THE FIVE ESSENTIAL EXERCISES

Exercise routines can be complicated, intimidating and downright confusing for
those stepping into the weight room for the first time. Training the body is simply identifying natural movement and training the body along those natural movements. When broken down, the human body moves in only a few different ways: squatting, bending, lunging, pushing, pulling or twisting. By combining these moves, we can effectively create five exercises that target all the main movements and work the whole body.

The five exercises are:

single leg dl 21. Single Leg Deadlifts: Simply stand upright balancing on one leg, keeping the leg off the ground as straight as possible. Bend at the waist and reach with your opposite hand to try and touch the foot on the ground. Keep your leg that is off the ground as in line with your torso as you can to get a good stretch for the hamstrings.

BOX SQUAT2. Box Squats: Squatting is a movement we perform all the time. Squat stand with your calves lightly touching a box and push your hips backwards like you are sitting in a chair, doing your best to keep your upper body as upright as possible and your back flat. As soon as you touch the box with the back of your legs, push through the middle of your foot to stand upright again. The lower the box, the harder the movement will be.

dumbell rowpush up and down both (1)3. Dumbbell Rows: Place the left hand and knee on a bench with the hand positioned at the top of the bench and the knee near the bottom, keeping the back as flat as possible. The right leg will remain somewhat straight while the right arm is holding a dumbbell that you will pull straight up to your right hip. Simply switch arms and legs for the other side.

4. Push-ups: Start by lying on your stomach and placing your hands pressed into the ground near your armpits. Keeping your entire body flat, push through the arms and chest to straighten your arms until only your hands and toes are on the ground. Lower to the ground under control to perform one repetition. Start from your knees to make the exercise easier until you feel ready to progress.

medballtwistVERT5. Medicine Ball Lunge and Twist: Holding a medicine ball in front of your chest, step forward with one leg and sink down until you have a 90 degree bend at the ankle, knee and hip with your torso completely upright. The back leg should have similar 90 degree bend as the front leg. When the back knee is almost touching the ground, pause and rotate the torso so the medicine ball goes over the front leg before returning to the middle and pushing through the ball of the front foot to return to a standing position. Repeat for the other leg to complete one repetition.

Matt Weems, GATC Personal Trainer