Category Archives: training

Downtown Hamilton’s “Best Kept Secret”!! WHAAAAAAAAT?

So, I was giving a potential member a tour the other day, and, upon walking in to our fitness centre, and looking at all of the classes we have available, she remarked “I had no idea this facility was here.  You are downtown Hamilton’s best kept secret!”  To which I remarked—–“we don’t want to be a secret-we rock and everyone in Hamilton should know it!” We had a good laugh together, but now its time to spread the word!!!  We are located at 75 Macnab Street South (right across the street from Whitehern).  And what’s here for women looking to “get moving”??

Well, we have a full fitness centre of cardio machines and weight equipment, and free weights, stability balls, gliders, ropeless jump ropes (yes you read that right!)……

What else do we have?  A pool with a variety of classes and length swims to be enjoyed…….

Any other classes you ask?? Absolutely! Its all included in your FITPass membership-Yoga, Pilates, Zumba, HIIT, Tabata, Nordic Walking, to name just a few.

Also INCLUDED in your membership is a personal program appointment to help you get started-yes you read that right too-that’s included.

And all of these options are provided by fully-certified, continuously educated instructors and personal trainers!

Excited yet? Come in and ask for a FREE one week pass-tell them you read Deanna’s Blog article!

See you soon!

Deanna ,

Fitness Coordinator, YWCA Hamilton


Fitness Leadership Training-Spring 2015!!

The Spring term for the Fitness Leadership Certification Program is just around the corner!  Fitness Theory starts May 4. This course is the first on the journey to becoming a personal trainer, group fitness instructor, or just learning more about how the muscles move the body. If you love fitness and want to share that passion-this is for you!

Message me for more information!  -Deanna

facebook Love what you do everyday

Workin’ hard for the Bay! @YWCAhamilton @Tribe_Fitness

A great group of runners from YWCA Hamilton and Tribe Fitness working hard at their training for Around the Bay 2015.

The YWCA’s run club trains together twice weekly:  

1) Tuesday evenings @ 5:00pm for short training

2) Saturdays 10am for Longer Efforts.

Contact Coach Kim @ 905 522-9922 ext. 118

Or for details on how to join us! 

bay training Jan 24


Forget crunches. Train your core like a runner to get faster, fitter, and stronger

Want (and need!) a strong core? Check out this great article from Runner’s World online about how to train your core like a runner!

Need more guidance? Message me about pay-as-you-go Personal Training available at all YWCA Hamilton locations!!


Hittin’ the road….for a run? Be safe!!!

The spring weather (we hope!) is (almost?) here and many runners and walkers will be hittin’ the road again! Great job!! This short video from Runner’s World reminds us to take extra care while out and about!

Wise Words from Coach Kim

Kim Agostino offers advice for those running the Around the Bay 30 k road race on March 24.

thanks to Wayne MacPhail and his handy iPod.

Interested in becoming a Personal Trainer or Group Exercise Instructor?

In partnership with Mohawk College, Certified Professional Trainer’s Network and the Ontario Fitness Council, the YWCA Hamilton offers training for people who wish to become certified as Group Fitness Leaders, and or Personal Trainers.  Or, who just wish to learn more about fitness, and the body and how it moves.  Check out the info below!  Contact the Mohawk College Continuing Education department to register (  ).  Contact me (Deanna) if you have other questions!  You can reach me at 905-522-9922 ext 118 or

Fitness Theory

Study basic anatomy, movement mechanics, physiology of exercise, principles of training, basic nutrition and weight management. A PREREQUISITE FOR ALL SPECIALITY MODULES. Final written exam.

13 weeks, 7pm-10pm, Wednesday evenings. Cost is $402.89.  Begins Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Speciality Modules:

Personal Trainer Module

Prepare for a Certified Professional Trainer Network designation. Study advance anatomy, exercise physiology, biomechanics and program design.  As well, consulting skills and the business aspects of personal training will be covered.  Prerequisite: Fitness Theory. 

13 weeks, 7pm-10:30pm, Monday evenings. Cost is $457.29.  Begins Monday, September 10, 2012

Group Fitness Leader Module

Apply fitness theory in the development of a safe, effective, fitness class, with emphasis on music and phrasing, class design, cueing, program planning, and teaching/leading.  Prerequisite: Fitness Theory

5 weeks, 9am-2:30pm, Sundays. Cost is $232.86. Begins Sunday, October 14, 2012


Go the distance, know the distance!

