Functional Exercise and Natural Movement | Naturally Engineered http://naturallyengineered.com/blog/functional-exercise-and-natural-movement/
This is an interesting article, and pertinent to my current workout routine. I’ve been using bodyweight and isometric exercises for the last month, as being away from home means that I’ve not had access to a gym. Gym exercises certainly have their value, and what the above article misses is that in a modern lifestyle, we lack the natural range of movements that our bodies are designed for. Even people who do manual work will probably only use a restricted range of repetitive movements to complete their tasks. The advantage of a routine such as Crossfit is that it tries to bring natural, whole body movements back into our day. Not everyone is in a position to incorporate that.
Natural bodyweight and isotonic exercises are good because you can do them anywhere, and in many cases you are working multiple muscle groups, so getting a good overall workout. However, we are creatures prone to vanity, and where the gym comes in is that we are able to use machines to focus on specific muscle groups to gain a specific shape or tone that we feel is desirable. I’d agree that this doesn’t necessarily equate to optimum, all-round strength and health, but we are vain creatures.
What many people fail to realise is that by lowering body fat, and having general all-round strength, we gain the ideal proportions that look good to most people, our genetic optimum. However, vanity and human fallibility means that we look for quick fixes and isolated body parts to achieve what we consider an acceptable look. Think pecs, biceps and butts in men, and waist, butts and thighs in women (although the fashion for J-Lo big butts in women is more an acceptance that in the majority we are lazy arses, not fit arses).
I’ve been as guilty as many in thinking that health and fitness is only skin deep and superficial, but the current regime has shown me the light. A Paleo Diet and a daily, bodyweight orientated workout regime has markedly improved by own self-image (and external image) in only 6 weeks. I’m not finished yet, and look forward to further progress. Yes, I will be back at the gym too, but more from the point of view of understanding the benefits of different techniques, and when each is the right solution for specific needs.