Fitness Tips from Pro Athletes’ Personal Trainer & Doctor
As one of the top fitness and training experts with athletes in the NFL, NBA, UFC and U.S. Water Polo Team, Dr. Robert Pomahac is the founder of LA’s leading state-of-the-art wellness center MaxHealth LA which he provides his world class clientele personal training and a wide range of additional services including chiropractic, physical therapy, acupuncture, nutrition counseling, massage therapy and podiatry. As a trainer, chiropractor, former pro hockey player and competitive bodybuilder, Dr. Pomahac understands how to train athletes and how to treat and prevent common medical issues that they experience. Yoga Digest was thrilled to get some insight and general fitness tips as we celebrate yoga for athletes in our current issue.
YD: What are the most common mistakes people make when working out?
A common mistake that people make when working out is not raising their heart rate high enough throughout their workout. You want to sustain a high intensity workout that raises your heart rate between 70% and 80% of the maximal heart rate. 200 minus your age will give you your maximal heart rate. This will increase stimulation of growth rate hormone, which in turns helps burn body fat and calories.
YD: What are some of the most effective workout regimens for the general population?
- Circuit training – whole body workout
- Keeping your workout to approximately 20 minutes for resistance training – always keep moving
- Using super sets – repetitions of 15-20 with rest times no longer than 30 seconds
YD: What are some of the most common injuries experienced by people who work out?
Definitely shoulder and lower back injuries. The reason that shoulders are a common injury is because most people have internally rotation of the shoulders, which puts abnormal strain on the rotator cuff muscles. I have also noticed that lower back injuries are common in a lot of my patients. Before people perform any exercise they need to understand how to find pelvic neutral to reduce the compression and strain placed on the bones, the discs and the core muscles
YD: What are some of the best injury prevention practices in your opinion?
The best way to prevent injury in my opinion making sure that you find your body neutral before performing any exercise and try to maintain body neutral throughout the exercise. In a lateral viewpoint body neutral should look like your ears, shoulders, elbows, hands, knees and ankles should all be in one vertical line. I suggest working out in front of a mirror to make sure you’re maintaining the neutral position throughout your workout.
Pre and post warming up stretching is key to prevent injuries. These should include active stretching, meaning you would repeat a stretch pose for 15 seconds repeating 3 to 4 in a workout instead of holding a stretch for a full minute.
YD: How does diet play into an overall fitness plan?
You can’t cheat your diet. Overall health includes exercise, nutrition and mindfulness. You have to make sure that all 3 are in balance in order to achieve optimal health and overall fitness goals.
Photo credit: Bobby Quillard