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 . . .

Plank

  Major Muscles Worked: Core High Plank: The High Plank exercise is a holding exercise performed on your palms. Although it targets the core, you should be engaging all of your muscles. Specific Cues: Your palms should be directly under your shoulders Tuck your hips Engage your core, glutes, legs, and back. You should have a straight line between your shoulders, hips, knees and ankles. No sagging of the hips, or hips towards the ceiling. Look at the ground 1-2 feet in front of you to create a neutral spine. Low Plank: The Low Plank exercise is a holding exercise performed on your forearms. Although it targets the core, you should be engaging all of your muscles. Specific Cues: This variation is good if you have wrist issues. Your shoulders should be directly over your forearms,  not your elbows. The weight should be distributed over your forearms. not on your elbows. Tuck Read More . . .

Chest Press/ Pullover /Crunch

  Set Up: Lie down on your back. Hold the ends of one dumbbell with each of your hands. Arms are straight, holding the weight towards the ceiling. The Movement: Starting with the weight towards the ceiling. Lower the weight, with control to your chest, and press back towards the ceiling. At the top of the motion, hinge at your shoulder to lower the weight to the floor, overhead. With straight arms, reverse the motion to bring the weight back towards the ceiling. Push the weight towards the ceiling lifting your head & shoulders of the mat. Specific Cues: Use a weight appropriate for the Pullover exercise. During the pullover movement, your arms should be straight. Do not bend your elbows. The lower back stays glued to the floor during the crunch movement. Your neck is relaxed during the chest press and pullover movements. Your legs should be engaged, toes pointed towards Read More . . .

Push-Ups

Major Muscles Worked: Chest Set Up: Start in a plank position. Hands are directly underneath your shoulders, elbows are rotated towards your hips, middle fingers are pointing straight ahead, at 12 :00, and your fingers are spread wide. The Movement: Engage your core, legs and glutes. Tuck your hips. Bend your elbows, lowering your body with control, until your chest is just a few inches (like 3 inches) off the floor. Your elbows should be bent at a minimum of 90 degrees. In one solid motion, press back up to the top of the movement. Specific Cues: Make sure that your upper arms are not perpendicular to your body. They should be either at a 45 degree angle, or skimming the sides of your body. There should be a straight line between your shoulders, hips, knees and ankles. Do not let your butt rise in the air like a tepee. Read More . . .

Chest Press

Major Muscles Worked: Chest 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 dumbbells in each of your hands with your arms straight, weights close to the ceiling, and above your chest. Palms face your knees. The ends of the dumbbells are either touching, or and inch or two apart. The Movement: Bend your elbows, lowering the weights with control until your upper arms touch the floor. As you lower the weights, keep the weights (and your wrists) directly over your elbows. This means that the weights will separate from each other as they lower. Without pausing at the bottom of the movement, press the weights back to the ceiling. Read More . . .

1 Arm Row

Major Muscles Worked: Back Set Up: Take a really Really REALLY big step – bigger than you think it needs to be. Even bigger than that. Point your front toes forward, and your back toes perpendicular (to the side). Don’t raise up on the ball of your back foot. It will be difficult to balance. Bend your front leg, into a lunge, so that your front thigh is parallel to the floor. Place the forearm of the front leg just above your knee to brace your upper body. Some folks will use their hand to hold on to their leg – I don’t like this because it raises the upper body, and works a different part of the back. Grab the weight with the hand of the leg that’s in back. Look forward towards the floor about 1-2 feet in front of your front foot. This give you a neutral Read More . . .