Over the years, I have based my life and fitness philosophy around the importance of respecting and honoring the basics. In life, the basics may pertain to getting out into nature and throwing your shoes aside so you can dig your soles into the ground. In nutrition, the basics could revolve around making sure you have a well-balanced nutrition plan that includes healthy proteins, fats, and carbs all while supporting that with plenty of clean water. 

Those concepts may spark thoughts of, “Duh, no kidding,” but the basics are not always so clear. In exercise and fitness, they can become lost in all the advice out there on the best ways to get in shape or to lose weight or to hone in on your “weak areas.” There are workout crazes and trainers who emphasize more aggressive, non-functional training to spice up a workout session. Now, I am not against these exercises – I even incorporate them into my own workouts and the workouts of my clients because my training style emphasizes fun and innovation. But, I also emphasize a training program that dials back intermittently to focus on the basic exercises. Sometimes getting away from them and focusing on achieving some crazy exercise pose ends up creating sloppy form in the basics. That can set you up for injury! Why would you consistently pile on increasing loads of weight onto a bar for chest presses if you can not perform 10-20 repetitions of controlled and proper bodyweight push-ups? It makes no sense to me. Getting off the floor or a chair or the toilet is for life. Throwing around dumbbells sloppily is not. So, let’s honor the basics and talk about my top 5 biggies, making sure you know how to do them properly. Perform them in front of a mirror or have someone video/photograph you so you can analyze and see exactly what you do. With each exercise, I provided a link to the exercise on bodybuilding.com and I noted the key areas in your form to pay attention to. So, just how awesome are your basics?

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