A lot of coaches are being told they can’t help people unless they do things like they have always done them. While many will espouse the “good ole days” (not sure when that was but people keep telling me about them), the reality is that fitness for many decades wasn’t formal gyms or tons of equipment. Metal was VERY expensive and we saw fitness in a far more holistic way than we do today. Gymnastics, running, throwing, jumping, rope climbing were just as much a part of fitness as lifting weights or “doing cardio”. That means with the challenges we are all facing today, we should look back at how we can make great workouts without having to rely on tons of different equipment to distract us rather than focusing on good fitness concepts. Here are 3 that are going to make your training so much better and smarter!
#1: Focus on Movement Patterns
The idea of training the body as a whole is not a new one even though it is for most people that workout today. 100 years ago we knew that training the body as a whole was so much more effective in not just building strength, but in great other qualities like coordination, agility, athleticism, and so much more!
Nowadays, we know that focusing on movement patterns (squat, hip hinge, lunge, push, pull, rotation, and locomotion) help our fitness in such better ways. If we were thinking about making sure to hit every muscle, since there are over 650 muscles in the body, how in the world would we hit all of them with the mentality of isolation? You might not care how jacked your multifidus is, but when you realize it is an important muscle in having good core stability and low back health does that change your mind?
The point is that trying to isolate is both inefficient and going against how our body is designed to function. When we focus on movement patterns we hit more muscles and train the body as it is suppose to function, which one sounds better?
When you see what Lina Midla shows in demonstrating these movement patterns is there are many progressions in each one. That means we have more variety, but also better direction with our training when we focus on movement patterns and not just muscles.
#2 Think About Holding & Body Position In Your Workouts
One of the best lessons for smarter workouts I got for old time strongmen was how to make a light weight feel like a heavy weight. Again, because old time strength athletes that had way less equipment than we do today were able to develop strength and fitness we would love to have today because they looked for ways to manipulate how heavy or light a weight felt just by our holding and positions.
As the science of the body gave us more information, we found out that these ideas weren’t just about stressing the body more or less, but training important chains of the body that made our workouts smarter and better in every way!
Changing the position of the weight allows us to emphasize not just strength, but stability in all planes of motion as well. Learning how to be strong in all 3 planes makes us more resilient and real world strong!
#3 Planes of Motion
It is crazy to me in 2020 that almost all workouts are up and down only. In fact, many coaches fight the idea that only moving up and down is the only way to build strength even though the research shows the OPPOSITE! When we move in different planes of motion or resist different planes of motion (both are very important) we teach our body how to move and perform in smarter ways.
Since our most foundational movements like walking require us navigating all 3 planes of motion, it makes you wonder why people don’t emphasize this more in their workouts. The answer is sadly most don’t know about the planes of motion or their relevancy to building strength and better movement.
DVRT Master, Cory Cripe and Megan Berner show a workout focused on movement patterns that teach how to move laterally, produce rotation, resist lateral motion, and resist rotation.
Using smarter training concepts doesn’t make our workouts weak or easy, in fact, a lot of the “old school” coaches don’t like them because it makes them feel so frustrated that all their “basics” haven’t developed the overall fitness they think. That is why we get excited to share these workouts because just a little more thoughtfulness about how our body functions opens such a bigger world of success!
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