Creating a Balanced Workout Routine

Hi everyone,

Today I want to help you get good at the best movements along with getting fitter. I’d like to outline what a pretty well balanced workout looks like, or show you what to at least aim for your weekly plan to include, so you can then create your own.

For the purposes of this article, I am going to focus on the Full Body Workout, but remember to always apply the same principles to any workout –> you are looking for balance between muscle groups and/movement patterns, so if you choose a push, for example, include a pull as well.

Full body workouts are the bee’s knees if you ask me; you can get more calories burned and you can move your body as a whole. I often apply the same “rules” to both my strength and conditioning workout designs because I see them complimenting each other. There may be some people who have different conditioning/strength goals, so I will leave it up to them to seek a tailored program to follow.  For the purposes of the general population (and even me), this is the template I recommend.

When I am putting together my home workouts, I have a system that I go through. Before I even decide on the style of the workout, I already have an idea of the exercises that I’ll include.  Each exercise falls under a certain category and in most of your workouts, you should try to pick one from each category.  

The categories and example exercises are:

Knee Dominant Exercises: Squats, Lunges, Stand-Kneel-Stand, Pistol, Dynamic Squat etc

Hip Dominant Exercises: Single-Leg Deadlift, Swings, Good-Mornings, Vertical Pull, Cleans, Snatches

Upper Body Pulling Exercises: Inverted Row, Single Arm Row, Renegade Row, Pull Ups, Band Pull-down etc

Upper Body Pushing Exercises: Push Up, Military Press, Push Press, Plank Climber (combo), Burpee (can be used here too)

Core Exercises: Plank, Side Plank, Reverse Crunch, Diagonal Knee Tuck, Plank Jacks, Mountain Climbers etc

Other Additions

Bridging Exercises: Glute Bridges, Hip Thrusts, Stability Ball Leg Curl etc

Accessory Exercises (these are great to add in once or twice a week to strengthen other planes of movement): Rotational Band Exercises, Band Abductions, Lateral Lunges, Skater Hops, Rotational or Jefferson Deadlifts etc

Isolation Exercises (aka “beach muscles”): Biceps Curls, Overhead Tricep Extensions, Lateral Raises, Front Raises, Reverse Fly etc

 

Keep things simple and become a master of the basics!  

 

  •  If you are someone who has been stuck doing workouts that focus way too much on the Knee Dominant, Upper Body Pushing Exercises and hundreds of Crunches, then I would advise you to perform more exercises from the other categories (maybe a ratio of 2 pulling exercises : 1 pushing exercise and 2 hip and/or Bridging exercises for every knee dominant exercise) for the next 6-8 weeks to try to redress the balance.  Still do the other exercises, but add more of the Posterior Chain exercises and see how much better your over all performance becomes.

 

I hope this article helps you in putting together your own workouts and judging other workouts better.  Please leave you feedback below.
Cheers,
Marianne
  • January 21, 2013

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