Thursday, January 28, 2010by Ivy Lim
, personal trainer, and founder of iPower Fitness
a personal trainer I’ve gone from working in the big-box gyms with all
the high-tech equipment, to in-home private clients, to outdoor
in-the-park bootcamps and to small group training. I’ve used a
multitude of ways to exercise and move the body.
In the gyms
I’ve witnessed people consistently using the machines improperly. This
results in ineffective exercise (thus wasting workout time) or worse
yet, subjecting yourself to injury.
Now that I have a fitness
studio, and after years of assessing people, I am still to this day
amazed at how many clients I see that are “gym members” and still
cannot perform a proper squat or lunge, pushup or back row – using
“free weights” and “free body”.
Using machines is great for
specific body strengthening and they are easy to use. However, even
though they provide a lot of support (making them less risky than free
body exercise), there still is a chance of injury if you don’t maintain
good form and technique. On the flip side, they don't truly work your
body the way it's designed.
Your body is designed and made for
“primal” movements; "primal" meaning "this is what was required before
the dawn of machinery in order to move and maintain life" (ie hunting,
gathering, building shelter).
Primal movements are:
- to push
- to pull
- to reach up and down
- and to flex at the hip
chest press machine is designed to work your pectoralis majoris. This
is a large muscle group in your upper body. It’s a “pushing” motion,
but we use this machine sitting down. When in our real lives do we
actually “push” anything while we are sitting down? Normally when we
need to push anything we are in a standing position.
example is the standing leg press machine. We’re squatting down and
it's great because we get back support. But again, when in real life do
we actually squat with our back against anything?
Your body is
an assemblage of parts that together perform a particular function.
Free weights enable you to use your body “freely” and as a system
working as one with each other. You may be asking yourself “what’s in
it for me?” Well, when you use your entire body as a functional unit,
you can actually create a “tougher workout” for yourself, which means
you can have a higher calorie burn, while firing up a slew of muscle
groups in just one exercise.
We’ll compare the pushup versus chest press machine.
push up engages your entire body. The abdomen and core area, your legs
are fired up, as well as your chest and arms. Let’s not forget about
our wrists getting strengthened, our back and even our ankles. Whereas
with the chest press machine, you're sitting back, so your back muscles
aren’t as engaged, your core definitely not as much and of course your
lower body is not being used at all.
All this being said, if you are beginner
, it’s safer and easier to use a machine
But if you are new to exercise (or new to free body exercise) then I
highly recommend you invest some time in learning the primal movements
using your free body. It will give you the confidence to try new
exercise programs, whether it’s a DVD or a bootcamp, or simply getting
equipment for home. These fundamental free body exercises are that you
should perfect are the:
- back row
you need to, ask someone or get a professional trainer, it will be well
worth the time, money and effort. This is knowledge and education for
yourself and for your health. Learning the fundamental movements opens
you up to a greater range of exercises, adds new life to your exercise
program, enhances everyday functions and overall provides total body
strength and mobility.
from iPower Fitness is the owner of a boutique fitness studio
exclusively for women in Brampton, Ontario. The iPower Fitness method
of training entails a fusion of core strengthening, traditional weight
training and bootcamp exercises, yoga and pilates strength moves, as
well as athletic style training. Ivy developed this style of training
because it is fun, dynamic, effective, and INTENSE. And... it works!
You can contact Ivy through her website: www.ipowerfitness.com