I see folks exercising with the best intentions in the world. Sitting on a bench, lifting both legs, or lying on a bench pressing weights, in order to improve strength. True, you may get stronger-while lifting your young grandkids who are sitting on your ankles, or pushing a car off your chest. But seriously, when do you ever use those movements? Most of us can say never. When exercising, plan to use all three planes, or as we scientist’s call it, all three dimensions; sagittal, frontal, and transverse. Since we humans move in three dimensions, it makes sense to do your workouts in that fashion-we call that functional training. Standing, bending, twisting, reaching, lifting, turning, and stepping up or down are part of our daily life. Exercises should mirror life, life should mirror exercise, otherwise, what’s the point. True, I can make anyone stronger by giving them a rock and tell them to lift it 10, 20, 50, or 100 times, but if it is not done in a functional way, what is the purpose? I have some videos showing exercises in all three planes in the archives-check them out. I will post some new ones that I am working on soon, but in the meantime, are the exercises you’re doing currently making sense to you? Do they mimic life’s chores, sports, fun stuff like fishing, etc? If not, a change is due.
When, not if, you exercise, all studies show greater enjoyment and adherence IF you do them outside, in nature’s setting. Enhanced cognitive function, increased compassion, greater exposure to vitamin D, are all factors in providing greater benefit with nature as a workout partner. Give it a go.
Stay well, John R Blilie, M.S.