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Kettlebells , gyms . Pilates , yoga

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Kettlebells...just another fad, eh?

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Strength - flexibility - balance

Introducing the (Russian) kettlebell exercise system!

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Though kettlebells are clearly a product ,  the method differs in that it promises a whole package , a triad of useful strength , stamina and flexibility . With a little motivation , which feeds upon itself , you cannot fail to make significant gains in the above triad.

The method has distinct advantages over what has been traditionally promoted in popular gymnasium circles in the past 50 years. And best of all,  it works brilliantly for the exercise “do it yourselfer”. It’s a very simple equation : Motivation + work = results, guaranteed.

 

I have found that many adults have no desire to train in public gymnasiums or studios. Reasons include time constraints , travel issues , expense , crowding, self-consciousness , dislike of poseurs and boredom .

 

What many traditional (factory) gyms offer :

 

Lots of expensive & shiny machines - promising to isolate every different muscle group. Trouble is , the skeleton of the machine removes important stabilisers from the exercise , plus muscles cannot always move through a full plane of natural movement. Most exercises develop the muscles in the front of the body , but there is little attention paid to the posterior chain (back muscles). Couple this with a chronic sitting/forward posture and you have a recipe for further troubles...

 

But , you can process lots of customers without much instruction.

 

Just so that you know I am not completely biased , a review of machine vs free weights can be found here. Just don't discount the "fun factor" of free weights.

 

http://www.dolfzine.com/page349.htm

 

Pilates…the name on everyone’s lips …yes , I've tried it, some of the claims are overblown , it certainly assists prehab and rehab , particularly in balance-compromised clients or those who for some physical reason need floor or machine support. Many swear by its effectiveness.

 

 Pilates - a critique, judge for yourself.

 

http://www.stumptuous.com/siffonpilates.html

 

Granted , it is slickly marketed , but "fitness for life"...not really , unless you are well heeled or can find the motivation to practise at home.

 

A word about yoga

 

There is no doubt that the regular practise of yoga will promote relaxation and wellbeing as well as balancing and strengthening weak or tight muscles. Practising yoga for the sake of increased flexibility can be harmful if ligaments (joint supports) are abnormally stretched as a means to achieving a particular posture. Some postures are best not attempted at all , and others may be dangerous if unsupervised. As many of its devotees are older people , many with medical conditions , there is a relatively high injury rate.

 

Yoga , like any exercise modality is safe if practised carefully and in moderation.

 

Kettlebells translate  in many ways into "iron yoga". The rapid improvement in torso stabilisation enables rapid mastery of many of the the common yoga asanas (postures). And proper lifting methods promote healthy breathing patterns including the ability to remain calm under stress.

 

 

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