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 . . .

Lunge L/Lateral Raise/Lunge R/Rear Raise

Set Up: Stand with your feet about hip width apart. Feet should be parallel or toes just slightly pointed out. Either hold the ends of one dumbell in each hand, or hold one dumbell in each hand. Chest is up, shoulders are back. The Movement: Lunge one foot back, and return to standing. Review the Lunge for demonstration on the lunge movement. As you rise from the Lunge position, perform a Lateral Raise. Review the Lateral Raise  for demonstration on the movement. Lunge the other foot back, and return to standing. After you rise from the Lunge position, bend over and perform a Rear Raise. Review the Rear Raise  for demonstration on the movement. Specific Cues: Do not look at the ground. Use weight appropriate for the Lateral Raise or the Rear Raise. Related Exercises Lunges Lateral Raise Rear Raise

Lateral Raise

Major Muscles Worked: Shoulders 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: 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. At the top of the motion, slightly rotate your hands down so that your pinky fingers are closer to the ceiling than your thumbs. Reverse the motion, and lower the weights with control. Specific Cues: If your torso is moving a lot, you may need lighter weights. Think about the movement as coming from your elbows – versus lifting the weights. The movement is similar to you pouring water from a Read More . . .

Tricep Extension

Major Muscles Worked: Triceps 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, extend your forearms so that they extend towards your hips. Reverse the motion so that your forearms are perpendicular to the floor. Specific Cues: You may feel some fatigue in your lower back. Keep your core 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 . . .

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 . . .

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 . . .