The 6 Movements That Make a Perfect Workout | H4 Training

Dec05The 6 Movements That Make a Perfect Workout

Ever wondered why your workout routine feels like it’s missing a little something? Well, it might just be the lack of these six essential movements. We’re not talking about some secret fitness handshake, but rather the basic building blocks that can turn your routine from meh to magnificent. We will be breaking down the major movement patterns that should complete a full-body workout, and why they’re important.

1. Squat

The squat, a compound movement, engages the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and core. It involves so many muscle groups, that it is considered the “King” of all exercises. A fundamental exercise for lower body strength, function, and athleticism.

2. Lunge

Lunges, with their varied forms, dynamically challenge lower body musculature and enhance proprioception(aka body awareness). This unilateral movement helps even out muscle imbalances in the lower body, fostering improved coordination and stability. Lunges are a cornerstone for promoting functional movement patterns and athleticism.

3. Hinge

Deadlifts and swings target the posterior chain, emphasizing the activation of the hamstrings and back muscles. This movement pattern is essential for developing hip hinge mechanics, contributing to optimal biomechanical alignment and reducing the risk of lower back injuries.

4. Push

Pushing movements activate the pecs, deltoids, and triceps. Things like pushups, bench pressing, overhead pressing, etc are all examples of pushing movements. You want a variety of directions, too; perform horizontal pushing and vertical pushing movements to even out your strength across the board.

5. Pull

Rowing movements target the upper back and biceps, promoting scapular health and shoulder stability. Incorporating pulling exercises counters the forward posture associated with modern sedentary lifestyles, reducing the risk of imbalances. Same with pushing, you want to incorporate horizontal and vertical pulling, for example, a one-arm dumbbell row and a pulldown.

6. Carry

The farmer’s carry, a locomotive exercise, engages the core and enhances grip strength. From a biomechanical standpoint, this exercise promotes stability in the spine and shoulders, providing a functional carryover to daily activities. The key here is to go as heavy as you can handle while maintaining good form.

7. Rotation/Anti-Rotation

Integrating rotational and anti-rotational exercises challenges the core in multiple planes of motion, enhancing transverse plane stability. This translates to improved core strength and resilience against torsional forces, reducing the risk of injury to the spine. Examples of these exercises are:

  • Russan twist: rotation
  • Pallof press: anti-rotation
  • Chops: rotation
  • Plank: anti-rotation

Incorporate these foundational movement patterns into your routine to optimize your workouts, or if it seems too confusing come try out some of our workouts at H4 Training, as we utilize all of these movements regularly in our programming.