Pilates and Osteoporosis

The practice of physical exercises has long been indicated by doctors and other healthcare professionals. The scientific arguments for the indication are based on the evidence that physical activities contribute to delay the development of osteoporosis – an osteo metabolic disease characterized by bone demineralization (mainly calcium and vitamin D), making bones weakened and predisposed to fractures. In general terms, a healthy bone is when the amount of osteoblast production is equal to the amount of osteoclast resorption. During the aging process there is naturally an increase in osteoclast resorption and a decrease in osteoblast production, resulting in decreased bone density, making it a porous bone.


From the 1990s and early 2000s, the Pilates Method began to become popular throughout the USA as a physical activity that promotes integration between dynamic body strengthening and body awareness, with the motto ‘Body, Mind, and Spirit in Perfect Harmony’. Upon learning about the Pilates Method, health professionals began to direct their patients to the studios, as the method is an activity that has little impact on the body, and can be adapted according to each person’s limits, which makes it very safe for the elderly. It is not an exercise based on exhaustive repetition; it is based on the precision and quality of the movements, always observing breathing.



Studies show that, in the natural aging process, there is a 30% loss of bone density; especially in postmenopausal women. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, approximately 54 million Americans have low bone density or osteoporosis. Using the WHO (The World Health Organization) criteria, 30% of postmenopausal caucasian women in the US have osteoporosis and 54% have osteopenia, 14% being women aged 50-59, 22% women aged 60-69, 39% women aged 70-79, and 70% women aged 80 and older.


Stay tuned for part 2 of our Osteoporosis and Pilates blog. 

Contact us today to start your Pilates and exercise routine

Blog by Paula Manarin

Is the Pilates Reformer Good for a Beginner?

There are many options out there for strengthening the body and helping you get in the best shape, but nothing works quite like a Pilates Reformer. Zero Gravity Fitness in Ocoee, FL can provide clients with the best reformer workouts that provide dramatic changes to your body, regardless of whether it is your first time or you have used it many times before.

The reformer may sound hard, and beginners may feel like they should shy away. But it is simply a fantastic exercise device that helps us to work on core strengthening and other important Pilates moves all in one. No matter what your skill level, the reformer will help to get you toned and fit in no time.

What Is a Pilates Reformer?

The reformer has been around almost as long as Pilates itself. In fact, Joseph Pilates, the founder of this wonderful exercise routine, invented the reformer. It is simply a bed-type frame that comes with a platform, which is called the carriage, attached up to the reformer with some springs.

These springs are important because they offer the user different levels of resistance as the carriage gets pulled or pushed, depending on the exercise, along with the frame. Beginners and advanced practitioners of Pilates can adjust the reformer to help get the workout that is meant for them.

Then there is the carriage. The carriage has a few shoulder blocks that are important to keep the practitioner on the reformer rather than falling off. There is a lot of pulling or pushing of the carriage to complete the workout, and having that extra support can be a bonus.

How Can I Use the Reformer?

The neat thing about the Pilates Reformer is how versatile it is. Once the participant has received proper instruction, preferably from someone certified in Pilates, they can use this reformer for many Pilates workouts of their choice. Exercises can be performed in many ways, including standing, sitting, and lying down. It often depends on the type of movement that the user is focusing on, but all of them can work different parts of the body and provide benefits.

The goal of the reformer is to create better flexibility, balance, and strength in the user each time they complete a workout on this. This is done by working out all the different parts of the body and in many ways. Users can choose to use their legs, their arms, their core, or a combination to build strength and endurance while using the reformer.

Professional staff and certified Pilates instructions can teach users the many exercises that work well on the reformer. This makes it the perfect tool for anyone, no matter what their experience with Pilates was in the past.

Are There Benefits to Exercising With the Reformer?

There are many benefits to using the Pilates Reformer for your workout. Whether you are a beginner with Pilates, have done Pilates often, you want to add it to your workout routine, or make Pilates your main workout, the reformer can be versatile and helpful for all of your needs.

It Increases Body Strength

To start, the reformer can boost the overall body strength of the user, while improving balance, increasing coordination, and promoting flexibility. All of these positive changes in the user can lead to more efficiency and grace in the movement for that user, along with an improvement in posture. For anyone with back problems, the reformer can provide easy and natural relief.

It Helps With Range of Motion

The Pilates Reformer can also accommodate many ranges of motion. For those who struggle with certain movements, or who have had limited mobility as they age, the reformer is just the tool. It gently eases the user back into movements, increasing flexibility without causing harm or damage to muscles and tissues.

It Adds in Strength

The reformer is also a good strength routine. While we traditionally associate strength training with weights, the reformer can provide similar results without as much strain on the muscles or the need for heavy weights. The natural pulling and pushing that your arms and legs will do against the resistance springs of this device can help promote strength and strong bones.

Provides the Right Muscle Contractions

Another benefit provided by the reformer is eccentric muscle contraction. This is a process that happens when a muscle lengthens as it resists some force. The reformer can promote these contractions. Why is this important? Eccentric muscle contractions are key to getting strong and long muscles without all the bulk.

Adds in an Element of Stability

There are also several stability challenges available on the reformer, based on which resistance level the user decides to go with. This can help to provide better balance to any user while promoting overall core strength. And who doesn’t want to work on the core while preventing slips and falls along the way?

Basically, using the reformer for a workout can potentially benefit anyone who uses it. Athletes, those who have spent years in the gym, and even those just starting out can benefit from using the reformer for their fitness needs. It is simple, versatile, and can be a lot of fun compared to other workout machines.

If you are looking for a new workout that can improve balance and flexibility, reduce pain, and build strength, then contact us at Zero Gravity Fitness in Ocoee, FL today. Our certified Pilates instructions can help guide you to the right Pilates classes that fit your skill levels and can help you sign up for our Pilates Reformer class too!

How Often Should You See a Personal Trainer?

