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Exercise fads are notorious for coming and going at an alarming rate. What is good for fat loss one day, is the ultimate weight gainer the next. Techniques rarely stay on the scene for long, they are often disproved or something better comes along. There are only a few real methods of body improvement that remain; from footballer to ballerina, swimmer to MMA fighter, body builder to marathon runner. The average person may not even be aware of such necessary exercises, they are commonly over-looked or misused in programmes and work out sessions.

Any idea what I am talking about? Your own well-being depends on many variables (food, exercise, stress levels, sleep etc etc), these elements can then be broken into many more… Let’s take exercise. Forget the high intensity weight training and the interval cardiovascular training; get back to basics, to the bio-mechanics of the body and the bits that hold everything else together. It’s time to think about your body’s core, back and muscular health.

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Your fitness is made up of many different motor skills, the tendency is to focus on the areas of fitness that will make us look great, rather than what is actually good for our bodies. It is important to stretch after any form of exercise; this will assist your muscles in recovery, ensure they don’t over-tighten therefore risking injury, it is important for the well-being of joints, and after time you will improve your body’s flexibility, enabling a greater range of exercises. It is possible to perform a stretch based session, working on the tone and flexibility of your muscles.

Balance is an important motor skill, not only will it improve your performance in sports; it will also improve your quality of life, assisting with everyday tasks. Having balance will compliment anything and everything you do. In later life, it may also save you from many injuries caused by trips and falls.

Incorporated into every activity we do, is coordination. The ability to control your body and it’s movements. Your brain should be able to send messages quick enough to the body, to execute movements correctly, timely and with a good judge of distance and surroundings. Coordination may involve moving more than one body part at a time, using equipment with your body or even moving your body at a certain time, to a beat or whistle.

Posture and back alignment is vital for everyone. All too often I hear of lower back problems, or chronic back pain. This can often be avoided by training the correct back muscles, and learning correct posture. Strengthening the back can not only save injuries, but save paralysis and walking trauma. Your back is also the starting place for most of your body, if you have a constant ache/pain and no one has figured out why, have you thought about the alignment of your back? Have you tried to even any imbalances that may effect your back? Or ever strengthened the muscles in your back?

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Lastly, the muscle group most mentioned EVER… Abdominals & Core. In contrary to common belief, having a six-pack doesn’t mean you have a strong core, nor does it mean you are fit. A million sit ups may give you that “burn” but are they doing your body any favours? To have a strong core in terms of “health” and “fitness” you need to work all the abdominal muscles around from one side of your spine to the other; using a range of exercises and moves, designed to encourage a strong, supportive core. The benefits of this are now innumerable!

Wondering why footballers do Pilates? This is why. To assist their game in a million ways and more. To make their body’s more functional and have more purpose to the game, rather than just being fit and able. To complete the inside jigsaw of their externally made bodies.

It is often difficult to build, maintain and increase levels and techniques for the exercises needed to fulfil the words of this article. Look out for classes in your area, or speak to a professional. It’s time to BE fit and HEALTHY.

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Salaams ladies 🙂

Safiyah Esack – 19/03/2013

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9 thoughts on “If the footballers do it, why can’t we?

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