I could write paragraph after paragraph on how to get the best body ever by promoting a few healthy recipes, a handful of cliché exercises by just adding a bit of decorative tricks.
I choose to avoid ‘quick fix’ solutions in favour of a more focused approach instead. I’d like to start from the basic, the zero, the very beginning, the FOUNDATION.
Your POSTURE which is crucial for lifting up your breasts (if you’re a woman) or to give you a more muscular and taller look (if you’re a man), or simply make your stomach look flatter and your body in shape (if you’re both men and women), more important of all, to actually lead you to a pain free lifestyle.
Have you been to the gym these days? Next time you see bunch of people exercising, pay attention of the focus of their exercise, I’ll bet they’re mostly working on a sagittal plane, ok ok relax it took me a while to understand what that means when I first started studying human Kinesiology, I’ll simplify it for you, what it means is using the strength of our muscles to move parts of the body forward or backward. Think of Crunch for example it’s a forward movement, burpees again forward movement, bending forward to go down to a burpee position “forward”.
Oh wait, have you realized I never gave an example of backward movement, or any other plane movesuch as back extension, or side bends of any sort, or even twists? Yes, because you barely see someone performing those moves at a regular gym.
The result? SIMPLE, Bad Posture, why is that? Basically when you move on one plane instead of three (sagittal, frontal, transverse); you workout just like a robot does on two dimensions, where as you know human movements are 3 dimensional which means we can move forward backward, side to side, and twist.
When moving ONLY forward we create strong frontal muscles, such as strong chest, strong abdominals (superficial), strong quads, etc.. and what we leave behind is the posterior chain muscles, such as the back (upper, lower), the butt, the hamstrings, and most important of all the Core.
This ends up creating an imbalance in our musculoskeletal structure, I can describe it as rounded shoulders to the front, forward head, a big hump in the upper back, and flat lower back (most probably with disc injuries), funny enough more than 90% of the people I see at the gym everyday, including the trainers, have most of the descriptions I’ve just mentioned.
Solution? Include exercises in your program that:
1- Target the muscles in the back (although you don’t see them much in the mirror, they are important for your musculoskeletal structure, your POSTURE).
2- Make sure your moves have full range of motion, such as performing crunches on a Swiss ball instead of the floor.
3- Twisting exercises are super beneficial to target muscles you never knew they exist, such as cable wood chops.
4- Targeting the inner core muscles by doing balance moves on Swiss or Bosu Ball, and Horse Stance exercises.