Are You Training For Strength And Health Or Are You In It For Aesthetics?
The approach towards fitness has never remained the same. However, from the bodybuilding gyms of the 1970s, aerobics of the 1980s and the gyms resembling treadmill farms of the 1990s (where everyone seems to do cardio while listening to a Walkman) to the functional exercise and fit balls of early 2000s and Crossfit of 2005, most fitness programs seem to define fitness as aesthetics and not health and strength. However, times have changed. Fitness science has found more effective forms of workout that emphasize on correct movement patterns, which will make exercisers truly strong and healthy. Aesthetics will automatically come along.
Here are seven basic movement patterns that you should do at least use once in every week.
A squat is to be performed by planting both feet on the ground, then bending your legs so as to lower your body, but while keeping chest up and lower back straight. This movement is very similar to what we do always, like sitting in and getting up from a chair. As we age, we lose the ability to squat, which affects our quality of life negatively.
This is a single leg movement where one leg is to be stepped forward and bent, keeping the other leg stationary. This movement is required while throwing a spear. It requires strength, balance and flexibility. To add resistance, a medicine ball, barbells, dumbbells or a sandbag can be added on shoulder.
This needs pushing away external weight from your body or pushing away your center of mass from the ground. Examples of push are pushing yourself away from the ground while getting up or pushing a toolbox overhead and putting it in a cabinet. Push can be categorized in horizontal push and vertical push.
This is opposite of push. You pull a weight towards yourself, or pulling your center of mass towards an object. E.g. pulling a branch down to reach a fruit is a pulling movement.
Unlike all the above mentioned exercises which are performed in two planes, the motion of twist is performed in three planes. In most of our daily activities, like running, throwing a ball, or even walking, some sort of rotation is involved. However, in most exercises in the gym, rotational component is excluded.
Bend is conducted by bending your torso and hinging your hips. We use this movement most commonly in our lives, while lifting an object from the ground.
Activities like jogging, walking or sprinting are called a gait, which needs a combination of lunging, pulling and twisting to propel your body forward. While sprinting to catch a bus or while walking, gait is the most commonly used movement pattern in our life.
Jacob Nadav is a London-based professional personal trainer specializing in post-rehabilitation. He helps people to move and perform better. He also helps them look pumped, jacked and great in swimwear or sportswear.