Think of an activity in life where you only move one muscle. Doing laundry? No. Shoveling? No. Walking? No. Cooking dinner and pulling out pots and pans? No. Combing your Hair? No. There is almost no movement in life that just isolates one muscle and has you work it alone. Yet for years we were trained to work one muscle at a time. Stand still and do bicep curls. Then go to a machine and do hamstring curls or inner thigh presses.

To me, almost anything that is safe and getting you moving is a good thing. If this is what you do in your workout and you don’t want to change and you feel good, I’m not going to tell you not to do it. But there is an intelligent move to more involved movement in exercise. It turns out that you get more bang for your buck when you move more muscles at once. Your body benefits long term when you move in multiple directions and in multiple planes using multiple muscles at the same time.

It’s better for you because that is how your body moves and reacts in real life. You work the muscles in a more balanced way and burn more calories faster. Training the bicep while doing a lunge, for example, puts the muscle into a more “real life” scenario by working additional parts of your body and challenging your balance. You get a lot more out of the exercise. It’s one of the reasons Pilates is so ideal. Pilates asks the body to move different parts and the same time. It’s one of the reasons it can seem so confusing at first. There is a lot going on. But the reasoning behind that is that when you are faced with movement in your real life the body will be prepared.

Years ago Joe Pilates had sorted out what science today seems to be proving. So let’s get moving more like we do in life!