“If you were stuck on a deserted island, with sharks swimming all around, and you only have five exercises to do for the restof your life, which five would you chose?”
Our manager asked us personal trainers this very important question, and here are the five exercises we agreed on:
- Bilateral triple extension: Triple extension means straightening at the ankle, knee and hip joints. Bilateral means both sides of your body. Example exercises include the squat and dead lift, focusing on the upward motion of straightening.
- Bilateral upper-body push: A bilateral upper body push include movements like pushups and chest presses. These motions are functional, reflecting the many pushes we do in everyday life such as pushing open a door or pushing a shopping cart.
- Bilateral upper-body horizontal pull: Pulling motions strengthen the upper back muscles in our posterior chair. We spend so much of our lives with these muscles lengthened in our hunched over postures, it is important that we shorten and strengthen these muscles to prevent degenerative postures. Example exercises include a wide grip pull up or wide grip pull down.
- Bilateral upper-body vertical pull: As trainers, we like to include 2 pulls for every push to make sure our posterior chain stays strong. A bilateral vertical pull would include a narrow grip seated row or narrow grip inverted row.
- Trunk stability exercise: A new wave of core training has started in personal training. Rather than teaching the spine to flex and bend in unnatural motions, we now train the core to stabilize the spine against external forces. Example exercises include planks, side planks, isometric anti-rotation exercises like cable press outs and anti-lateral flexion exercises.