Which is better, training movements or training muscles? 6 Simple Movements | 6-Minute Work Out

Charlie Rhea, M.S. SCCC, CSCS, USAW, Director of Performance Training, Landmark Christian School
When you hear “muscle training”, what comes to mind? Most people think of the "bro" split workout program. This would be something like - biceps and back on day 1,  triceps and chest on day 2, then legs and abs on day 3. Then repeat! That is all fine and can totally work - if you are a bodybuilder. However, if you are trying to do something that involves the full body every day, one different approach is to try training movements.  
Below are the main differences between movement training and muscle training. 
Muscle training is focused on isolated muscles whereas movement training is great for real life! As you train using a mindset focused on movement, you will begin to see that rarely in life do you only use just one muscle group. Your body is always working together as one unit. Movement training can better translate to improvements in sport and can also help improve your life. It will help with balance, coordination, mobility, and is most realistic to what you will have to do in sport or life. For example, a pitcher in baseball or softball does not just use his/her tricep to throw the ball. They get their feet set, they load at the hips, then they explode out through the upper body into the arms into releasing the ball.  It is one fluid movement, and it is focused on the body working holistically as one congruent unit.  

The 6 Simple Movements  
According to one Strength Coach (Dan John), there are about 5 main movement patterns in terms of exercises done in the weight room. Those movements are a squat, a  hinge, a push, a pull, and a carry. Now I like these a lot, but I also think we should change a few things. I like to add one more movement pattern - the triple extension! This would include things like jumping where you hit triple extension at the ankles, knees, and hips.  Olympic movements would also go in this category. You also have combo movements like a push + pull or a squat + push or hinge + row. In addition, for each movement, you can do bilateral (double arm or double leg) or unilateral (single arm or single leg). You can also mix these exercises up by adding variation to a specific direction like vertical, horizontal,  lateral, rotational, or a combo. I also like to change the word carry to core where we can focus on stability, flexion, rotation, extension, carry, or a crawl. Therefore, the purpose of 
simplicity, we will just be looking at these 6 simple movements in their basic forms. So, the  list would look like this: 

1. Triple Extension 
2. Squat 
3. Hinge 
4. Push 
5. Pull 
6. Core 

Key Take Away 
Throughout the next semesters, we will do a deep dive into each movement. For now, the main takeaway to remember is that movement training can help translate better to sport performance and real-life situations in order to be fit for life! 

Application – Family Activity 
Instead of training muscle groups this week, try a simple movement training program! Below you will see a 6-minute workout that you can do each day as a family! Try to do this for 6 days in a row this week, then on your 1 off day (Sunday) talk about what you learned as a family! 

6-minute Workout – 1 full minute at each exercise
*If you are feeling good, do 2-5 rounds! 
1. Jump - Small Vertical Jump 
2. Squat – Wall Sit 
3. Hinge - Glute Bridge Iso Hold 
4. Push - Hand Pick Up Push Up 
5. Pull - Bar Hang 
6. Core - Bear Crawls Forward & Backward
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Landmark Christian School

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