What are your fitness goals in 2020? Whether you’re looking to tone, strengthen, or become more flexible, a personal trainer can guide you through the process. Our knowledgeable, passionate staff at Zero Gravity Fitness in Ocoee, Florida is ready to help.

Why Hire a Personal Trainer?

Are you feeling lost at the gym? Not sure where to start? Need a push? That’s where a trainer comes in. Our role is to help you adopt and maintain a healthier lifestyle through exercise.

Scientific research has made it clear that frequent bouts of moderately intense physical activity can favorably impact body composition while reducing the risk of many chronic illnesses, such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and osteoporosis. Other studies have shown an improvement in mental and emotional health among those who engage in regular exercise. These benefits include greater confidence, improved mood, and a reduction in feelings of stress and anxiety.

While most of us are convinced of the benefits of exercise, many are confused—even overwhelmed—by the seemingly endless array of workout styles and methods. Others are unsure how to operate the various machines and pieces of equipment they come across in a gym or, perhaps, they’ve had a previous injury or other unpleasant experience during an exercise session.

If any of this sounds familiar, you may benefit from the knowledge and experience of a personal trainer.

What Does a Personal Trainer Offer?

People seek out trainers for different reasons, but a few of the many benefits include:


Sometimes life gets in the way. If you’ve been out of the game for a while, our training staff can provide reassurance that you’ll regain the momentum. We’ll be with you every step of the way, reminding you of the many benefits that regular exercise provides, and we’ll do our part to help you stay the course.

We all have our ups and downs, but showing up is half the battle. If you make the commitment, you can count on your trainer to provide positive reinforcement throughout the process. We’ll celebrate every extra rep, every max lift, and every personal best.

Program design

Our trainers are nationally-certified and knowledgeable about exercise physiology and biomechanics. But fitness isn’t one-size-fits-all. We’ll create a program customized to your goals, training background, injury history, and any limitations or restrictions. We don’t offer “cookie-cutter” training routines.

Periodic assessments will be made and modifications implemented, when appropriate, to ensure continued results. This way, you’ll maximize your effort at each session and get the most out of our time together.

Our trainers stay on top of the latest trends in the industry and incorporate plenty of variety to keep the workouts interesting, while also preventing training plateaus.  


Safety is our top priority. Our certified trainers will provide proper exercise instruction. We’ll monitor your form and technique on all exercises and offer appropriate feedback to minimize injury risk. We’ll never ask you to do something you feel uncomfortable with, and we’ll take a gradual approach, increasing the intensity incrementally.


We want you to succeed, and we see our role as partners in that journey. That means identifying and proactively addressing any obstacles that may hinder your progress. Communication is key here. We’ll do our best to keep you on track, but we’ll also empower you to take ownership of your body the choices you make that might impact your results.

How Often Should You See a Personal Trainer?

This will vary by individual, but most of our clients meet with their trainer several times each week. Studies have shown that those who engage in regular exercise reap more benefits than those who do so sporadically.

After an initial consultation, your personal trainer will lay out a tailored program, discuss ideal frequency, and recommend a training schedule that works for both of you.

What Are the Training Sessions Like?

Our personal training programs incorporate strength training, aerobics, pilates, and yoga. We make use of machines, free weights, and kettlebells. Variety is important to keep the workouts fresh. We’re going to push you, but we promise you’ll have some fun!

Can I Bring a Friend?

Absolutely! We offer Buddy Sessions for couples or friends who are interested in working out together with the same trainer. You may also be interested in one of our innovative group fitness classes, such as Russian Kettlebell, Superflex, or Barre Fusion.

How Do I Know If It’s For Me?

Personal training is for anyone who wants to make the most of their time in the gym. A personal trainer can give you the confidence to know that you’re exercising in the safest, most effective manner.

We train a wide range of clients: young and old, male and female, beginners and those who consider themselves more advanced. Our trainers work with those interested in general fitness, as well as those populations with more defined goals, such as athletes in need of sport-specific training and individuals rehabbing an injury.

How Do I Get Started?

Whether you’ve never stepped foot in a gym or fitness studio or whether you’re looking to take your training (or physique) to the next level, a personal trainer can provide the structure and support you need. We offer a comfortable, non-judgemental, and unintimidating workout space.

Call Zero Gravity Fitness in Ocoee, Florida today at (407) 654-2600 to speak with a staff member about our personal training services and for pricing information.

What Makes Prenatal Pilates Different?

Exercise is one of the best things you can do for the health of you and your unborn child. But there’s a lot of misinformation regarding the safety of exercise during pregnancy. At Zero Gravity Fitness in Ocoee, FL, we’d like to talk about what makes prenatal pilates different and how it can benefit you.

What Makes Prenatal Pilates Different?

Prenatal pilates primarily differs from “traditional” pilates in that it focuses on the transverse abdominis. The transverse abdominis is the deep layer of muscles that support your entire core from back to front and around your sides. Essentially, these muscles corset your waist.

Prenatal Pilates is primarily about building and reinforcing the muscles supporting your core. Traditional pilates focuses on strengthening the muscles responsible for abdominal contraction. Pilates designed for pregnant women prepares them for labor and delivery by emphasizing the connection between mind and body and deep breathing.

What to Expect During the First Trimester

Most expecting mothers feel nauseous, fatigued, and lethargic during the first three months of pregnancy. However, this isn’t an excuse to sit in your recliner and eat peanut butter and pickle sandwiches. Rather, it is the perfect reason to practice prenatal pilates.

During your first trimester, there are no restrictions regarding your exercise routine. The biggest thing you have to worry about is listening to your body. Pilates during the first trimester is incredibly reinvigorating, and you may push yourself too far in excitement. Work on breathing and stability, choosing lighter tension for leg and arm work.

What to Expect During the Second Trimester

During your second trimester, you can expect to feel incredibly energetic, but it is okay if you sometimes only feel like you have “normal” energy levels. We all experience pregnancy differently. But you will definitely feel more energy than you had during your first trimester.

