Sunday 11 September 2016

The best piece of gym equipment you'll ever own!


We've all seen those adverts on QVC and the like, for the 'best piece of gym equipment you'll ever own', and 'buy this fancy gadget and you'll have great abs' - how much of that stuff is actually gathering dust in your garage?  Be honest....! 

The truth is most of us already own the best piece of equipment or can find it for free, and it's available in all homes without any further payment's your floor. 

Newton's third law states - 'every action has an equal and opposite reaction' therefore when you are standing on the floor you are exerting a force against it, your own body weight is being pulled down by gravity and the floor is pushing back with equal force. Thinking about where gravity is in relation to your own body parts is a major part of my job as a Pilates instructor, I'm always thinking about what adjustments can be made to make an exercise more effective, and it's usually about using the downward pull of gravity and using bodyparts to push/pull against it.

The human body has six hundred muscles, and full stability of the joints gives us the ability to use all of those muscles.  However, the lack of movement required for modern day living has left us with some joints being massively overused whilst the rest of the body is dormant and inert.  This means that not all of our bodily systems are being maximised, and disease will ensue.  Aristotle would say that, under sub-optimal conditions, one's spirit and life force would be unable to express, and he'd probably be right.

In today's society we spend too long with our joints sitting at right angles, the 90°hip/knee ratio - have a think about how long you spend in this position - it's probably hours a day!  Get out of it, get off the couch and onto the floor.  You don't have to do any formal types of exercise on the floor, just sitting on the floor gives time for our joints to articulate into new positions, and get out of old ones.  This then gives the body chance to stretch off overused muscles and strengthen new ones, it feels good - give it a try!

No need for expensive gym equipment, and if you did want to learn some more excellent ways to use your own bodyweight against gravity on the floor, then come along to one of my Pilates classes and I'll show you how!

Jill x

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