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The Exercises You MUST be Doing

Here's a comprehensive list of essential exercises that everyone needs to be doing:


There are none.

Yes, we use Dan John's movement categories as a foundation for all the general fitness programs we offer in Wg-Fit, these being:

  • Upper Body Push

  • Upper Body Pull

  • Hip Hinge

  • Knee Bend

  • Everything Else

The reason I like this so much is how general it is. And how, with a little experience and imagination it's the only guideline you'll ever need to get a workout in that will help improve your physical capabilities.

Upper body pushes can be any manner of loaded presses with any manner of equipment, or simply push ups. Same for upper body pulls, anything from bent over rows to pull ups Hinges, can be reverse lunges, kettlebell swings, deadlifts, olympic variants, even jumps.

Knee bends, that's squatting, lungin, jumping and so on Everything else is the core work, the twisting, the aerobic stuff, whatever you haven't already done.

Following Dan John's categories means that even if you are following a program, when shit happens, you can adapt quickly and seamlessly. This was just the case for KW one of my online clients. She felt her back pain flare up so knew the barbell squats weren't an option. Instead she did Reverse Lunges.

I got the training report and was delighted.

Noe because her back pain had flared up, that is less than optimal, but that she had the mental flexibility to make an on the spot decision and still achieve a training effect.

Being able to adapt on the fly like this means that we still get the unseen benefits of training. The mental, the psychological benefits. Simply binning a session and going home because of injury sucks, being away from home and not having the right equipment to follow the plan sucks But having the ability to swap out exercises for something else in the same category is priceless.

A coaches job is to make themselves redundant. When clients message me that they are now making adjustments on the fly like this, I am always delighted. It means that they don't really need my help for the basics stuff and are if not completely, they're at least on the way to becoming independent.

And that is always my goal as a coach.


Dave Hedges

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