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Release Your Inner Child with Jungle Gym Fitness

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Jungle Gym Fitness - hanging bar

It’s like being a kid again. Jungle Gym Fitness allows you to relive your childhood, getting fit while playing like a child at recess.

Although the basis for Jungle Gym Fitness has been around for generations — think gymnasts, trapeze artists and circus performers — the term “Jungle Gym Fitness” hit the fitness industry in recent years. “The fitness industry has given it a name to get people’s attention and help them get back to the root of fitness,” says Tonya Gutch, Cooper Fitness Center Professional Fitness Trainer. “It’s just a new name for something we all did in elementary school; we want people to associate it with the excitement they’d feel when the recess bell rang.”

What Is It?

Jungle Gym Fitness focuses on movement through space with body weight and minimal equipment. While there is certainly a practical use for pin and plate machines at the gym, Jungle Gym Fitness is geared toward what you can do with your own body.

The human body is designed to move in all directions across various planes:

  1. sagittal plane (left and right)
  2. frontal plane (forwards and backwards)
  3. transverse plane (upper and lower)

In our sedentary culture, the body can get caught up in one plane of movement, neglecting the others and therefore increasing risk of injury.

“Jungle Gym Fitness takes you through all planes of motion. It is exercise with an integration of all muscles working together instead of isolated movements,” Gutch explains. “It’s important for our bodies to know how to move as an integrated system because there’s nothing we do in our daily lives that requires isolating one muscle group. For example, getting in and out of the car or bending down to pick up a child. Jungle Gym Fitness incorporates basic movements and prepares us to move better in our daily performance of activity.”

What are Some Examples of Jungle Gym Fitness Exercises?

Jungle Gym Fitness utilizes various exercises and motions, including the very simple action of sitting down and standing up without the use of your hands, pushups and even a basic crunch or roll up. Another example: start by lying flat on the floor, complete a log roll, stand up without using your hands and jump into the air.
Some of the minimal equipment that might be used for Jungle Gym Fitness includes the hanging bar and the dip bar as well as TRX suspension training equipment. No matter the exercise, it’s all focused on teaching your body to move and support its weight throughout various planes of motion.
Jungle Gym Fitness isn’t a replacement for machines at the gym, but “people get stuck doing machines and forget about using their whole body as the machine itself,” says Gutch. “I want people to think of their bodies as machines put into motion; training the motion of their body and not just individual muscle groups all the time. A well-rounded fitness program incorporates full-body exercises like Jungle Gym Fitness, pin and plates that isolate muscle groups, flexibility, strength and cardiovascular training.”

Although there is no specific class for Jungle Gym Fitness, it is something Gutch and other Cooper Fitness Center Professional Fitness Trainers often work into fitness routines with their clients. Jungle Gym Fitness is suited for people of all ages, from childhood to active aging. The trainer can modify the workouts to suit the individual’s specific needs and limitations.

Interested in learning more about Jungle Gym Fitness? Sign up for personal or small group training at Cooper Fitness Center today.


Article provided by Cooper Aerobics Marketing and Communications.