Squats, push-ups or bench press, pull-ups or rows, deadlifts, etc… the classic exercises didn’t become classics by accident.
They’re classics because they work.
But the gradual process of distilling down to a handful of effective classics over time is also naturally reductive, and we lose some subtlety and important context if we’re not careful.
Take a look at two popular exercises commonly recommended for athletes – muscle-ups and overhead squats:
These are both excellent movements and fairly indicative of the kinds of movements you’ll see practiced in most gym fitness classes. Again, they are excellent exercises, and they cover a lot of ground, so don’t send me hate mail 😉
But there’s something missing…
There’s no rotation. There’s no change of direction. There’s no single-arm or single-leg movements.
Real life and real athletics rely on these kinds of movement patterns, so if you want to apply your strength with confidence int he real world, you need to be addressing these things in your training as well.
Most Workouts Neglect These Movements
This video explains why so many bodyweight workouts you find online follow the same tired pattern or repetitive squat, push-up, and pull-up variations… any why that’s not doing you any favors.
If you just wanna jump right to the action, skip to around 1:50 for the first exercise 🙂
👉 Learn these moves now in a free, 20-minute bodyweight workout.
Download and plug it into your routine for more useful strength.
4 Types of Movement Patterns You Need for More Useful Strength Training
Below, I’ll say more about each mod these movement patterns and why they matter so much.
Unilateral and Rotational Pressing Strength
Push-ups and bench presses are great, but throwing a ball or a punch requires a completely different kind of movement. I mean, even if you don’t have weird hobbies like me don’t care about martial arts, you can clearly see that most of the things you do with your arms require them to move independently and in a variety of different directions.
So your training should so the same.
Most of us spend the majority or our waking lives hunched forward, with our spines and shoulders in a forward flexed position.
Ironically, me, right now, typing this…
Training extension (the opposite of flexion) of the thoracic spine (the area between your neck and lower/lumbar spine) can help balance this so your shoulders and back can function properly under pressure or load while training and moving everyday.
Unilateral Leg Strength
In most sports, you have to run, turn, and jump (usually off one leg), and all of these require your legs to move and express power independently.
Just as important as developing your strength and power in single-leg movements is training that strength both laterally as well as just forward, up-and-down as in a single-leg squat. Movements like cossack squats, side lunges, and peacock or dragon squats will build your ability to translate your strength in more athletic situations.
Core Rotation and Coordination
Your core is more than just the six pack (or cooler) holding up your spine. It’s the central junction through which all the movements of your arms and legs are coordinated and the base from which they develop and transfer power.
To do that work effectively, your torso must be able to both rotate and resist rotation in a variety of positions.
Integrating Multi-Planar and Rotational Movements into Bodyweight Exercise
Linear, bilateral exercise has an important place in strength training, as it allows the most muscle recruitment for efficient strength and muscle development. We include a lot of this kind of movement in our programs as well.
But life and sport are messy and unpredictable, so we also need to train for single-arm and -leg, rotational movements in different directions.
A well-rounded training program will incorporate both.
Strength for Moving Your Body
Break free from the trap of restricted movement patterns and unrealistic workouts. Integral Strength is our take on classic calisthenics, plus a few twists, both literally and otherwise 😉