As a personal training studio owner of Energy Fitness for over 19 years, personal trainer and former collegiate athlete I have high expectations in the gym and cardio workouts for myself which I pass on to my clients.I admit sometimes I get overzealous and may add too many exercises for the client. I just want them to have a balanced body and work in all planes of motion.
Prescribing too many exercises can leave some individuals confused and wondering if they can even workout on their own. This is especially true for clients that I just assess and write a take out program for them to do on their own (and some even give a video demo of the actual workout). Individuals go to trainers for a bundle of different reasons such as motivation, learn how to not get injured, expertise, nutrition coaching and accountability.
This blog post is intended to get you thinking about just doing even 4 exercises as opposed to my own workouts which I just counted often
involves up to 20 different exercises.
I must also admit that I have learned from experience that when new clients especially older clients or newbies to strength training seem apprehensive that I should take that cue and dial it down. This can help them from getting hurt and overcome the obstacle of not even starting the training program if doing it on their own. We all learn everyday and each new learning experience helps us to be better at our craft/profession.
All that said is in this post I tried to think of the most functional movements (fancy word for moving your body well and in different directions) for you to try if you are someone that hasn’t been doing anything or maybe you want to add an additional day with a few body weight exercises.
The best for your Quick Pick 4 is asking yourself
DO YOUR WORKOUTS MOVE YOU
IN EVERY DIRECTION?
Not doing any strength training?
Maybe this can get you jump started!
THE CHALLENGE….. Do 1 set of 12 reps of each exercise 2 times per week skipping a day or two in between.
Here’s a few exercises to get you started thinking this way and incorporate these planes of motion in all your workouts going forward.
- Step Ups – HOLD ON TO SOMETHING FOR GOODNESS SAKE as this is one of those exercises where balance comes into play as well as ankle stability and firing those glutes (butt muscles). Find a set of stairs in your house, apartment, work or find a tall enough aerobic step or bench at the gym? What plane does this work?
Sagittal –This plane divides the body into right and left sides. Movements in the sagittal plane are flexion and extension. You can move forward and backward or up and down. Other exercises in this plane are squats, leg press, leg curl lunges, bench press, bicep curls and buttkicks.THE CHALLENGE….. Do 1 set of 12 reps of Step Ups each leg with no rest between sides 2 times per week (skipping a day between them)!
2. C-Bend (standing or kneeling) Which plane does this work? Frontal – This plane divides the body into front and back sides. Movements in the frontal plane are abduction where you move your limbs away from the mid-line of your body into a lateral motion. Think arms out to your sides like you are flying. Front plane is also adduction where you move your limbs towards the mid-line of your body like when doing a jumping jack and bringing the arms back down to your sides. This lateral movement applies to any part of your body moving side to side.Other exercises in this plan are side lunges, side kicks, side raises for shoulders, shoulder presses, slide board or rollerblading, lateral trainer cardio machine and outer thigh side walks.
If you try the standing version be sure to align your spine correctly. If you tend to have a sway back (anterior tilt of the pelvis) then rotate your pelvis by thinking tucking butt/lengthening hip flexors. If you have a flat back then you will need to create a little arch by doing the opposite of sway back instructions. Want to try the kneeling version by clicking here.
3. IT Band Leg Cross Over (Do this move aiming to keep your shoulders on the ground) This exercise is great because as you are trying to rotate your lower body you are also trying to keep your shoulders on the ground feeling the rotation move up your body as you try to bring your leg back to the starting position. Too easy with one leg? Then do both by all means and that means keep both feet together when coming back up after aiming the toes to the armpits. Which plane does this work? Transverse – This plane divides the body into top and bottom halves. Movements in the transverse plane are rotational, both internal and external rotation.Think golf, tennis, swimming with good rotation, canoe, kayak, paddle board, chopping down a tree with an ax and bowling. Other exercises in this plane are chop squats, lunge with high to low or low to high chops, roman twists or throwing the medicine ball with a twist of the upper body.
or click here for the two legged advanced version.
4. Multi-Planar move Curtsey with cross chop.This movement goes across several planes. Other rotational exercises are squat to rotational shoulder press or split leg lunge with chop motion or a Curtsey with cross chop (you can use a heavy book or a small handbag, get creative if you don’t have actual medicine balls, dumbbells, cables or bands. Battling ropes are a great tool to work your body in every plane of motion. You can do alternating waves or stagecoach to work in the sagittal plane.
YOU GOT THIS! Chart it on a calendar or on your phone to see your visual progress!
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Tonya Tittle, M.S., ACSM
Owner/Dir. of Training, Energy Fitness (established 2002)
ACSM, TPI Level 1 Certified, Rock Tape, Rock Pods (cupping therapy), Rock Tape Blades & Blades Advanced
FMT Basic, Metagenics FLT
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