You have probably heard people say they are training “legs” or “chest” some other area. This type of training was made popular by bodybuilders, however most people are NOT bodybuilders. Instead, it is more efficient when people workout with movement in mind. Here are the 5 movements every workout program should contain:
If you have ever sat down in a chair and stood up again, you’ve squatted. Squats basically work the entire lower body (quads, gluts, hamstrings, calves) and because they involve so many large muscle groups, they also burn a lot of calories. There are several variations out there (back squat, front squat, goblet squat, kettlebell squat, etc.) so you should be able to find one that is a good fit for you.
If you are scared off by the term “deadlift”, don’t be. While most people think of an Olympic athlete or powerlifter there are many other variations out there. These variations include Romanian deadlifts, hyperextensions, kettlebell swings, and single leg deadlifts. The “hinge” motions works the back side of your body (glutes, hamstrings, calves, back, etc.) and if done properly, will help train you how to pick things up properly and avoid back injury. One important point: when doing this exercise make sure your lower back stays natural or even arched a little. DO NOT let it round.
This is any exercise where you are pushing something away from your body. The most popular exercise of this type is the bench press but honestly, as I’m getting older, I prefer push-ups. Other exercises include shoulder presses, dumbbell presses, and incline presses. These exercises primarily work the chest, shoulders, and triceps.
Conversely to the push, this exercise involves pulling something toward your body (or your body toward something). Rows, pull-downs, and pull-ups are excellent examples. These work your back muscles, rear delts (back of the shoulder), and biceps.
While walking, do you move both feet at the same time or do you have to balance on one leg as you step forward? This is why it’s important to work on single leg exercises. Many people have challenges balancing and unfortunately, if this isn’t addressed, the risk of falling increases with age. Common single-leg exercises include lunges and step-ups, but there is some overlap with the squat and hinge movements with Single-leg Deadlifts and Bulgarian Split Squats. These exercises work both your lower body and your stabilization muscles.
Before closing, allow an honorable mention to core training. Most people think of core training as sit-ups and crunches but there are some recommended exercises that force you to keep your core straight as you resist something. The best examples are front and side planks. If you think about how you use your core in your daily life, it is almost always to support yourself. Rarely does one “crunch”.
The next trick is putting this all together. While not rocket science, there is some science involved. If you would like help getting started or just putting a workout program together, our Jump Start program may be what you need. Click HERE to schedule a free fitness consultation and see if this or any of our other programs would be a good fit for you.