Updated: Aug 23, 2021
A complete full body workout should include exercises that incorporate each of of the main movement patterns. These include push, pull, squat, hip hinge, lunge, and carry movements.
Movement is not a series of isolated joint actions, but a complex system of joints, muscles, and fascia all working together. Training and exercise should mimic the way the body moves to have real life strength and functionality.
Following a movement-based exercise program, focused on these patterns, means training the body for how it is designed to move. If you think about your daily activities in terms of these movements, you'll see how often you use them, and how important it is to keep them strong and stable.
Pushing development starts in the shoulder complex. Like the hips, the shoulder is a ball and socket joint and should first be trained with stability in mind. Learning to push with correct shoulder blade positioning, along with core activation to keep the spine and hips in the correct position, is essential to eliminate back and shoulder pain.
Hands Elevated Push-Up
Dumbbell Bench Press
Barbell Bench Press
Single-Arm Dumbbell Overhead Press
Dumbbell Overhead Press
Barbell Overhead Press
The back and shoulders act as stabilizers in most pushing movements, and so need to be trained to avoid injury. Learning to pull with a stable core, hip complex, and shoulder complex, will ensure the back and shoulders can support functional movement patterns as simple as opening a car door.
Chest Supported Row
Single Arm Dumbbell Row
Barbell Bent Over Row
Squatting is important to train stability from the trunk through the hips and down to the knees, ankles, and feet. Do you stand up and sit down daily? Then you need to master the squat movement.
Barbell Front Squat
Barbell Back Squat
The hip hinge is important in protecting the low back from injury. Most people bend through the spine to pick something up rather than hinging at the hips, resulting in an epidemic of low back pain. Learning to activate the glutes and core while bending over can eliminate back pain and prevent future injury.
Bodyweight Romanian Deadlift
Dumbbell Romanian Deadlift
Barbell Romanian Deadlift
Trap Bar Deadlift
Single-leg exercises translate directly into walking, jogging, and running. Loading each side of the body asymmetrically can eliminate weak points and movement dysfunctions.
Rear Foot Elevated Split Squat
Front Foot Elevated Split Squat
Moving through space, either loaded or unloaded, translates directly into walking or running. The core is being trained while the arms and legs are in motion. The area is stabilizing the trunk and spine while transferring force through the extremities, all the way through the hands and feet.
Unilateral Loaded Carry
Mixed Grip Carry
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