On a daily basis we deal with people who have aches and pains or who are injured. One over-riding component that contributes to a lot of the problems we see is a LACK OF STRENGTH in the individual. Think about it, if you sit all day at work, your muscles gradually become weaker (especially your gluteals and core muscles) but then we expect our bodies to be able to tolerate a weekend run, a high intensity gym class or a full day in the garden and become frustrated when our bodies start to break down. These problems become more prevalent as we move into the 40-60 age brackets.
Now, there are many different ways you can strengthen your muscles, some people design training programmes around specific body parts – for example if you have had a knee problem you may have been given exercises to strengthen just your quadriceps muscle at the front of thigh thigh. Whilst there is nothing wrong with this, a good alternative (that we prefer) is to :-
Work on the fundamental human movements
This approach treats the body as one piece and keeps the focus not on muscles, but their functional by-product: movement. What’s great about this approach is that you don’t need to do too many exercises – we find that if we give our patients too many different exercises, complicated exercises, or exercises that require fancy equipment then they very often don’t get done as we have confused our patient!
Using this approach, you can divide exercises into the following categories:
- Upper body push, like bench press and push-ups
- Upper body pull, like rows and pullups
- Hinge, like deadlifts, good mornings or kettlebell swings
- Squat, like front squats, back squats or goblet squats
- Loaded carry, like a farmer’s walk
The goal of any training program should be to get stronger in these movements ensuring they are pain free. Almost universally, getting stronger in the fundamental human movements is going to help with your goals, whether they are injury prevention, fat loss, hypertrophy or improved sports performance.
So the take home message is its very important to do some form of strength training and working on fundamental human movements is a great way to do this.
If you would like any guidance on how to do these types of exercises and which ones are suited to you if you have or have had an injury then please contact our team on 01276 37670