Sometimes, you just gotta get down and dirty, ya feel me? By down and dirty, I mean taking it to the floor. No, not the type of floor activity that leaves rug burn on your knees. I’m talking about when it comes to working out.
I’m not about to get all Primal Bro on you, but you need to know that if you want to keep feeling good and looking good, floor work will have to be something you start working on.
Lack of floor work is usually why movement problems like a dysfunctional squat happen. A terrible squat pattern eventually leads to knee, hip, ankle, and foot issues.
Part of this is thanks to all the time we spend sitting and standing, and how our body adapts to that.
Grounding yourself and getting back to your roots taps into an innate style of movement that we often neglect today. All human movement is done from the ground up. Once we’re adults and capable of walking around, we never really get back to the ground.
If you think hard about it, when was the last time you spent any appreciable amount of time on the floor just moving? Probably when your cousins baby came over and everyone was talking about how cute he was, and you just didn’t see it because all babies look like aliens.
Doing work on the floor can also help you drop fat and build muscle.
Floor work is usually a closed chain exercise, which basically means the hand or foot are fixed in space, and can’t move. These moves, like push-ups and pull-ups are metabolically demanding, which makes them awesome moves to accelerate fat loss.
Your abs will also get a hell of a lot stronger.
Taking normal lifts, and taking them to the floor is one of the most commonly forgotten ways to get more ab involvement with each lift, and highlight weak points. An awesome example of this is the half kneeling press.
The half kneeling press can be done with a dumbbell, kettlebell, or landmine set up. If you take your hand and place it on your stomach and focus on bracing your abs, you’ll notice there’s likely more abdominal recruitment going on, which is a fantastic way to increase overall core strength.
Why is this?
The half kneeling position highlights trunk stability, and whether you’ve got it or not. The half kneeling position trains the core to activate at the right time, with the proper intensity. Something that we’re usually pretty terrible at, and part of the reason why so many of us get lower back pain as we get older.
Why the hell is this important when it comes to building size? Without trunk stability and strength, you can’t make proper use of your arms and legs in a full range of motion. If you can’t make proper use of those, you’re limited when it comes to building muscle.
If you can’t control a squat without any weight, you won’t be able to control a squat with 300+ pounds on your back, which can severely limit your overall leg growth. The same can be said about chest and back growth with various movements.
Sure, you can stick to machines and get plenty of growth doing isolation work, smith machine squats, and other bullshit. After a few years of that though you’ll also move like you’re 80 years old.
What are some floor exercises you can start working on? A few of my personal favorites include:
- The half kneeling press
- Turkish get-up
- Bear crawling (your football Coach actually got this torture right)
- Bird dogs
All of the above do a fantastic job of forcing you to control your core, keep a neutral spine throughout the entire movement, and reinforce good movement patterns. Which is a fancy, holistic way of saying they’ll help you get jacked and shredded.
You don’t have to start doing some sort of primal movement animal flow that mimics acting like a leopard in the gym to incorporate floor work. Instead, just using the above exercises, even if it’s just one, in every workout can help get the job done.