Body Conditioning

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On your marks, get set and get toned with Body Conditioning. Now a common fixture on many exercise class schedules, body conditioning promises to work your whole body and improve your overall fitness.

How does it work?

There are three distinct types of body conditioning – what you’ll get in a fitness class, what athletes might do in preparation for their sport, and the exercises that may be prescribed by a physiotherapist.

A body conditioning class will generally aim to give you a full body work out through both [[treatment/cardio-training/| cardio]] and [[treatment/strength-training/| resistance]] exercises and as a result, may leave you walking like a weirdo for the next couple of days. You’ll probably start off by doing some cardio routines to some energetic music – similar to [[treatment/aerobics/| aerobics]] – and then moving on to some more focused resistance work. You’ll probably be using floor mats and hand weights during this section, so it’s worth checking whether these are provided before you go. Wear clothing and footwear that you’ll be comfortable doing both parts of the class in, and ladies you’ll probably require a sports bra so that it’s you - and not them - bouncing around.

If you’re slightly more focused than the rest of us, body conditioning can also be used as part of a dedicated training schedule. The types of exercises used will vary depending on the sport you’re doing, but they’ll work on strengthening the areas of the body that will help you to perform to your highest ability. For example, body conditioning prior to [[treatment/martial-arts/| martial arts]] training will be designed to prepare the body for any minor injuries that might be sustained during a fight. [[treatment/physiotherapy/| Physiotherapy]] is a type of body conditioning as it works to rebuild small muscles that have been damaged during sport or another type of accident. After body conditioning with a physiotherapist, your body should be much more prepared to cope with any stress that may fall on the injured area in the future.

Is it for me?

Body conditioning is one of the best classes for those looking to improve their overall fitness and tone up. It’s completely adaptable to all fitness levels, and the aerobics section won’t leave those more “co-ordinately challenged” trying to escape out the back door. So whether you’re a beginner or a pro, give it a go!

Good to know

Swiss exercise balls (that are sometimes used during body conditioning classes) work by forcing your core muscles into action as you try to maintain balance.

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Barre Work

Point those toes. [[treatment/ballet/| Ballet]] barre exercises are a set of movements performed at a handrail, usually as part of the warm up to a ballet class. The routines are intended to prepare the body and enable the dancer to practise steps before applying them to the centre portion of the class. They are slow, precise movements such as bending and raising the body, leg rotations and stretching the legs and torso.

The Bar Method

Raise the exercise bar. The Bar Method is a body sculpting workout that involves the use of a dance studio bar and conditioning exercises. Invented in 2001 by a journalist and lawyer who both had undergone dance training, advocates say that the intense pace of Bar Method interval training quickly and safely reshapes the body, burns fat and elongates muscles. Leaner and longer looking limbs? Fantastic.

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