I was looking up some different workout ideas today and all of a sudden I stumbled upon what I believe to be one of the most awesome summaries of all things exercise that I have ever seen (and paraphrased):
When in doubt, squat, hinge, press, pull, do something for your core and/or carry something heavy.
This is such a useful answer to the question I get so often as a trainer:
What should I do in the gym?
Functional fitness for 100, Alex. Planning your workout isn’t brain surgery; it’s simply putting together the most effective summary of parts so that you aren’t (a) wasting time or (b) about to injure yourself.
Case in point: I, like many women, used to spend time on “little muscles” – think triceps kickbacks, biceps curls, or thigh abductions.
Sure, muscles are muscles and they all need work to function optimally. But consider a complex movement like the deadlift-row – where the body must hinge, pull, engage the core, and lift something heavy – and you see why 10 reps of dead-rows versus 10 reps of arm-kicking makes a lot more sense.
So what does a squatting, hinging, pushing, pulling, core stuff and carrying things type of workout actually look like?
I know, it sounds like some sort of complicated version of Mouse Trap, but honestly, these fundamental movements are some of the easiest to put together on your own when faced with a gym and a half hour(ish) to work out in it. Here’s one example:
HINGE – you know I love a deadlift. Or heck, a kettlebell swing.
As with most things in life, the best answer is often the simplest one.
What do your functional workouts look like? What are your fave moves?