And the pace, the route, – even the change in elevation! I use a great iPhone app called Cyclemeter (or Runmeter) to log my runs, which is how I know this morning’s run, from the YWCA on MacNab St., to Bayfront Park, along the waterfront trail to Princess Point, and back to the Y via Macklin, King, Dundurn and Jackson, was 9 kilometers. And as I went, a little voice whispered in my ear every kilometer how fast I was going, my average pace and my distance and time thus far. Good information to have if you’re training for a race, but interesting – and motivating – even if you’re not. Plus it maps the route, emails it to you and stores it in your history. Cool!








– Barb

Get Your Butt In Gear: Part 2

In this post I will be focusing on the Gluteus Medius and Gluteus Minimus muscles. These two muscles always work together to fulfill their very important role. Not only do these two muscles abduct and internally rotate the hip, but they also function to dynamically stabilize the pelvis and lower body.

It is so important to target these muscles because realistically weak muscles do not stabilize very well, and poor stabilization of the hip joint can lead to imbalance in the other muscles of the lower body. These imbalances can lead to many other issues as our joints are all connected especially the hip, knee, and ankle joints!

The GLUTEAL muscle group is the center of strength and power in the lower body and for that simple reason we must target those muscles. Here are some simple exercises to target GLUTEUS MEDIUS AND GLUTEUS MINIMUS!



The clamshell exercise demonstrated above is a great exercise to begin with, especially if the hip joint has very limited mobility. You may choose to start with no resistance and then add on a resistance band as shown.


The side lying leg lift is also great exercise for the Glute Medius/ Minimus. Simple and effective this exercise is great for targeting Glute Medius and Minimus without recruiting the Tensor Fascia Latae (TFL) which is often a very tight muscle. TFL often compensate for Glute Medius and Minimus, therefore this exercise enhances the ratio of activity between these two muscles. You may also choose to add a resistance band at the ankle. **Make sure not to flex the hip when you do side lying leg lifts to avoid TFL from firing.


Squats with a resistance band just above the knees are also a great exercise for your hip stabilizers. Make sure not to let your knees cave inward!

I know these aren’t the most exciting exercises to include in a workout program but sometimes taking a step back and performing simple or “boring” exercises may be indicated.

-Carah (YWCA Hamilton, Certified Personal Trainer/Group Fitness Instructor)


Get Your Butt In Gear! Part 1

Throughout my experience in the fitness field I have noticed that I see a lot of issues and discomfort in the hamstrings and lower back, but rarely encounter any sort of injury or discomfort in the Glutes.  This is simply because the Glutes are not getting used enough, and the hamstrings and lower back are getting used  much much  more. The Gluteals are seperated into 3 main muscles:

  1. Gluteus Maximus: which is the largest of the three and extends the hip
  2. Gluteus Medius: which is abducts and internally rotates the hip
  3. Gluteus Minimus: which is the smallest of the three and also abducts and internally rotates the hip

In this post I intend to highlight the importance of a group of muscles that I feel are often overlooked, starting with GLUTEUS MAXIMUS!

The fact of the matter is that many people are tight in the hamstrings, lower back and hip flexors. This often occurs from being seated in a flexed forward position all day long.  This is directly related to a lack of strength and motor control in the gluteal muscles. When the hip flexors (opposing muscle to the gluteus maximus) are overactive, the GLUTEUS MAXIMUS becomes weak and inhibited.

 Therefore, when our “butt” muscles are not up to the task of extending the hip, the hamstrings and erector spinae muscles are forced to work overtime to compensate. This is known as synergistic dominance. Meaning that the muscles that are supposed to be assisting the prime mover are actually taking over and doing all the work for the prime mover which is the GLUTEUS MAXIMUS. This unfortunate cycle often results in injury or at the very least some pain and discomfort in the lower back.

Here are a few exercises that will help you gain strength and motor control in your GLUTEUS MAXIMUS.

Image Image

Start with a simple HIP EXTENSION on a mat or stability ball as shown above. Make sure that you stabilize your core and keep pelvis pressed into mat/ ball so that the lower back does not arch and hip does not lift off the mat/ball. Squeeze and Hold. Alternate leg.


Once you have the simple hip extension down, try doing a GLUTE BRIDGE demonstrated above. Start lying on your back with your feet hip width apart, flat on the floor toes right up against a wall, legs bent at 90 degrees. Initiate the movement by squeezing the butt, driving through the heels, and lifting the hips off the floor. Only go as high as your glutes are willing to take you. If you try to force yourself higher, you’ll only be taking the stress of your glutes and shifting the load to your lower back. Lower down slowly to hover over the mat and repeat.

So now that you have some simple exercises to activate your GLUTEUS MAXIMUS, I hope that you or someone you know will find this post helpful! Stay tuned for Part 2: GLUEUS MEDIUS/MINIMUS which will be a more in-depth look at how to stabilize the hip joint!

-Carah (YWCA Hamilton Certified Personal Trainer/ Group Fitness Instructor)