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Heads, shoulders, knees and toe-tally no idea

75% of UK adults admit to having an average to very poor knowledge of the muscles they exercise every day according to new research by Virgin Active

16 Jan 2015

75% of UK adults admit to having an average to very poor knowledge of the muscles they exercise every day according to new research by Virgin Active.

- Study by Virgin Active looked to see if Brits knew their own bodies, as the company aims to help the nation discover new movement and muscles we never knew we had in 2015

- Nearly 50% have no idea what triceps are

- 6 in 10 struggled to locate their quadriceps

- Only one third could say where in the body the pectorals were

- East Midlands had the least knowledge of muscles in the body

People from London proved the most knowledgeable 

January inevitably brings new resolutions with health and fitness one of the primary focuses for Brits up and down the country as we move into the new year. But do we know the muscles we are exercising? Can we differentiate our glutes from our ginglymus*?

Not according to a new piece of research by Virgin Active, which shows that three quarters of Brits are unable to locate basic body muscle groups, showing little understanding of the human frame. 

The research, commissioned by Virgin Active, comes as it seeks to help consumers discover the benefits of movement in 2015, helping people to be more conscious about the muscles they are exercising and helping to keep things fresh by showing them new ways to exercise them. With this in mind, Virgin Active is introducing its most targeted programmes to date, helping you discover all of your muscles and unlocking freedom of movement in everyday life. 

The study of 2,000 people revealed that nearly 50% had no idea what triceps were, a third couldn’t say where in the body the pectorals were located and nearly 10% thought their glutes were in their stomach! Six in ten struggled to locate their quadriceps - thinking they can be found in the arm, the stomach or even their nose rather than the upper leg. Only a quarter knew that the deltoids were located in the shoulder, with over 10% thinking they were in the upper leg and 32% admitting they had absolutely no idea. 

Even more alarmingly 75% of those surveyed revealed that they had an average to poor understanding of the different muscle groups they are exercising when working out, with half saying they focused purely on the stomach, arms or upper legs, ignoring other muscles. 

Andy Birch, Head of Fitness for Virgin Active said: “The results show just how much of an opportunity there is for us to build knowledge about our own bodies, and how to improve our movement and wellbeing just by being more conscious of what we are trying to achieve.

Modern lives lead us to being increasingly sedentary and the data shows we’re not only unsure of the names and locations of these muscles, but that as a result, we are not exercising our whole body, instead becoming overly focused on specific areas and falling into routines that we are comfortable with.

With this in mind we are inviting consumers to discover new ways to move with us and new ways to keep exercise challenging, fresh and fun. We are always introducing new innovations and activities that will work muscles you never knew you had.”

People in the West Midlands proved to have the least knowledge, with 34% of all surveyed admitting they had a ‘bad or very bad’ knowledge of their muscle groups and areas they are working out. The East Midlands and South West were not far behind, both at 32%. 

At the opposite end, London’s residents proved tops with 31% of those surveyed saying they had a ‘good to excellent’ knowledge of their muscle groups, with Yorkshire and Humberside coming in second most knowledgeable with 26%. 

Andy Birch, Head of Fitness for Virgin Active added: “We know that there is a growing trend to build knowledge of and monitor fitness both inside and outside of the health club.

“These stats show that it is necessary for knowledge to substantially grow in this area. It’s why we are inviting members and non-members alike to access our free and unique virtual workouts this January, and get a taste of the benefits that freedom of movement can bring to your everyday life.”**

*bottom from elbow

Press contacts: 
For further press information please contact Virgin Active PR team at Hope & Glory on 020 7566 9747 or on virginactive@hopeandglorypr.com

Notes to editors: 
Top 5 least recognised muscles:
1. Masseter – 85% of people have no idea what or where it is (THE JAW)
2. Brachioradialis – 73% of people have no idea what or where it is (THE LOWER ARM)
3. Gastrocnemius – 67% of people have no idea what or where it is (THE LOWER LEG)
4. Rotator Cuff – 58% of people have no idea what or where it is (THE SHOULDER) 
5. Biceps femoris – 52% of people have no idea what or where it is (THE UPPER LEG)

Knowledge by area of the UK:

Top 3 worst levels of knowledge:
1. West Midlands
2. East Midlands
3. South West Top 3 best areas of knowledge:
1. London
2. Yorkshire and Humberside
3. North East

**The virtual workouts will are delivered by world-renowned industry experts and will give consumers access to exclusive workouts both inside and out of club. The first of a series includes;   

ZUU: a unique class based on primal pattern movements, created and instructed by Nathan Helberg that has class participants letting their inner gorilla loose;
Nova: an invigorating fusion of Yoga and Pilates, invented by Rachel Holmes and Jayne Nicholls. Perfect for those seeking the health and fitness benefits of both disciplines, without the spiritual elements.
‘The Grid’: tough workouts set to deliver on specific goals have been designed by resident Virgin Active guru, Ceri Hannan. Grid Lean is based on the six fundamentals of movement, and will challenge participants to learn to move the tough way.
Omnibus research conducted by OnePoll for Virgin Active amongst a representative sample of 2,000 UK adults in December 2014 under strict Market Research Society guidelines.

About Virgin Active Health Clubs 
Virgin Active has over 12,000 employees looking after over 1.3 million members in 263 health clubs. It currently operates in nine different countries worldwide: South Africa, UK, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Australia, Namibia, Thailand and Singapore.  Since being formed in 1999, Virgin Active has achieved consistent double digit revenue and profit growth. Virgin Active is owned by CVC Capital Partners and Virgin Group. For more information, please go to www.virginactive.com

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