Month: June 2019

Benefits of Single Limb Body-Weight Exercise

Many sports require largely single limb execution. Most of the action is one limb at a time while the other limb acts in a supporting manner, or is moving into the ready position. For example in basketball, the players jump off one foot (usually), shoot with one hand (using the other only for balance), and pass with one hand. Running happens one leg at a time. The same is true for soccer, football, rock climbing, golf, obstacle course racing, bowling, etc. So it makes sense to devote some training to getting stronger with single limb movements.

How exactly does training one limb at a time help enhance performance? Body-weight exercise, using one or both limbs, train not only the larger muscles, but the smaller supporting muscles to work as a unit to enhance overall performance and strength. You’re strengthening a whole kinetic chain. Ignoring the smaller muscles leads to weaknesses along the chain. Single limb training takes this one step further by training chains of muscle that more closely imitate common movements in many athletic endeavors. This leads to enhanced athletic performance, because all these kinetic chains are not just stronger, but have been trained to work together efficiently.

Now let’s talk about how the physique is shaped by this type of training. I mentioned the work of the smaller supporting muscles in single limb body-weight training. This leads to greater development of these smaller muscles, more on pace with the larger muscle groups. Because this work is a coordinated effort, there is more of an even development, rather than the major muscle groups standing out so much like you see in bodybuilders, for example. The physique is shaped differently, leading to a more capable look. The body looks ready to perform.

The third benefit I would like to talk about is the spill-over effect from single limb body-weight training and its application to other physical movements. For example any movement that can be done well with one limb, can be done well with two, at least from a strength point of view. If you can do a pull up with one arm, you can do a pull up with two, the reverse is not true. You also have a spill-over with unrelated skills where the movement patterns are similar. For example leaping, which is jumping off one leg, can help you get over a pile of bodies on the football field, over a parkour obstacle, or into someone’s face in a cage match.

Medicine Called Zumba

This Latin inspired zumba performance classes get’s its root & style from different music styles like cumbia, salsa, merengue, mambo, flamenco, chachacha, reggaeton, soca, samba, hip hop music, ax√© music and tango. Music is core to the resources required necessary to perform zumba. This is more a performance class then fitness class; so it keeps the interest of the user occupied and thus achieves the objective of wellness and better health. The fitness classes are designed to address all age groups from the young ones to up to the old ones. Zumba is all about building balance and coordination. The workout intensity it provides targets the upper body and lower body strength. Maintaining body postures while performing zumba is critical such that the entire body gets exposure to the movements and intensive workout.

Zumba fitness was started in 1990’s by Colombian fitness trainer Alberto “Beto” Perez. Since then it has taken the fitness market by storm. Today it is made available in almost every country and is being offered as a special feature by most of the fitness centers. There are a nine different type of classes to address the different age groups and cohorts. Zumba gold is very elementary and progressively styled fitness session which targets the beginners and the older people; it begins with easy workout steps till the body gets used to its rhythm and then explodes. Zumba step targets the lower body and the workout involves routines and step aerobics performed over Latin music. Zumba toning is a workout performed with toning sticks and targets abs, thighs, arms and other muscle throughout the body.

All it demands is an hour long commitment and commitment towards a healthy & clean meal plan. Zumba fitness classes are also available online and on digital media like DVDs; this is for those who prefer to workout at home. A load of people subscribe to digital classes and operate from their respective homes at ease and convenience. Although it is difficult to stick to schedule when operating from home; however it depends on the individual to make a decision. The fitness class objective usually revolves around improving one’s coordination, mobility, agility, and posture and muscle strength.

Avoid Injuries Working Out

  • Do some warm ups before you begin. If you are going to the gym, running/jogging, riding a bike or starting a round of golf, gently stretch your leg, back and arm muscles to limber them up. It’s also a good idea to have a cool down period when you finish to help prevent any muscles from tighten up. Especially if you haven’t used them in a while.
  • Don’t overdo whatever activity you have chosen. Start slow and increase your exercise or workout as you build up your endurance. Too much too soon and you will have those aches and pains the next day which may cause you to skip your next workout or quit altogether.
  • If you have invested in exercise equipment, read the manual and make sure you are using it correctly. Become familiar with all the resistance levels and again start slow. A trainer or coach can be a big help to getting the most out of your equipment.
  • Make sure you wear the proper clothing, especially footwear. Most injuries occur to the knees and ankles so wearing the proper shoes is important. Wearing the wrong clothing probably won’t cause a physical injury but could create a rash or skin irritation. You want to allow for maximum freedom of movement when you exercise.
  • If you have suffered an injury, make sure it is fully healed before you start to work out again. The last thing you want to happen is to be re-injured and maybe have to succumb surgery or wind up wearing a brace.

