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When many of us embarked on our fitness journeys, we were often still in grade school, where physical education classes introduced us to activities like kickball and dodgeball. Yet, amidst the fun and games, we were also exposed to fundamental human movement patterns: pushing, pulling, squatting, and locomotion (such as running and walking). Those fortunate enough to participate in the President’s Physical Fitness Challenge likely recall testing their abilities in these areas in front of their peers. I distinctly remember struggling to complete a single pull-up, contorting and squirming until I managed just one rep, all while my classmates looked on. While challenging, these basic movements should remain at the core of our fitness pursuits.

The ability to push ourselves off the ground, pull ourselves up, squat, and propel ourselves forward forms the foundation of our physical capabilities. Our capacity—or lack thereof—in these simple bodyweight movements (and cardiovascular fitness) often determines our quality of life as we age. It’s no coincidence that deficiencies in these areas are among the leading reasons people transition to assisted living facilities later in life. Therefore, prioritizing push-ups, pull-ups, air squats, running, and walking is essential for longevity and a high quality of life.

As we gear up for our annual Murph Event in May, our programming will shift to focus on honing these fundamental movements while ensuring technical proficiency and movement capacity. Our goal is to prepare ourselves to tackle Murph safely, with ample training to complete the event while also allowing for proper recovery afterward.

This presents a prime opportunity for all of us to revisit the basics, strengthening our foundation in these fundamental human patterns. Doing so not only prepares us for Murph but also lays the groundwork for pressing, squatting, and lifting heavier weights with stability and confidence. This foundation is key to our overall success and will significantly impact our strength and cardiovascular fitness.

Over the next seven weeks, we’ll gradually increase the volume of these movements, aiming to optimize our performance on Murph while simultaneously enhancing our overall fitness levels. By returning to the basics and committing to foundational movements, we set ourselves up for long-term success in our fitness journey.

Yours In Fitness,

Thomas M. Rini, MEd.

CSCS | CFL3 | Fitness Specialist | Biomechanics Specialist | USAWL1 

“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.”

Owner/Head Coach – Black Flag Athletics