Updated: May 17
Nowadays going to the gym is very trendy so you can see more and more people working out and looking after their health which is a very good evolution.
It is not gendered anymore. There are more options when it comes to gyms and the general knowledge about fitness has improved.
However there are still a lot of people working on their muscular strength only whereas it is not the only part of fitness to focus on.
Here are 5 areas of your fitness you can probably improve too.
Flexibility is the ability of a joint to move through an unrestricted pain free range of motion. In easier terms, it is the capicity to stretch a muscle.
Being flexible will help you to perform some movement easier and can be very benefic for sports (dancing, martial arts for instance).
Stretching has different effects on your body as decreasing the risk of injuries, increasing your blood flow or helping you moving more freely.
Stretching regularly will improve your flexibility but not only, it can also be a good warm up or a good way to cool down and start recovering after exercising (5 essentials to recover).
There are different types of stretching that you need to perform at different moments.
Dynamic stretches with a full range of motion will get your body ready to workout (check also the 5 steps to the best warm up), when static stretching is a great tool to cool down.
If it is a day off exercise you can use PNF stretches and focus more on developping your flexibility.
Mobility is the capacity to move within flexiblity with strength only. Understand that mobility does not have any other assistance than yourself. It means moving within your range of motion including force and intensity.
Developping your mobility will improve your strength in the weakest part of your range of motion.
It is important because it is a good complement to flexibility. Flexibility is great but becomes slightly useless if you can't provide force with it.
Having a good flexibility combined to a good strength will decrease the risk of injuries.
Mobility exercises performed with the right intensity are as important and efficient as any other exercises so you can include them in your regular trainings and perform them under reps and sets.
Cardiorespiratory fitness refers to the ability of the circulatory and respiratory system to supply oxygen to muscles during physical activity.
You are constently using your cardio whenever you exercise and so your capacity of sending oxygen to your working muscles will impact your performances.
If you only perform weights lifting then your body will get used to it and so will your cardio.
Which means that it will struggle to perform a different type of cardio.
You lose everything you are not working on.
If you want to be as complete as possible, practicing different types of trainings will benefit you. Long or semi long distance run, intervals training (with different variables) or fartleks are good ways to become a complete athlete.
Muscular endurance is the ability of a muscle or group of muscles to perform repetitive contractions against a force for an extended period of time.
Similar to long distance for cardio, muscular endurance is usually perform with a large range of reps and light weights to target different muscle fibers.
Often forgotten for intermediate and advanced practitioners, it is a good way to develop different muscles's capacities.
Also, late researches showed that short or large ranges of reps can both lead to hypertrophy. You always create new adaptations whenever you challenge your body and so it does work too for muscular endurance.
Body composition is used to describe the percentages of fat, bone, water, and muscle in human bodies.
It is a good indicator that helps you know if you are in good general health condition.
Without going to extremes, having a quite low body fat and a high bone density and muscles density will massively improve your health.
There are different possibility to get there.
Lifting weights (what are the benefits of weights lifting?) regularly will increase your bone density and your muscle mass when a balanced diet can help you reduce fat.
Also a regular cardiovascular activity will help you keep an healthy heart.
A good combination to improve your health and get more energy!