Best Exercises to Keep a Dude Healthy

Whole9Life.com

Whole9Life.com

A few posts ago I opened the door to a new line of discussion here on DKB; health. That post discussed mobility – the often ignored ideas of stretching, massage and range of motion. The mobility blog I shared in that post is spot on, and the mobility dude is the shiz. I highly recommend.

I’m eager to continue down this line of healthy thought. Mainly because these are ideas that I’m exploring, and it’s fun to share ideas. Hopefully there is some use for you too.

“Health” has always been a significant focus for the Dude. I’ve always been active, played sports, and experimented with bodybuilding techniques. But the definition of “health” is difficult to pin down; it’s in a constant state of flux based on who you ask, and more importantly, based on your stage of life. My focus on health has shifted significantly over the years.

I’ve gone from lifting as much heavy weight as possible, eating as much as I could, and spending hours in the gym to a very streamlined approach to my activity and my diet. And I’m happy to say that I believe I’m in much better shape – and health – based on the evolution of my understanding of “health.”

Recently, my quest has led me to a wealth of information that has refined my views even further. I’m convinced that the majority of us are eating the wrong diets, wasting time in the gym, and being disappointed by the lack of results and performance.

We reside ourselves to the fact that “we’re getting old,” and accept declining health, mobility, and fitness as a fact of nature. Maybe we are just practicing the wrong techniques and taking direction from the wrong sources – ah hem, The Man. Perhaps there are simple changes that can bring significant improvements.

I’ll continue with this line of thinking as DKB progresses, and today I want to begin with a focus on some important exercises that we should consider adding to the core of our workout routines – yes, everyone should have a workout routine.

As I mentioned, I was an avid gym rat for years. But as life progressed over the last few years, my daily schedule became a bit tighter, and I gave up the gym. I’ve been working out at home for a couple years, and over time, I’ve been refining my routine(s).

I no longer believe in a monthly payment to a gym. With the right direction and a little ingenuity, health and fitness can be accomplished at home. No question. Saving time, saving money, and in the Dude’s opinion, better results.

I’m a believer that my routine(s) will continually evolve, and the below discussion of core exercises will help with this evolution. This is from a new blog I just found; Whole9Life.com. I’m still exploring it, but at first glance, I’m digging their thoughts.

I’ll let the blog offer the full details, but I’ll share a quick synopsis and a some great highlights. Here’s the premise of this post:

Whole 9 Life “brought together 12 fitness experts from a broad range of backgrounds–with bodies of experience ranging from weightlifting to track and field to mixed martial arts, and over two centuries of collective coaching experience–to ask them all the same question:

If you could only perform five exercise movements for the rest of your life, which five would you do? (Assuming your goals are general health, fitness and longevity.)”

Great idea, right? Experts sharing what we all need to know. How do we stay in shape, maintain our health – or improve it – and increase our longevity. The secrets that we all need to know.

So, forget what the Dr. said, ignore your cousin who is a personal trainer, and start to think along “unconventional” lines. This is the highlight of a three part blog series from Whole9Life.com. The first two parts offer more specifics about the exercises and the experts, but the overview in part three ties it all together.

Highlights & takeaways…use these ideas to build your routine. Drop the gym, save time, save money, and take care of yourself – you’re the only one who can.

  • All of the exercises selected are multi-joint (compound) exercises. As in 100%. No single-joint exercise belongs on a list like this.
  • The vast majority of the exercises are ground-based, either with feet flat on the ground, or with some sort of transition between body-on-the-ground and standing positions. The real world happens with objects in unrestricted planes of motion, and so should your training. The only “resistance” you need is your body and something heavy to pick up or carry.
  • There is a significant emphasis on movements that are “big, strong” movements. For long-term health, building and maintaining strength must be a central feature of your program.
  • Locomotion was a common response. We are bipedal creatures, and training the reciprocal patterns of walking, running, lunging, stepping, and crawling, strongly echoes the three-dimensional ways that we move in the “real world”. Stabilizing our trunk while shifting and supporting weight is not only beneficial, it’s fundamentally human. We learn it as infants, but far too many of us lose that ability in adulthood. Get it back.
  • Squatting is not the end-all-be-all. Sure, we have to squat to be able to stand from a chair, but little else occurs where our feet are symmetrical and neatly spaced outside of hip width. Gardening, all field and court sports, moving furniture, and wrestling all share the staggered stance position where stabilizing the body’s mass on top of a narrow or unilateral base of support is critical.
  • We found it fascinating that an Olympic weightlifting coach (Greg Everett) did not include a single explosive movement in his list. If that doesn’t illustrate the priority of building full-body strength with basic movements, we don’t know what does.
  • Almost everyone included putting weight overhead: press, clean & jerk, overhead squat, etc.If you aren’t putting heavy things overhead on a regular basis, your program should change.
  • Almost everyone included a pulling movement (a pull-up or row variation), and no one mentioned kipping.
  • Note that one of our experts selected both swimming and walking. We believe the training and therapeutic value of both of those movements is under-rated. They might not sound very bad-ass, but [p]erpetually chasing performance is not the same as creating excellent health. Don’t be afraid to slow down.
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