Tip: Train Movements First, Muscles Second

Isolation work has its place, but most of your workout program should revolve around these 6 major movement patterns.

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Unless you’ve already built up serious levels of strength or have physique specific training goals, doing tons of isolation work is a poor use of training time. Sure, isolation work is important for muscle growth, but first make sure you can squat more than 225 before you do leg extensions to “hammer the VMO, bro!”

Picking the right exercises is key to getting results. Biceps curls and hamstring curls aren’t bad, but they shouldn’t make up the majority of your program.

Focus instead on the 6 major movement patterns:

  1. Hinge: Deadlift, good morning, kettlebell swing, snatch and clean variations
  2. Lunge: Lunge, split squat, step-back lunge, Bulgarian split squat
  3. Push: Bench press, push-up, overhead press, jerk, one-arm press
  4. Pull: Pull-up, bent-over row, seated row, one-arm row
  5. Squat: Front squat, goblet squat, Zercher squat, back squat
  6. Carry: Farmer walk, single-arm carry, overhead carry

Does Your Workout Program Pass the Test?

Now, take a look at your program and ask yourself if these movement patterns are covered throughout the week. If not, cut out the superfluous exercises and get these into your workout plan.