Getting fitter should be an enjoyable, rewarding process. Due to the fact that many people go into fitness with the major goal of losing weight, it is common that fitness journeys are started with excessive amounts of endurance style training. Although this approach may lead to quick results, this style of training usually doesn't last very long which not only leads to people dropping out of training but also feeling like they have let themselves down.
The essential first step in getting fit is learning to move and strengthening those movements. This sets you up for long term success, significantly reduces your risk of injury and delivers optimal results.
Here are what we identify as the five key functional movements and why:
Due to sitting on chairs for long periods of time we no longer sit in the natural squat position. Not spending time in the natural squat position leads to key muscles switching off and other muscles around the hip area changing in length. The vast majority of hip, knee and back issues people suffer with in the UK could be cured through learning to squat properly.
By adding a light to moderate load to the front of the body whist performing the squat the core and upper back muscles are more fully utilised. Adding a load also tends to make people squat with better form which is highly beneficial when trying to fix tight muscles.
Every time you pick something up off the floor you deadlift. Modern life has lead to us rarely needing to lift heavy objects off the floor which is good for convenience but not so good for our strength, posture and bone health. Learning to dead lift properly is immensely beneficial for our whole body, especially our backs.
'Stop slouching' something we've probably all been told and all told somebody else. The reason we 'slouch' is because we spend excessive periods of time sat in unnatural positions with our shoulders forward. This leads to the muscles in the upper back switching off and our posture becoming poor. Pressing objects overhead properly to full extension is one of the best movements you can do to strengthen the upper back muscles and stretch tight muscles on the front of the body.
Possibly the ultimate movement for testing and improving strength, mobility and posture. Performing an overhead squat requires a high level of muscular activation throughout our bodies, a high level of mobility and good spinal mobility. Being able to perform a good overhead squat with just a broomstick is an impressive feat.
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