Specially designed pilates during this trimester will focus on seated, standing, and side-lying exercises. Most women feel uncomfortable exercising on their stomach at this point, and you should limit back exercises, particularly forward flexion. Such exercises may compress your aorta and inferior vena cava, causing dizziness.

What to Expect During the Third Semester

During the third trimester, most women start to feel anxious. First-time mothers, in particular, are worried about what the labor experience will be like and how well they will care for their first child. This is the best time for you to relax, breathe deeply, and perform pilates specifically designed to accommodate the shape of your body.

Pilates during your third trimester will primarily focus on standing exercises with a fairly wide, turned-out stance to accommodate your larger belly. Moreover, it will incorporate chest and back stretching to ease back pain caused by breasts that seem to never stop growing.

What to Expect After Delivery

Caring for a baby is an often overwhelming experience. Particularly if you’re struggling to sleep at night, taking care of yourself is more important now than ever. After all, how can you care for your little one if you can’t care for yourself, first? There will be days you feel like you can’t tear yourself away from your infant to exercise.

However, we strongly encourage our clients to participate in weekly postnatal pilates sessions. These sessions focus on common postpartum issues, like shoulder tension and extreme lower back pain. The deep breathing implemented in these sessions will ground you, energize you, and provide you with a clear head so you can take better care of your child.

What Other Benefits Are Provided By Pilates?

Learn How to Listen to Your Body

We seem to be born with the innate ability to listen to our bodies. Children never push themselves to the point of injury when they are playing. It isn’t until they get older and feel the need to compete that they injure themselves during physical activity. Pilates during pregnancy teaches you how to release your competitive attitude and listen to your body.

If you feel particularly nauseous lying on your back during the first month of pregnancy, don’t do it. If you feel fine lying on your stomach when you are seven months pregnant, that’s okay, too. We all experience pregnancy differently. Don’t push yourself when you feel fatigued and try to not let yourself feel thirsty. Connecting with your intuition will improve your quality of life drastically.

Strengthen Your Mind and Body

A major component of pilates during pregnancy is deep breathing. Deep breathing grounds and centers you, allowing you to think more rationally than you ever have, even with the flood of hormones rushing through your body. This breathing technique can be used at any time and will help you through any emotional time you’re having.

Moreover, pilates during pregnancy helps you learn how to balance throughout your daily life as you feel off-kilter due to your growing, changing body. It strengthens supporting muscles to prevent or ease pain, and the breathing techniques make delivery easier.

Learn More Today

Would you like to learn more about prenatal pilates? If so, we can help. To learn more, contact us today at Zero Gravity Fitness in Ocoee, FL to schedule your initial consultation. For your safety and comfort, we focus on low-impact exercises and omit exercises that will reduce blood flow to your fetus.

We will walk you through exercises that are safe for you and your baby, regardless of your current stage of pregnancy. When your little one is born, we can help you with postnatal pilates, too!

Pilates Classes FAQs: How Many Times a Week Should I Do Pilates?

Establishing an exercise routine that includes Pilates classes is an excellent thing to do for your health. People who practice Pilates regularly enjoy a variety of benefits, including greater core strength and better posture. Like all forms of exercise, Pilates has the best results if it is practiced consistently. At Zero Gravity Fitness in Ocoee, FL, we recommend two to four times per week.

The Goal of Regular Pilates Classes

Some people think that only professional athletes and dancers use Pilates, but it can actually benefit just about everyone. This form of exercise was developed in the 19th century by a German named Joseph Pilates who did extensive research to design his system. His goal was to create a series of exercises that would strengthen the body, focus the mind, and alleviate health problems.

Today, millions of people all around the world are enjoying the benefits of regular Pilates classes. These benefits include:

  • Stronger muscles throughout the core
  • Better posture
  • Better balance
  • Greater mental focus
  • Improved health
  • A more flexible body
  • Less back pain

How Often Should You Practice Pilates?

The best Pilates schedule is one that will fit in with your weekly routine and support your fitness goals. Here are three options for your practice:

Four Times Per Week

Joseph Pilates himself suggested practicing Pilates four times per week. He writes about the benefits of this schedule in his book, Return to Life Through Contrology [Pilates]. Today, his recommendation still holds true. To get a good Pilates workout, you can either take a full mat class or do a session with equipment. People who work out like this four times a week build strong muscles and can steadily increase the intensity of the exercises.

Two or Three Times Per Week

Not everyone can fit four Pilates workouts into their schedule every week, and some people would prefer to spend the time focusing on other forms of exercise. Not to worry: Pilates is extremely effective when it’s done two or three times per week.

Every Day

If you are very enthusiastic about Pilates and want to do it every day, you can create an effective routine that varies the intensity of your practice. For example, you might want to do two group reformer classes, two private sessions, and a few short at-home workouts every week.

Just don’t forget that Pilates is a strength-building form of exercise that needs to be supplemented with aerobic work. Sometimes, it’s better to trade a Pilates day for a twenty-minute run or a group Superflex class.

Who Can Benefit From Pilates?

Pilates classes improve the fitness level of newbies and professional athletes alike. If you want to begin exercising for the first time in your life, it is a great way to start. You will learn effective exercises and how to do them safely. If you are already involved in an intense activity of some kind, training at our studio will support your body and strengthen it in ways that enhance your performance. Our classes are a great option for everyone in between, too.

How Much Time Should You Spend Training?

Pilates classes are offered in several different lengths. Our group classes are 55 to 60 minutes long. For private sessions, you can choose either a half-hour or a full hour. Training between 30 and 60 minutes allows you to challenge your body and practice a variety of exercises without becoming strained. After class, you should feel a positive sense of well-being that comes from a great workout.

Will Pilates Become Boring if You Do It Often?

Definitely not! Joseph Pilates actually developed this form of exercise to engage the mind. There are 25-50 exercises that you can mix up, and our instructors will always give you new ways to challenge yourself. Beginners start less intensely and build up to a greater level of difficulty.

