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Cindy Thibodeau & Laurel MacAdam, February 15 2024

Mastering 6 Essential Strength Training Movements: Building a Foundation for Daily Strength

At MOOV Physiotherapy in Downtown Ottawa, we understand that physical strength and functionality are pivotal for a fulfilling life, especially as we age. This guide is dedicated to 6 fundamental movements that are essential for daily activities.  Focusing on squats, deadlifts, lunges, push-ups, rows and farmer carry.  By mastering these exercises, you not only enhance your physical capabilities but also elevate your overall quality of life.

Squats: The Cornerstone of Functional Movement

Squats are integral to daily activities like sitting and standing, making them a cornerstone of functional movement. Here's how to perfect your squat technique:

Perfecting Your Squat Technique

Start Position: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, toes slightly pointed out.

Avoid common mistakes like lifting your heels or letting your knees move inward. These adjustments ensure a safe and effective squat, reducing the risk of injury.

Deadlifts: Strengthening Your Core and Lower Body

Deadlifts, or hip hinges, are essential for safely lifting objects. Here's how to execute a proper deadlift:

Safe Lifting Techniques with Deadlifts

Remember, rounding the back or holding the weight too far from the body can lead to injury. Proper form is key to a safe and effective deadlift.

Lunges: Improving Lower Body Balance, Stability and Strength

Lunging includes movements where one leg is positioned forward with the knee bent, and the other leg extended behind.  Here's how to perform a proper lunge:

Stable and Powerful Lunges:

Ensure to keep an athletic stance with a gentle forward lean throughout the movement and time your breath to get more power out of this movement.

Push-Ups: Enhancing Upper Body Strength

Push-ups are a fundamental exercise for upper body strength. Here's how to execute them correctly:

Mastering the Push-Up

Avoid common mistakes like flaring your elbows too wide or letting your hips sag. These tips will help maintain a strong, active posture throughout the exercise.

Rows: Strengthening Powerful Postural Muscles

Rows are a pulling motion that involves bringing objects toward the body to target the muscles of the upper back and arm. Here's how you can improve your technique:

Connecting With Your Posterior Chain:

Avoid common mistakes like rounding your back or bringing your elbows too high to ensure maximal recruitment of your scapular and back muscles. 

Farmer’s Carry: Strengthening Powerful Postural Muscles

The Farmer's Carry is a simple yet highly effective exercise that offers a range of benefits for overall strength, stability, functional fitness and more specifically your grip strength.  Here's how to perform them correctly:

Focussing on Grip Strength to Enhance Overall Upper Body Strength:

Farmer Carries are versatile and can be easily scaled to accommodate different fitness levels. You can adjust the weight (dumbbells, kettlebells, or other objects) and how you choose to carry them: suitcase carry, 90 degree shoulder & elbow flexion or overhead (Statue of Liberty style), or only perform a single arm carry to further challenge your core and overall body strength.

Integrating These Movements into Your Routine

Incorporating squats, deadlifts, lunges, push-ups, rows and farmer carry into your regular exercise routine can significantly enhance your strength and functionality. At MOOV Physiotherapy, we are committed to helping you integrate these essential movements into your life, ensuring they're performed with proper technique for maximum benefit.

Personalized Guidance at MOOV Physiotherapy

Our team of experts provides personalized guidance, ensuring that these exercises are tailored to your fitness level and goals. Whether you're a seasoned athlete or just starting your fitness journey, we're here to support you every step of the way.

Mastering these essential strength training movements is key to building a foundation for daily strength and functionality. At MOOV Physiotherapy in Downtown Ottawa, we are dedicated to guiding you through this journey, offering expert advice and support. Embrace these movements for a stronger, healthier, and more capable you.

Written by

Cindy Thibodeau & Laurel MacAdam


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