Master the Basics

by Andy Buckle in Education

Whenever you start something new it is always important to remember that you should learn and develop a good foundation before pushing on to more advanced things. The same applies to exercise, it is always tempting to look on social media or the internet and see a new and great looking advanced form of exercise. However, if you are to succeed in the ultimate goal of maintaining a consistent and progressive health and fitness journey, it is really important to develop a healthy base from which to build it on.


This principle of developing a solid foundation relates to all forms of exercise and should always be followed if you are to avoid injuries in the short and long term. When people first go into a gym it is always a struggle knowing which exercises to do and how to perform them correctly. This usually results in people going on the cross trainer for 30 minutes and wandering they don’t reach their health and fitness goals after a few months. This is where mastering the basics comes in. People should always begin by developing technique and strength with some basic ‘functional’ exercises that, as the name suggests supports the functional movement of our body. The term functional training has often been misunderstood and most people think it means doing crazy stability exercises, however functional training is far simpler and much more beneficial than most people believe it is.


To better understand functional training it is important to think about everyday movement patterns that our bodies are used to doing. Some basic everyday movement patterns are pull, push, squat, hinge (hip) and rotation. Seen as most of these everyday movements are multijointed and move on multiple planes it makes sense that most functional exercises require free weights like dumbells, kettlebells etc rather than machines. Interestingly enough most new people to a gym are drawn more to the safety of machines rather than free weights due to a fear of not knowing what they are doing. Once you learn these basic ‘functional’ exercises you will increase the movement potential of your body, which will then allow you to safely take your training to a more advanced level, giving you a better chance of reaching your goals.


Here are some basic ‘functional’ exercises that will benefit anyone who trains. Remember to adjust the intensity to suit your individual needs. Rather than spending 30 minutes on the cross trainer, give some of these a go and get FUNCTIONAL!


Kettlebell Deadlift

Standing Cable Woodchopper

Dumbell Bent Over Row

Goblet Squat

Push Up