Lately we’ve been on a kick talking about strength training. Because of that, today we’ve decided to talk a little on strength training basics in order to show how easily strength can be added to any fitness routine at its most fundamental level. We are going to quickly cover the 4 fundamental movements that should be included in any strength training program. So here it is, strength training basics.
As previously mentioned there are 4 very basic strength movements that can be trained individually or all at once. These three movements are the push, the pull, and the hinge + explosiveness, squats. Let’s break them down one by one.
The Push: This is moving an object away from the body. This can be done in many planes, but most commonly is seen in most gyms as the shoulder press (strict press, push press, jerk) or even the bench press. The press is essential for building strength in the chest and arms. For a beginner going through strength training basics, a simple strict press from the standing position can increase strength tremendously. Don’t rely on only the bench press, the most common press in the gym. Although it is a very beneficial lift and in our belief, should be done, the strict press is going to give everyone more bang for their buck. When done correctly, keeping the body tight, the strict press will not only add strength in the chest and shoulders, but in the midline as well.
The Pull: Big gains are made in the ‘pull’ lifts and that is why anyone who decides to strength train (which should be everyone) must have it in their program. The most common pulls in the gym are: Deadlifts, Bent over rows, T-bar rows, lat pull downs, and pull ups. Are there others? Of course, those are just the most common. If your strength training does not include some type of pull from the ground, i.e. deadlifts, then you are not serious about getting stronger. Your day to day life depends on “the pull” whether you want to believe it or not. From grip strength, to hamstrings, lower back, upper back, midline and everything in between, The Pull will send you towards your goals faster than any other lifts. Learn to do them correctly and DO NOT neglect them in the gym
The Hinge: The hinge is in the hip. For reference think of what the hips do during the kettlebell swing when the bell is between the legs or during the loading phase of a jump. There are probably other names for this one and for the most part, most people don’t think of this as being a strength movement and probably do not do them nearly enough. Every great strength training basic program should involve some type of jumping, squatting, or swinging. Far too often we focus on time under tension, which is awesome, but we neglect movements like a broad jump. Everyone should work on being explosive even if they can’t jump far or high. It’s not about that at all, it is simply about DOING the movement. Kettlebell swings are another great way to load the hinge and work on explosiveness through the hips.
The Squat: This movement sits on the throne next to the deadlift. It is necessary for all strength training basics and beyond. It is a simple movement that can be gradually loaded over time and carries large value. Learn to squat correctly, squat often, squat heavy and your life will change forever.
So for those of you wanting to start a basic strength training routine, be sure you focus on these 4 movements. They are what make up any great strength training routine.