‘Primal’, I can imagine when you hear this word you think of either two things; cavemen or the programme on the TV? It actually means ‘having existed from the beginning; in an earliest or original stage or state;’ now this applies to exercise more than you may think. There are thousands and thousands of workouts, exercises and diets out there that claim to get you in the best shape of your life, however there are so many of them it sometimes becomes confusing. One is saying low reps heavy weights, the next light weights lots of reps, someone’s else says only do cardio, while the next person advises against cardio. So what should you do?
Try and clear your head for a minute of all the things you have read or come across over time and imagine yourself as a caveman/cavewoman. Now there was no gym, no machines, and no ab curl machine. It was just your body, the movements your body was designed to do and daily activities. For example : man would kill a deer or beast and the only way to move it was to first pick it up (weighted lifting) and carry it (stabilising). Now en-route he then has to step over a tree or rock or stream etc while still carrying the load (a weighted lunge), he then has to put it down, so he bends his knees and lowers it to the floor (squat) and the only way to cut it up is to hack at it (twisting). So throughout the day there was constant movement patterns developing that kept the body functioning correctly and moving how it should. Nowadays these movement patterns are becoming increasingly obsolete as life gets more and more automated, we have remote controls for remote controls!! So we need to think back and get moving more. Now I’m not saying go out hunt down a deer etc and carry it home but there are many ways in which we can learn from ‘primal movements’. These movements make for not only a more fun and interesting workout, they make sure that your body is functioning correctly and protecting itself while doing so. Ultimately making your life easier as you ache less, get stronger and run less risk of injuring yourself while tying your shoe laces.
Pulling, pushing, twisting, lifting, moving(running) and stabilising are all the primal movement patterns, and if integrated into your everyday life either in a workout programme or through daily activity will mean your body will be doing what it was originally designed to do.
Here is a simple workout that requires no equipment, however if using a gym weights and cable weights can be added to make it more challenging:
- 25 x squats
- 25 x push ups
- 60 sec running (on spot)
- 25 x lunges (each leg)
- 25 x pull ups
- 60 sec running (on spot)
- 25 x plank into side plank
- 25 x reverse woodchop (each side)
Done twice a week these simple, natural movements that your body was made and designed to do will have you moving better and staying stronger. No gimmicky ab blasters, no vibrating vacuum belts just good old ‘primal’ movements. If you have any questions or need some help with any of the movements feel free to contact me.
For other tips and advice direct your fitness/nutrition based questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.