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Q&A: Functional Movements

Blog Article ImageQuestion: “What are functional movements or exercises that you think every person should include in their training program?”

This is a tough question to answer because the needs of each sport and the goals of the individual vary so widely. I will answer this question in several ways:

Top 3 movements that every person on the planet should include in their training program:
1.    Single-leg strength (such as a DB split squat)
2.    Thoracic mobility (such as supine thoracic rotation)
3.    Ground-based core stabilization (such as cable lift and chop)

The reason for this? Believe it or not, the top two reasons that aged people have to go into assisted living or nursing homes are the following:
A.    They fall down often because their single-leg and core stabilization deteriorates
B.    They lack the thoracic mobility to be able to wipe their . . . well, you know.

Top 3 movements for the active person:
1.    Single-leg squat
2.    Bodyweight pull-up
3.    Single-leg Romanian deadlift

Top 3 movements for athletes:
1.    Single-leg barbell Bulgarian squat
2.    Hang clean and jerk
3.    Single-arm inverted pull-up

Top 3 movements for strongman (not including implement training):
1.    Clean and jerk from the floor
2.    Front squat
3.    Deadlift

Top 3 movements for powerlifting (besides the competitive lifts):
1.    Raw front squat
2.    Close grip incline press
3.    Romanian deadlift

Top 3 movements for Olympic weightlifting (besides the competitive lifts):
1.    Full, raw back squat
2.    Romanian deadlift
3.    Muscle clean to push press from floor

Tope 3 movements for CrossFit (this one’s tough to narrow it to 3!!):
1.    Barbell complex (muscle snatch/rdl to high pull/squat to press/row)
2.    Prowler push
3.    Bodyweight complex (split squat jumps/sl squat/pull-up/single-arm push-up/squat)

-Bryan Dermody, Powerlifter/Former Strength Coach

Posted on August 4, 2014


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