Do You Overlook Calf Training?

Your calf muscles support you through each and every step you take, so they are always working. The stronger they are, the less likely you will be to suffer fatigue as you are walking around doing your daily tasks and the more balance and agility you will have.

If you participate in any sports or recreational activities, chances are your calf muscles are playing a vital role in keeping your body upright and moving in the direction you want to go. This said, how can you make the most of your calf training? What needs to be in place to optimize your results?

Let’s look at a few key points to keep in mind about calf workouts…

  • Seated And Standing Calf Extensions. First, note both seated as well as standing calf raises should be carried out as you go about your workout session. They are going to work different parts of your calf muscles so by doing both; you ensure you are getting a full level of stress placed on the muscle. Better overall strength development will result, as well as enhanced overall muscle definition.
  • Multiple Rep Ranges. Next, you should also be varying your rep ranges. Generally speaking, you will want to focus on heavier weights and lower reps when doing seated calf raises, and higher reps and lighter weights when doing standing calf raises. Your muscles will respond best to this type of training, leading to naturally increased performance. When doing your reps you want them to be slower and controlled when using heavier weights, and when using the lighter weights, focus on short intense contractions, speeding up the rising part of the calf raise to help build explosive power.
  • Half Reps.¬†Finally, take note you can also perform half reps whenever you hit a point of fatigue. Half reps will help bring total exhaustion to the muscles, getting you past any plateaus you may be experiencing.

Isolation vs Multijoint Exercises

They are more natural and more effective at any of the three goals (muscular strength, size, or endurance). Our muscles are made to work together, in combination, to best perform strenuous tasks like deadlifting. Multijoint exercises allow you to stimulate the maximum number of muscle groups in a minimum amount of time. They allow you to manipulate heavy weights. The also allow you to work within a range of motion where your muscles can best express their full power.

Because muscle mass comes into play, they are the hardest exercises physically. This is why many people avoid these exercises. Because of the number of muscles these exercises stress, it’s not always possible and rarely easy to target the specific muscles you wish to develop.

For example, push-ups use the elbow and shoulder joints. Therefore, this is a multijoint exercise. The movement works the chest, triceps, and shoulders, primarily. Nearly impossible to determine is how much work each of those muscle groups is performing. For some people, the chest muscles will perform the majority of the work. For others, the triceps will be mostly stressed. Some yet will feel it all in their shoulders. Based on this, calling push-ups a chest exercise could be spot on or completely incorrect, depending on who you are talking to.

In multijoint exercises, the range of motion is often less than that of isolation exercises. This range may not be what is needed based on the particular sport you may be focusing on.

By using fewer muscle groups at one time, isolation exercises use less strength and energy. They are therefore much easier than multijoint exercises. Isolation exercises target muscles better than multijoint exercises. In general, it is difficult not to feel a muscle targeted by an isolation exercise. Isolation exercises are also better for developing individual muscular control. If a muscle is not developed by a multijoint exercise, a few weeks of training with isolation exercises can wake it up. When you begin conducting multijoint exercises again, you will likely feel that muscle taking on more of the work. The muscle will then be more likely to respond to the work required by exercises that involve multiple joints.

Generally, isolation exercises are less effective than multijoint exercises for increasing strength and size. Muscle isolation is an artificial phenomenon. As stated before, when performing work requiring strength, your muscles are made to work together, not in an isolated fashion.

If you attempted to reproduce the work performed by multijoint exercises with only isolation exercises, you would waste a lot of time. In the example of the push-ups, you would have to conduct a chest exercise, plus a shoulder exercise, and a triceps exercise.

The greater range of motion in isolation exercises does not allow you to use as heavy a weight as you would use in multijoint exercises.

In conclusion, strength training programs should consist of primarily multijoint exercises as they allow for intense work on a maximun number of muscle groups in a minimum amount of time. Isolation exercises can later be added into the program to target specific areas you want to further develop.