How Can These Classes Be Part of an Effective Exercise Routine?

Pilates is a strength-building form of exercise. The ideal fitness regime includes both strength training and cardio. At Zero Gravity, we can help you set up a schedule that will get you in the best shape of your life by meeting all your exercise needs. You can work on Pilates several times per week and do cardio on the other days. Most experts recommend at least one day of rest. Here are some classes that you can take alternately with Pilates:

  • Barre Fusion
  • Russian Kettlebell
  • Superflex
  • Yoga

Come Join Us for Pilates

A consistent Pilates practice will make you strong and healthy. It has helped people all over the world build strength, gain flexibility, and stay focused on fitness. With the right routine, these benefits can be yours, too. We care about your results, and we will help you do the exercises correctly.

When you come into our fitness studio, we will evaluate your current state of health and recommend the amount of training that is right for you. By practicing Pilates with us two to four times a week, you will feel great both in class and in your other activities. Try Pilates at Zero Gravity Fitness in Ocoee, FL. Our approach to training will give you exceptional fitness benefits to support your healthy lifestyle.

What Muscles Do Russian Kettlebell Swings Work?

Kettlebell swings, particularly of the Russian variety, are an incredibly effective and efficient way to sculpt your body, offering a whole-body workout in just one fluid movement. But do you know which muscles are specifically targeted by this exercise? The answer might surprise you!

This full-body exercise empowers various muscle groups, firming up your glutes, hamstrings, hips, core, and the stabilizing muscles in your shoulders and back. This article aims to dissect the anatomy of the Russian Kettlebell Swing, giving you a detailed understanding of how this powerful tool can help shape and tone your body. So why wait? Read on to elevate your fitness understanding to new heights!

Origin of Kettlebell Swings

The practice of swinging a kettlebell originated in Russia in the 1700s. It began as a way for farmworkers to weigh crops but was eventually adopted by the Russian military as a strength training technique. The traditional kettlebell swing variations were brought to the limelight in the West by Pavel Tsatsouline, a fitness instructor from the former Soviet Union who is often credited as the father of the modern kettlebell swing muscles training movement. Tsatsouline’s approach emphasizes functional, high-intensity workouts, which fit perfectly with the versatility and accessibility of kettlebell swings.

Russian Kettlebell swings, as we know them today, are a testament to this centuries-old exercise tradition, embodying the principles of efficiency and full-body engagement. They offer an effective workout that can be done with minimal equipment, making them a popular choice among fitness enthusiasts, athletes, and military personnel worldwide.

Origin of kettlebell swings

What Muscles Do KB Swings Work?

The Russian kettlebell swing is a compound exercise that simultaneously works for multiple muscle groups. But what muscles do kb swings work on? Here are a few:


The Quadriceps are the four large muscles on the front of your thigh. They’re responsible for extending the knee, so you target this muscle group when you swing a kettlebell back and forth. When your knees bend while swinging the kettlebell, your quadriceps kick in to help them straighten again during each swing. Strengthening this muscle group helps to improve stability and mobility, improving your performance in activities such as running and jumping.


The Hamstrings are the three muscles located on the back of your thigh. These muscles facilitate knee flexion or bending, so they’re often targeted when swinging a kettlebell. As you swing the kettlebell back and forth, you work on bending and straightening your knees, engaging the hamstrings with each move. Strengthening these muscles can help improve explosive athletic performance, aiding in activities such as sprinting and jumping.


The glutes comprise three muscles at the rear of your body – Gluteus Maximus, Gluteus Medius, and Gluteus Minimus. These muscles are activated with a single-arm kettlebell swing. As you drive your hip hinge movement forward with each swing, these three muscles engage to help propel you forward. Stronger glutes can improve speed and power, making them ideal for athletes who rely on explosive movements such as sprinting or jumping.

Core Muscles

What muscles do kb siwngs work?

The core muscles, which include the abdominal and lower back muscles, are engaged when you swing a kettlebell. As you drive your hips forward with each swing, these muscles help to stabilize your body by controlling movement in your torso and spine. Strengthening your core can improve posture, reduce the risk of injury and improve balance, essential skills for any athlete.

Forearms & Grip Strength

Swings with a heavy kettlebell put immense pressure on your grip strength, engaging your forearms with each twist and turn. This helps to improve strength in the forearm muscles, improving your ability to grip a bar or a weight. This training especially benefits athletes who rely on strong grip strength, such as rock climbers and gymnasts.

Shoulders & Arms

Your shoulders and arms engage with each move when you swing a kettlebell. During the alternating kettlebell swing phase, the biceps and triceps contract to slow down the speed of the kettlebell as it reaches its apex. In the front swing phase, these muscles accelerate the bell’s momentum forward. This key engagement strengthens muscles in your arms and shoulders, improving overall strength.

Factors to Consider When Performing Kettlebell Swings

There are a few key factors to consider when using kettlebells for strength training. Here are a few tips to ensure you are doing the exercises safely and effectively:

Start Slow

Beginning your kettlebell journey, adopting a steady, measured approach is crucial. Rushing into intensive workouts with heavy weights can lead to injury and burnout. Start with lighter weights and simple exercises to familiarize yourself with the technique and rhythm of the movements.

For example, initiate your practice with a lighter kettlebell and perfect the basic swing. As you become comfortable with the motion and your body adapts to the new form of exercise, you can gradually increase the weight and complexity of the exercises. Remember, strength and stamina are built over time, not overnight. Taking the requisite time to establish a strong foundation in your kettlebell training ensures that you are setting yourself up for long-term success, reducing the risk of posterior chain injuries and allowing you to experience the full spectrum of benefits that kettlebell training offers.

Listen to Your Body

Factors to conside when perfoming kettlebell swings

Paying attention to your body’s signals during kettlebell workouts is paramount. Everyone has physical capabilities and pain thresholds, so respecting that is crucial. For instance, if your muscles are aching after a lengthy session, it might be your body’s way of telling you that it needs rest, which is an integral part of muscle recovery and growth. Overlooking these signals could lead to unnecessary strain or injury.

