Ever wonder how many sets and repetitions of an exercise you should perform? Mike O’Hara, PT helps answer this question in his article “Old School Effective”. Jeff Tirrell discusses the importance of changing only one element of your fitness program at a time in order to determine its effective in “Be The Tortoise”. Exercise description and demonstration of single leg hip hinges are included in “One Leg At A Time”. Don’t forget to check out the youtube video that goes with the article.
Fitness training for those of us past 40 years of age is more complicated. Physical performance and recovery capacity are dramatically different. If you need proof, look for the forty year olds in the NBA or NFL. The good news is that with proper planning, consistent performance, and the wisdom that comes with age, we can stay fit and active for a lifetime. I have compiled a collection of tips for the forty plus fitness client.
Carry, Squat, Lunge, Hinge, Pull, Push– Every Week
Most strength coaches divide human movement into 5-6 fundamental movement patterns. These movements are what we are talking about when we call our training “functional.” Personally, I like to go with 6 patterns in the following order of importance: Carry, Squat, Lunge, Hinge, Pull, and Push. These functional patterns include virtually all aspects of human movement.
The first two, carry and squat, are performed daily in real life while the other movement patterns are used less frequently. Incorporating these movement patterns into your training program at least once per week will ensure that you develop a well-rounded physique, but more importantly, that your musculoskeletal system functions like the awesome machine it was made to be. Practicing these movement patterns should keep you free from asymmetry and injuries. You will also become stronger and well balanced giving you the confidence to take on whatever life throws at you. Just how frequently you train each pattern will depend on your current training status, movement quality, experience, and goals. Following is a loose guide:
Carry: 3-5x/wk (this can include traditional carries, crawls, Turkish Get Ups, or sleds)
Hinge: 1-2x/wk, (Deadlifts, KB swings, or Good Mornings all fall into this category)
-Jeff Tirrell, B.S., CSCS, Pn1
This month’s issue has information on the lumbopelvic hip complex including written/video exercises. Mike O’Hara also gives information on unstable pressing exercises to improve posture and improve motor control and symmetry. Also read about the Becoming Unstoppable clinic for athletes 13 years and older that will be help April 30th at Fenton Fitness.
The hip hinge is the most powerful movement the human body can perform. It is the pattern that allows you to lift your body off the ground in a hop, skip, or a jump. Many people, through injury or inactivity, are unable to perform a proper hip hinge pattern. Your core stabilizers, gluteals, and hamstrings all work together to create a hip hinge so you must train them as a team. The Romanian Deadlift and Row is simple exercise you can use to retrain the hip hinge pattern.
I have no idea why it is called a Romanian Deadlift and Row but many exercises have these foreign names- Turkish Get Ups, Bulgarian Squats, Czechoslovakian Chin Ups… I do know that this drill is a great method of retraining the all important hip hinge pattern while limiting loading on the lumbar spine.
RDL AND ROW
Set up resistance tubing (or a cable unit) at chest level. Stand facing the tubing / cable unit with the feet shoulder width apart. Pull the hands in so the thumbs are at the armpits and the shoulder blades pulled back. Reach forward with the hands and push the hips back. The knees should bend a little and hips should bend a lot. Keep the lower back neutral and your weight over the heels. Pull back up to the starting position and hold the hamstrings, abdominals, and gluteals tight for three counts. Repeat for eight to ten repetitions.
-Michael O’Hara, P.T., OCS, CSCS