Getting Back Into Fitness With a Full Body Workout
When you're just starting to get back into fitness, the first major challenge can be figuring out where to begin. When facing a wall of equipment, the temptation is often to kick off your fitness path with some spot-reduction techniques, like whittling down some belly jiggle, or finally getting those triceps into shape.
But taking on exercises that target only one or two body areas can backfire. The most effective method is to do workouts that bring strength, flexibility, and agility to your whole body, not just the parts you've declared less-than-awesome. Here are three reasons why full body workouts are more effective and safe when you're getting back into fitness:
1. Injury Prevention
Think of the body as a beautiful, well-engineered machine that can break down or be improved, based on how you treat it. Focusing on one specific part instead of understanding how everything works together often leads to issues with the areas that aren't getting as much love and attention.
For example, if you're only doing crunches or other abs exercises, you might be elevating your risk of injury because you're not strengthening the muscles, tendons, ligaments, and bones that contribute to abdominal muscle health. That can put unnecessary strain on the lower back, hips, and shoulders. Full body workouts — which can include anything from TRX classes to a head-to-toe body blast class — allow you to condition all areas and achieve the kind of healthy balance that's needed for injury prevention.
2. Maximum Efficiency
Most likely, fitness isn't going to be your full-time job. Going to the gym for hours every day might be less realistic than, say, going to work and caring for your family. You know, those pesky details called life. That means when you do have time to focus on your fitness, you need to be as efficient as possible. You might not have the luxury to do a "leg day" followed by an "upper body day" and then a couple days of cardio.
Fortunately, most people don't have to rearrange their schedules completely in order to take their fitness to a higher level. Full body workouts make the most of the time that you have, and that kind of efficiency tends to result in better progress, more engaged muscle groups, and overall improvement. Another big bonus: full body workouts can burn more calories in less time, compared to training sessions that target only one or two muscle groups.
3. On Your Schedule
When you do full body workouts, each session is self-contained as its own unit. That means you don't have to keep track of when you worked one muscle group and balance it with another - you can just pick up the next day.
Having the workouts be one integrated unit lets you schedule your fitness time effectively in an already busy schedule. So, if you have to work late or take a family vacation — or even just slot a workout into the few hours you have between taking one child to piano lessons and the other to football practice — you know that you'll be able to get total-body training when you're able.
In general, there's definitely a need for exercises that target specific body areas or muscle groups, and sometimes, you just want to build up your legs or arms. But when you're just getting back into fitness, focusing first on full body workouts can go a long way toward speeding your progress and making the most of your fitness time.
If you want to try some classes that focus on full body workouts, sign up for a UFC GYM Free Pass.