Do you need help with your training during quarantine? This is your lucky day. Take advantage of this reading as I will be providing an easy way of designing your own training programs. First of all, make sure you are healthy and without any knee & back issues, or other serious conditions that prohibit training. If you are not sure ask for professional advice before starting out.
First of all, before jumping into the main program make sure to properly warm up, to prepare your body both mentally and physiologically for what is going to follow. Warming up properly is of major importance to avoid any injuries, so I would recommend spending the time needed in order to get ready. You don’t want to compromise your muscle’s, tendons and joints’ wellbeing for the sake of time or because you are bored; 5- 10 minutes should be enough. During the warm up you aim to increase your range of motion so I would advise you to include some mobility drills as part of your warm up routine. Also, drills that increase your heart rate should be included. Some of them might be light jogging, skipping or rowing. Find something that you enjoy and just do it! Personally, I love to include joint rotations in my warm ups; ankle, hip and shoulder rotations, as well as some spine work, like cat/camels never miss from my routine. Then I move on to some corrective/strengthening exercises like bird dogs, clamshells, plank variations and dead bugs depending on my main workout. Then I add some pulse raiser drills like running, skipping and biking, or even some plyometrics.
What you can do next is to perform a complex of exercises that involve pattens that will be used during the main session. Now, let’s move on to the main session. Maybe you are wondering what to include and how to make this workout effective. Try to incorporate as many muscle groups as possible and also try to keep balance between hip dominant, knee dominant, push and pull movements. Are you still with me? If the answer is yes lets see what to include in the program:
I would recommend a knee dominant, a hip dominant, a pushing, a pulling, a core and a “pulse raiser’’ exercise. I find this an easy and effective way to design a program for beginners, intermediate or advanced level people who want to get moving, improve fitness and increase their strength and stamina. Focus on full body movements and try to keep balance between knee dominant and hip dominant exercises as well as pushing and pulling exercises. Too much of pushing without any pulling movements will create imbalances, something you need to avoid.
Below I provide 5 different core training categories and some examples of each category. It is advisable to start off with core exercises that provide stability such as the plank. As Michael Boyle suggests, athletes or clients must be able to prevent rotation before we allow them to produce it. It is important to be able to isometrically resist the forces of rotation before those forces can be used in a propulsive manner.
- Antiextension: ex. Plank, stability ball rollout
- Antilateral flexion: side plank, farmer’s walk
- Antirotation: ex. Plank one arm reach, Pallof press
- Chop & lift/ rotation: half kneeling chops/ Russian twists
- Flexion: Sit ups (focus on spinal segmentation)
Sample workout A:
- Pulse raiser/ Explosive movement: Jumping rope/ Jump squats
- Knee dominant (bilateral): Goblet squats
- Hip dominant (unilateral): Single leg deadlift
- Push (bilateral- horizontal): Push ups
- Pull (unilateral- vertical): Single- arm banded pulldown
- Core: Plank hold
If you are not new to training try to add both horizontal and vertical push and pull exercises in a single workout! If you are a beginner it is fine to start with just one push movement and one pull movement. For example, you can add a one arm shoulder press (unilateral), which is a vertical push movement, and a bent over row, which is a horizontal (bilateral) movement. Also, you can see that the knee dominant exercise is bilateral, which means working both limbs at a time, whereas the hip dominant is unilateral; working one limb at a time. Let’s see another sample which is a bit different.
Sample Workout B
- Pulse raiser / explosive movement: Jog on spot/ Power clean
- Knee dominant (unilateral): Step up
- Hip dominant (bilateral): Glute bridge
- Push vertical (unilateral): Dumbbell alternating overhead press
- Pull horizontal (bilateral): Bent over rows
- Core: Low to high Wood chops
As you can see in sample B I have chosen a knee dominant unilateral exercise compared with sample A where I have chosen a knee dominant bilateral movement. Also, the hip dominant exercise in sample B is a bilateral movement compared to Sample’s A unilateral single leg deadlift. Variation is essential, so make sure to change between knee dominant/ hip dominant unilateral and bilateral exercises, as well as push and pull horizontal and vertical, unilateral and bilateral exercises. Try a variety of combinations!!
Find some exercise ideas below:
“Explosive Movement” Menu:
Power cleans (barbell or dumbbell)
Clean pull (barbell or dumbbell
“Pulse Raiser” Menu
Hip dominant menu:
Fit ball hamstring curls
Knee dominant menu:
Shoulder press (barbell or dumbbell)
Push ups/ side to side push ups/ explosive push ups
Floor press (barbell or dumbbell)
Dumbbell one arm press
Bentover staggered stance one arm rows
Medicine ball rotational throws
Wood chops (high to low, low to high)
MB overhead slams
Plank with knee tuck
My advice: Learn the basic patterns first and master the body-weight versions of every exercise before adding load. Spend some days just to play around with some animal flow movement patterns. Some days it is just fine to go for a relaxing walk; adequate recovery is important so don’t forget to listen to your body !