An Example Program
When we get down to the basics of human movement function, it comes down to this:
Push, Pull, Hinge, Squat.
Just true movement. No fancy equipment or infomercial garbage needed here.
Dead Stop Push-ups
Your form here is important. You should be in a tight push up position plank with full body tension being created. This means you are actively engaged in the glutes, mid-section, lats (back muscle) and grip. Make sure your hands are gripping the floor. Practice just this push up position plank until you can tell when you have tension.
Once you have the set up I want you to lay completely flat on the floor. This is the dead stop push-up. From the floor bring your hands into a good stable position close to your shoulders. Grip the floor and prepare to push off contracting the glutes, abs and lats tight. This should be explosive. This is your concentric 1 count.\
Once you have reached to top of your push-up control your descent with a 4 second eccentric down back to the floor.
Repeat for 5 repetition’s and keep in mind that if at any moment you lose form, the exercise is over.
Pull ups are legendary for creating upper body pulling strength. Now the trick is, they need to be done from a dead stop. Every single rep. No swinging, kipping or any of that garbage. Get tension and pull.
The set up requires you to hang from a bar, tree branch, stair case, whatever. Just make sure it is sturdy enough to support your weight. Begin by hanging. Now apply tension into your upper back by squeezing the shoulder blades and externally rotating( twisting out) the elbows to stabilize the shoulder joint.
Maintain this tension, keep your abs braced and your glutes tight. Pull until your chin is over the bar (1 count) then slowly control your descent until the bottom of the dead hang position (4 count).
If you are not yet strong enough to complete a proper strict pull up, simply hang on a bar focusing on maintaining the tension in the upper back, midsection and glutes until you have become strong enough to complete a rep.
You don’t need weights to do a proper squat! Simply begin by standing with your feet outside shoulder width toes turned slightly out. Bring your hands together in front of your chest. This is your start position. Begin by sitting back as if sitting into a chair. Your chest should stay upright and you’re back straight.
Do not let your back round. Get as low as possible, bring your elbows inside the knees and drive the knees out to further stabilize the hip. Explosively push the ground away and stand tall in a straight line at the knees, hips and spine. 4 seconds down, 1 second up.
This movement is like the squat but more of our explosive hip hinge mechanic. Begin once again in your traditional squat stance feet outside shoulder width and toes turned slightly out. Put your hands right at the top of your thighs in your hip crease. This will be your gauge of pelvic movement.
Now, instead of sitting down we are going to sit back. Push your hands into your hip crease and guide your pelvis back. Imagine you are pushing your butt back to close a door while you are carrying groceries in the house. The weight of your body will transfer to the heels while your back maintains a neutral position.
Once you have achieved your end range of motion explosively push your hands forward and achieve full extension at the knees, hips and spine. This movement should feel very similar to if you were about to jump without actually jumping.
How often and for how long?
When it comes to mastering the basic human movements for strength and muscle, quality of repetition is the key. Practice these movements daily up to 5 repetitions. Never train poor pattern. Don’t get lazy with your movement.
If you plan to perform these exercises daily then you must make an effort to master the patterns. Only then will you be on the road to greater muscle and strength development.