Believe it or not, basic movements done on a daily basis and done well, will keep you younger for longer!
You might have heard trainers or coaches refer to weight training as the ultimate fountain of youth…
And in part, they’re right!
However, just doing weights without grasping the essence of movement can be a limiting factor and actually prematurely age your body.
Connective tissues, muscles and posture can regress if you don’t connect all the dots.
Sitting on a leg extension and/or cable fly machine doing considerable volume for years won’t foster fundamentals of movement, mobility or strength.
You might build up the cross sectional area of your quads/chest, but be unable to fully extend at the hips or raise your arms above your head.
This is why just looking in the mirror or at the body fat % isn’t the most reliable indicator of your health. Especially in the long run.
“Look like Tarzan plays like Jane.”
There are plenty of people banging away in the gym, focused on the “Frankenstein” body part segmented training that might have all the beach muscle in check… But can’t kick a foot ball without a 3cm tear in their quads.
Prolonging the quality in which someone is able to move into their elderly years will not only keep muscle and bone mass, but help prevent slips and falls. (1)
If you watch new born babies and toddlers roll around on the floor or pick things up, you’ll see that they have textbook mobility and lifting mechanics! See podcast here with Tim Anderson for more information on developing “original strength“.
It’s only after they take up sitting for extended periods of time, playing with iPads or watching TV that their mobility and movement quality starts to deteriorate.
The age old saying, “if you don’t use it, you lose it” is absolutely true when it comes to movement and muscles.
Recently, in an interview with Dan John, I asked, “how after all these years are you still able to do deep goblet squats and overhead snatches with considerable weights?”
And his answer was gold!
“I can still do them, because I do them!” – Dan John (see podcast here)
Nothing complicated, just doing the movements well, over long periods of time, enables us to continue to do them for longer.
The critical thing to understand is to do the movements well. If you accumulate bad movement techniques or habits, then you will be moving closer to injury…
Excellence and mastery comes from decades of practice and refinement!
Put in the work and reap the rewards!
If you have been sitting behind a desk for +20 years without proper movements or exercise, then its’ going to take longer than a 6-week program for everything to fall into place.
It’s not to say it’s too late for anyone though. There is always room for improvement and believe it or not, your body will respond like magic if you practice the basics daily.
The 5 basic daily movements
1. Deep Goblet squat (see video below) – 2 to 5 reps with a pause at the bottom.
2. Jefferson Curl (see video below) – 2 to 5 reps
3. Couch stretch (See video below) – +20sec each leg
4. Dead hang from bar (see video below) – 20 to 30 seconds hang.
5. Reverse plank (see video below) – 5 reps with a slow controlled tempo (squeeze and breathe at the top of the movement)
Please note chances are you won’t be 100% effective or perfect when it comes to technique straight away. The key is to practice and do them on a daily basis. Technique will come with time and focused practice.
This daily practice will take less than 5 minutes in total. If you don’t have 5 minutes each day, then why are you reading this?
Try these in the morning before coffee or breakfast. They’re a great way to light your nervous system like a Christmas tree!
Remember, practice makes perfect. Daily habits add up over time!
- Dionyssiotis, Y. (2012). Analyzing the problem of falls among older people. International journal of general medicine, 5, 805.