Wait, what? Did you just read that wrong?

Nope! That wasn’t a misprint. The first of my 3 prerequisites for any youth athlete entering a weight lifting program is for them to develop bodyweight competency (i.e. moving their own body). In layman’s terms, this means that the athlete should be able to adequately control their body in a variety of foundational movements before lifting with external load. With these foundational movements, we are looking for the athlete to control the depth and speed of the exercise while also making sure to stabilize certain parts of the body.

The 5 foundational exercises that we use challenge the athlete both with their upper body and lower body in a variety of different planes

1. Pull-Up/Chin-Up (Vertical Pulling)

          This isn’t quite a full repetition but its pretty impressive nonetheless. This guy can’t even talk!                                     

Baby Does Pull-Ups

2. Push-Up (Horizontal Push)

          No this isn’t the butt up in the air, half repetition version that most kids think is a real push-up!

Push-Up Demo

3. Bodyweight Row (Horizontal Pull)

          Joe DeFranco does a great job demonstrating the plank position (like a push-up) while pulling.

 Bodyweight Row

4. Single Leg Squat (Unilateral Lower Body)

          2016 Athlete demonstrating competency with the Single Leg Box Squat by squatting until his thighs are parallel with the ground

5. Lunge Matrix (Asymmetrical Stance Lower Body)

          Nick Tumminello showing us how to lunge in all 3 Directions: Forward, Sideways and Backwards 

3D Lunge Matrix

Think your ready for the weight room? How well do you perform on these 5 basic exercises? Having difficulty with them? Let us know how you stack up!

                                                                                                                  ~Josh Funk