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5 Must Have Strength And Conditioning Movements For Optimal Function

5 Must Have Strength And Conditioning Movements For Optimal Function

  1. Is your strength and conditioning program stagnant? 
  2. Are you covering all of your bases in terms of the essential strength and conditioning movements? 
  3. Are you making gains in your program, or has your athleticism and strength stalled out like a single engine airplane that just lost its engine? 
  4. Are you looking to supercharge your athleticism, fitness, and performance? 

If you are serious about making physical gains regardless of your sport, life, or career goals then you need to make sure you’re including the following 5 strength and conditioning movements into your training. The following moves are tried and true and if you expect to make serious gains in strength then you need to perform them with a high level of proficiency.

Your Must Have Strength And Conditioning Movements

1) The Squat:

If you expect to obtain any significant gains with your strength and conditioning program then you need to be able to squat and to squat well. Squatting requires that you demonstrate both hip mobility and core stability. Squats are also essential in helping you to build tremendous strength from head to toe. When performed with more intense loads squats trigger some serious muscle growth!

You can’t build a house without first laying the foundation and squats are your foundation. Additionally you can vary the intensity and type of squats for different training outcomes. You can perform front squats, back squats, split squats, and even goblet squats for significant strength gains.

You an also perform squats at anytime without the need of equipment.

2) Chest press: 

If you notice I used the term “chest press” over bench press. I did this on purpose as the bench press is a form of the chest press, but it isn’t the only way to achieve tremendous upper body strength.

Like the squat the chest press can be done with a barbell, dumbbells, a single dumbbell,  and even kettlebells. The chest press can be done on a flat bench, incline bench, decline bench, or even off the floor for some floor presses.

The point here is that your upper body needs a punch and if you expect to make gains then your strength and conditioning movements should consist of the chest press.



3) Deadlift: 

There was a time before the days of Planet Fitness where you could walk into a gym and hear nothing but the clinging of steel plates as they bounced against each other on a lifter’s bar. This clinging was a common sound that echoed throughout gyms across the globe, but sadly that has mostly been replaced by the quieter and less noisy rubber plates and machines for the most part.

Regardless if you’re serious about upgrading your strength and conditioning program then you just simply can’t ignore the deadlift. Deadlifting offers many benefits and is truly a hard hitting movement when it comes to optimizing function.

With the deadlift you’re going to build a rock solid grip, leg drive, a strong back, a core made of steel. Of course there are several variations of the deadlift movement and it can be varied to support most any able bodied individual regardless of experience, or fitness level.

If your goal is optimizing function then you don’t want to avoid the deadlift…you want to embrace it!

4) The Push-up: 

There is a reason that the almighty push-up is seen in nearly every military training program, box gym, and fight training gym across the globe. Simply put the push-up exercise is here to stay.

This dependable calisthenic is one that can be varied a hundred different ways and you can perform push-ups anywhere and at anytime. In order to execute the push-up you’ve got to have a solid understanding of core stability, bracing your core midsection, and utilizing your body as a whole.

If you’re looking to optimize your fitness and function then the push-up is going to be your best friend. Additionally the younger you can master this movement while maintaining a steadfast and progressive strength program throughout your childhood and into adulthood you’re setting yourself up to have a truly fit body for the long haul.

Brandon Richey performing carries as part of his strength and conditioning movements5) Carries:

There is no question that the human body is designed to do work. Our muscles, bones, and limbs are designed to function like machines that are able to carry, throw, and drag objects.

Our bodies were designed for hunting, gathering, and fighting. This at its core is the very definition of function. Modern society has changed this environment, but the need for these abilities are still very present.

One way I like to finish out a days training is to grab a couple 90 lb dumbbells and hammer out some farmer’s carries for several rounds until my grip is fried. You can do the same.

You can perform carries with sandbags, dumbbells, kettlebells, or even cinder blocks. Just use whatever you have at your disposal.

Strength And Conditioning Movements: The Takeaway

At the end of the day you want to cover all your bases if you expect to make any lasting gains out of your strength and conditioning program. The basics are the winner. Too many trainers and coaches online these days want to try and reinvent the wheel…and like the push-up the wheel is here to stay.

Are you using all 5 of these movements in your training? 

Which one of these are you neglecting? 

Post up and share here in the comments below.

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I'm a Certified Strength And Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and author. I have had over 17 years experience in MMA fitness, strength and conditoning, and athletic performance for most every sport. As an author and specialist I've written close to a million words on fitness and strength. I'm also a Muay Thai practictioner and enjoy helping others to reach their peak potential through fitness and performance.

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