Monday, March 30, 2009

3 Changes to a Stronger Body

Most people go to gym, hit the treadmill, watch TV shows, and the worst - reading books or magazines. Mindless workout means less intensity and no results.

It applies to strength training as well. Most people go from machine to machine for a "circuit" training and think that they have a good workout. It may be true for beginners or deconditioned people. After a while, you got to move past beyond machine.

By the way, Cybex machines of the some sort were designed for rehab and physcial therapy. If you're cleared by your doctor to exercise without major orthopaedic or medical conditions, stick to free weight and bodyweight exercises.

There are 3 changes or variations to help you build a stonger body.

#1 If possible, use free weights with little or no support.
Granted, bench-press 235 lbs is great. But don't be suprised that some "strong" people can't do more than a few pushups or dips with their owne bodyweights. Lying on a bench doing chest press is probably much less functional than pushups. Bench gives support so that one can press more. Pushups require the whole body stabilization including strong core strong.

I challenge anyone, particularly the "strong" guys. to do pushups with weight on their back.

#2 Multi-tasking - Use your whole body.
Multi-tasking can be distracting at times. It actually may be good for your workout. When you do step-ups for your legs, you may as well do something for your upper body such as dumbbell shoulder press or biceps curl.

Now it requires more focus, balance, coordination and your muscles.

#3. Gravity is your friend.
It's the only thing that is really constant. Any movement that defies the gravity will help you train harder. It's more challenging if you're less grounded when you're exercising - so called "close kinetic chain" in kinesiology.

Think about bodyweight exercises: squats vs. jump squats or pushups vs. clapping pushups. Which one is more demanding? You got my point?

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