Most of us would agree that working out is the key to good health. Anyone who has stopped their fitness regime for a few weeks or months will be the first to remark how much better they feel once they return to the gym. My question to you today is are you moving every muscle that you have in your body the way it was designed to move?

Whether you attend formal fitness classes or workout in the comfort of your own home, I want you to be your own advocate this week and analyze the classes that you are attending. Are you doing the same exercises each time you go to the gym? Are you always working to the front of your body but never to the back or to the side?  If so you might be setting yourself up for injury even though you are being proactive and working out!

There are over 600 muscles in the human body and none of them are optional. In fact, most of the time it is the smaller, lesser worked muscles that get weak and break down resulting in pain and occasional expensive physiotherapy. Think of your car and how optimally it performs when all of the components are running smoothly and conversely how just one tiny part can cause a breakdown resulting in lost hours at work and expensive repairs.

You want to move every muscle in your body regularly, the way it was designed to move. When we only train certain muscles by doing the popular exercises such as squats, pushups and abdominal crunches we ignore the rest of the muscles around those joints and can end up with knee problems, shoulder issues and back pain. For example if we over train the rectus abdominus, the “six pack” muscle we can pull our pelvis out of alignment and remove the key curve in our lower back that helps to absorb shock during daily activities. We need to work the entire core which involves all of the abdominal muscles and back muscles not just the ones that give you a washboard stomach!

I am glad that you are at the gym, taking classes but I want you to be aware that variety is the real key to good health. If you feel like the classes you are attending are too repetitive in the programming, switch up your routine.  Remember that it is not just about strength but flexibility as well. Muscles that are trained regularly also need to be equally flexible because they will pull the joint out of alignment which will throw the whole muscle chain out of balance.

This is one of the most common complaints I hear, “I don’t understand it. I used to be able to do xyz and now I can’t?”

Repetition will cause injury if there is not an equal amount of time spent on the opposing movement. If you are rarely doing any exercises for your back, it will give out eventually. If we stop moving in a certain way, eventually we will not be able to move that way anymore because of atrophied, tight, weak muscles. So my message today is to analyze your current regime and see if you are working out in a balanced fashion. And if you have concerns speak to your trainer. Reach out if you have questions. I am happy to help.

Bravo for getting to the gym and see you soon!

Beth