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People lift for various reasons, be it to increase mass, strength, strength or any other factor. The way they achieve their fitness goals is the source of the debate in all internet forums. Everything from ideal training splits, sets, repetitions to rest intervals is controversial. Despite these differences in detail, an underlying principle unites these lifters – an understanding that programming is important. Poorly designed programming can put you in a sub-optimal state that affects your ability to achieve your goals, or worse, makes you more prone to injury.
One concept that lifters should consider when evaluating their program is that they consider the following basic movement patterns:
- to press
While you don't have to include every movement pattern in all of your workouts, it's a good idea to assess whether you're doing a sufficient amount of each movement at some point in your exercise program.
Failure to take into account every movement pattern can lead to muscle imbalances and a higher susceptibility to injury across the board. Since the muscles work as groups and you have a weakness somewhere in your "chain", your general strength goals also suffer.
Lifters can overlook one of the basic movement patterns for various reasons. Often lifters choose to stop an entire movement because they feel uncomfortable doing a particular exercise. Exercises form movement patterns, but they are not the independent movement pattern.
If for some reason a particular exercise causes problems instead of canceling exercises from that movement, you will find ways to incorporate other user-friendly exercises from that movement pattern.
Another common reason is tunnel vision to improve a certain boost when designing a program. While specificity and overload are required for training progress, you don't want to completely neglect the other movements.
Finally, some lifters strive to address each of these movements in their programs, but it may not be balanced. We tend to move more that we excel than movements that we have more difficulty with. In addition, we have to consider which movements / postures we use not only in the gym during our day.
For this reason, it is common for many trainers to recommend, for example, a 2: 1 pull-to-push ratio to achieve some balance when you are away from a computer for 8 hours. Some ways you can evaluate your program include comparing strength ratios across movements, the total number of repetitions of each movement, or an honest evaluation of the quality of movement for each movement.
Here are some strategies to ensure that you address all basic movement patterns that you may not be using enough in your program.
- User-friendly alternatives: We all have different biomechanical structures, past injury histories and exercise skills. The search for suitable alternatives for the various movements varies between individuals. Common alternatives include the use of landmines, interception rods, resistance bands, modified handles, angles during exercises and viewpoints.
- Warm-up cycle for body weight: An easy way to make sure that you tackle each of the basic movements is to start each warm-up with a body weight mobility cycle using each movement. This serves as an effective way to increase the frequency with which you perform under-used movements
- Use an overlooked move as part of your conditioning session: Assigning a conditioning session to loaded carriers is an easy way to address this movement if it is overlooked. But any of the other movements can be easily programmed using rudder ergometers (pulls) or MetCons for engines (squat / push) or kettlebell swings (hinge).