What comes to mind when you think of a ‘gym’? We’re guessing it involves a treadmill, spin bike, rower and perhaps even a step machine. Basically, lots of machines and limited floor space. NXT PHASE is the opposite. For us, exercise machines should play a limited role in fitness routines because how we use these machines isn’t reflective of how we use our bodies in everyday life.
SAY WHAT NOW?
Exercise machines isolate individual muscles and aid stability. They’re great for those wanting to build basic muscle strength and get used to specific movements. The flip side is a less rigorous workout, especially if you’re seated and not utilising your stabiliser muscles. The benefits are further diluted if we consider that the average person already spends 9-12 hours a day sitting down. That’s why it’s entirely possible to finish an epic gym session drenched in sweat, and then put your back out taking the groceries from the car boot. Training muscles in isolation, as machines do, doesn’t prepare your body for everyday tasks.
WHAT’S THE ALTERNATIVE?
Functional fitness is all about how your muscles move innately. Training in this way requires your muscles to work together in multi-joint and multi-muscle movements. It’s a form of strength training that improves balance, coordination, force, power and endurance, all of which help us to perform daily activities with ease. Think body weight exercises based on primal movements (squats, push-ups, lunges etc.) that require your muscles to work in harmony, increase your heart rate, and burn calories long after your workout is over.
Plus, it’s easy to up the ante. Just add more reps or incorporate performance apparatus like a TRX or kettlebell to aid progression. As Wayne Westcott PhD, Professor of Exercise at Quincy College, says, “it is so simple to train muscles, and yet people try and make it so complex.”
Best of all, you can train this way almost anywhere with little or no equipment. That’s ideal given that many of us are facing lockdown (cue greater temptation to snack, and less motivation to exercise!).
So now you know. Not being able to hit the gym is not an excuse to skip training! A solid functional workout will keep you fit, and better able to perform your daily tasks such as lifting, climbing, and carrying.
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Until nxt time!
TEAM NXT PHASE
020 3793 0879
1-3 Canterbury House, Canterbury Road, Queen’s Park, London, NW6 5FR