Any personal trainer will tell you that the key to getting the most out of your gym session is knowing what areas of your body you’re working.
But a new study reveals a whopping three quarters of Brits are unable to locate basic body muscle groups and therefore fail to focus on key areas when working out.
The study of 2,000 people, conducted by Virgin Active, revealed that nearly 50% had no idea what triceps were.
A third of those surveyed couldnt say where in the body the pectorals were located and nearly 10% thought their glutes were in their stomach.
The body confusion continued with 60% struggling to locate their quadriceps – thinking they can be found in the arm, the stomach or even their nose rather than the upper leg.
Only 25% knew that the deltoids were located in the shoulder, with over 10% thinking they were in the upper leg and 32% admitting they had absolutely no idea.
Alarmingly, 75% of those surveyed revealed that they had an “average to poor” understanding of the different muscle groups they are exercising when working out, with half saying they focused purely on the stomach, arms or upper legs, ignoring other muscles.
The results show just how much of an opportunity there is for us to build knowledge about our own bodies, and how to improve our movement and wellbeing just by being more conscious of what we are trying to achieve,” said Andy Birch, Head of Fitness for Virgin Active.
“Modern lives lead us to being increasingly sedentary and the data shows were not only unsure of the names and locations of these muscles, but that as a result, we are not exercising our whole body, instead becoming overly focused on specific areas and falling into routines that we are comfortable with.”
The top 5 least recognised muscles were:
1. Masseter (the jaw) 85% 2. Brachioradialis (the lower arm) 73% 3. Gastrocnemius (the lower leg) 67% 4. Rotator Cuff (the shoulder) 58% 5. Biceps femoris (the upper leg) 52%
Londoners surveyed had the best knowledge of muscle groups, while those from the Midlands were the most confused.
Understanding the body is key to getting the most from your workout. If you’ve made the effort to go to the gym, you deserve to get the results you want.
We previously spoke to Kieran Fisher, managing director of Bodybuilding Warehouse, to find out about the common gym mistakes to avoid if you want to see the best results.
Scroll through the slideshow for his tips…
Jumping straight on the cross trainer and running like Mo Farah in a bid to burn away those calories and avoiding weights for fear of bulking out is one of the most common mistakes to make.Endless cardio routines will burn muscle and could push your metabolism into a worse state than it started. Hitting the weights, will keep a stimulus on your muscles and keep your metabolism up at the same time.
You know what youre good at, so you stick to it. But despite thinking youre not a natural runner or your arms are too weak for bicep curls, doing the same routine for too long will lead to a plateau and you will stop seeing results.If your gains have stopped, dont be afraid to switch your routine. Just because you like something doesnt mean it is the best thing to do in order for you to hit your goals. Ask for advice from gym staff, youll be surprised by the different number of exercises you can do for different muscle groups. For instance if you want abs like Nicole Scherzinger but hate crunches, the plank position will be just as effective.
Dont use cardio machines to count the calories you burn as the only factor of how hard you work. Everyone burns calories at a different rate depending on many different factors. A machine will not be able to tell you your exact expenditure – use them as a guide not as gospel.
So many people expect changes in a week, but consistency will be key in your goals. It wont happen overnight but it will happen, if you are consistent and work hard giving your body the right amount of time. Depending on how often you train and the intensity of your programme it can take between four and eight weeks to see visible results. If you havent got that long, look into high intensity interval training (HIIT.) These workouts are not for the faint hearted but they aim to boost metabolism and melt away fat much quicker than a regular workout.
You deserve it, right? Wrong! Your appetite may increase but consume the correct foods and your body will thank you for it. If muscle tone is your goal youll need to add more protein into each meal. Protein shakes are not just for body builders and your muscles need refuelling after a workout in the correct way. Diet versions such as Performance Diet Whey V2 is low in fat, low in sugar and carbohydrates and packed with protein to quench appetite and reduce hunger.
Its tempting to lift the heaviest weight you can or run as far as possible as soon as you get to the gym but this will lead to muscle fatigue and can also make you burn out so youre less tempted to return. Learn the good form in all your exercises so you understand how the muscles are supposed to work when they are being contracted under the tension of the weights you are lifting.
Blasting out 300 crunches to try and achieve a washboard stomach can lead to imbalances between abdominals and lower back and ultimately injury. Take a look at the classes on offer that will show you many new exercises you may not have even considered before. Ask your instructor for tips on how to get the most from each exercise theyll be happy to help you! Not only that, but one of the biggest things stopping people from achieving an ideal 6 pack is their actual body fat levels, it is really true when they say that abs are made in the kitchen. Good nutrition is key in revealing those abs.
Learning by copying others in the gym is not the way to go. Im not saying the person youre emulating doesnt know what theyre doing but from experience, a lot of people know what works for them and if you copy them it doesnt always relate to gains your end. Learn what works for you, the individual. No one is the same.
Too many gym goers fuel their workout with just water and expect to lose weight and tone up faster. But if you’re doing your workouts on empty, you won’t optimise your performance and can derail the progress you are making in your exercise plan. Ensure you take in a healthy and balanced diet including more greens, fruits and vegetables, or adding lean proteins to your diet. Sports nutrition supplements can complement your workout, depending on the result you want to achieve.
Dont use soreness as a guidance to whether you had a good workout or not. Just because you havent experienced DOMS (delayed onset of muscle soreness) doesnt instantly mean that your workouts are bad. It could be a major indicator that your body is recovering well and that your nutrition is spot on.
Midnight Gym-Goers Are On The Increase, But Why?
My First Time at the Gym: Survival Tips for the Absolute Novice
Fitness Tips: How Men Can Benefit From A Ballet-Inspired Workout (VIDEO)
- ^ gym session (www.huffingtonpost.co.uk)
- ^ Virgin Active (www.virginactive.co.uk)
- ^ Bodybuilding Warehouse (www.bodybuildingwarehouse.co.uk)
- ^ Midnight Gym-Goers Are On The Increase, But Why? (www.huffingtonpost.co.uk)
- ^ My First Time at the Gym: Survival Tips for the Absolute Novice (www.huffingtonpost.co.uk)
- ^ Fitness Tips: How Men Can Benefit From A Ballet-Inspired Workout (VIDEO) (www.huffingtonpost.co.uk)
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