What is "full-body"?
There are many full-body workouts available, but they often carry different meanings when it comes to "full-body." Essentrics certainly has its own unique approach: it is a head-to-toe program that not only works our muscles but also stresses our bones, conditions our joints, and stretches our fascia (connective tissues).
Engaging all +650 muscles
While many people think of a "full body" workout as something that works the muscles in the torso, the arms and the legs, Essentrics goes farther. It engages all +650 muscles in the body, including those in our neck, fingers, and toes. This is because every muscle exists for a reason. We certainly won't wish to lose any bit of flesh in our fingers, and the tiny muscles between our spinal discs communicate movements and positions to our brain. If we only focus on the major muscle groups, therefore, we are compromising brain-body connection and motor coordination.
A weak muscle can also impact other muscles along the chain. If the deltoids in our upper arms are weak, for example, then when we lift our arms to reach for the shelves we might compensate by using the shoulder muscles. This can overwork the shoulders and even cause tightness in the neck. We are therefore only as strong as our weakest link! That's why no muscle is too small to be neglected.
Stressing the bones using body weight
Most of us aspire to look fit and attractive, and lots of attention therefore goes to our muscles. Yet the body is far more than those. To stay fit we also need to stress our bones, condition our joints and keep our fascia healthy. Certain sports such as swimming and trampoline are beneficial in many respects but like anything that is antigravity, they don't stress our bones. However, contrary to popular belief you don't need to use external weights to accomplish that. In Essentrics we use our own body weight to stress the bones, which has the added benefit of avoiding Delayed Onset Muscles Soreness (DOMS), or the common soreness that you feel after lifting external weights. Done correctly, you would instead feel strong and loose simultaneously after an Essentrics workout.
Conditioning all the joints
Some of the most common pain that people suffer from includes knee pain and elbow pain. Inflammation in those areas are often excruciating and can result from compressed joints causing bone grinding on bone. In Essentrics we elongate and decompress the joints when we stretch, allowing more room for synovial fluid to circulate in those joint pockets. This reduces and even eliminates pain. We also follow the design of the joints when we work them. As an example, our arms and legs are connected to the body through "ball & socket" joints. These allow for big, circular motions, so we condition them correspondingly via large, rotational movements. These uniquely "floss" the joints to eliminate deposits that can accumulate from a lack of proper, full-range motions. They help to reduce those clicking noises we sometimes get from stiff joints!
Working through our fascia
Fascia sounds foreign to most people but it is no less important than muscles, bones, and joints. It is at the forefront of current medical research. Simply put, fascia is a matrix of connective tissues made of collagen. It encapsulates muscle fibers and groups our muscles, separating, stabilizing and creating compartments for our organs. Not only is fascia flexible but it is also dense with sensory receptors. Overuse and overstretch can cause injury, while prolonged inactivity causes fascia to stiffen - think of how stiff we often feel when we wake up in the morning after lying still overnight. When this stiffening worsens, fascia can adhere and lead to lots of pain. In fact, people often confuse fascia pain with muscle pain. The only way to keep fascia pliable is through proper movements. By using large, rotational motions at moderate speed, Essentrics evenly stretches and conditions fascia that runs through our entire body.
By engaging all of our +650 muscles, bones, joints and fascia, Essentrics takes the "full-body" concept to a whole new level. The result from this comprehensive approach is a rebalanced body, with every part feeling equally strong, loose, and comfortable. Indeed, if a workout is truly "full-body" it has to be rebalancing!