Cardio vs Musculo

By on November 14, 2013

Cardiovascular exercise and Musculoskeletal exercise are two very different forms of exercise that you need to understand to really be healthy.

Cardiovascular (Cardio) exercise improves the strength of your heart, the capacity of your lungs and the efficiency of both your respiratory and vascular systems. It generates a stronger internal flow of nutrients and is clinically proven to reduce stress and make you think and feel better. Forms of cardio include, but are not limited to: running, cycling, hiking, swimming, jogging, boxing, jump rope, walking and cardio classes like Tai Bo and intense training regimens like Insanity and PX90.

While all of these styles are good for the internal flow of your body and are generally for weight loss and the goal of achieving 6-pack abs, many can have a detrimental effect on the soft tissue and joints of your body. That is why it is terribly important to understand the differences and benefits of Musculoskeletal exercise!

Musculoskeletal exercise improves the conditioning of your muscles, tendons, joints, bones and the soft tissue connections between them all. This makes you stronger, more flexible, better balanced, more responsive and less likely to fall (and less likely to break something if you do). It minimizes the aches and pains of the aging body and tells the cells of your muscles and bones to regenerate and replace cells that die off leaving you weaker and more brittle if not.

This category of exercise includes everything that targets and improves the muscles, tendons and bones of your entire body. Cardio tends to use the muscles of the legs to achieve the cardiovascular effect but in-so-doing generates the overuse that damages the knees, hips, ankles and soft tissue therein. Also excessive cardio tends to leave the upper body muscles and back underdeveloped and consequently can lead to spinal and neck issues. Training styles like Px90, Tai Bo and Insanity combine cardio and musculo, but here the intensity is 6-pack ab focused and can be excessive on the knees, hips and low back.

So it is very important to look at and engage in a style of “Musculo” to make sure that you are improving the health and conditioning of all of your muscles, tendons and bones throughout your body. Know this, that this is a scientific fact that both cardio and musculo forms of exercise are needed to ensure you have a comprehensive and well balanced “exercise” routine throughout a given week!


About TheFitnessAnswerMan

The Fitness Answer Man is the online personality founded by Kevin Forrest CPT, FMS Pro Trainer and Master Fitness Trainer for the US Military. He has worked in the fitness industry for 30 years and was one of the first trainers to incorporate the physio ball into people's workouts and helped pioneer in the field of "Core" training. He specializes in movement rehabilitation and uses his experience to help clarify the confusion about diet and exercise that still exists within the fitness industry today.

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