Thursday, August 16, 2012

Why gym machines are a waste of time

Are you training to look like this?

Do you want an exercise plan to make you look like a bodybuilder? Didn't think so. More than likely you want a routine that makes your life easier. So you can pick up your child, shovel compost in your garden, move more efficiently. You know, so you feel and look good. Right?

Then why are so many of us heading to the gym, to sit down on machines and benches, and isolate (exercise) one muscle at a time? If you want to bulk up, then it keep up.

But if you want lose weight and get in better shape, may I suggest ditching the old school ways and moving into movement-based exercises. (Movement-based is the new catch phrase in the fitness industry, but it's really just another term for functional fitness. Something I've talked about in the past.)

My top reason to think outside the gym!

More movement, less monotony. Maybe the reason more people than not hate going to the gym is because it can be so mind numbingly boring to do the same routine day in and day out. Wouldn't it be more fun to hop, skip and jump around like a kid than sit on a machine? Yahoo, let's take it outside!

Quicker weight loss. Your muscles need oxygen to generate energy (converting calories into fuel to move your muscles) so the more muscles you use in movement-based training the more oxygen uptake and the more calories you burn, increasing weight loss in less time than a typical gym routine.

More results, less time. With movement-based exercises you work more muscles at the same time. So instead of isolating biceps, gluteus, core, hamstrings, and quads (working each muscle group separately), try doing some traveling lunges with bicep curls and you've targeted them all --and more-- in one move! Pretty sweet, eh?

Fewer injuries. A massage therapist once told me he wished some of his gym-rat clients would train with me. Quote, "They look all buff, but they throw their backs out wiping their butts." With movement-based training you engage multiple muscles as well as the ligaments and tendons that cross over joints so you strengthen the body for real life activities, reducing the risk of injury.

Better balance and body awareness.
Sitting never did anyone any good, but stand on one foot and lift a weight overhead, you'll challenge your balance and develop a better sense of where your body is in space and how it works. And speaking of balance, let's talk muscle balance, which means strengthening opposing muscle groups simultaneously. Like engaging quads and hamstrings or abs and lower back together in unison as you move.

So, the next time you think, "Ugh, I don't wanna go to the gym!" try something new, like one of my free workouts listed right over there in the categories or better yet, get to one of my classes!

See you soon!



Unknown said...

I would much rather be healthy than buff! I support functional fitness - in the park. Tthe other day I was in the park with my grandson doing my exercises while he played - soon a little 8 year old girl was behind me doing the exercises - she said, "Ii love PE." PS her Mom was sitting on the bench on her smartphone!!!
From Judith

Trainer, Crafter, Kristin said...

You rock, Judith! I'm glad that little girl saw a woman (you) exercising. Girls need all the healthy female roll models they can get.

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