3 simple exercises that work (and look good on Instragram)
The rise of the Instagram fitness star has given birth to a whole new batch of crazy exercises that look fantastic on video but just how effective are they for our fitness, wellbeing and physique? Functional fitness is now the new way to train is but is it getting taken too far?
Open your Instagram and search for #fitnessmotivation and you'll get around 24.7 million recent posts. Your access to a wide range of new twists on exercises is unlimited, but where do you start?
You see a guy flip onto his hand and walk to the other end of the gym, drop into a one finger burpee, jump back up and backflip looking tanned with perfect hair. This? No.
These days if you want to stick with the trends and look knowledgeable you’ll need to be able to move well. That means moving in functional patterns, movements based on real-world situational biomechanics. Think squatting, lunging, pushing, pulling, hinging/swinging, lifting (push/pull). These movements require several joint and muscle movements simultaneously making them compound and far more effective. You won’t just be fit; you’ll be fit for life.
Squats: Back and Front
It’s official. Squats are phenomenal. In my opinion the most functional movement apart from walking. You have to be able to range of movement around the hips, lower and upper back, knees, and ankles all in one simple movement. Not only that. They are part of carving out a fantastic, balanced physique. You’ll work your legs, glutes, core and posture.
We pick things up every day. Getting it right and with some serious weight has a huge list of benefits from strength, testosterone spikes, muscle building and flexibility (especially hamstrings). It’s a fantastic posterior chain movement working your hamstrings, glutes, core, and the WHOLE of your back. It may not feel like our moving the back or core much but they are stabilizing to fight against that load.
My TOP exercise in fitness. Think about how many times in your life you’ve either fallen or lay down anywhere from bed to the floor? How do you get up without putting your back out and using as many muscles as possible? The burpee checks off so many movements in one that, if performed correctly, could be the one exercise to save your fitness.
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Niko Algieri, is the co-founder of Equilibrium Total Balance