How to Strengthen your Movements (Exercise)

I've an extensive history in Sport, Health and Nutrition in my personal life but it was only five years ago when I first started studying to teach. In that five years I've done numerous courses, internships and workshops with really world class coaches. With the likes of Dan John, Mike Boyle, Mike Robertson, Ido Portal, Mark Toomey and Phil Richards to name a few and not to forget about some top quality Irish lads i get the privilege to meet regularly and pick their brains. 

These boys have anywhere from 20 to 40+ years experience and have coached a whos who of National, World and Olympic medallists across numerous sports.

In 15 years time I want to be just as good as these but I'm not looking to get someone to the Olympics (Not today anyway, that may change). I want to help the general population just like you and I. We're never going to the Olympics (I missed that boat) but that doesn't mean we can't be awesome in our own right.

Now you're probably been looking online and all you see are people talking about program design and periodisation and never leave out your myofascial release, mobilisation and activation. 

I saw something on Facebook recently. It was two trainers debating about a program for a client. They're both going back and forth with all the right lingo but then it turns out that the client is a 56 year old obese male. Listen, if you know how to coach and treat individuals then the most basic of programs is gona get that dude results.

So what do you need? What are the big hitters? In no order and without referencing individuals, here's what I've learned from the coaches mentioned above.

An exercise program should incorporate the following:

  • Hip hinge movements - Kettlebell Swings or Deadlifts.

  • Squat Variation - This will depend on your level and capability.

  • Horizontal Push - Push up variation or bench press.

  • Horizontal Pull - Down under or prone row variation.

  • Vertical Push - Overhead press (Shoulder press).

  • Vertical Pull - Pull/Chin up variation or Lat pull down.

  • Loaded Carries - Waiter, Rack and Farmer walks.

Dan John also likes to throw in the Turkish get up which is great for Core and Scapula Stability as well as Hip and Shoulder Mobility. I also use this for my more mature clients because how often have to heard of an elderly person fall and having to sleep on the floor for the night because they couldn't get back into bed or get to the phone. 

As you age your Hips, Hamstrings, Chest and Biceps will tighten so make sure you stretch them daily. 

Another downfall to ageing is the weakening of your Glutes, Abs, Shoulders and Triceps. So if there is one tool you should learn to us that can be done at any age and will help with all these movements it has to be the Kettlebell. When taught from a knowledgeable coach who is Strongfirst (I am) or RKC certified or soon to be attending the first Strength Matters Cert in London (I will be) this September. You know they have received top quality information and have had to work to earn that qualification. 

Finally one of the greatest things I've learned and it has benefited myself as much as my clients is a little thing called 'Greasing the Groove'. Not everything has to be a 60 or 90 minute training session. I like to play little games. You can do things like every time you walk under the pull up bar in your bedroom You've to do 3/5 or 10 chins. When I was younger I use to do 50 push ups before every shower. Yep, in my nip on the bathroom floor.  If you're watching TV, every time ads come on you have to hold a static squat or some other stretch and vary it each time or each ad. Other things to grease the groove would be the golden oldies like using the stairs instead of the lift. Both feet have to touch every step or jump two or three steps at a time or can you hop only on one foot? These games don't look as weird when you've your kids with you but are entertaining none the less.  Even without the games just use the stairs, walk to the shops, cycle to work. A lot of little things do add up.


Until next week,

Move it or Lose it,

Love and Happiness,

John T.

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