Did you know that there is soo many exercises that millions of fitness and weight loss enthusiasts do every single day and they don’t actually do what people think they do. We have gathered information from a range of trainers at some nearby gyms and they confess!
Sorry I don’t speak muscle, do you? No habla espanõl. No I did not push two! Oh god, no! French now? Je ne parle pas français.” Working out without understanding the muscles affected, is like trying to talk to your body through an automated phone in a different language… or two. Communication just breaks down between what you want and what the real effect is and most people often do exercises that don’t do what they are actually meant to do!
In example of this is my our new found love for foam rollers. We knew about them, everybody does, but we weren’t totally sure what they were used for or what they actually did until we tried one out for ourselves. We researched about them and used them the way they were meant to be for our body, not the way we think they are meant to be used.
Have you ever wanted to corner a trainer to demand to know their fitness secrets? Maybe even shine a bright light in their face like they did on all those old cop shows? “Tell me what you know. Confess!” You might demand in the most dramatic voice you can muster.
Well now, without the hassle, and possible repercussions, you can learn what we know. We confess! Even old favorite exercises can be working different muscle groups than expected. There are only so many hours in a day and when you stagger to a gym after working a full shift you want that time to count right? Doing these exercises will still help you, but they may not be targeting the muscles you think they are.
The latest and greatest exercise, trainers are working into routines is the kettlebell swing. This exercise looks like an upper-body work out to the untrained eye; however what your really working out is your lower body.
The kettlebell swing engages the posterior chain (muscles and fasciae from your calves to your lower back). This exercise is good for your back, wonderful for your legs, and you will likely find yourself standing straighter than before due to the core muscles being strengthened. Basically? It is a good exercise for the whole body but if you’re looking for arm strengthening, try some bent-over rows or overhead presses.
Logically they should work just like mini-pushups right? It seems like the same muscles, same movement just braced on your knees rather than toes? Nope. What you are really working would be your chest, triceps and shoulders. In a traditional pushup you work your core too, so if that’s your focus you may as well do less of the traditional pushup than more of the modified one.
Now, this is an interesting one. We have heard so many times “Leg lifts are great for your lower abs!” But the truth of the matter is, the Rectus Abdominus is one big muscle, so you’re working it all with this exercise. If you want a way to work the muscles down the side of your body (like the pesky hips and outer thighs) try the variation of this exercise, the side leg lift. There are no bonus points for height, the focus in this exercise is control; moving slowly is actually a very good thing when doing these exercises.
Besides giving flash backs to gym class, pull ups are good for your back. The large muscle in your back, the Latissimus Dorsi, is actually what is being worked the hardest. Your arms and shoulders certainly get a work out, but next time you exercise, focus on your lats. You might just get a few more reps out of your routine.
Now, usually “fun” isn’t equated with exercise, but this last one? It’s near the top of our list. There is nothing quite like coming home from a hard day of work and slamming something to the ground as hard as you can. This exercise is good for your back and your core (as well as your frustration). If you’re looking for shoulder strengthening exercises, try alternating front arm raises.
Whether you are trimming up or slimming down, with the particulars of these exercises you can use your time and energy to benefit yourself more, not just do the exercises hoping to target what you want to do. You will know your body better. When combined with knowing the ins-and-outs of the exercises you put yourself through, it can only benefit your workout goals. So break out the equipment and kick your workout up a notch by exercising smart, as you do hard.