10 Ways to Progress Your ExercisesJanuary 24, 2024
The Six Foundational Movements for a Full Body Workout
Have you ever willed yourself to the fitness center but upon arrival realized you were not sure what you should be doing to capitalize on your motivation? There is no need to worry or guess anymore. In this post, we are going to give you the knowledge and tools to customize your own highly effective workouts from here on out.
Planning and executing a complete full-body workout is a goal shared by fitness enthusiasts and athletes alike. To ensure comprehensive development and functional strength, it's essential to incorporate these six foundational movements into your exercise routine. These movements, the squat, hinge, lunge, push, pull, and carry, form the backbone of a balanced workout program and we will explore the importance of each movement with varying exercise examples.
The squat is a fundamental lower body movement that engages the muscles in the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and core. Whether you're performing bodyweight squats, sit-to-stands, goblet squats, or barbell squats, this movement targets multiple muscle groups, promoting lower body strength, stability, and mobility. Including squats in your routine
The hinge movement primarily targets the posterior chain, including the hamstrings, glutes, and lower back. Exercises like deadlifts and kettlebell swings are excellent examples of hinge movements. By incorporating hinges into your routine, you develop strength in the hips, and low back, improving posture, and reducing the risk of injury. The hinge is crucial for long-term health as it is estimated we hinge anywhere from 300-500+ times a day. Any time you bend over, stand up, sit down, or lean forward, there is some degree of hip hinge, so mastering this movement is a must.
Lunges are effective for building strength and stability in the lower body while enhancing balance and flexibility. This movement engages the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and calves, promoting unilateral strength development and core stability. Lunges can be performed in various directions, such as forward, reverse, or lateral lunges, ensuring a well-rounded approach to lower body training.
Push movements target the muscles of the upper body, including the chest, shoulders, and triceps. Bench presses, overhead presses, and push-ups are classic examples of pushing exercises. Incorporating push movements into your workout routine not only builds upper body strength but also contributes to shoulder health and functional fitness. Balancing push and pull exercises are essential for preventing muscle imbalances and reducing the risk of injuries.
Pull movements focus on the muscles of the back, including the latissimus dorsi, rhomboids, mid/low traps, and biceps. Pull-ups, rows, and face pulls are effective exercises that enhance back strength and promote good posture. A strong back is essential for overall stability and helps counteract the effects of excessive sitting and sedentary lifestyles.
The carry movement is often overlooked but plays a crucial role in developing overall functional strength. Farmers' walks, suitcase carries, and overhead carries challenge the entire body, promoting grip strength, core stability, and muscular endurance. Carrying exercises simulate real-life activities and contribute to enhanced performance in daily tasks and sports.
Incorporating these six foundational movements into your full-body workouts is a surefire way to achieve a well-rounded and functional physique. By addressing each of these movements, you not only build strength and muscle but also improve balance, flexibility, and overall athletic performance. Tailor your workouts to include variations of these movements, progressively increasing intensity and incorporating proper form, and watch as your body transforms into a powerhouse of strength and resilience.
Here are some example workouts using this blueprint…
Circuit 1 2-3x
A1) Bodyweight Sit to Stand 15 reps
A2) Kettlebell Hip Hinge 15 reps
Circuit 2 2-3x
B1) Kettlebell Farmer Carry 2 laps
B2) Bodyweight Reverse Lunge 10 each leg
Circuit 3 2-3x
C1) Chest Press Machine 15 reps
C2) Seated Row Machine 15 reps
A1) Kettlebell Goblet Squat 15 reps
A2) Kettlebell Swings 15reps
Circuit 2 3-4x
B1) Kettlebell Suitcase Carry 2 laps each hand
B2) Kettlebell Forward Lunge 10 each leg
Circuit 3 3-4x
C1) Dumbbell Single Arm Press 15 reps each arm
C2) Dumbbell Single Arm Row 15 reps each arm
Circuit 1 3-4x
A1) Olympic Bar Split Squat 8 each leg
A2) Dumbbell Single Leg Hinge 8 each leg
Circuit 2 3-4x
B1) KB Suitcase + Overhead Carry 2 laps each
B2) KB Offset Lateral Lunge 8 each
Circuit 3 3-4x
C1) Pullups 10
C2) Diamond Pushups 20
There are endless combinations you can make to individualize, progress, or modify your workouts with this blueprint so get creative and never hesitate to stop by my office to ask questions.
You’re in the driver’s seat now!
Garrett Withiam, ATC
Assistant Director of Health & Fitness
Personal Training Manager