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Welcome to Fitness for Worship

Welcome!

Fitness for Worship was established to inspire people to live healthy and affliction free through fitness and a firm foundation in truth. I believe that every person has a God-ordained right to be healthy, pain-free and fully satisfied.

Be Inspired. Get Fit. Worship!


Be Inspired

My mission is to inspire believers to live their lives according to God’s vision for them.

God has promised us health, prosperity, salvation and satisfaction with the life he has given to us (3 John 2, Psalm 68:19-20, Psalm 91:14-16).

However, instead of receiving God’s promises, many people are sick, in pain and disappointed with their lives.

The Bible says, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” (Hosea 4:6). You cannot believe in a truth that you have not heard.

Fitness for Worship seeks to present God’s vision, the Truth, and to inspire you to claim it for yourself.

Fitness for Worship is not for “Christians.”

John 3:16-17 states:

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”

The Bible does not promise perks to “Christians.” The promises of God are available to anyone who hears them, believes them, and claims them for themselves. Faith, believing and trusting God, is a minimum requirement to receive God’s promises. There is a distinct difference between “Christian” and “believer,” and I believe that believers are the ones who grab ahold of God’s truths.


Get Fit.

Our health is our most important asset.

Fitness for Worship believes that the first step to living in health is to believe that you can achieve and maintain it. Your physical health is influenced by your lifestyle choices such as nutrition and physical activity, as well as genetics, mindset and other factors.

As a fitness trainer, I believe that most people can benefit from:

  • Building and maintaining the endurance to participate in activities you enjoy
  • Building strength and cardiovascular fitness
  • Correcting muscle imbalances and movement restrictions that can hinder mobility
  • Preventing injuries or repeated injuries (through proper movement)

Fitness centers tend to focus on the body but they neglect the spirit.

Churches tend to focus on the spirit but they can neglect the body.

Fitness for Worship offers a blend of physical fitness, mental health and faith services to serve the whole person.


Worship!

I seek to inspire believers to worship.

Worship is a lifestyle that comes through a relationship with God. Just like any other relationship in our lives, we will get to know God better the more time we spend with him. As we read the word, pray, and meditate on scripture, we will develop our faith in who God is and who we are. Your spiritual health is dependent upon your relationship with God.

In John 4:23-24, Jesus said:

“But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.

God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

Why do we worship God?

What does it mean to worship?


Here are three principles to live by:

1. Know the Truth

Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

John 8:31-32

2. Be Healthy

Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. For I rejoiced greatly when brethren came and testified of the truth that is in you, just as you walk in the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.

3 john 2-4

3. Be Satisfied

“Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him on high, because he has known My name. He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him, And show him My salvation.”

Psalm 91:14-16

About Michelle

Michelle Barnes is the founder of Fitness for Worship.

I am a creative writer and fitness coach with a passion for health and development of the whole person: spirit, soul and body.

I am certified as a Personal Trainer and Corrective Exercise Specialist through the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) and I am a graduate of the National Personal Training Institute (NPTI).

I am a member of Agape Embassy Ministries in Virginia, USA. I completed the Christian Foundation Institute in 2018, which examines Biblical foundation principles in accordance with Hebrews 6:1-3. I am also a worship dancer.

My purpose is to inspire you to live according to God’s vision.

You have a God-ordained right to be healthy, pain-free and fully satisfied. Seize your wellbeing through fitness and bold confidence in the Truth.

My favorite scripture is 3 John 2: “Beloved, I wish above all things that you be prosperous, and in health, as your soul prospers.”


Scripture References

3 John 2-4 (NKJV): 2 Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. 3 For I rejoiced greatly when brethren came and testified of the truth that is in you, just as you walk in the truth. 4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.

Psalm 68:19-20 (NKJV): 19 Blessed be the Lord, Who daily loads us with benefits,The God of our salvation! Selah 20 Our God is the God of salvation; And to God the Lord belong escapes from death.

Psalm 91:14-16 (NKJV): 14 “Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him on high, because he has known My name. 15 He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him. 16 With long life I will satisfy him, And show him My salvation.”

Hosea 4:6 (NKJV): My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being priest for Me; Because you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children.

John 3:16-17 (NKJV): 16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

John 4:23-24 (NKJV): 23 But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. 24 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

Hebrews 6:1-3 (NKJV): Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, 2 of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. 3 And this we will do if God permits.

