Today’s tip on the podcast (check it out here if you haven’t already) is about focusing your workout around key MOVEMENT PATTERNS with the goal to improve every day activities. This focus often produces noticeable results in your life like being able to carry a heavier box, move a bulky piece of furniture or garden without an aching back. And let’s be honest, seeing results is very motivating!
So what are these key movements? Well there are 5:
- Pushing (vacuuming, mowing the lawn, pushing kids on a swing)
- Pulling (raking the yard, also vacuuming)
- Bending and Lifting (picking things up off the ground)
- Single Leg Movements (walking up and down stairs, getting in and out of the car)
- Rotational Movements (shoveling snow, unloading the dishwasher, general housework)
These movements make up all activities of daily living and if you can perform these effectively with stability and full mobility everything you do each day gets easier with less pain and a reduced risk of injury. Sounds great right?!
Not only does success in these movements mean easier day-to-day life, they translate into improvement in many other activities like your recreational football league or ramping up your speed and distance for an upcoming road race.
So here is what a workout could look like if you are focusing on training these 5 movements:
- Place a step or bench in front of you or stand at the bottom of a set of stairs. Brace your core and keep your gaze straight ahead.
- Bring your right knee up and step up on to the bench or step. Placing all of the effort in your right leg, bring your body up into a standing position on the bench or step.
- Slowly lower yourself to the starting position.
- Repeat for 10-12 reps then switch legs
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart, and place your hands at the back of your head with your elbows opened wide.
- Pull your abs to your spine (brace your core)
- Keep your back neutral while pressing your hips backward, hinging at the hips, until your back is almost parallel to the floor. Keep a slight bend in your knees as you bend forward.
- Return to standing, squeezing your glutes when you are upright. This completes one rep.
- Repeat for 10-12 reps
- Place hands flat on the floor, directly below your shoulders and extend legs out behind you.
- Keep your back straight and abs tight while you lower your chest towards the floor by bending your elbows.
- Pause just when your chest is just above the ground.
- Press upwards, straightening your arms and return to starting position
- Modify this exercise if needed by placing your hands in an elevated position on a bench, the edge of a counter or the wall
- Stand holding a pair of dumbbells in front of your thighs, palms facing each other, and hinge forward (similar to the beginning of the Good Morning exercise above)
- Bend the elbows and pull the dumbbells towards your chest. Pull the shoulders back to open up the chest and squeeze the shoulder blades together.
- Slowly straighten the arms and lower the dumbbells back to starting position.
- Begin in a semi squat position holding a dumbbell with both hands. Ensure core is braced and chest is up (as pictured)
- Bring the weight to the outside of your left leg.
- Push your heels into the floor and some up to standing while rotating through the torso and raising the dumbbell to the opposite side. Ensure you keep your knees and feet pointing in the same direction.
- Lower back down and repeat for 10-12 reps.
- Switch sides and repeat
Looking for more exercise ideas? Check out the other articles in the blog here
Want to know how we can help you get stronger, leaner and pain free? Click here to find out more about Fired Up Fitness and our services.