Many people in the gym tend to train certain muscles rather than movement. Everyone loves big biceps; however, do your biceps ever help complete daily living tasks or improve your athleticism? The answer is no.
The movements that you practice in the gym, should help you improve efficiency and prevent injuries to your everyday life!
Big muscles mean nothing if they cannot be used properly. Training movement increases quality of life by making everyday activities easier because life is all about movement. There are six types of movement that will be explained in this article – each skill that can transfer to everyday activities and will also help improve your lifts in the gym if added to your program.
A carry is essentially walking with heavy weights while keeping a tight core to avoid any lateral spine movement. A carry will help you achieve a stable core, a strong grip and an easier time walking home while carrying groceries. A stable core important for spine health and will help you perform better.
Progressions for carries
- Farmer walks
- Suitcase carries
- Racked carry
- Waiter carry
- Bottom up carry
When things fall down how do you pick things up? Do you bend your back while tying your shoes?
Many people bend with their back while doing these things.
So, what’s the optimal way to perform these actions? Lunge. When things fall down you lunge to pick them. Bending with your back will only lead to eventual back pain. The same applies to tying your shoe, it is much better to spare your back by lunging to tie your shoes. Lunge training can also be considered to be unilateral training, and there is a wide array of benefits that come with it.
Progression for lunges
- Body weight lunges
- Walking lunges with weight
- Bulgarian split squats
One of the most fundamental things you can do is push things. Whether it’s pushing a door open, a car stuck in the mud or a 250 pound linebacker, having good pushing strength is always a plus. Also, when doing push training, consider the carry over effect. For example, will bench press (horizontal push) help you with pushing something that’s vertical (i.e. a person)? Train the movement that you need to get better at, not the muscle.
You can train push in horizontal direction (push up) or vertical (overhead press).
- Push up on box
- Push up
- Bench/dumbbell press
- Overhead press
You are pulling when you getting out of the pool, opening doors, or rowing the boat on your romantic date. Pulling is one of the most basic movements.
Pulling is one of the least used movements in the gym partly because many people train the muscles that can only be seen in the mirror (PECS & BICEPS!). Weakness in these muscles lead to bad posture and chronic aches and pains. We see pulling in everyday activities like closing doors, reaching for the bag on the floor, even a leisurely row up at the cottage with the family.
Like push, pull can be performed in both horizontal (rows) and vertical positions (pull ups).
- Face pulls
- TRX rows
- Seated rows
- Dumbbell rows
- Bent over rows
- Chin ups and its variations
When you maximally bend at your hips with little bend in the knees you have a hinge! A hinge is typically usually used when there are very heavy weights on the ground and a lunge isn’t possible.
To prevent injurious strain on your back, practicing the movement with easy progressions can help in your daily life!
- Hinge pattern with dowel
- Single leg Romanian Deadlift (RDL)
- Barbell RDL
A squat is maximal bend at the hips and the knees. It is often hailed as the king of lower body exercises by many and not without reason! Squatting has multiple benefits and is the basic movement that can be seen in everyday life. Everyone squats daily when going to the toilet and to sit. It can increase knee stability if performed right and also increases the lower body strength. The squat can also be used to test mobility of the hips, ankles and the upper back. If you got a bad squat then most likely you are tight in one of these areas.
- Goblet squats
- Front Squats
- Back Squats
To improve your athleticism, improve your whole body movement. Start with the most basic movements and increase the weight before you progress to a more difficult movement.