Taking a short break can help prevent mental fatigue, keeping your motivation high. Just like in our daily lives, where we take a breather when overwhelmed by tasks incorporating rest intervals in your workout can enhance performance and productivity. If you feel too sore after a workout, maybe it’s time to dial down the intensity or take a day or two off. Remember, persistent pain is not the sign of a good workout. Understanding and respecting your body’s limits play a significant role in maintaining a long-term and beneficial relationship with kettlebell training without compromising your health.

Maximize Your Movement Efficiency

The goal with kettlebells is to maximize your movement efficiency to target the desired muscle groups and improve your performance effectively. Efficient movements mean having complete control over the weight during each repetition. Swinging a heavy kettlebell requires strength and control. Remaining mindful of the weight and keeping it close to your feet shoulder width apart throughout the motion is important.

If you want to maximize proper form for your muscles, be sure to take slower movements while keeping a uniform rhythm. Establishing good technique will help you target the right muscles and avoid injuries caused by incorrect technique or hasty movements. Also, don’t forget to keep your core engaged throughout the entire motion. This will help protect your spine and provide greater movement stability.

Move with Intention

To get the most out of your kettlebell weight swings, it’s important to have intention behind each movement. Every rep should be done purposefully; one wrong move can destroy your entire form. Each repetition should also be approached like its own session. Rely on cues such as “squeezing the shoulder blades” or “engaging the core” to ensure each repetition positively impacts your technique.

Ultimately, the number of reps or sets doesn’t matter as much as how well you perform each one. Move with purpose and intent, and challenge yourself to improve with every rep. If you can stick to this mentality, you’ll be able to reap all the benefits of kettlebell swings while protecting your body.

Add Variety to Your Workouts

No one type of exercise can do it all, including kettlebell swings. Adding other movements, such as lunges, squats, presses, and pulls, will help you target additional muscle groups and improve your overall strength and performance. You can also vary the intensity of your kettlebell swings; try adding a heavier weight for more advanced moves, or perform single-arm variations to work each side of your body separately. These modifications can help you keep your workout fresh and interesting while still getting maximum benefit from each set.

Benefits of Russian Kettlebell Swings

Kettlebell swings have numerous benefits. Below are some of the most notable:

Improve Core Strength

Russian Kettlebell swings are a tremendous workout for fortifying your core muscles. The core, which includes your abs, obliques, and lower back, is involved in almost every movement your body makes, from mundane tasks like picking up a laundry basket to more strenuous activities like lifting heavy objects. When performing the kettlebell swing, swinging the weight forward and backward requires significant core engagement.

This is due to the ballistic nature of the swing, which challenges both dynamic (movement-based) and isometric (static) core strength. Think about the core contraction needed to keep your body stable as the kettlebell swings upward; similarly, when the weight swings back down, your core muscles must work overtime to resist the pull and prevent your back from rounding. With regular practice, kettlebell swings can significantly enhance your core strength and stability, benefiting your performance in other exercises, sports, and everyday activities.

Increase Cardiovascular Endurance

Cardiovascular endurance is essential for all forms of physical activity, and kettlebell swings can help you develop this important fitness element. The swing movement is high-intensity and requires significant energy output, soaring your heart rate with each repetition. Just a few rounds of kettlebell swings will get your blood pumping and improve your cardiorespiratory fitness.

The kettlebell swing is also a great exercise for interval training, as you can alternate between vigorous swings and rest intervals to challenge yourself and improve both aerobic capacity and anaerobic threshold, the point at which your body begins to produce lactic acid in response to exertion. The result? More endurance, better performance, and higher energy levels.

Train for Explosive Strength and Power

Kettlebell swings are among the most effective exercises for developing explosive strength, power, coordination, and agility. The swing is a full-body exercise that engages your hips, glutes, hamstrings, core muscles, lats, traps, triceps, and shoulders. You can target the fast-twitch muscle fibers responsible for explosive movements like sprinting or jumping by focusing on speed and aggression.

Moreover, kettlebell swings require excellent coordination, timing, and weight trajectory control to maximize power output. As such, they are a great tool for improving athleticism, making them invaluable for strength athletes who need to be fast and powerful.

Improve Mobility and Flexibility

The kettlebell swing increases mobility, flexibility, and overall body awareness. The movement stretches your hamstrings, lats, hip flexors, and even your shoulders to some degree. It also helps you improve t-spine rotation and hip extension, two essential elements of effective athletic performance.

Furthermore, kettlebell swings require you to move in all three planes of motion frontal, sagittal, and transverse which helps increase body awareness and coordination. This is especially important for athletes who need to be agile and quick on their feet.

Increase Calorie Burn

Kettlebell swings are great for burning calories and losing fat. Because the swing is a full-body movement that engages large muscle groups, it can help you burn more calories than other exercises in less time. The dynamic power of the swing also helps boost your metabolism, leading to even more fat loss over time. And since kettlebells are relatively light compared to barbells, they’re also a great tool for high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts.

Moreover, kettlebell swings can help you build muscle mass as well. This is because the exercise targets both the fast- and slow-twitch muscle fibers, which helps promote muscle growth and strength gains. So kettlebell swings are a great choice if your goal is to burn fat and build muscle.

Things To Avoid When Doing Kettlebell Swings

What Muscles Do Russian Kettlebell Swings Work?

It’s important to note that kettlebell swings can be dangerous if not done correctly. Here are tips for avoiding injury when doing kettlebell swings:

Keep Your Back Straight When Doing Kettlebell Swings

A straight back is fundamental during kettlebell swings, the cornerstone for avoiding injury and ensuring the exercise is performed effectively. Maintaining a straight back can’t be stressed enough, as it supports good posture and promotes correct biomechanics during the swing. Imagine your body being an unyielding plank; everything should be sturdy, straight from your head down to your buttocks.

