Fitness instructor Lydia Pheasant explains why the latest class to hit gym timetables is no passing craze
I’ve been a fitness instructor for eight years and seen a lot of workout trends come and go. Unsurprisingly, faddy classes and equipment (anyone remember the vibrating belt machines?) promising to deliver the world in just three easy instalments, have not stood the test of time. The reality is that there are no quick fixes. To reach your target weight, or get the firmest abs, will require some hard work. A new class called CXWORX could be the answer: it is a short, sharp, intense, hugely effective 30-minute workout, designed with a carefully structured and scientific approach to ensure a workout that tightens and tones your body, improves your core strength and even aids injury prevention. The strength of CXWORX is that it uses functional training technique. That is to say, the class is choreographed to mirror movements and muscle patterns that are used in everyday life – like lifting shopping bags from the trolley to the boot of your car. If you think how easy it is to pull a muscle or hurt your back doing everyday things like lifting and carrying, then logic states that the kind of workout that makes the most sense is one that strengthens the parts of your body that support everyday function – your core.
In fact, the class usually starts with a bit of an anatomy and physiology lesson – I think it’s really important that people understand how their bodies move, and what the wider benefits of functional training can mean in terms of overall health and fitness. Thanks to the structure and length of a CXWORX class, you leave feeling like you’ve had a great workout, but without the kind of fatigue that is associated with longer classes. The class is split into six sections, each set to a different, upbeat song. Starting with a simple floor-based warm-up, to stretch out the muscles and loosen you up, signalled by the start of the next track, it then moves on to core conditioning, standing strength exercises, abdominal work, oblique work and back strengthening. Before you know it, the six tracks are over and your workout is done. The class uses resistance tubes to tone and strengthen the core muscles, in and around the torso, meaning it can benefit anyone, whether you are training for a marathon or seeking to slim down your waist measurement to reduce health risks. The use of resistance tubes enables you to perform it at an intensity that suits your personal ability and build up the tube resistance as you progress. I’ve had really positive feedback about the class. It has something for everyone with all the benefits of a personal training session, plus the added support and motivation that comes with the group exercise environment.
The core is the group of deep muscles between your ribs and pelvis, which give stability to the spine and the body a firm base for all movement. Five reasons why a good core equals better performance:
- Research shows a positive correlation between a weak core and lower back pain.
- Good core muscles make everyday tasks like lifting and vacuuming a breeze.
- A strong core means you can look your best: a straight back and a flatter stomach make you appear taller and slimmer.
- Strong core muscles and good posture make you far less likely to injure yourself in the gym or on the sports field.
- A strong pelvic floor) part of the group of core muscles) can do wonders in the bedroom.