Are you a fitness enthusiast who is always on the lookout for the latest fad? If you want to get that enviable toned body, anti-gravity exercises or aerial exercises are what you should be aiming for.
While they have been around for some time, especially anti-gravity yoga, there has been an increasing shift towards anti-gravity pilates as well, particularly among Bollywood celebrities. From Sushmita Sen, Malaika Arora to sports bigwigs like Virat Kohli, A-listers are embracing this challenging fitness trend in a big way.
We spoke to celebrity fitness trainer, Huzefa Lokhandwala, who boasts of a clientele that includes billionaires like Kumar Mangalam Birla, Yash Birla and Shaw Wallace’s Niranjan Thakur and here’s what he had to say.
Why should you take up anti-gravity exercises?
Anti-gravity exercises requires one to work against gravity. This engages the core to maintain the balance and move into different positions. Besides a flat stomach, it increases the strength and ability to recover from injuries faster.
How are they different from the conventional exercises?
While in a normal workout like a bench press just one single plane is used effectively, it isn’t so in anti-gravity exercises. Utilising multiple planes, the body is trained to avoid injuries – in a way improving your functional training regimen. Lokhandwala adds, “In anti-gravity workouts, the body itself is the stabiliser and even smaller muscles are brought into action while doing this.”
What are the exercises one can start out with?
Though a conventional pull up is great for functional training, an aerial improvisation can condition the body even more. Pulling the body against gravity will work more on the stabiliser muscles. Lokhandwala vouches for the ‘Reverse Hanging Pull up‘ that involves being suspended from the ceiling and hanging upside down on gymnastic rings. Here’s an instructional video.
Elevated Push up
They are performed by keeping either the hands or the legs on a higher platform than the rest of the body. Lokhandwala recommends using a four to six feet high box. Elevated push ups work the shoulder and chest muscles differently than they are used to. This builds more muscles and one can get an optimum advantage by rotating between regular incline and decline push ups.
A self-customised exercise by Lokhandwala at TrainMe, this involves lying on the floor while holding a three to four kilos medicine box and then trying to lift it up. This can be a very basic anti-gravity exercise to start with.
The ability to perform a basic squat is mandatory before you try your hand at anti-gravity workouts. Lokhandwala says that adding a jump to the squat can add to the challenge and help to condition the body for more advanced exercises.
If you’re looking to add some fun to your strenuous workout, aerial hoops can be a good choice. This requires you to manoeuvre through a suspended hoop, but you need to have clean motions, control, flexibility, balance and strength to master it.
Motivated to hit the gym? Let us know in the comments section below.