Upper Body Fundamental Movements
When most people incorrectly discuss functional personal training in Newington CT, they usually focus on total body exercises. Again, the functional movements tend to be showy parlor tricks that actually have nothing to do with being functional. Standing on top of a physioball is impressive and does take a lot of skill and strength BUT it is NOT functional, unless you are trying out for cirque du solei. Functional training “experts” would have you believe that there is no place for isolated exercises when performing functional training, but when we are talking about fundamental movement patterns there will be a time and place for isolated movements. When we are talking about upper body fundamental movement patterns there are 3 that we want to emphasize, they are: the push; the pull; and the carry. With the push and the pull we can break it down even more specifically into a horizontal and a vertical movement.
While functional training with your personal trainer in Newington CT, pushing exercises are one of the most commonly performed and favorite exercises. Something that is common in the industry is the desire for a lot of people to only want to train what they see in the mirror. Because of the commonly aesthetic desire of many clients there is a huge emphasis on performing chest and shoulder exercises. These muscle groups are very important to train but can easily lead to many ‘functional’ issues. People in general tend to be anteriorly dominant. That is, the anterior musculature of the body tends to be overdeveloped. This can easily be correlated to and slightly contributed the increase of desk jobs where the shoulders and head tend to hunched and forward to facilitate working at a computer. This causes a tightening and growth in front shoulder and tightness in the pecs. This is important because when training pushing exercises, you exasperate the negative affects of this over development. That being said pushing exercises are a crucial fundamental movement pattern. As the top personal trainer in Newington CT, it is up to me to find the balance of training this necessary moment pattern without overtraining this musculature. This is one of the first movement patterns that we as humans learn. If you have ever watched an infant do tummy time you’ll notice as they start to increase their motor control, they start to push themselves up.
When your personal trainer in Newington Connecticut talks about pushing movement patterns we have to discuss both vertical and horizontal patterns. Both are equally necessary and should get attention in a well-rounded exercise program. Horizontal patterns include push-ups, bench press, and the countless variations of these exercises. It is necessary to understand that these exercises are not “just chest or tricep exercises” but these are fundamental compound (multi-joint exercises) that, when performed correctly, will engage the core, hips, and legs creating a strong stable pillar. We this stable pillar is created to perform a push the exercise will be exponentially safer and fundamentally relevant. It is necessary to make sure that proper progressions are observed. Vertical exercises would involve overhead pressing, such as the various forms of shoulder presses. When performing these vertical presses it is necessary to engage that pillar discussed previously.
As your personal trainer in Newington Connecticut I am a firm believer that pulling exercises are one of the most underperformed and most pivotal movement patterns in a proper fundamental program. First and foremost, proper training in a pulling pattern can help rectify a lot of the issues seen in an anterior dominant client. When strengthening and building the rear delts, traps, and rhomboids; it is possible to pull the whole shoulder complex back and up, correcting rounded shoulders and alleviating a lot of the neck and shoulder pain caused by years of office work. Pulling exercises are also extremely important for athletes. As Newington’s top Personal Trainer in Newington CT, the majority of increase in athletic ability comes from proper training of the posterior chain. Pulling exercises are absolutely necessary to increase the musculature of the posterior chain, which is necessary for every sport. For throwing athletes the rear delt will decelerate and stabilize the shoulder. The quicker the arm can decelerate the more explosion and control there will be in the concentric movement. The posterior chain is necessary for stabilization and control.
As with pushing exercises, pulling exercises can be divided between horizontal and vertical movements. Horizontal pulls will strengthen and group the musculature of the mid and upper back. These horizontal pulls include the variations and progression of “rows”. These rows include DB Rows, Barbell Rows, BW Rows, and can be performed at various angles for different isolations. Vertical pulls include lat pull downs and it variations as well as pullups. It is necessary to have a proper balance of vertical and horizontal pulls. This will be necessary to ensure proper shoulder health and balanced progress in a proper fundamental program.
The final fundamental movement that I like to talk about is the carry. When your personal trainer in Newington Connecticut uses this technique, be careful. This seems like the most basic of all the movements listed but it is one of the most important moves to master. The carry is exactly what it sounds like. It is the act of carrying a load while maintaining proper body position. The first step would be to train and correct a client’s gate. That is, teach them how to walk properly because you never want to load an inefficient pattern. The carry is an extremely taxing total body exercise. This exercise can be progressed with different hand positioning, such as a farmer’s carry; an overhead carry; a unilateral carry; etc. you can also increase load by adding weights which will help strengthen the carry.
These 6 fundamental movements are absolutely the foundations to a proper training program. When implemented properly they will create a well-balanced, efficient training program that is sure to greatly impact a client’s life. While a lot of training is done for aesthetics, it is important not forget that a lot of Personal Trainers in Newington CT got into this line of work to change lives. When using a proper program that instills all of the necessary fundamental movements, a trainer can not only impact a client’s training in the gym but also greatly improve their everyday life!
In the final installment of this series we will discuss the fundamental movements of the lower body you personal trainer in Newington should be using!!