One of the best articles I’ve ever come across about the basic movement patterns that should be covered in any workout routine is this one by Leith Darkin. In this article, all the basic principles are covered in a really simple and intuitive way. If you are interested in digging a bit deeper into the science of training, that is certainly an excellent place to start.
However, for life warriors with small time availability, I will briefly summarize these principles which are the main foundations of the training methods we will propose you in this blog.
We will start by dividing the body into three parts: upper body (shoulders, upper back, arms and chest), lower body (legs and lower back) and core (abs). We could argue if the lower back belongs to core or to lower body, but either way we will be taking care of it so maybe not worth a long controversy 😉
- The upper body is responsible for 2 types of movements (pushing and pulling) through 5 different angles:
Pulling movements will involve your grip muscles (forearms), biceps, posterior and lateral deltoids, lats and traps. When we pull upwards, traps will be taking most of the effort (exercises like upright row). As the angle moves up (from position 2 up to position 5), the bulk of the effort will progressively switch to your lats (exercises like chin ups).
Pushing movements will mainly involve triceps, anterior delts and pecs. When we push downwards, most of the effort will be taken by our triceps (exercises like dips); when the effort is perpendicular to body axis (position number 3) it will be our pecs who will run the show (exercises like push ups or bench press), and when we push upwards it will be our anterior delts doing the heavy lifting (exercises like military press)
- In the Lower Body we have two kinds of movements: the front part of our legs (quads) will push our body upwards (exercises like squats), while our posterior chain (glutes, hamstrings and lower back) on one hand will push our body forward (exercises like lunges) or will help us lifting loads from the ground by making a hinge-like movement with the hip joint (exercises like deadlift)
- Last, but not least, our core connects the upper and the lower body, transferring power from one place to the other (like for example when we make a punching movement), and also makes rotation or anti-rotation movements
When trying to put together a balanced routine, we should take into account all these movement patterns and include them all in our programming. At first sight it might look a bit complicated but don’t panic, we will be giving you useful tips and tricks in order to enable you to make real Life Warrior Workouts 😉