be unpredictable, therefore listen to its needs, trust your instincts and HAVE FUN EXERCISING!