Exercise Program Design – Keeping It Simple And Straight Forward

Many of the clients that present to Principle Four Osteopathy for the treatment of a training related injury or for some advice on programming often seem to be missing a few key ingredients that are either preventing them from progressing or is contributing to their injury due to an imbalance in their program or lack of thought around periodization.  Some of the key messages that I like to have my clients think about for general strength training include:

  • Master the basic firsts before moving to complex movements or exercises.  Far too many people want to be performing Olympic lifting, muscle ups, levers, maximum weight squats, deadlifts and bench pressing without mastering the techniques and putting in the required hours of training to become safe and competent.  Progressing to quickly without the requisite mobility, motor control and stability demands often increases ones risk of injury.
  • Incorporate fundamental movement patterns like squat, hinge, lunge, step, push, pull, brace and rotate into the program.  Incorporating these movements is often all you need.  You just need to master these and program them effectively.
  • Incorporate a 2:1 ratio for pull to push movements and posterior to anterior chain in the lower body.  Many of us are stuck at a desk all day and as a result of this develop stiffness and tightness in the hips, back and chest.  Far too many people also only train the body parts we can see in the mirror and forget about all of our posterior muscles.
  • For beginners, keep your programming simple and progressively overload your program through change in your sets/reps and/or load.  Once you have developed a base level of training fitness, then start to vary your training programming some more.
  • Always incorporate movement preparation into your program so that your body is prepared for training. This could mean some soft tissue release, joint mobilisation, activation techniques and unloaded movements of the exercises that you are about to perform.  Far too many people go straight from sitting at their desk to training and wonder why they get injured.

These are just some of the basic pointers that I discuss with my clients when it comes to exercise.  Should you be suffering from an injury related to training, take some time to reflect on your training program and try and figure out what it is that is either missing or you are doing too much of that might be contributing to this complaint.

This blog post was written by osteopath Heath Williams of Principle Four Osteopathy.  Heath has a particular interest in exercise rehabilitation and strength and conditioning.  He has completed ASCA Level 2 Strength and Conditioning Course, Powerlifting Association Level 1 Coaching Course, FMS and many more.  For all of your injury treatment and management needs, touch base with us at www.principlefourosteopathy.com.  Principle Four Osteopathy are one of Melbourne City CBD and Docklands leading osteopathy clinics.