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Fitness on the Coast

01/07/2013 10:04AM ● Published by Nancy Babin

A kung fu teacher once told me, “When you learn to control your own body, you can control your opponent’s body. When you can control your opponent’s body, you do not have to hurry.”

As core training and functional training have taken the spotlight in recent years, body weight training has been center stage and with it, the importance and challenge of controlling that which is within our skin.

Body weight training has become a strong component in the fitness training world. Boot camps, suspension training, speed/ agility/ quickness camps, Pilates, yoga and other formats that at a minimum require your body as a tool have come to center stage and for many good reasons. Many abnormalities and prior injuries, once forgotten, can emerge and under less load than one might experience without additional load such as machines, free weights, resistance bands, kettle bells, or medicine balls. When you can control your body, you can control an outside resistance. When you can control the outside resistance, you decrease the likelihood of injury.

Think these are new ideas? Think again. Yoga practitioners will proudly announce the history of their form, touting its beginnings over 5000 years ago, and martial arts date back to around 4000 years ago. Whoa, “fitness” was not even a word then (circa A.D. 1570’s). People were learning how to move their bodies “properly” so they could handle the stressors and demands of their time while also rejuvenating themselves~imagine that! What we are experiencing is not new; it is the old, revisited and renewed.

Pilates came on the scene in the 1920s by Joseph Pilates who used yoga principles to rehabilitate soldiers coming back from the Great War (WWI) and later to be used with his dancers in gaining strength both physically and mentally. Resistance training has its roots traced back to the beginning of time when humans had a fascination with their abilities. Medicine balls date back over 3000 years. Kettle bells take us back to around 1704 in Russia. Resistance machines similar to those used today did not come along until the 1960s.

It seems we are coming full circle with how we challenge our bodies. And as we have the drive to do more, more, more, we have, at times, pushed beyond our limits due to mechanical weaknesses or the inability to neurologically control our bodies. Injuries have occurred and as a result, we often blame the exercise itself rather than our ability to perform the movement properly.

We learned to walk before we ran. Be patient; we should learn to control our bodies before we can expect to control additional loads/ resistance. There are many body weight-oriented programs along our coast. If you are seeking and cannot find, contact me and I can direct you. Make it a Great Day!

About the Author:  Paul Hunter lives On the Coast with his wife, three children infusing his playful style with science to yield astonishing results at Grayton Beach Fitness. Grayton Beach Fitness has recently been voted, “Best Place to Workout on 30-A.” You may reach him at

Grayton Beach Fitness - Grayton Beach, FL 

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