There is so much noise out there in the world of fitness it can be really hard to filter out what is actually important. This is not written for the avid Crossfitter as you will already know what these things are. This is written for your friends and family who don’t exercise and don’t know where to start or what is really important. Here are the 5 things that are required for someone to become/stay fit (listed in no particular order).
- Squat – This is the ability to raise and lower your self, aka get in and out of a chair. We can make this movement harder by adding weight in a variety of positions but the basics of the movement remain the same. To practice this movement do 4 sets of 8 squats as low as you can, or squat to a chair if you need assistance getting back up.
- Press – This can be expressed as placing something up on a high shelf, or pushing yourself up off the ground. You can also push ups, dips, press heavy weights, and even do handstand push ups. To practice this movement do 5 sets of 6 push ups from the feet, knees, or on a raised object such as a couch.
- Pull – This is not limited to pull ups alone, this can also be a deadlift which is to pull something off the ground to your waist. We can further develop this movement by doing gymnastics such as muscle ups or weight lifting such as the clean. To practice this movement do 5 sets of 8 reps lifting any light object with a handle (roughly 20lbs). It is important to keep your back flat and your abs engaged.
- Core Strength- This is ability to sit up and to resist movement of the spine. Having a strong core doesn’t mean just having “abs” or being good at sit ups. A strong core means when you are lifting something or are in a challenging position are your abs and erectors able to brace your spine against unwanted change. Your spine is strongest when it is in neutral and braced, not when it is rounded (flexed/extended). To practice this movement do 4 sets of 8 sit ups. You can anchor your feet under a couch if you need assistance.
- Cardio – The ability to maintain and endure movement at a pace that faster than normal life. Simply put if you are unable to play with your kids, run 1 block, or go up a flight of stairs cardio is what you want to develop. Cardio isn’t limited to running, it can be done in many different forms but running is the most accessible for most people. To develop your cardio go run, walk, or jog for 10 minutes. Walk for 1 minute, jog for one minute. Increase the time you run, walk or jog gradually as your fitness improves. Make small jumps rather than big leaps such as adding 2 minutes each time you do some cardio.
If you are competent and able to perform these 5 basics then you can start looking at adding in some weights, or movement variations. The beautiful thing about these movements is they are timeless and essential to life, they never go out of style and you will always need them. These movements also transfer well across sport giving you the ability to pick up new actives and play with an immediate advantage.