The Basic Movements Your Body Was Designed To Do

Basic movements your body was designed to do

There are endless variations of exercises that you can do for a great workout routine. Although most exercises have their ‘place’ when applied properly, there are certain ones that should be considered as a basis for your fitness program.

These exercises are based on the primal movement patterns, that your body was designed to do. They help your body to move and function effectively, and they are often termed as ‘functional’. This means that their benefits can be extended to help you with everyday life, sports and activities. They use large portions of muscle mass and multiple muscle groups and are highly beneficial components of both muscle building, and weight loss programs.

Once you understand the primal movement patterns you’ll realize they are commonly incorporated into the fitness activities on offer around South East Asia. For example, popular fitness options such as CrossFit, F45 and circuit classes regularly include variations on these movements in their workouts.

If you have a gym program is important to take a look at it and see whether it has been designed with the primal movement patterns in mind. Let’s take a look at what they are:

1. Squat

In Asia, people are generally much better at squatting than they are in the west! However, if you lead a modern lifestyle that includes lots of sitting and driving time, you may have noticed your ability to squat well diminish over time, irrespective of where you live.

Squats can be done as a bodyweight exercise, or with dumbbells, barbells, kettlebells or other equipment. Variations include one-legged squat and jump squats.

2. Lunge

Like the squat, the lunge works all the major muscles of the lower body, but this time in a split stance with one leg in front of the other. Variations include walking lunges, power lunges and jumping lunges.

3. Push

Push exercises use half of the major muscles of the upper body. These are the chest muscles, triceps, and the front of the shoulders. Push exercises include push-ups, the chest press machine, and dumbbell/barbell bench press.

4. Pull

Pull exercises use the other half of the major upper body muscles, specifically the back, biceps, and rear shoulders. Pull exercises are often neglected in gym programs but are often more important to emphasize than push exercises! This is because they can help a lot with modern lifestyle related problems such as shoulders that are rounded forward.

Pull exercises include the lat pulldown, seated row, and chin-ups.

5. Press

The press is similar to the push action, but it is done overhead. Examples include the shoulder press machine and a dumbbell shoulder press.

6. Twist

The twist movement is sometimes done on its own, for example when doing medicine ball twists to work the abdominals. Often it is combined with other movements to make them more complex and to incorporate more muscles. For example, a twist can be added to a squat or lunge when the exerciser is more advanced.

7. Gait

Gait is simply the act of walking or running and it is the seventh primal movement pattern. As it is something that your body is designed to do, make sure you include it in your fitness routine. If it’s not part of your gym routine you can opt to go hiking or jogging, or you could simply walk to places instead of driving. 

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