(Note: you can check out the new Movement page under FreeFit/Free to Move.)
The next step in completing the Free to Move section of my FreeFit program is to select Movements. While I am inspired by programs such as CrossFit with their nearly unlimited number of exercises thrown in the mix, practically I see some drawbacks to that. If you don’t have a coach or experience in the various disciplines that programs such as CrossFit tap in to (such as Olympic Lifting, Power Lifting, Gymnastics, Kettlebells, etc.), the overwhelming amount of technicality required of a beginner-intermediate student is intimidating – and also increases the potential for injury.
The first time I tried to learn how to Front Squat on my own, I had no coaching, no experience, and apparently no sense. Sure, I was able to run off a couple of reps, but trying to insert a movement I wasn’t familiar with into an intense workout spelled disaster. I took my lumps, recovered, and learned a valuable lesson: while it is important to always challenge yourself and learn new techniques/movements, if you draw from too big a pool too soon for your workouts, you just get hurt. So condition 1 for choosing the FreeFit Movements is to make sure they are scalable, and that learning a small group of movements off the bat will enable you to ramp up the intensity of the workouts, while more technically demanding movements can be added in later.
Condition 2 was that these movements meet with the criteria laid out in 4 Basics: MOVE. Namely, they are bodyweight exercises that can be done anywhere, are functional, balanced, and provide you with all the tools you need for a hell of a workout.
That being said, I chose 7 Fundamental Movements to be the baseline of FreeFit. They are:
- Pull-up/Chin-up (whichever you prefer)
- Dip (parallel bars)
- Squat (air)
- Handstand Prep Press
Each of these Movements can be scaled nicely, as well as ramped up for intensity. When equipment is not available, they also have nice substitutes that can be done anywhere. (Most notably Good Mornings/Superman subs for Back Extensions.)
With these Movements alone, you could build a challenging lifelong fitness program. However, most of us will want to keep acquiring new skills and new movements to keep things interesting. That’s why I’ve also developed Transitional Movements to be added in next, and Advanced Movements for those people who really want to challenge themselves, and are willing to spend a little bit of money on a Sandbag/Kettlebell/Medicine Ball/Gymnastics Rings. Once we add in these Advanced Movements and start working with objects besides are own bodyweight, the possibilities for movement is practically limitless. And best of all, these pieces of equipment are still mobile and can be cheaply made on your own! And they can be learned safely on your own with a little bit of advice.
- Pull-up (L)
- Pull-up (Jumping)
- Knees to Elbows
- Push-up (clapping)
- Ring Dip
- Overhead Squat (w/ broomstick)
- Wallballs (uses medicine ball/basketball)
- Double-unders (uses jump rope)
- Knee Tuck
- Box Jump
- Broad Jump
- Clean (medicine ball)
- Handstand Holds
- Advanced Handstand Prep Press
- Muscle-up (rings)
- Push-up (diamond)
- Push-up (rings)
- Squat (front/back)
- Squat (one-legged)
- Lunge (weighted overhead)
- Handstand Push-up
- Burpees (jump-pull)
- Burpees (inverted)
- Kettlebell work
- Russian Swing
- American Swing
- 1-arm swing
- Squat Press
- Double Squat
- Sandbag Work/Medicine Ball Work
So those are the Movements that we will focus on with FreeFit’s Free to Move programming. Can you see how varied and challenging these bodyweight exercises can be? And how rewarding?
The next steps in building up the Free to Move section are twofold: 1) to provide demo videos for each of the movements prescribed. 2) to build a giant library of workouts for people to select from at will. Stay tuned for more!
–Thanks for reading, and stay healthy my friends.