When performing the swing, it’s essential to hinge at the hips, maintaining a neutral spine rather than slumping or hyperextending your back. Picture yourself in a deadlift position, where your back, from your shoulders to your tailbone, is straight, and your chest is up. This technique allows your glutes and hamstrings, rather than your lower back, to bear the brunt of the force, thereby minimizing the risk of injury. If you’re doing it right, you’ll feel the burn in your glutes and hamstrings, not your lower back.

Always Keep Your Kettlebell Close To You

Keeping your kettlebell close to your body is another crucial safety tip. The further the kettlebell travels from your body, the more strain it places on your lower back and shoulders, increasing the risk of injury. When starting the swing, position the kettlebell close to you, between your feet, and only a few inches in front of your toes.

This allows for a shorter lever arm, reducing the strain on your back and enhancing the efficiency of the exercise. As you swing, envision the kettlebell as an extension of your torso, maintaining control over its momentum and direction. During the upward phase of the swing, the kettlebell should rise no higher than your chest level to ensure it remains within your control.

Remember, the key to a safe and effective kettlebell swing is less about how high the kettlebell flies and more about the explosive power you generate from your hip hinge. Holding the kettlebell too far away from your body compromises the exercise’s effectiveness and poses a safety risk, so always keep it close and controlled.

Don’t Forget To Breath

It’s easy to forget about your breathing while doing kettlebell swings, especially if you’re focusing on proper form, but it’s important not to forget! Breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth as you swing helps to oxygenate your body and adds power to your movements. This will help ensure that all your muscles work together in unison, allowing you to get the most out of each repetition.


The Russian kettlebell swing is an incredibly powerful and dynamic exercise that targets many muscle groups, offering a comprehensive workout. Keeping the kettlebell close to your body, maintaining control over its momentum, and focusing on the explosive power generated from your hip hinge are all crucial elements to executing this exercise effectively and safely. Just as important, however, is remembering to breathe correctly. This oxygenates your muscles and adds power to your movements, helping you maximize the benefits of each repetition.

But, like all exercises, it is essential to understand and follow the correct techniques to avoid injury and get the most out of your workout. Remember, exercise is about pushing your body to its limits and learning and growth. So, the next time you pick up that kettlebell, stay aware of your body, focus on your form, and swing with purpose!

What Are the Benefits of Fitness Training?

One of the most important things in life is to have a healthy body, especially as we grow older. You will enjoy your life more if you are in great physical shape. There is no better way to maintain a healthy physical shape than through fitness training. Fitness training is a combination of regular physical exercises and a healthy diet. Besides giving you the body you want, fitness training also prolongs your life and provides you with some mental benefits. Here are 9 physical and mental benefits of fitness training at Zero Gravity Fitness in Ocoee, FL:

Benefits of Fitness Training

1. Improves Your Brain Power

Regular exercise and an appropriate diet boost your mental functions. The increase of energy levels experienced during an exercise routine boosts the production of serotonin in the brain, which is one of the chemicals responsible for mental clarity. This improves your productivity at home or at work.

2. Prevents Disease

Over the years, health professionals have observed that regular physical activity helps to reduce the risk of certain diseases, such as high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, osteoporosis, arthritis, and loss of muscle mass. Since regular exercise strengthens the muscles and joints, it reduces the chance of experiencing the pains and aches associated with physical inactivity and old age. When practiced in moderation, physical exercises will boost your immune system, helping you to fight off common illnesses.

3. Good for Relaxation and Quality Sleep

When you exercise, you spend a lot of energy which the body needs to replenish later. This normally happens when you are asleep. You fall into a deep sleep to allow your body to activate the recuperative processes which replenish the energy you spent while exercising.

If you exercise moderately or vigorously for 150 minutes every week, you may see up to 65% improvement in sleep quality. 16 weeks of regular exercise can improve the quality of your sleep significantly, allowing you to sleep longer and more deeply. Regular exercise also improves the sleep quality of elderly people suffering from sleep disorders.

4. Improves Your Mood

Regular physical activity boosts your mood and reduces feelings of stress, depression and anxiety. Fitness training improves brain functions that control stress and anxiety. It also improves the brain’s response to serotonin and norepinephrine, which are vital in fighting feelings of depression. Regular exercise also boosts the production of endorphins which are responsible for positive feelings and the reduction of our perception of pain. Additionally, exercise also reduces anxiety symptoms by helping victims to be more aware of their condition and by offering distraction from their fears.

5. Increases Your Energy Levels

Whether you are healthy or you are suffering from a medical condition, regular exercise will do wonders for your energy levels. Exercising for at least 6 weeks has been known to reduce feelings of fatigue in people suffering from persistent fatigue. Additionally, regular exercise helps to improve the energy levels of people with chronic fatigue syndrome and other serious medical conditions, such as HIV, cancer and multiple sclerosis.

6. Good for Your Skin

When your body experiences high oxidative stress, your skin pays the price. Oxidative stress occurs when antioxidant defenses are unable to protect the cells from the damage caused by free radicals. This damages the internal structures of skin cells leading to unhealthy skin. Vigorous and intense physical exercise can cause oxidative stress. However, regular moderate fitness training boosts the production of natural antioxidants in your body, which helps to protect the skin cells. Furthermore, exercise improves blood flow and promotes skin cell adaptations that slow down signs of aging. 

7. Reduces Pain

Chronic pain can negatively affect the quality of your life. For a long time, health professionals and other experts believed that rest and inactivity were good solutions for chronic pain. However, recent studies have proved otherwise. Regular exercise relieves the chronic pain associated with several medical conditions such as fibromyalgia, chronic low back pain and chronic soft tissue shoulder disorder among others. Fitness training also raises your pain tolerance and reduces your perception of pain.

8. Improves Your Sex Life

Regular exercise improves blood flow, strengthens your cardiovascular system, helps tone your muscles, increases your energy levels and improves your flexibility. All these factors contribute to a better sex life. Fitness training also improves your confidence in your physical appearance, which can play a big role in your sex life. Regular exercise can increase arousal in women, and constant physical activity can reduce cases of erectile dysfunction in men.

