Primal Movement

The Paleo diet follows the premise that doing what is most in sync with your unique biology

(doing what our ancestors did) will enable you to retain or regain your health.

This is founded upon the fact that our GENES have not changed since then!

This philosophy can then also be applied to exercise.
So I would like to introduce to you primal movement or what was originally known as functional training. About ten years ago, one of my biggest influences, in spinal rehabilitation- Professor Stuart McGilll identified and educated me on the seven primal movements. Since then, I have been working on these movements of which Gill pionerred a new perspective working with movement and correcting motor patterns. Now all Athletes are basing their rehabilitation around these exercises in their training. Here we are not training to gain muscle. Rather, we are retraining your main movements and brain to prevent injury and strenghthen your basic movements.

Movements are as follows-

1. Bend to extend

Bending with a hips back movement, back straight, feet flat and forward. It can be performed bodyweight or in dozens of other variations including the deadlift. Bend to extend movements work your glutes, hamstrings, and lower back.

2. Squat

This is a hips down motion. Keep your bodyweight in its neutral gravity line with your back flat, developing range of motion that will take you to “rock bottom.” You will not use much forward lean here as your hips are more directly under you. This is all about strength and flexibility and works every muscle in your legs and core.

3. Lunge

This is a long, linear stride, lowering your back knee to just above the ground, with a completely upright torso. Lunges will make your quads and hip flexors sore from the long range of motion and will require more core strength to stand up out of than the squat and deadlift.

4. Rotate

This is your ability to twist in your core, from your pelvis to your ribcage. Every step you take has rotation in the thoracic spine, as a matter of injury prevention, train it in your practice. Not only will it keep your core strong and mobile, unifying your body, but it will also tone up those midsection muscles!

5. Push

This is your upper body muscles pushing things in various directions. In the real world, you would have to do this with different objects, in different ways, quite frequently. Depending upon the lift this trains your chest, shoulders, and triceps differently.

6. Pull

This is your upper body muscles pulling weight toward you. This is often seen in a row or pulling your bodyweight up in a pull-up. Pulling trains your upper back, biceps, and grip. There is a version of pulling out there for everyone. This movement can also help correct the forward shoulders that have become so common among people today from spending so much time at computers and smart phones.

7. Gait

Walk, jog, run or sprint. I truly believe that we should all be able to enjoy the freedom to run. Training strength and mobility in the first six primal movements will allow you to enjoy exercises such as running with less of a likelihood of injury. I always tell people to get fit so they can run not run to get fit. A generous amount of research has also shown that shorter interval runs such as sprints are more in sync with human biology and give better results than long distance running. Long distance running is more likely to stimulate unwanted stressors and overestimate your sympathetic nervous system.