October 14, 2016

You cant beat the basics

REACHING YOUR HEALTH and fitness goals is hard enough as it is, never mind when you aren’t going about it the right way.

But what is a good approach?

Over the past three weeks I’ve created a number of videos to help you out with a couple of movements that are common in gym programmes.

These drills are basic and uncomplicated, yet a lot of the time I see these movements performed incorrectly, largely due to two reasons:

1. You haven’t been taught correctly.


2. You didn’t dial the basics in for long enough and moved on to the more complex stuff straight away.

However, believe it or not, less is more most of the time with these exercises, which are the ones that will give you the biggest bang for your buck.

These exercises will help you build a solid foundation from which you can build once you get consistent and stronger at these movements.

Basic squats, push-ups and pull-ups are things you should be looking to work towards getting right initially.

Other areas like basic flexibility/mobility standards are also very important. Being able to touch your toes while in a seated floor position, perform a basic couch or pigeon stretch, or complete shoulder dislocates correctly are all important standards I like to see clients meet.

Time and time again, I see people doing movements without spending enough time working on basic technique. Over time, this is going to lead to a risk of injury or burnout.

Sometimes you need to stop rating how good your workout has been by how sore you are the next day or by how much you sweated off.

What you need to do is spend more time working on your mobility, find out what areas you need to improve, build some strength and every now and then get your heart-rate up.

These two steps should get you on track:

1. Get a mobility screening done and find out what areas of your body need attention before bringing in increased movement, load and intensity. You could find you have tight hamstrings, tight and inactive glutes, a stiff lower back, or even tight ankles. Any good trainer should do this in the early stages.

2. Learn the basic movements to build a good foundation, focusing on your strength, mechanics (or technique) and consistency. Then you can increase the intensity. It’s important to work on basic bodyweight movements so that you learn the best technique and scale/level you should be working on before progressing.

Below is a selection of videos covering advice on warm-ups, squats, push-ups, pull-ups and kettlebells.

Warm-up advice

Source: David Last/YouTube

What your squat should look like starting off

Source: David Last/YouTube

How to get better at push-ups

Source: David Last/YouTube

How to scale your pull-up for your level

Source: David Last/YouTube

Kettlebell swings

Source: David Last/YouTube

I hope you find this information useful and if you need any more advice just pop me a message. You can see more advice from me on my social media pages, which are linked below.

David Last is a personal trainer based in Dublin. For more information you can follow him on FacebookInstagram and Twitter. Or you can send me a direct message here.