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Foam Roll for Mobility

Michelle using a green foam roller on the right hip

Do you have tight muscles? Painful movement? Poor flexibility?
Massage your muscles with a foam roller to reduce pain, muscle tension, and recovery time.

What is Foam Rolling?

Foam rolling is a method of self-myofascial release, a flexibility technique that will help you to release tension and decrease activity of overactive muscle fibers in your body.

Poor posture, repetitive movements, and trauma cause inflammation in your body. Inflammation increases muscle tension and causes muscle spasms. Muscle spasms create trigger points, or knots, in soft tissue. These knots cause pain and interfere with muscle contraction. They also make muscles resistant to stretching, decreasing range of motion. This contributes to muscle imbalances, movement compensations or injury.

Studies have shown that self-myofascial release is an effective treatment method to increase range of motion without suffering muscle performance. Foam rolling helps to release microspasms and to break up knots that develop in traumatized tissue. This removes the hindrances to muscle lengthening, thus improving your flexibility and balanced movement while reducing pain.

Michelle holding a massage ball in her right hand
A Massage Ball is great for working out knots in the shoulders, back and feet

What to Do:

Hold pressure on tender areas of muscle tissue for a period of time to release knots, allowing the muscle to relax.
Foam roll before a workout or physical activity to prepare your muscles for movement and to reduce the chance of injury. Or, foam roll at any time to reduce soreness, speed recovery and move better.

Michelle using a foam roller on the upper back
Foam Rolling the Upper Back

How to Foam Roll:

  1. Roll a foam roller or other tool slowly over the length of the muscle. Move at a rate of 1 inch per second.
  2. Find the most tender spot in the muscle belly. A tender spot will be painful, about a 6-8 on a scale of 1-10. 
  3. Hold the roller on the tender spot and massage it for 30-90 seconds, until you feel a release in the area or the pain subsides and the tissue softens.
  4. Move the foam roller slowly along the length of the muscle again.
Michelle using a green foam roller on the hamstring
Foam Rolling the Hamstrings

Tips for Foam Rolling:

  • Maintain proper posture.
  • Pull your navel in towards your spine at all times to stabilize your lumbopelvic hip complex.
  • Use your extremities to increase or decrease pressure on the soft tissue.
  • Keep the muscle relaxed. If you tighten or tense your muscle, it will prevent the roller from penetrating the deeper layers of soft tissue.
  • Areas that have myofascial restrictions will be more painful to mobilize. They will become less painful with subsequent sessions as soft tissue restrictions break down.
Michelle using a foam roller on the glutes
Foam Rolling the Glutes
  • Do not put pressure on bones, tendons, open wounds, or varicose veins. Remove pressure if you feel pulsing, numbness or tingling. 
Video: What Exactly is Foam Rolling and Why Should I Roll? By TriggerPoint

Contraindications:

You should not use a foam roller or any other method of self-myofascial release if you have the following conditions:

Congestive heart failure, organ failure, bleeding disorders, contagious skin conditions, cancer, osteoporosis, infections, acute rheumatoid arthritis, blood clot, aneurysm, anticoagulant therapy, bursitis, sutures, goiter, skin lesions, hypersensitive skin conditions, open wounds, healing fractures, obstructive edema, diabetes, fever, advanced degenerative changes.

Michelle holding a green foam roller overhead

Consult a medical professional before performing self-myofascial release techniques.

References:

Stull, Kyle. “What do Foam Rollers Do?” 20 December 2019. National Academy of Sports Medicine. https://blog.nasm.org/foam-rolling-smr/what-do-foam-rollers-do.

Harvard Health Publishing. “Should you add foam rolling to your workout routine?” December 2018. https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/should-you-add-foam-rolling-to-your-workout-routine.

IDEA Authors. “Foam-Rolling Techniques: A 4-Step Formula.” 21 September 2017. IDEA Health & Fitness Association. https://www.ideafit.com/uncategorized/different-foam-rolling-techniques-why-the-fuss/.

Clark MA, Lucett SC, Sutton BG. NASM Essentials of Corrective Exercise Training. 1st ed rev. Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning: 2014.

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Warm Up Your Body

confident fit ethnic woman training with other sportswomen in modern fitness studio

What to Do:

Take 5-10 minutes to complete this quick warm up routine before participating in dance or other aerobic activity. You will loosen your hips, legs, and upper body, preparing your body to move! Release tension, warm your muscles, and improve your balance.

