6 Basic Movement Patterns

We all have exercises that we like, and therefore do a lot; and there are exercises that we dislike, and don’t do, unless we’re forced. I have them too. We tend to gravitate towards those bodyparts that we enjoy training, and steer clear from those that we don’t. The problem with doing the same exercises over and over again (and not doing others ever) is that you risk injury. When one group of muscles is significantly stronger than another group, you will move differently than if your muscles are balanced in strength. Strong muscles pull on other muscles in the body, and weaker muscles stretch out. An example of that might be if you have weak lower back, the stronger muscles in the glutes and hamstrings will pull on your lower back muscles. That could pull your pelvis out of alignment, and cause pain not only in your lower back, but also Read More . . .

Burpee/Push-up/Renegade Row

Set Up: Stand with your feet hip width apart or closer at the top of your mat. Hold one dumbbell in each hand. Chest is up, shoulders are back. The Movement: Start by bending over, and placing the dumbbells on the floor. Kick your feet back so that you are in a high plank position. Perform a push-up Perform the Renegade Row movement Jump your feet up towards your hands. Stand, taking the weights with you. Notes: This is a freakin’ HARD exercise! If the video seems a bit choppy, it’s becasue I edited out the valuable seconds that you didn’t want to watch me catching my breath! You can alternate the rowing motion (as I did in most of the sets) or you can do one side at a time (like I did in the 3rd set). As you tire, you could put your knees down in the push-up Read More . . .

Row/Tricep/Curl/Press

Set Up: Stand with your feet hip width apart or closer. Hold one dumbbell in each hand. Chest is up, shoulders are back. The Movement: Start by hinging at the hips. Lower your upper body to about a 45 degree angle. Keep your core engaged to support your lower back. Your back should stay flat. DO NOT ROUND YOUR BACK! Using gravity as resistance, start by shrugging your shoulders back towards each other. Relax your shoulders down away from your ears. Follow through with your elbows, lifting the weight into your rib cage. At the top of the motion, try to get your elbows to touch in the back of your body. They’re never going to touch, but try anyway. Reverse the motion, and lower the weights with control. Specific Cues: Review the Row exercise Use a weight appropriate for the Tricep Extension exercise. This is not a fluid movement. There are Read More . . .

Vintage Swing/1 Arm Row

Set Up: Place a dumbbell on it’s end, on the floor. Stand with your feet hip width apart with the dumbbell behind your heel line. The Movement: With one hand, grab the shaft of the dumbbell with your wrist straight, and your thumb pointing down. Being bent over in this position is going to be uncomfortable. As you release the dumbbell from the floor, explosively press your hips forward, keep your arm straight. At the top of the movement, your hips should be forward, standing straight up. Your bicep should be next to your ear. With control, slowly lower the weight to your shoulder. Squat As you rise from the squat position, Press the weight to the ceiling. With control, slowly lower the weight to your shoulder. With control, bend over, and place the dumbbell on it’s end behind your heel line, as you were in the starting position. Specific Read More . . .

Stiff Legged Deadlifts (aka: Romanian Deadlifts)

Major Muscles Worked Legs, Posterior Chain (all the muscles in the back of your body) Set Up: Stand with your feet closer than hip width apart. Feet should be parallel to each other. Hold one dumbbell in each hand by your sides. Chest is up, shoulders are back. The Movement: Keeping your back flat, and shoulders rolled back, hinge at your hips. Stop when you feel a stretch in your hamstrings or lower back. Pause Reverse the movement. Specific Cues: Push your hips back. Keep your back flat/neutral. Don’t let your knees track forward—press them back. Pull your chest forward. Review: Hinging Read More . . .

Vintage Swing

Note: Please read the directions carefully and watch the video. This movement is very complex, and can cause injury if you’re not mindful while exercising. Major Muscles Worked: Back, Rear Legs, Glutes Set Up: Place a dumbbell on it’s end, on the floor. Stand with your feet hip width apart with the dumbbell behind your heel line. The Movement: With one hand, grab the shaft of the dumbbell with your wrist straight, and your thumb pointing down. Being bent over in this position is going to be uncomfortable. As you release the dumbbell from the floor, explosively press your hips forward, keep your arm straight. At the top of the movement, your hips should be forward, standing straight up. Your bicep should be next to your ear. With control, slowly lower the weight to your shoulder. With control, bend over, and place the dumbbell on it’s end behind your heel Read More . . .

Pullover

Major Muscles Worked: Back Set Up: Lie on the floor (or a bench if you have it) Your knees can be bent, with your feet flat on the floor, or your legs can be straight. If your legs are straight, make sure that your legs are engaged, and not relaxed, flopping out to the side. Hold the ends of one dumbbell in each of your hands with your arms straight, weight close to the ceiling, and above your chest. The Movement: Keeping your arms straight, hinge at your shoulders to bring the weight overhead, close to the floor. Only go back as far as you can safely hinge at your shoulder. Without pausing at the bottom of the movement, reverse the movement to bring the weight back to the ceiling. If you were to look at this movement from the side, you’re hinging your shoulders from perpendicular to the floor, Read More . . .

Rear Shoulder Raise

Major Muscles Worked: Shoulders Set Up: Stand with your feet closer than hip width apart. Feet should be parallel to eachother. Hold one dumbbell in each hand by your sides. Chest is up, shoulders are back. The Movement: Start by hinging at the hips. Lower your upper body to about a 45 degree angle. Keep your core engaged to support your lower back. Your back should stay flat. DO NOT ROUND YOUR BACK! With your palms facing each other, slightly bend your elbows. Relax your shoulders down away from your ears. Keeping the bend in your arms the same, arc your elbows out and up so that you’re lifting the weights towards the ceiling. Keep your torso stationary in the hinged position. at the top of the motion, slightly rotate your hands back so that your pinky fingers are closer to the ceiling than your thumbs. Reverse the motion, and lower the weights with Read More . . .

Bent Over Row

Major Muscles Worked: Back Set Up: Stand with your feet hip width apart or closer. Either hold the ends of one dumbbell in each hand, or hold one dumbbell in each hand. Chest is up, shoulders are back. The Movement: Start by hinging at the hips. Lower your upper body to about a 45 degree angle. Keep your core engaged to support your lower back. Your back should stay flat. DO NOT ROUND YOUR BACK! Using gravity as resistance, start by shrugging your shoulders back towards each other. Relax your shoulders down away from your ears. Follow through with your elbows, lifting the weight into your rib cage. At the top of the motion, try to get your elbows to touch in the back of your body. They’re never going to touch, but try anyway. Reverse the motion, and lower the weights with control. Specific Cues: You may feel some Read More . . .

Renegade Row

Set Up: Place two medium weight dumbbells at the top of the mat, about shoulder width apart, parallel to eachother. With your hands on the weights, start in a high plank position. The Movement: Pick up one of the the dumbbells, pulling it into your ribs; and place it back on the mat. Review the Row motion here With the other hand, perform the same motion. Specific Cues: This exercise may alternately be performed with one weight, and your palms on the mat. Try to keep your hips square as you perform the movement. Separating your feet will help with stabilization Try not to roll to one side as you perform the movement I do not recommend performing this exercise on your knees. I find it awkward, and it shifts the working muscle higher into your upper back/trapezius/neck. Related Exercises: Plank 1 Arm Rows Read More . . .