Fundamental Movements

How The Fundamental Movements (Push, Pull, Hinge, Squat & Loaded Carries) Will Change Your Training Forever

There are many different philosophies when it comes to improving your own physical performance.

The philosophy that I am about to present you in this article has changed my training completely.

When I accidentaly came across Kettlebells 8 years ago, I noticed something.

Kettlebell Training is always full body training.

I was always used to training my muscles with isolation exercises and I had done this for over 10 years.

When I heard the phrase whole body training, I immediately thought of programs for beginners.

In every forum it was said that beginners should start with full body training and later switch to a split. The most famous splits were chest und biceps. On these days only muscles for chest and biceps were trained. Isolated and with plenty of exercises.

After further research on Kettlebells, I came across ‘‘The fundamental Human Movements” by Dan John. According to this philosophy, it was about training movements and not muscles.

Train movements not muscles

At first glance it did not make any sense to me. How could I train movements?

It took me a while until I realized what it was and where the advantages of this training philosophy lie. I understood that these movements are all you need to become more fit than the average.

The fundamental movements are Push, Pull, Hinge, Squat and Loaded Carries.

So again, a split and an area are trained with isolation exercises? Not exactly.
If we take a closer look at the recommended exercises for each movement, it is noticeable that the entire body is always involved and trained. Only the focus is somewhere else.

#1 Push: Plank, Push-Ups, Bench Press, Military Press, Push Press
#2 Pull: „Batwings“, Rowing, Pull-Up
#3 Hinge: Single Leg Deadlift, Hinge with additional weight (Sandbag or similar) Deadlift, Kettlebell Swing, Clean, Snatch, Jumps (Vertical and Long Jump)
#4 Squat: Goblet Squat, Front Squat with Kettlebells, Front, Back and Overhead Squat with barbell
#5 Loaded Carries (Carry, push, pull under load): Waiters Walk, Suitcase Walk, Rack Walk, Press Walk, Farmers Walk, Dbl. Rack Walk, Cross Walk, Running with backpack, sand sack or weight vest, Sled pull or push , Car push or pull

Here is a video excerpt from the DVD Intervention:

As you can see in the video, the push is the exercise that is usually performed most.

In the past, I have also handled this way. Bench pressing was definitely one of my favorite exercises and always had priority over squats, pull-ups. From Hinge I had not heard much.

Most people who hear about the fundamental movements for the first time are out of balance.

Dan John recommends the focus in training on this order:

1. Loaded Carries
2. Squat
3. Hinge
4. Pull
5. Push

He justifies this order with Loaded Carries to change your life completely in three weeks (see video). In his book Intervention, he reports about an experience with an athlete who was already pretty good at it. With all the movements the power was considerable and Dan John could teach him only a few small things. When they came to Loaded Carries, it turned out that this athlete did not yet know it. The two of them started and the successes after a short time were extreme.

I can still remember how I brought my own Kettlebell with me at the end of my training session in the commercial gym. At that time I was working as a trainer for rehabilitation sports groups. When my work as a trainer was done, I grabbed two Kettlebells and carried them across the studio. I always trained in the evening and the boys and girls on the elliptical machines always looked at me questioningly.

At this time, I have noticed the same performance improvements as Dan John describes in his book. This is also the reason why I fell in love with this training philosophy. Looking back, it changed my training forever.

Do it for three weeks and see if your training changes.

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