A couple of weeks back, we covered all the factors you need to work on for overall fitness development. If you haven’t read it yet, check the article out here . The prime takeaway of the article was that there are many critical aspects of fitness and unless you’re a professional athlete training for a single particular goal, you have to combine your favorite physical activity e.g. running or yoga or weight-lifting with some complimentary activities to cover all aspects. This will keep you safe from injuries, improve posture and also help you move better as a fully functioning human being should.
Before we dissect popular fitness/ sport activities, there’s just one other thing we have to consider: Many of the activities are either upper or lower body dominant e.g. running is entirely lower body dominant. So a separate factor of upper/lower body has also been considered. So now, in total, 6 factors will be taken into account for each fitness/sport activity.
Moving on to the point, the following table illustrates some common fitness/sport activities and ranks them for the fitness factors mentioned above. Note that “Movement” factor is assessed high or low considering full body movements. Also running, cycling and swimming are considered for long distances and not for sprinting. Weightlifting is assumed to be accessorized with secondary lifts, mobility drills and stretches.
To further explain, here are a couple of examples to help you understand the table.
Running: Most muscle engagement is in your legs and hips with some stabilizing support from core muscles. Running fares pretty high in endurance as your heart health as well as muscular endurance is tested greatly. Assuming that sprinting is typically not included in fitness enthusiasts, not much power is needed to maintain a 8-12 km/hr speed. This is why long distance runners typically look very skinny as hypertrophy (gain in muscle size) primarily occurs in type 2 muscle fibers (associated with strength and power). It doesn’t take much skill to run as it does come more naturally compared to other activities. That said, we’ve seen a lot of runners running with bad form. Movement wise, running is pretty limited too because you’re repeating the movement in a small range of motion (a full range lower body movement would be a squat jump or a Olympic lift snatch, flexing and extending at all 3 joints: hips, knees and calves)
Yoga: Unless you’re just doing pranayaams with middle aged aunts, yoga allows you to practice full range of motion in a multitude of ways. Since you often have to hold yourself in various positions, it builds a lot of strength to handle your bodyweight (people who are scoffing off at yoga can try a Mayurasana and let us know how easy it was ). Although some forms of yoga are pretty challenging, most forms are low on endurance (keeping up the pace) and power. In terms of explosive movements like a fast bowler pitching a bouncer or a boxer hitting a overhead hook, yoga fares up a bit low too.
Now that you have a fair idea, you can include complimentary activities to make your fitness routine more holistic without leaving your favorite physical activity. For example, yoga can be a great complimentary activity to sports like tennis and football where endurance and power are high but rest of the factors are lagging. We know there a tons of activities which you would like us to cover like zumba or kickboxing or cricket. Just shoot us a mail at email@example.com or contact us at 76666 20988, tell us more about you and we’ll discuss your favorite activity in detail.
In Lucem Scientiam (In the Light of Science)