9. Good for Your Muscles and Bones

When combined with proper protein intake, regular exercise involving weight lifting helps in muscle building. Exercising improves the ability of your muscles to absorb amino acids. This reduces their breakdown and boosts their growth. In old age, many people lose muscle mass and function, leading to injuries and sometimes disability.

Therefore, elderly people are advised to exercise regularly to avoid muscle loss and to maintain their strength. Younger people are advised to exercise regularly to build bone density and to reduce the risk of suffering from osteoporosis later in life.


The mental and physical benefits of fitness training programs cannot be overstated. Visit us at Zero Gravity Fitness in Ocoee, FL for more information on how you can start a fitness program that will improve the quality of your life in ways you never thought possible.

Yoga Classes for Beginners: What Should You Expect?

Yoga classes can be a little intimidating for beginners. Many people feel that they are not flexible enough to hold the poses, which seem so difficult. The good news is that yoga is actually very accessible to everyone, whatever their fitness and skill levels. For beginners, it is important to find a studio, like Zero Gravity Fitness in Ocoee, FL, where you can feel comfortable and interact easily with instructors and other students.

Introducing Yoga: Harmonizing Mind And Body

Yoga is much more than physical fitness or impossible shapes to twist your body into. It’s an ancient practice developed India to bring mind and body into harmony and to promote overall wellbeing. Yoga has many physical and health benefits, such as improving flexibility and mobility, boosting metabolism and blood circulation, and providing mental focus.

Who Can Do Yoga?

One of the best things about yoga is that it is for everyone. You don’t have to be a gymnast or professional athlete to get started. No matter what your fitness and skill level, you can find a class that is right for you. There are also special yoga classes for seniors, for people recovering from injuries or accidents and for athletes. Most yoga poses and classes can be adapted for nearly everyone.

Yoga is a practice and not an event. Some teachers describe it as a journey, and a personal journey at that. You don’t have to be perfect on Day One and every single day after. What’s important is how you and your body respond to the poses and how you slowly gain control over body, mind and breath. This is the first step in gaining control over your life and goals.

Types Of Yoga

You’ll find that different studios offer many kinds of yoga classes. The variety and terminology can be a little confusing, and it helps to have an idea of what are the different styles of yoga are like.


Hatha yoga is best for beginners. It is the classic style of yoga accessible to everyone and teaches the poses that can become the basis for other styles of yoga.


Yin, or restorative yoga, promotes flexibility and muscle relaxation.

Specialty Yogas

For building strength, you can choose Vinyasa flow yoga, or power or Ashtanga yoga. Bikram or hot yoga gives you a cardio workout, while Kundalini focuses on the spiritual side of yoga. Many studios also offer small group classes for specific types of yoga, for seniors or for those recovering from injuries.

As you progress further with your practice, you may find yourself drawn more and more to the philosophical and spiritual principles underlying yoga, and also focus on meditation. Many yoga students, in fact, go on to become teachers of the practice.

Starting Yoga Classes: What to Expect

With all the different types of yoga classes offers by various studios, how do you choose the one that’s right for you? Most yoga studios offer free consultations and free trial classes so you can get a feel for the surroundings, the instructors, and the other students. This is an important step because you should feel comfortable in the environment.

Yoga classes are typically offered in progression so you can build up your skills levels. Skill levels for each class are clearly defined, and instructors can help you make sure you’re enrolled in the right class. Many studios also offer other programs like lectures, healthy meals, discussions and mediation groups.

Beginners soon find that yoga is also very much about community, and most studios have a round of events to help students ease into the culture. These may include meditation, music, ceremonies and readings.

Your First Yoga Class

By now we hope you’re looking forward to your first yoga class and wondering how to prepare for it. You don’t need any special clothing so long as your clothes are loose-fitting and allow free movement. To start with, you’ll only need two pieces of equipment – a yoga mat and a towel.

There are a wide variety of yoga mats available, and you should pick one that provides cushioning and support as well as a good grip and stability. This can help reduce injuries due to pulled muscles or loss of balance. A towel is useful to dry off sweat so you don’t slip during poses.


Even at the beginners’ level, mediation is an important part of the practice. Most yoga sessions begin with a sun salutation, which sets the intention. Beginners’ classes start with simple poses, and you can work at your own pace. Classes usually end with the relaxation pose. At the end of each session, too, there is a brief period of meditation to transition back to the everyday world.

The instructor will help you work on your form because holding a pose correctly provides the maximum benefits. Two things you have to focus on during each pose are your breathing and the position of your back muscles. It’s important to communicate with your instructor through each class so you can get the most out of each session.

Getting Started With The First Consultation

Though it might appear intimidating, yoga is for everyone. As you deepen your practice, you’ll find that you have more energy, more mental focus, and an overall feeling of well being that overflows into other areas of your life. Now that you’re ready to begin yoga classes, it’s time to call Zero Gravity Fitness in Ocoee, FL to schedule a free initial consultation.

10 Fitness Benefits of Yoga

Yoga can be an incredible tool for athletes to use to increase their mobility, strength, and overall performance. But, that’s not all yoga does. It can even help with weight loss, provides your body protection from injury, and can improve your mind-body connection: all things that any athlete needs to keep themselves at the top of their game. At Zero Gravity Fitness in Ocoee, FL our yoga classes can take your performance to the next level.

Top 10 Benefits of Yoga

1. Increases Flexibility & Mobility

We all know that yoga increases your flexibility almost instantly. Regularly working through bendy, stretchy poses will gradually loosen up your muscles and give you more room to freely move. Even impossible poses will become second nature to you as you power through consistent yoga classes.

