Hello and thank you for reading!

This is a post to help you in your training practice. If you use this philosophy in the gym, you will be in a great position not only to reshape your body, but also fix your posture and work everything evenly!

The human body knows movement, not muscle. This is why when I teach weight training, I teach full-body lifting. I do not advocate the muscle isolation machines and exercises that were adopted by bodybuilders in the late ninteen sixties and have proliferated ever since. It is not that I have anything against bodybuilding, I just find the methods to be irrelevant when it comes to health and fitness. Muscle isolation develops useless strength in the real world. It will cause you to lose range of motion and pound away at your joints, in my opinion, it misses the point of exercise entirely. What is the point? Well, amongst other things, creating body unity.

In human movement, there are seven primal movements that are the basis for all movement. When you train in the gym, instead of training each individual muscle and decreasing your real world funtionality, train these movements.

Bend to extend – This is your basic deadlift pattern, lift with your legs and not with your back. Hips back, back straight, feet flat and forward. It can be performed bodyweight, or in dozens of other variations. This works your butt, backs of your legs, and your lower back.

Squat – This movement isn’t hips back, like bend/extend, but pelvis down. Trying to keep your bodyweight in its neutral gravity line with your back flat, developing range of motion that will take you to “rock bottom”. This is all about strength and flexibility and works every muscle in your legs and core.

Lunge – This is a stabilitzer and balance trainer, great for lengthening tight hips and creating pelvic floor strength, when performed properly. They will make your quads and hip flexors sore from the long range of motion and will require more core strength to stand up out of than the squat and deadlift.

Twist – All movement begins with rotation, twisting through your core is extremely important for strength and flexibility. Every step you take has rotation in the thoracic spine, as a matter of injury prevention, train it in your practice. Not only will it keep your core strong and mobile, unifying your body, but also tone up those midsection muscles!

Push – This is your upper body muscles pushing things in various directions. In the real world, you would have to do this with different objects, in different ways, quite frequently. This trains your chest, shoulders and triceps differently depending upon the lift.

Pull – This is your upper body muscles pulling weight toward you, commonly referrred to as a row, pullups are also a pulling exercise. This trains your back, biceps, and grip. There is a version out there for everyone. It also can help correct the forward shoulders that have become so common among people from spending so much time at computers and iphones.

Gait – Walk, jog, run or sprint. It seems to me that we should all be able to enjoy the freedom to run. If you train the previous six movements safely and effectively, it will set you up to have the posture, flexibility, strength, and endurance to run. Running relies on body unification, which is precisely what you’ll be doing when you train the seven primal movements, instead of isolating each and every muscle!

If ever you have thrown a ball, you have combined the lunge, rotation and pushing motion all in one! Just think of the primal movements and combinations you would use just bringing your groceries in the house. All of these movements can be combined with one another in the gym, in much the same way they would be in real life. You can even train them on one leg, a balance ball or airex pad!

Remember, just because you know what the movements are, that doesn’t mean you know how to perform them safely. If you want to get a basic rundown, I will provide you with the information you will need to enhance your own workouts, just contact me through my website or by email. You may also be able to find plenty of other resources that will help. I will post more specific information over time, in videos and blogs, and direct you to it when I do.

Until then, stay safe and love your practice!

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Peter