Getting Comfortable with PurMotion

I’m sure that many of you were thinking the same thing I was when you stepped into CCRP a few weeks ago… “What’s that orange jungle gym for?!?!”

Many of the machines with which we were perfectly comfortable disappeared over night and we were left with something completely foreign. I must admit that even as an exercise professional, I was quite intimidated by this “orange torture-device” the first time that I saw its straps, ropes and pulleys.

However, the after a brief introduction from one of the personal trainers, I realized that this one piece of equipment is on the cutting edge of what the most recent fitness and medical research is recommending that we incorporate into our fitness routines:

1) Vary your routine. The research says that you need to challenge your body in many different ways in order to continue to build true strength. Don’t settle into a routine with the same six pieces of equipment or six exercises.

2) Use your body weight as resistance. The research has found that exercises using body weight are much more functional and have better carry over into sport or real life activities (e.g., Assisted Pull-ups).

3) Stand up when exercising. We do not live our lives lying down on the ground… so why are so many of our core strengthening exercises done on the ground? We have to challenge our core muscles in upright positions in order to get the most functional carryover! (e.g., the Renegade Squat to Press)

4) Asymmetrical Load. Researchers have found that it is harder for the body to stabilize against a asymmetrical load than against a symmetrical one. Try to incorporate exercises which have an element of asymmetry in order to increase the challenge (e.g., Whack-a-Mole)

5) Challenge your Core. More and more research is coming back to the fact that in order to optimize shoulder, hip, and knee function one must have a strong core. PurMotion forces the individual to engage their core while completing even the most simple shoulder exercise (e.g., AirFir Bow and Arrow)

6) Work Muscles in Functional Groups. Lastly, the research is pushing us away from training muscles in isolation. Gone are the days that we are focusing on only one muscle at a time. Not only does it take more time…..but it is not the way that muscles function in daily life. The literature encourages us to use functional pairings of muscles together. (For example using the pecs, anterior deltoids, biceps,and abdominals together during a suspended chest press.)

I would recommend that the next time that you visit the health club, you give the PurMotion a try. Ask a trainer to orient you to a few different exercises, check out the great functional training videos done by the CCRP trainers and see what you can come up with on your own using the above principals. You might be surprised when you really like it!

Learn something new!


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Diana grew up in a small suburb north of Boston. She received her clinical doctorate degree in Physical Therapy at Boston University in 2006. Diana started practicing as a physical therapist at Massachusetts General Hospital. While at MGH, she developed a specialty in the evaluation and treatment of complex lumbopelvic dysfunction. Diana is currently practicing at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston where she is the Orthopedic Clinical Supervisor of the Spine program. She is presently a Boston resident and her interests outside physical therapy include cooking, walking on the Esplanade, and international travel.

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