FITNESS WITH FUNCTION
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FITNESS WITH FUNCTION – ‘ to exercise in such away that in-part mimics our natural day to day activities, from lifting a heavy shopping bag, to bending to tie your shoes.
How can this be relevant I hear ? Well interestingly as we get older and less active our joints can start to become less mobile and indeed a degenerative type disease, osteoporosis of the bones can develop, along side others, with the possibility of high blood pressure or diabetes.
Certainly any form of regular exercise can make a world of difference in reducing the liability of disease by introducing walking to swimming. But taking part in a well constructed training session with a suitable trainer.can really motivate and support regular functional activity.
In a well structured session there should be an induction to ascertain the trainees goals, this followed by appropriate exercise really motivates to put forward great efforts. Sessions that incorporate stretching, aerobic and anaerobic exercise hit two fold the energy systems to improve and adapt.
HANGING ROMAN CHAIR
BODY/FREE WEIGHT EXERCISE
The Simplest and most beneficial exercise with no need for expenditure is ‘body weight’ exercise. Over recent times has seen a resurgence in popularity, used in traditional circuit training for many decades, body weight exercise from star jumps to squats to the traditional press ups.
There is a whole array of BW exercises to deal with every muscle group, some compound exercise for time restraints. The best combinations are done prior to anaerobic weight lifting, with kettle bells, bar-bells and dumbbells, supplemented by some excellent ROM movements with likes of bulgarian bags, medicine ball etc
The Plank, a static exercise that requires the whole body to engage in its form.
It should be performed with as little movement as possible, it can be done on the floor or as the picture depicts more advanced on an incline. Concentration on contracting all core muscle groups with a neutral spine alignment.
The abdominal walls are pulled together along with the upper and lower areas to create stability. The exercise helps build stronger muscles and can with concerted effort strengthen the back area, often troublesome with many.
Some bodyweight exercises do need some types of equipment, especially when performing more of the compound drills, having said that the majority of bodyweight exercises need non at all.
But for those exercises that do require equipment, and you are without, then see if you can utilise common everyday items from around the home, heavy items as a bag of potatoes, or other such items.
Bodyweight exercises are also easy to perform when having to travel or indeed whenever you are unable to get to your gym, get a good body circuit arranged to cover all major muscle groups, remember to slowly warm up with a pulse raiser, then get some full range stretches before attempting the main body of exercise, and then of course always warm down correctly, and finish with a stretch, in readiness for you next session.
Body weight squats, isolated exercise for your quads and glutes, alongside being a compound exercise, great for the entire body, again I will always stress correct breathing with each rep. The Squat has a multitude of benefits from attention to correctly performed movement, Other areas worked by this exercise ; back, pelvis, hams, and abs core area adding still further the chance to isolate.
The oldest known body weight exercise of them all – the press up or better known as the push up.- again like the squat a compound exercise that engages the use of many muscle groups, can be performed in a number of functional ways to introduce other areas in the actioning. Muscle groups mostly used in a standard push up; shoulders, chest, back, abdominals. It is also extremely important to engage the core and neutral spine alignment.
Again similar as the squat, the side lunge performs in a lateral motion as opposed to vertical, working the same muscle groups (quads, glutes, hams) covering the adductor & abductor muscles. Primarily more of an isolated movement than a squat, it is a still perfect compound exercise with great functional benefits, and more importantly a great move to keep ROM.
LEG THROWS / RAISE
One of many two person exercise, the leg throw as I prefer to term them, can also be referred to as leg raise ( as this is part of the action ). Again it can be performed in several ways to engage, upper, middle, lower abs, thighs, glutes – depending on the trajectory hip flexors can also be involved. It is a fantastic low profile supine activity, facilitates the overall abdominal core area.
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