An Exercise for Every Occasion

Exercise List

I’ve begun the long process of building a list of every exercise that I know. Suffice to say, it’s a very comprehensive list. I made a decision to put this list together so I could reference it when I am creating programs for clients. Often times, I find myself focused on the newest exercises I’ve learned, and I only seem to draw from those recent exercises when I am building a program. I leave hundreds of other great exercises on the table because they are not fresh in my memory. Once in awhile, new information will convince me to ditch an exercise, but in most cases, the old exercises are just as good as the new ones. I am organizing the list into specific categories related to fundamental human movements. Push, pull, squat (knee dominant), and hip hinge (hip dominant). It is a huge undertaking and it can be a bit confusing at times on how to categorize each exercise. There is no doubt that there will be some overlap between sections and I will need to add categories such as core, power, and full body movements. Ultimately, I will just have to figure it out as I go. However, the point of my post is to bring to attention the massive number of exercises and movements we can practice in our workouts and every day lives. Seriously, there is enough variation out there to keep us busy and challenge us for the majority of our lives, if not for our entire lifetime. The key is to use progressions and regressions as needed. If someone has spent a lot of time being inactive, they shouldn’t jump right into a program with the most advanced exercises. Here are a few examples from each movement category to wet your appetite for variation. They are listed from easiest to more advanced. Always check with your doctor before starting a workout program.

Push

  1. Wall Push-Out
  2. Elevated Push-Ups
  3. Kneeling Push-Ups
  4. Push-Up Plank Hold
  5. Push-Up Walk-Outs
  6. Push-Ups
  7. Feet Elevated Push-Ups
  8. BOSU Push-Ups
  9. Stability Ball Push-Ups
  10. TRX Push-Ups
  11. Hands Offset Push-Ups
  12. Spiderman Push-Ups
  13. Blast Off Push-Ups
  14. Side to Side Push-Ups
  15. Self Assisted Single Arm Push-Ups
  16. Single Arm Push-Ups
  17. Plyo Push-Ups

Pull

  1. Smith Machine Inverted Row
  2. Lebert Equalizer Inverted Row
  3. TRX or Strap Inverted Row
  4. Single Arm Inverted Row
  5. Active Hang (Bottom of Pull-Up)
  6. Flexed Hang (Middle of Pull-Up)
  7. Flexed Hang (Top of Pull-Up)
  8. Eccentric Chin-Ups (Lower Very Slowly)
  9. Eccentric Pull-Ups (Lower Very Slowly)
  10. Chin-Ups
  11. Pull-Ups
  12. Commando Pull-Ups
  13. Side to Side Pull-Ups
  14. Single Arm Hang
  15. Self Assisted Single Arm Pull-Ups

Squat

  1. Wall Squat Hold
  2. Wall Squat
  3. TRX or Strap Assisted Squat
  4. Body Weight Squat
  5. Goblet Squat
  6. Double Kettlebell Front Squat
  7. Barbell Front Squat
  8. Barbell Back Squat
  9. Overhead Squat

Hip-Hinge

  1. PVC Pipe Hip Hinge
  2. Band Resisted Hip Hinge
  3. Cable Pull-Through
  4. Kettlebell Romanian Deadlift
  5. Sumo Stance Kettlebell Deadlift
  6. Barbell Rack Pull (Elevated Deadlift)
  7. Barbell Romanian Deadlift
  8. Trap Bar Deadlift
  9. Sumo Stance Deadlift
  10. Deadlift
  11. Snatch Grip Deadlift

These are just some of the sample progressions of specific exercises in each fundamental movement category that I utilize in my workout programming. I didn’t touch upon vertical movements in pushing or horizontal movements in pulling. I didn’t mention single leg exercises in the lower body categories. I think you can see just how vast the options are for exercise selection. You have no excuses to be bored by your exercise program. Find a new exercise and see if you can begin to master it through progressions. There will be some exercises that will not be appropriate for some people due to past injuries or specific limitations, and maybe the risk to reward ratio is not worth it with some. It’s up to each person to make that decision, hopefully with the advice of a qualified professional. Let’s move on to the other categories. Core training will fit into it’s own category. Here’s an example of a core stability progression with a classic front plank.

Core

  1. Elbow Plank
  2. Push-Up Plank
  3. BOSU Elbow Plank
  4. BOSU Push-Up Plank
  5. Stability Ball Elbow Plank
  6. Stability Ball Push-Up Plank
  7. Feet Elevated Elbow Plank
  8. Feet Elevated Push-Up Plank
  9. Feet on Stability Ball Elbow Plank
  10. Feet on Stability Ball Push-Up Plank
  11. BOSU Elbow Plank w/ Feet on Medicine Ball
  12. Medicine Ball Push-Up Plank w/ Feet on Balance Disk

This is just part of a progression through the front plank, but we could continue to build upon it by adding leg extensions, abductions, or arm raises. There are anti rotation exercises like lateral planks and cable core presses, all with a number of progressions. For those with healthy backs, some flexion and extension of the back would probably be okay. People with a history of back problems would be wise to stick to core stability exercises and not risk any further injury to their spine. There are some exercises that don’t fit so neatly into a specific category, and some end up belonging in multiple categories. Exercises that utilize the whole body would probably be best placed in a full body miscellaneous category. Always think about the muscles being used and incorporate these exercises based on that. For example, a variation of a cartwheel could be used as a push exercise, think of it as a handstand with lateral movement.

MISC

  1. Rolling on the ground (forward, backward, and shoulder rolls)
  2. Truck Pushing & Pulling
  3. Sled Pushing & Pulling
  4. Weighted Carries
  5. Tire Exercises (Sledgehammers and Flips)
  6. Battle Rope Exercises
  7. Gymnastic Based Exercises (cartwheels and handsprings)

I could go on and on with these exercises, but you get the idea. Upon completion of my comprehensive list of exercises, I plan on filming video demonstrations for each of them. It will be a long process, but I believe it will be a great resource for myself, clients, and anyone else who is interested. Some of these exercises will take some time for me to master myself, but I look forward to the challenge.  I hope this post will be helpful and inspire you to try some new exercises in your fitness program. Workouts never have to be boring!

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