5 moves you should be doing if you are not

farmers carryOften times we get caught up in the latest, newest and hottest fitness trends and or products. I think it’s just part of who we are as humans to want variety and a little spice in life. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that.  However when it comes to exercise and fitness we don’t need variety just for variety’s sake.  As in all aspects of life there is a progression that should naturally occur. Now today I’m not going to go into too much detail in regards to the progression of weight training programs. I will however go into some detail talking about the basic human movements.

If you did nothing else but train these movements in their most simplest and basic form, with continual variance of load, you would be amazed at the progress you would make…guaranteed! Here are the 5 basic human movements.

1.  A pushing movement. This could be anything from pushups, to bench press to a kettlebell or military barbell press.  In traditional strength training this is the most common movement practiced.  The age-old question when inquiring about strength “how much ya bench?”  In other words “how much can you push?”

2.  A pulling movement.  This is a personal favorite.  Pulling movements consists of anything from pullups, to rows, to lat pulldowns, etc.  There is a reason the pullup is used as a part of the standard fitness test in various branches of the military throughout the world. Its challenging!  Pullups are still highly underutilized in today’s mainstream fitness programs. However over the last few years this has really started to change.

3.  A squatting movement.  Squats are one of the most basic movements we do on a daily basis. We use this movement to varying degrees and difficulties.  From basic sitting, to using the restroom to picking things up, to actual strength training via kettlebells, barbells or dumbbells.  However it is not uncommon to hear, “squats hurt my knees”, often times it’s not the movement but the way the movement is performed.  So, more times than not, it’s not the squat that hurts your knees, it’s the way you squat that hurts your knees.  Squats are also a great way to work on flexibility and mobility when utilized correctly.

4.  A hip hinge movement.  The hip hinge could be anything from deadlifts to swings.  Both are absolutely amazing exercises which really focus on strengthening  the entire posterior chain.  In America we tend to focus on what we see when we look in the mirror, so unfortunately we don’t always spend enough time on the back sides of our body, i.e. the posterior chain.

5.  A loaded carry movement.  This is the most underutilized exercise of all 5 of these basic human movements.  It is also the most simple.  Pick up either 1 or 2 kettlebells or dumbbells and walk with the weight.  This is normally called a Farmers Carry.  Do this exercise for a few weeks and you will be amazed at what happens to your shoulders, specifically traps, your grip/forearm and core strength.  Athletes that have incorporated this into their workout program have been amazed at the results.  However it should not be reserved just for the athlete. It’s great for everyone else as well.  Think of when you are carry groceries, or luggage, or kids around. Those are all loaded carries.

Get back to basics. Stay consistent. Constantly vary the load/intensity/volume of your program, challenge yourself, and have fun! Strength in all things!

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