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5 Foundational Moves Anyone, Anywhere Can Do To Prevent Injury

Kristine Thomason
mbg Health & Fitness Director
By Kristine Thomason
mbg Health & Fitness Director
Kristine Thomason is the health and fitness director at mindbodygreen.
Image by Studio Firma / Stocksy
March 6, 2021

During this last year, movement has become more precious to me than ever before—and I know I'm not alone. Practicing yoga, going for a run, strength training, and so much more are fantastic for keeping our bodies and minds going strong. That said, with so much at-home fitness, we also want to make sure we're being mindful of our movement and taking measures to stave off injury.

According to fitness trainer Anthony Crouchelli, NCSF-CPT, no matter your level, it's essential to check in with your body and work through foundational movements—to help keep your body strong and promote fitness longevity. "We want to dial it back to the basics of squat, hinge, push, pull, and core," he explains. To home in on each of these essential fitness patterns, Crouchelli has put together a five-part sequence "to create a bodyweight circuit that you can incorporate in any space." 

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1.

Bodyweight Squat

Image by mbg creative / Anthony Crouchelli
  1. Starting with your feet shoulder-width apart, begin to shoot your hips back as you descend toward the floor, putting the weight into your heels.
  2. Once you reach a parallel position, activate the glutes, and ascend back upward to the starting position. 
  3. That's one rep. Complete 8 to 10.
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Form tips: To help with curvature in the spine throughout this pattern, pinch your shoulder blades back.

2.

Deadlift With Hands Behind Head

Image by mbg creative / Anthony Crouchelli
  1. Starting with your hands behind your head, pinch your shoulder blades back.
  2. Leading with the chest, dip your chest toward the floor as you shoot your hips back.
  3. Allow the knees to naturally find a small bend, and once you feel the stretch in your hamstrings, squeeze your glutes as you return to your starting position. 
  4. That's one rep. Complete 8 to 10.
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Form tips: As you are in this pattern, it's important to maintain a "flat back" and focus on your posture. A great way to think of the movement is closing a door, with your glutes as the hinge.

3.

Bodyweight Renegade Row

Image by mbg creative / Anthony Crouchelli
  1. Start in a high plank position, and stabilize your core by corkscrewing your arms into the floor.
  2. From this position, begin to slowly bring one arm directly toward your rib cage at a 90-degree angle.
  3. When your arm is pinched into the rib cage, squeeze your lat to activate.
  4. Then, slowly reverse the movement, back to the plank position. Repeat on the other side.
  5. That's one rep. Complete 8 to 10.
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Form tips: Try to avoid rotating your hips while in the high plank position, and focus on the eccentric movement as you bring the arm to the starting position.

4.

Single Arm BW Press

Image by mbg creative / Anthony Crouchelli
  1. Starting in a kneeling position, pinch both arms into the rib cage.
  2. Slowly bring one arm upward in a straight line, trying to keep your arm close to your ear throughout the movement.
  3. Slowly return to the starting position, maintaining the same form. Repeat on the other side.
  4. That's one rep. Complete 8 to 10.
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Form tips: Make sure to tuck your navel in to your spine to reduce the tension in your lumbar (lower back).

5.

Flutter Kicks

Image by mbg creative / Anthony Crouchelli
  1. Lie on your back and extend your legs out to a 45-degree angle from the ground.
  2. Keep your arms in line with your head, with your palms facing the ground.
  3. With your legs straight and toes pointed, hover one leg over the other, then quickly switch positions. Keep your core engaged throughout.
  4. That's one rep. Continue alternating for 8 to 10.

Form tips: Be sure to keep your lower back tucked into the floor, to alleviate lower-back discomfort. Also, make sure your neck is in neutral alignment, to help prevent any impingement throughout the movement.

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Kristine Thomason
Kristine Thomason
mbg Health & Fitness Director

Kristine Thomason is the health and fitness director at mindbodygreen. Kristine is a New York University graduate with a degree in journalism and psychology, and also a NASM-certified personal trainer. She has spent her editorial career focused on health and well-being, and formerly worked for Women’s Health and Health. Her byline has also appeared in Men’s Health, Greatist, Refinery29, HGTV, and more. In her current role she oversees, edits, and writes for the health, food, and movement sections of mindbodygreen.