“I want to tone up” is the most common reason that people start to exercise, go and see a personal trainer and/or start thinking about their diet. If you are reading this then you already have an interest in health and fitness so will understand the following question.
Have you ever felt that there is a another body inside the one that everyone sees? You know, the one that is hidden under a few layers of your favourite food & drink!! It is true that fat can cover your shape and leave you wondering what you would really look like if the layers were stripped away.
As you will know (because we are always shouting about it), exercise alone won’t shift the fat. However if you want to uncover a body that will make you smile then you will need muscles. I’m sorry but it is a fact and I can’t change it, they shape your body and that’s that! Exercise will give you what you want if you are prepared to work for it. I just read that back and it sounds scary! Getting those muscles is not as hard as I just made it sound.
Whatever exercise you are doing I hope you enjoy it. That is the key component to an exercise regime lasting. You may have noticed that my classes run along the same theme and yet they change all the time. Variety is the spice of life and nothing kills enthusiasm faster than boredom!
I am sure you have heard the following quote before “life begins outside your comfort zone” but look at this:
and it’s true. It is possible to challenge yourself and still enjoy the experience. Not only will you get a much greater sense of achievement, you will get much better results. What’s not to like?
I am a firm believer in multiple joint and muscle movements, I will list the reasons:
- The more joints that are worked, the better the overall effect.
- The more muscles that are worked, the better the overall effect.
- The more joints that are worked, the more your nervous system will be stimulated (also translating into more movement complexity).
- The more planes of motion utilized at the same time, the more your nervous system and stabilizer muscles will be stimulated (again, more complexity).
- The greater the demand on your body, the greater the metabolic effect as energy is more rapidly consumed to complete the motion.
If all of that didn’t make sense have a look at this example:
If you sit in a chair and extend your right leg at the knee, your body will need to use the muscles that surround the knee joint to control this motion. If you perform the same movement with both legs at the same time, your body will now need to utilize two separate but equal joints. If you take both of your feet and place them on the ground while sitting in a chair and then stand up from the chair, you’ll be using your ankle, knee, hip, and spine joints at least. If you now jump up from the seated position and clap your hands above your head, you’ll be using almost every joint in your body for the motion and a lot of muscles.
Add some weights to this scenario, do it regularly and follow with a sensible eating plan and you will be surprised at what lies beneath!
Remember, if it is easy then you are in your comfort zone where there is no magic 🙁