When it comes to developing a fitness plan, you need to make sure it’s balanced.
It’s easy to fall into the mind set of “I want a bigger butt” and forgot about your thighs, core, arms, and the rest of your body. The way to go about that is to include the different movement styles.
Five Types of Movement.
Any movements we make can be placed into one of these five categories. By training in each of these categories, you can make your body an efficiently moving machine.
For those of us who like to do single-joint movements like biceps curls, or triceps kickbacks, just make sure it’s part of a balanced program, and you’ll be just fine.
We do these movements on a daily basis without even realizing it. Pushing open a door, shutting the car door, playfully shoving our friend. To strengthen the muscles involved, do things that push your hands away from you. These include things like triceps dips, bench presses, or overhead presses.
Similarly to pushing, we do these all the time with not even a thought. Pulling a door shut, pulling something toward yourself, or pulling a door open are all things that we do all of the time. Without properly trained muscles, things like heavy doors can become a big problem. Working these muscles involve pulling something toward you, like a lat pull down, machine row, or a pull up.
Squatting is also called “bend and lift.” Any time that you pick something up, squatting down to meet your child at eye level, or to pick them up. These all are part of that squatting movement. We do this more than we realize, as with the other movements. How many times do you bend over and complain that your back hurts? How many times do you have to remind yourself to lift with your knees, not your back? Training in the squatting movement will help you to become more efficient and decrease your risk of injury. Squats, leg press machine, and any movements that involve squatting down with both of your feet on the ground and next to each other.
This is also referred to as the “split stance” movement. In a squatting motion, both legs are on the ground and the feet are next to each other. With the lunging movement, you’re standing in a lunging motion, with one leg in the front, and one in the back. It also includes movement where one foot is on the ground and the other is in the air.
This includes lunges, step ups, split squats in order to train this movement. It is equally important to make sure that your right side and your left side are equal. A lot of the time one side will be stronger than the other. Doing the lunging movements will help to show you which side you need to focus on strengthening.
This movement is one that a lot of people aren’t very efficient in at all. Rotation is any movement in the “trunk.” The trunk is the area between your chest and hips. Basically the stomach and mid to lower back. Think of when you’re in the car and need to twist around to see if there’s anyone in the next lane, or if you’re trying to throw a ball or hit a baseball. Anytime you have to look over your shoulder you’re in the rotation movement.
Just as important as rotation is anti-rotation. These are times when you’re trying to keep your body from rotating when it wants to. A plank with a raised arm, trying to keep everything in the same place, is anti-rotation. It strengthens all of those little muscles in your core that normally people don’t give any attention to. Training your rotation involves Russian twists and trunk rotations, as well as plank variations for anti-rotation movements.
If you don’t know what some of these movements are, have no fear! I’m going to post instructions on how to perform these and other exercises to strengthen the motion in each movement pattern. You want to make sure you stay balanced. If you’re stronger in one over the other, you aren’t moving efficiently, and you’re at more of a risk for injury, if you’re not injured already.
Strength training isn’t all about gettin’ swole, although that is one of my favorite parts. It’s about making sure your body works at its absolute best so that you won’t be in pain doing the most basic things. Or that it works most efficiently so that you won’t drain all of your energy doing something that your body should naturally be doing well.
What exercises would you like to see in the instruction sheets? Which area of motion do you have the most trouble?