Dec 19th, 2012
Before doing these 7 movements, it is important that you have had your kinetic chain assessed for any impairment. I recommend getting your static posture assessed as well as performing movement screens to find out if you have any impairment in the human movement system.
The body is capable of many different movements, many can be traced back to the times of cavemen and not much as changed since then in terms of movement, the 7 types are listed as –
Push (horizontal or vertical)
Pushing exercises are probably the most popular among fitness fanatics possibly because it’s the easiest to learn or because every time you open a magazine someone is doing a push up or a bench press. Even by the time you’ve started school everyone knows that doing push ups will enable you to develop upper body strength and size.
There are two types of pushing, horizontal and vertical.
Both movements are needed in everyday life, this could be when you need to push a car or when you need to reach up to place something on the top shelf, it’s really an exercise that is definitely needed in any good program.
Muscles worked – Chest, triceps, Anterior deltoid (front of shoulder) and core musculature depending on the exercise.
The pull is often neglected because of the popularity of the pushing exercises. It’s important to remember that the body likes to maintain homeostasis (balance) lack of any pulling exercises will not only cause structural imbalances it will lead to injury, postural defects and altered force couple relationships (altered recruitment of muscles.)
There are many exercises that you can use to do a pulling motion, what you need to do first is learn proper scapular retraction.
I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve seen people doing a seated row or one armed DB Row with improper activation of their scapular, I usually ask them if they feel it working in the place they want it to and 9 times out of 10 the answer is usually no. Pulling movements use the trapezius and rhomboids to pull the scapular into retraction and depression. It is very important in improving the health of your shoulders.
Muscles worked – Mid/Lower Traps, Rhomboids, Latissimus Dorsi, Biceps
Bent Over Row
The squat is not a popular exercise for everyday gym goers, everyone wants to develop their chest, arms and six pack abs, nothing wrong with that goal but do not neglect the other half of your body. If you’re serious about getting abs then the squat has to be close to the top of your list of most important exercises. Benefits include, core control/stability, increase in growth hormone (dependant on weight), strengthening of the posterior chain and improved movement.
Muscles worked – Quadriceps, Glutes, Hamstrings, and the core (erector spinae, abdominal complex)
Along with the squat, the deadlift is one of the most demanding exercises. It works pretty much everything from your chest, lower back, abdominals, glutes, hamstrings to your grip. It is often overlooked for one of the more popular exercises, it looks like a very simple movement but can be quite technical at the same time.
There’s nothing else really to say about this exercise except that you should do it, the body has 600 muscles and the more we can use them the more metabolically active they become.
Muscles worked – Glutes, Quads, Hamstrings, Erector spinae, Latissimus dorsi, Trapezius, Abdominal Complex, Arms
Lunging is a very athletic movement, it requires stability, balance, strength and co-ordination. If you’re going to start lunging start off by performing a static lunge on the spot, just up and down holding something sturdy to help with your balance. Once you have the required strength then progress to using no support and onwards to the full lunge.
I find that clients have difficulty with this exercise the most.
Muscles worked – Hamstrings, Glutes, Obliques, Quadriceps
Multi planar Lunges
The twist is a movement that we frequently use, think about every time you move when you turn to pick something up, when you throw, when you put something down, twisting is a movement that we can do however little or no people train within this plane of motion.
Muscles worked – Internal, external obliques, Rectus Abdominis, Erector spinae.
Lateral Twisting Plank
Walking/Jogging/Running also called your gait cycle are some of the most basic of movement patterns, jogging and running should be added to your routine to maintain the most basic functions.
I hope that this article has helped teach you something new and made you think about how to programme your own exercise routine. If you are truly serious about making changes then utilizing these types of movements will definitely be beneficial.
Doing these 7 movements and their many variations will help to improve your strength, fitness and movement, as an added bonus doing these movements in a structured program will also help with fat loss. Consult a trainer to find out how.