A strong body needs less support...

Published: Sun, 05/24/20


Most of us know that if we grab a weight and do some repetitions of a movement the muscle involved will get stronger, more mobile and larger.

A bicep curl trains the biceps muscle predominantly. A leg curl trains the, you got it, the hamstrings of the leg.
 On a basic level, this is true and, as you are well aware by now, I believe the fundamental thing we can all do to thrive into later life is to add muscle, lots of it, and maintain mobility of our bodies.

Taking this deeper though, each of the exercises above do train the muscles they are named after, however, done right they train, to some level,  nearly every other one in the body too.

A standing bicep curl, done right, is accompanied with a contraction of the Glutes, torso muscles and stabilisation of the back, shoulder, neck and chest muscles. There is also a load on EVERY one of your 100 trillion cells, and this load creates a response.

In short, ANY load we carry, hold, push or pull against 'trains' our muscles. Training our muscles makes us stronger if this extra load is consistent.

The adaptive and intricate body we all have will 'assume' that any load it comes under frequently is here to stay so it will add muscle, strengthen tendons and bones and make itself more mobile to deal with these loads.

Adding muscle goes FAR deeper than buns and guns!

It doesn't have to be 'beast mode' and 'crush it' in the gym everyday.

You can start small, really small and just repeat as much as possible for you. IT IS ALL PROGRESS!

Your 'small' will soon become not that small at all

Try really focusing on one walk a week one eve, for 30 min or so. Do this consistently for a couple of weeks and then come back after a month and tell me that its not increased to 4/5/ eves a week and you feel much better!

It can just start with thinking about reducing using THINGS to support your body less and getting it to support ITSELF more.

Think about how we respond to gravity.

EVERY muscle, bone, joint and ligament have an infinite number of positions as we move about.
The arch is a perfect symmetry of load displacement and its strength comes from its shape.

The arches in the Colosseum have stood for thousands of years, even with loads of holes in it, all the wooden and iron supports rusted away, earthquakes, world wars and millions of humans tramping through it.

By making sure our bodies have to support themselves more all day long, every mechano-receptor in EVERY cell responds by adapting to the extra load.

We are supposed to be moving all day long!


We don't stop moving BECAUSE we get old, we get old BECAUSE we stop moving!

  • change your geometry, every 45 minutes
  • ditch the chairs, or sit upright without using the back to support
  • walk, lots, and then walk some more...and a bit more
  • walk up hills and on uneven terrain (ever wonder why children always find the most awkward winding route? It's their innate behaviour being driven to create the most efficient human machine! NOT to make you late!)
  • ditch the sofa and sit on the floor, often
  • grab something and hang off it
  • climb
  • roll
  • crawl
  • get up off the floor and sit down again, ten times. Lounge cardio
  • stand up to work
  • work to sit in a squat position as much as possible (populations that squat more, live longer, we know this)
  • sit on different things, the stranger the shape the better!
  • when that mobile rings, get up and walk about
  • take the stairs, whatever the floor (observe those crazy H&S rules in your office though!)
  • take the left route and walk up escalators
  • driving somewhere and you see a nice wood on a sunny day. Stop, get out and have a wander
  • journeys under 2 miles, walk
  • when waiting in a queue or standing around, find things to stretch your feet on, hang off or push against
  •  go barefoot, walk on stones and seek out uneven terrain
  • add in push ups, planks, squats and lunges to your daily routine. Bodyweight exercises can be done anywhere. 
OK, some of these seem a bit out there or 'fringe' and yes I am the lunatic who hangs off the handles on a train or bus, stands on one leg in queues and walks his dog barefoot on stony paths.

Think through how you can load your body in different ways across your day.

And, be honest, how much of the positions you spend your days in up until now match up to those niggles and hurty bits?!

We are the sum of our past actions in EVERY way!

Imagine what your body would look like if you laid down for a few years.

Just as a tree is shaped not by the wind but the loads applied to the tree from the wind..you can drastically impact the shape of your body by moving it more and removing supports, comfort, cushioning and convenience

Think less about when you need to 'do exercise' today and more about how you can add more movement into your lifestyle. 


James Chandler
Personal Trainer
07870 262741

'To inspire, educate and support our clients on their journey to better health'