Why Warm Up?

A warm-up prepares the body for physical activity.

The purpose of the warm-up is to increase your heart rate, breathing rate and body tissue temperature. It increases blood flow to muscles, improves flexibility and increases muscle contraction. Decrease your risk of injury while increasing your capacity for energetic movement. A warm-up also increases your mental readiness, preparing you for exercise. 

* NOTE: Please consult your physician before engaging in any physical activity, especially if you are currently experiencing pain, injury or health conditions.

Warm-Up Routine

Neck Stretch

  • Stand and look straight ahead. 
  • Neck Tilt: Tilt your head to one side, moving your ear toward your shoulder. Do not shrug your shoulder. Hold 10 seconds.
  • Repeat on other side.
  • Look to Side: Straighten your neck. Look to the side, over your shoulder. Hold 10 seconds.
  • Repeat on other side.

Alternating Chest and Back Stretch

  • Chest Stretch: Stretch your arms out to sides and feel a stretch across the front of your body. Hold 15 seconds.
  • Back Stretch: Round your back and stretch your arms in front of you, feeling a stretch in your upper back. Hold 15 seconds.
  • Repeat.

Shoulder Rolls

  • Roll Backward: Roll your shoulders backward for 10 repetitions.
  • Roll Forward: Roll your shoulders forward for 10 repetitions.

Arm Circles

  • Hold your arms out to your sides. 
  • Circle Backward: Move your arms backward in small circles, increasing the size of the circles through your full range of motion. 
  • Circle Forward: Reverse the direction of your arms and repeat.

Hip Flexor Stretch

  • Kneel in a lunge position with your front and back legs bent at 90 degree angles.
  • Stretch: Press your hips forward to feel a stretch in the front of your back leg. Hold for 30 seconds.
  • Increase the stretch: lift your arm on the same side as your back leg straight overhead. Side bend to opposite side.
  • Repeat, switching legs.

Standing Roll Downs to Relevé

  • Stand with your feet hip width apart, toes pointing forward. 
  • Roll down & stretch: Leading with your head, roll down your body, arms hanging. Place your hands on the ground and squat down, lowering your hips, knees straight forward. Straighten your legs, feeling a stretch in the back of your legs. Keeping your legs straight, roll up. 
  • Balance: Stretch your arms over your head, rise up on your toes and balance in relevé. Hold 5-10 seconds. Slowly lower your heels and your arms. 
  • Repeat.
  • Repeat the sequence with your feet together. Keep your knees together.

Squat and Overhead Reach

  • Stand with your feet hip width apart.
  • Squat: Push your hips back and lower down to a squat position. Keep your chest lifted. Rise to a standing position.
  • Reach: Stretch one arm overhead to the opposite side. Feel a stretch along the side of your body. Lower your arm.
  • Repeat squat. Rise and stretch with the opposite arm.
  • Repeat 10-15x

Grapevine with Overhead Clap

  • Stand with your feet hip width apart.
  • Move to the right: Step to the right with your right foot. Cross your left foot behind the right foot, moving to the right. Step again to the right with the right foot.
  • Move to the left: Step to the left side with the left foot. Cross the right foot behind the left foot, moving to the left. Step again to the left with the left foot.
  • Increase the intensity: While stepping to the side, swing both arms and clap them together overhead.
  • Repeat in both directions.

Three-Point-Turn

  • Stand with your feet hip width apart.
  • Turn to the right: Step to the right side with your right foot. Step your left foot to the right, turning your body in a half turn. Step your right foot out to the right side, turning your body in a half turn.
  • Turn to the left: Step to the left side with your left foot. Step your right foot to the left, turning your body in a half turn. Step your left foot out to the left side, turning your body in a half turn.
  • While turning, hold your arms out to sides.
  • Increase the intensity: Relevé during the turn and keep your arms lifted overhead.
  • Repeat in both directions.

Step Touch and Twist

  • Stand with your feet wider than hip width apart.
  • Twist: Step in place with one foot and twist your torso toward that side, reaching your opposite arm across your body. Feel a twist in your core.
  • Repeat to the other side.
  • Repeat 10-15x.

Move Freely

  • You should feel loose and warm. 
  • Play instrumental music and move your body. Sweep your arms, move your hips, and prepare for worship.