Other Exercises

Bodyweight Exercises

In addition to the gymnastics movements, these exercises are key to fitness.  In many cases, a comprehensive exercise program can be built on combinations of these exercises alone:

  1. Push-Ups and Planks
  2. Pull-ups and Bodyweight Rows
  3. Squats and Jumps
  4. Sit-Ups and Arches
  5. Running
These exercises are amazing because you can do them without a gym membership or trainer and still achieve a very high level of fitness.

Olympic/Power Lifts

Functional lifting is by definition biomechanically safe and efficient.  If done correctly, training these movements is one of the safest ways to increase power and explosive strength.  These lifts include:

  1. Dead Lifts
  2. Squats (weighted)
  3. Cleans
  4. Jerks and Presses
  5. Snatches
Crossfit and USA Weightlifting clubs are currently the best places to learn Olympic and power lifts. No matter where you learn them, it is important to have feed back for your movements to make sure you are doing them correctly and safely.  Mirrors and videos are a good start to monitoring form, but nothing beats a coach with a good eye.

A vast majority of the movements I employ in my workouts are exclusively body-weight, however, Olympic lifts are a major part of any functional workout program; they can also be very dangerous if you don't prepare your body properly.  Make sure you learn the correct movement before you ever attempt heavy weight:

Step 1: Proprioception
     It is very important to learn the proper movement before you start.  Practice the correct dead lift motion with light weight (the 45 lb. bar or even a broomstick should be enough) until you practiced the movement hundreds of times.  Use a coach, a mirror, or a video camera to check your form.  Do the same with every progressive Olympic lift. 

Step 2: Strength
     Progressively increase the weight on simple lifts like dead lifts, squats, and over head squats to improve your strength, flexibility, and core stability. 

Step 3: Reactivity
     Move on to more powerful lifts like cleans, squat thrusters, jerks, and snatches.  Eventually you can do these motions for high repetitions

Be safe!  Have fun!  Get fit!