It is common practice to work out different parts of the body, especially in a strength training setting. But this is often misunderstood. Focusing only on legs and ignoring the position and engagement of the upper body, for example, requires stressful compensation from the hips, spine and shoulders. What’s more, when the entire system isn’t engaged—when you aren’t getting at foundational muscles, like the deep hip flexors and thoracic spine—the smaller, stabilizing muscles you’re trying to strengthen aren’t allowed to fire at maximum capacity.
Elev8d Fitness, the new home workout program from the experts at Sonima, is designed and sequenced to position the body for complete engagement. The exercises are slow and deliberate with an emphasis on form. Focusing on form keeps the body from dysfunctional compensations. “Our focus is on putting the body in the right place to tax all systems at once,” explains Brian Bradley, Fitness Director of Elev8d Fitness. “When you go slower, it requires a huge amount of stability.”
When you align the body, you establish proper posture and functionality. “The goal in fitness should be to set yourself into proper alignment first. Only then are you ready to condition that new, corrected posture.” In other words, working out with compromised posture only exacerbates dysfunction and perpetuates a disconnected body. When the body is working in concert, it can fire all muscles at once. And this, Bradley explains, is where real transformation happens. “We train the body to function properly to give you a better metabolic reaction out of your muscular system all day, long after you’ve finished your workout.” Here’s how it works:
The Plank Problem
When you load up into a forearm plank position, the impulse is often to round the back and shoulders and tuck the tailbone. In this version, you clasp your hands together and wing your elbows out, creating a triangle base to hold up the rest of the body. “And there’s nothing stronger than a triangle!” says Bradley. “But what are you compromising?” In this position, the shoulders and upper back are taking the workload. Sure, you may be working your abs, but nothing is gluing it all together. The abdominal wall is trying to work in isolation and the shoulders are trying to work in isolation.
“When your form is out of whack, your body takes the path of least resistance,” says Bradley. “That group of muscles is only firing because it’s trying to take over for what the other muscles aren’t doing.” The position of the body in the plank is so compromised that you’re actually exacerbating the compromise rather than strengthening from a position of correct posture.
How Do I Fix It?
If you pin the shoulder blades together and drop the chest cavity, you establish a functional curve in the lower back. This fires the core like crazy but also engages the rest of the body. You may not be able to hold this position as long but that is the point. When you are deliberate with form, your workout engages the whole body and becomes infinitely more efficient. “You are decreasing the time and increasing the work,” says Bradley. “And you’re working 600+ muscles, rather than about twenty.”
And this is what makes the Elev8d Fitness workouts so powerfully efficient. The increase in muscle and joint demand is really where caloric burn comes from. An exercise with correct form fires not only the deep core muscles but also the smaller stabilizing muscles around the joints. And that is the key to kicking up your metabolism and efficiently toning the body.
The 8-Minute Total Body Transformation
At first glance this 8-minute workout may not seem particularly challenging. Unlike HIIT, Elev8d Fitness workouts are low-intensity. “Remember, we slow down the exercises to focus on the quality of movement,” says Bradley. By focusing on form in everything from Polar Opposites to bear crawls, you are asking the body to work in concert. Proper alignment allows the deep core muscles to fire all at once. As these larger muscles fire and do the heavy lifting, you further refine the functionality of your eight load-bearing joints (shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles).
There’s also an inherent feeling of wellness that comes along with proper form and deep muscle work, says Bradley. After a true, total-body workout, your metabolic rate will stay raised for hours. You’ll find that you’re not craving sugar and you’re sleeping better. “These are the long term effects of a functional, form-focused method like Elev8d Fitness,” says Bradley. “Your body is working in harmony.”
Transform your body in 12 weeks! Try the revolutionary new approach to fitness that helps you achieve better results by doing less. Sign up now to access a FREE 14-day trial with Elev8dFitness.com.