Helping yourself

One of the questions I ask when somebody new comes in is are they involved in any sports or what exercise do they do(if any). The reason behind the question is to get some insight into where there problems may be coming from and to give advice as to what they can do to help combat any problems that could develop. Of those who either participate in a sport or do regular exercise unless they actually engaging in a sport very few people do any weight training. Pilates, running, yoga, swimming etc but rarely weight training.

Why is this important you may ask. A lot of the problems that people suffer from would be significantly reduced if they were stronger. Now we’re not talking World’s Stongest Man type stronger just an improved strength through the major, and as a result minor,  muscle groups of the body. How would this help? Maintaining better posture would be easier as all the muscles involved would be stronger and therefore fatigue much more slowly and better posture means less sore necks and lower backs.

What Ioften hear is “I don’t like doing weight training, it’s boring.” Well what if I told you you could get all you need done in about 10-15 minutes twice a week? All you’d need to do is 1 exercise for your lowerbody, 1 upperbody pushing movement and 1 upperbody pulling movement each for 1-3 sets.  Surely that would reduce the boredom factor and could be done before you do your 60 minute cardio circuit, in fact you could cut it down to 45 minutes and you’d be in the gym for the same length of time. If you don’t want to go to the gym then why not buy an adjustable dumbbell set to use at home? They’re fairly inexpensive and don’t take up much space. If you need ideas on what exercises to do you could get a copy of Dumbbell Training for Health and Fitness by Fred Fornicola which has some great advice and routines you can do. If you go to a gym and aren’t sure what to do then speak to one of the staff or even get a couple of personal training sessions to help with exercise selection and getting your form right. One thing you definitely should do is start squatting. This can be just bodyweight squats to begin with, you can progress to using a barbell later if you want to. I can’t emphasise enough how much benefit there is to squatting regularly. Everything from the abdominals down receives great stimulus from them and they do your knees and hips the world of good, yes you read that correctly. To help with this if you’re not sure how to progress here’s another good piece from Katy Says.

If you want to see how strong you can get through your body by squatting then check this out. You can bet Misha hasn’t used a stability ball to help train his “core”