If you’re an athlete that isn’t too keen on stretching, you’re severely limiting your body’s range of motion, which will hinder your overall performance. Yoga poses that focus on increasing mobility can help you boost your performance and give you an edge over your competitors. So, even if you never want to be able to bend your legs behind your head, increasing your flexibility through consistent yoga classes is a great way to have well-rounded strength and mobility.

2. Builds Strength & Endurance

We all know the familiar burn after holding a plank for a few seconds, but try doing that multiple times within one short yoga class. Yoga may look like a delicate practice, but don’t let that fool you.

Yoga is one of the best ways to build both strength and endurance. Headstands and planks are key moves in many yoga sequences and both build incredible strength in your core. Many yoga poses use bodyweight exercises to give you a different kind of workout and strength than just lifting weights alone would.

3. Provides Protection From Injury

Tight hamstrings or hip flexors are a surefire way to find yourself injured playing sports or lifting weights. By balancing out your athletic performance with flexibility, you’re increasing your body’s ability to move freely, which decreases your risk of injury.

Nobody wants to waste valuable training time healing a torn hamstring, and keeping your muscles flexible and pliable will help you prevent that. Plus, a regular yoga practice even helps prevent cartilage and joint breakdown by regularly stretching and lubricating the joints.

4. Helps With Weight Loss & Boosts Metabolism

Yoga is an excellent way to lose weight, especially for people who are experiencing chronic pain or are recovering from an injury. Yoga is low impact and won’t aggravate your joints as running would, plus it builds well-rounded strength that will give your body a nice, lean appearance.

5. Boosts Athletic Performance

If you have hit a plateau with your training or performance, try incorporating yoga classes into your training schedule. Yoga uniquely challenges your body for a different strength-building experience and can have a positive effect on your athletic performance. If you struggle with a limited range of motion, yoga can help keep you quick on your feet.

6. Supports the Body’s Natural Healing Process

By increasing the body’s circulation, regular yoga practices helps keep the lymphatic system draining properly, which stimulates your body to naturally fight infection. It also increases the number of red blood cells that are available to the cells, which will help keep freshly-oxygenated blood flowing to every cell in your body.

7. Increases Mind-Body Connection

Yoga builds strength in not just your body, but your mind too. The goal of any yoga practice is to harmonize the mind, body, and spirit of the body to work seamlessly together as one. Yoga can teach you how to listen to your body and improve your mind-body connection. This can be especially helpful for weight lifters looking to activate certain muscles or athletes who need more body awareness on the court.

For an athlete, there is probably nothing more important than a strong mind-body connection. Having control and mindful awareness of your body will keep your performance at its best. Plus, it can help you deal with high-pressure situations with mindfulness and strength, rather than letting it frazzle you and throw you off your game.

8. Stress Reduction

Weight lifters know that cortisol can kill gains and keep stubborn fat from budging. Spikes in cortisol can harm your performance by throwing off your body’s natural homeostasis. When your body is in a state of stress, it tends to store fat in the midsection and inhibit your body’s ability to fully recover. Yoga helps calm your mind by allowing you to practice mindfulness and awareness.

Ancient yogis teach their students that the goal of yoga is to train both the body and the mind. So if you are someone that struggles with overwhelming feelings of stress, yoga can teach you valuable tools you can use to alleviate that burden on yourself. Let’s face it, daily stressors aren’t going anywhere in our modern, chaotic worlds, but we can learn to deal with them in healthy ways to improve both our athletic performance and mental strength.

9. Improves Sleep Quality

Rest is one of the most important things to do following a big workout. All the work you did in the gym needs time to assimilate into your body, and the muscle-building process happens when you’re resting. However, if you’re not able to get the proper rest between big workouts, you’re missing out on your maximum gains.

10. Keeps Your Spine Flexible

A flexible spine is a happy spine! While backbends may not feel natural to you if you don’t regularly practice them, they are an excellent way to stretch your body and can improve lousy posture and increase a limited range of motion in tight backs. Backbends are a great way to keep your spine moving and keep your disks nicely lubricated.

Painful conditions, such as degenerative disk disease, can happen when there isn’t enough movement happening in the spine, which dries out the disks, causing pain. Starting a regular yoga practice now that keeps your spine bending is a great way to avoid injury and pain in the future.


Yoga can help boost your performance with a regular yoga practice and keep your body feeling its best. Check out Zero Gravity Fitness in Ocoee, FL today to learn how their yoga classes can boost your athletic performance.

How to Lose Weight the Right Way

The struggle to lose weight is real. There are many people who try and try again to lose weight but aren’t successful because they don’t have the knowledge or experience needed to create the right routine for them. Cutting back on your calories dramatically and limiting what you eat isn’t always enough to reach your goals. Exercise is crucial as well.

Determine Your Caloric Needs

Most people don’t know that their body actually needs a certain number of calories each day in order to function properly. You need to be sure that you get a majority of your calories from healthy, nutrient rich foods. You need to have an eating regimen that properly fuels your body, satisfies your cravings and creates habits you can use for the rest of your life. You don’t want to limit yourself so much that you can’t stick with your new way of eating for years to come.

Determine Your Workout Routine

You need to workout in order to lose as much weight as you can as quickly as you can. Being afraid to do weight training because you think that there is a chance that you could bulk up isn’t a good idea. You need to use weight, as well as cardio training, in order to get a great body because they both burn calories, but weight training continues to burn calories long after you put the weights down. You need to learn which exercises are best for your particular place in life. Pushing yourself to do things that your body isn’t ready to do can cause you to be injured or demotivated during your weight loss process.

Determine What Motivates You the Most

In order to lose weight, you have to stay motivated. Many people are motivated for their first few weeks of the new exercise routine but lose motivation rather quickly when they aren’t able to see changes quickly. We can help you to track changes that may not always be visible on the scale, such as noticing changes in skills and abilities. This can help you to stay motivated so you keep pushing to reach your goals.

Reach out to the team at Zero Gravity Fitness to get started on your weight loss journey. We will be able to tell you more information about which fitness routines are best for you. Contact us today to speak with a team member in Ocoee, FL.

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