Fitness Post – Use Mostly Whole-Body Exercises

I must admit to pushing this type of exercise on several occasions before but I can’t understand why people insist on splitting the body into body parts when most of our natural movements use the whole body.

It may be my sports background or that I have conditioned team sports people for many years or my perspective of seeing the body beyond its physical constraints of what we see (as a ball of energy like everything else in our environment). If you wish to gain the most from your energy expenditure most of your exercise movements, even your strength exercises, should include as many muscle groups in your body as possible. I put a caveat on this statement by saying that there are times and situations where it is necessary to exercise a specific muscle muscle group and that is when you have an injury or a weakness.

Personally I design programs where these muscle-specific exercises are done at the beginning at the workout as part as the warmup. Of course a Rehab routine would use most of these exercises to work around the injured body part but you should have these exercises in a general program as a pre-loading precaution and as part of working on your weaknesses. Most people will have specific weaknesses in their Core for example.

The Single-Arm Dumbbell Snatch exercise as shown above is a great example of the type of whole body exercise that you would use. I also like the idea of taking it from the Hang Position as well (rather from starting at the floor) because people tend to put a greater loading on their back if they take it lower, it is an easier movement to perfect (and teach) and most of our natural movements don’t start from bending our knees more than this semi-squat position. This movement also uses the element of speed and in most sports events this is an essential part of the conditioning program as this is the characteristic of the prime competitive movements on the playing field.

A prerequisite of this movement would be the Deadlifting exercises where speed is not used but the essentials of technique can be perfected. By this I mean by keeping your back straight throughout the movement and using the strength of the muscles around your hips and thighs effectively. The Upper Body muscles also come into play when you have to stabilize your spine and use your upper chest, back and arm muscles as well.

But there are also a huge variety of exercises you can do that use the whole body and where you only need to use either very light dumbbells or just your body weight. These exercises you can do at home which saves your money on Gym fees and are more convenient in that you save on the extra time to travel to and from the gym. You only need a small space to exercise in and it can be not much more than a body length long by about the same wide. Personally I use our laundry floor space or if I need more space the patio area when I exercise and even less area for our daily 7-minute calisthenics routine in the morning. But I do understand that some people need to exercise in groups, it’s just not necessary and an excuse not to exercise if you can’t get to your local gym.

Lastly, I like the ideas in the small poster below as they outline some pertinent reasons to exercise as part of your feelings of self worth. If you don’t have specific reasons to do exercise on a daily basis, these ideas should cover it for you.

If you desire a personal program that is specific for your own needs you can contact me through this Website. They start at $50.


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