We talk about balance a lot at CKO.
In order to fuel your body, you need a nice balance of nutrients.
In order to execute powerful, tight strikes, you need to have a strong center of gravity.
In order to manage stress, you need a healthy work/life balance.
When it comes to health and wellness, balance is at the core. And just like your diet, your center of gravity and your life, your muscles need balance. Here is why paying attention to all your muscle groups and making sure they’re balanced is so important to a healthy lifestyle.
Muscle Imbalance Throws Off Your Entire Body
Your body is this amazing machine. Each piece of our anatomy does its own part to make sure the body can do the simplest to largest tasks. There’s a reason why you don’t need to remember to breathe or deliberately think about every step you take. Your body already knows. That’s why, without balance, your body has to overcompensate for the weak areas. If you only work on abs and forget the rest of your core (back, obliques, hips, glutes, etc.), your posture is going to be off, which will lead to back pain. If you injured your knee and don’t rest it long enough, your other leg will overcompensate. Trust us, you will notice when something is wrong. To keep your body operating at peak performance, learn to read pain signals and understand when something is off. Work with a physical therapist to identify weak areas and incorporate exercises to strengthen them. These things will help your body be better in tune with itself and create harmony.
Your Muscles Need Time to Rest and Recover
You may think that working a muscle every day will help it develop quickly, but that’s the last thing you should be doing. The way muscle growth works is that the strain put on your muscles creates tiny tears in the muscle fibers. In order for the muscles to strengthen, they need time to repair and recover. If you alternate the muscle groups you work, it gives every group a day to recover. Adding in three-to-four full-body workouts like the kind we do at CKO guarantees that every muscle gets equal attention. Add in at least one active rest day a week to make sure your muscles are getting the rest and recovery they need in order to get stronger.
Mapping Out Your Workouts Help with Balance
Creating a weekly workout plan will help you keep track of the muscle groups worked and give you the most balanced exercise routine as possible. Make each day’s focus a different muscle group, while incorporating full-body workouts into the weekly schedule. Sticking to a workout calendar will not only help keep you balanced, but make it more likely for you to stick with your fitness plan. There are plenty of fitness apps available for free to help you create and map out weekly workouts.
By keeping your body balanced, you will be able to get maximum results, reduce the chance of injury and feel all-around awesome.
Every strike and exercise we do at CKO is important to the full-body workout experience we promise our members. Each move has its own set of muscles that it works and all of them combined helps to strengthen and tone every muscle in your body. Our upper-body resistance training is the perfect kind of training for people looking to get sculpted arms and a strong core, with each strike targeting a different set of muscles from the next.
The jab is a long, straight punch which extends from your chin to your target. It’s quick and simple technique makes proper execution attainable, but it fires a number of muscles in the upper body. It’s not just a bicep/tricep strike, but the jab actually works your entire arm and part of your back and core. Your deltoids and trapezius muscles are challenged and that power extends all the way to your obliques and hip flexors. That’s a lot of muscle engagement in a single punch.
The trunk of your body is the power source in this strike. Using the meaty part of your elbow, you’ll need to angle the elbow up to complete a well-executed strike. With this strike, you’ll be able to feel the power coming from your obliques. Pull your belly button in and make your core tight to get the most out of an elbow strike, and allow your hip to roll in while pivoting your foot (same side as the arm executing the strike). A few powerful, well executed moves on each side will leave you feeling it tomorrow.
This is the kind of strike that is all power and all body. Through the movement, you’re pivoting with your feet, turning with your trunk and powering through with the back of your fist. You feel your muscles working in your shoulders, core, back and all through your arms. The backfist in particular is great for your deltoids, latissimus dorsi (“lats”) and rotator cuff.
The uppercut gets you nice and close to your target. Use your body weight to your advantage to help shovel your fist in. When completing an uppercut, you can immediately feel your biceps and triceps working as you hit the bag. Other muscles you may not feel are those sneaky obliques again, as well as your lats and deltoids.
The hook is another strike where core is key. You’re using your arm to “hook” and fist to strike, but the power behind the motion is your core. Twist your core to bring your body into the bag and the core is what helps absorb the shock of the strike. In addition to the core, your entire arm and shoulder are worked to help provide accuracy and additional power.
Like the backfist, the hammer strike is a great shoulder workout. Unlike the backfist, the hammer is a softer strike, as you are using the side of your fist, which is much more delicate than the back side of your fist—there are a lot of small bones to consider on the impact. Do a few fast hammers back and forth between bags and you will know exactly which muscles you are using.
Each of these strikes are great on their own, but when combined, they give your body the conditioning it needs to strengthen and tone your entire arms, back, chest and core. The best way to see results and get definition is to work the whole body instead of focusing on one part. Together, these strikes will do that for your body.