When it comes to working out, there are hundreds of different things you can do with your body, but there are a few key moves that can cover a lot of ground. Access Acceleration’s Craig Favara, Director of Fitness, breaks down the importance of these five essential workouts.
Turkish Get Up:
When it comes to a combination of mobility, stability and strength all in one, there is no better exercise than the Turkish Get Up. It recruits an enormous amount of single leg hip stability with the initial roll and press during the bridge. Shoulder stability is required when controlling the kettle bell. Thoracic extension and rotation come into play as well. You have to neurologically pattern two different lunge movements, along with keeping your core engaged to properly execute this pattern. The Turkish Get Up can be used as a warm-up, assessment or even be programmed to improve full body movements and core strength.
It’s a fundamental movement that requires the posterior chain (lower back, glutes and hamstrings) to come into play. A compound movement that can be used to increase sports performance, rehab injuries or just increase general fitness. Studies suggest that weak glutes and hamstrings can lead to severe lower back issues. No wonder 70% of people over 40 have low back pain. Time to start deadlifting!
I am not going to say there is a single plank that takes the throne because each variation can be beneficial and unique. The idea of planking is to create a long neutral spine and focus on drawing your abs to your spine and squeezing your glutes. When these cues are applied it causes a much more efficient core contraction. We must remember that our abdominal muscles are stabilizers and they need to be treated like so. Therefore holding and resistance a movement would take the cake over the 300 sit-ups you were planning to do before bed.
Bulgarian Split Squat:
This is a rear foot elevated squat which has made a lot of noise over the last ten years. The Bulgarian Split Squat is a unilateral squat, meaning one leg, which causes hip extension and leads to recruitment of the psoas muscle, which is deep in the hip. A single leg squat should be a staple in 99% of people’s workouts. A study was done showcasing two traditional back squat versus the Bulgarian Split Squat and guess which exercise produced greater strength results?? Bingo! The Bulgarian Split Squat is the king of squats.
Kettle Bell Swing:
We can all thank Pavel Tsatsouline, a famous Russian kettle bell trainer, for making the importance of kettle bells know in America. The kettle bell swing is a movement that requires a lot of posterior chain involvement and hip mobility. The kettle bells swing focuses on the hip hinge and lock out at the top of the swing. The kettlebell swing will not only increase strength in the glutes and lumbar but it will improve posture as well. There are hundreds of different kettle bell movements but they all start with the Turkish Get Up and kettle bell swing. Everyone from professional athletes to rehab centers, and even boot camp classes are catching on and incorporating kettle bell swinging into their routine. My recommendation is to work with a kettle bell instructor first, as the form is often duplicated incorrectly, which is a scary thought in itself.
What, no bench press or upper body movements in this program? Before you say this article is blasphemy, let me clarify. There are hundreds of great movements out there and depending on the individual’s needs they may be called upon. But the five movements I just provided will get you the most bang for your buck in a safe and effective manner. These movements, if programmed correctly, are bound to increase physical condition, improve strength, activate core stabilization, and help you move better and feel better.