At the conclusion of one of my Cardio Kickboxing classes recently, a participant approached me to say that she had shown her family my website. While looking at the photos, specifically the close-up of my abdomen, her 10-year-old son exclaimed, "Her stomach is scary! Is yours gonna look like that, Mom?" The mom, with a laugh, replied, "No, dear. Mine will never look like that!"
Out of the mouths of babes, right?! I found this unfiltered exchange to be both hilarious and insightful. Having two sons of my own, I can appreciate the honesty, particularly from those whose minds are yet unwarped by media, cultural norms and prejudices.
This boy's opinion of my belly reminded me that not everyone has the same fitness goals. Not everyone wants to run a marathon (myself included!). Some folks find yoga and mind/body exercises just plain boring. Others don't want to consume animal protein as part of a healthy diet. Many don't want to work out in a gym, while still others don't desire defined abs--including that 10-year-old! And you know what? That's totally fine.
We as trainers must always align our programs to match the healthy, realistic goals our clients desire, while ensuring that functional training is incorporated to support daily activities. No matter what your fitness goals are--or aren't!--everyone needs to be able to sit up in bed, squat down to pick things up from the floor, reach for objects placed overhead, carry awkward items, climb stairs, bend over, pull someone close for a hug, and get on and off of the toilet. That's where The Big 6 come in.
The Big 6 represent six essential movement patterns that are used in everyday life. Fitness programs should incorporate all of these:
A seventh bonus movement should be practiced as well: single-leg exercises that challenge balance and vertical stability.
These exercises may be adapted to any fitness level, can be performed with or without added resistance, are easily accomplished at home or a health club, and may be executed individually or combined as compound movements. Review your program to be sure all of them are represented, and perform them one to three times per week.
And for those who may may desire a "scary stomach" of their own, the Big 6, along with a lean diet, support that goal, too!
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Molly is a wife, mom,
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I am not a registered dietitian, nor a medical professional. My blog is a representation of my views and experiences, which are not intended as medical advice. While I am a certified personal trainer, descriptions of things I eat and exercises I perform may not be suitable for everyone. Please speak with a medical professional before making any changes to your current routine.