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The Art of Movement Edition 47: Greatest Hits 2022

Updated: Jul 20, 2023

CIRCUITS IS ON XMAS BREAK! We’re back Tuesday 3rd January, 6:30pm Turnham Green, Chiswick - Come down and get involved!


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Edition 46 - Greatest Hits 2022

Welcome to my final newsletter of the year! This is simply a round-up of my most popular releases this year (by most views). I honestly can’t thank you enough for taking the time and interest in my work, and in 2023 I will be striving to continue providing you with more high quality content every Friday!

5. Edition 35: All or None -

  • The 'all or none' law states that a single motor neuron innervates all of the muscle fibres connected to it. There are thousands of nerves and millions of muscle fibres connected to them.

  • Small motor units activate a small number of muscle fibres to produce a small amount of force, while large motor units activate thousands of muscle fibres to produce a large amount of force.

  • A motor unit is made up of a single neuron and all of the muscle fibres it innervates.

  • The rectus abdominis spans the whole front of our torso from mid-ribcage down. When you exercise this muscle, you can recruit a certain amount of motor units, and the extent to which you can recruit it will influence the resulting muscular activity.

  • The phrase 'I've got inactive glutes' means that the muscle fibres in your glutes are not being sufficiently stimulated by the motor unit and therefore simply not activating.

  • Most people live sedentary lives, which results in excessive hip flexion. The glute muscles and nerves connected to them become dormant, less sensitive to the action we require from them and essentially begin to switch off, hence - inactive glutes.

  • 'All or none' law: By targeting and isolating dormant muscles, you can improve the efficiency of your functional movements and neutralise your weak points.

4. Edition 31: Start Easy, Progress Slowly -

  • The key to maintaining a regular gym routine is to start easy and progress slowly. This article will help you set realistic expectations and identify the right type of training for you.

  • There is not a single workout program that is perfect for everyone, so consider your health status, fitness level, limitations and training goals when choosing a training program.

  • If you're recovering from an injury, avoid exercises that could cause further damage. Start off with gentle exercises like regular walking or swimming and increase the intensity and variety of your workouts as you get stronger.

  • Plan your workouts in advance so that you know what you are doing and when, and why. You'll be more likely to stick to your workout program if you have a plan for success.

  • Before you start your training, ask yourself what you want to achieve by the end of a certain period. Tracking your workouts will help you achieve this.

  • If you've never been a regular exerciser, start slow and commit to 10 minutes of exercise per day. As you get more committed, increase the duration of your workouts and don't try to run before you can walk.

  • If you want to get serious about your workout program, you're going to have to make exercise a higher priority in your life. This means saying no to after-work drinks and parties, and starting with the very basics for at least 1 month.

3. Edition 40: Fail Better - A Short Story About Circuits -

You know that old saying, “If at first you don’t succeed, try again?”

Well, what if the second time didn’t work either? What if you failed a third time? Maybe even a fourth? What would you do then? Would you give up or would you keep going until you finally succeeded? We see people giving up all the time. When something challenging and new comes their way, most people panic and run in the opposite direction as fast as they can. It’s scary to put yourself out there, take a risk and fail. But what about when we fail repeatedly at something we really love to do? Do we just give up on it and look for another path instead? Or are there different ways of approaching things that might work better than what we tried before?

When we fail, our first instinct is to just immediately go to plan B and start searching for another way to achieve our goals. Sometimes we even skip A completely and just go straight to B. However, we really should take a moment to reflect on why we failed in the first place and use that information to inform the new way we try to achieve our goals next time. When you fail, you have all the information you need to know what went wrong and what you should do differently next time. You’ve already learned all the lessons the hard way. You just have to be willing to look back on the past and learn from it.

In this edition I share with you some examples from my past where I’ve had to learn how to fail upwards in a specific sphere of competency…

“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better”

2. Edition 27: Healthy Hammys -

In this edition I give a brief rundown of my favourite exercises for keeping the hamstrings long, strong, and fast, for better running, jumping and lifting performance, as well as a healthier posterior chain with reduced incidence of lower back pain and discomfort.

1. Nordic curl

As many people know, I rarely stop banging on about nordic curls, and took a keen interest in studying them during my university years. Due to most of us being excessively front-body oriented, the posterior chain always needs a regular dose of heavy loading and activation to balance out our strength biases, and keep the back of the body strong, durable and mobile. Nordic curls allow us to strengthen the hamstring while it is lengthening, which helps reduce our susceptibility to many injury scenarios, most commonly while sprinting and changing direction, and they can also help us move better and run faster.

2. Single leg romanian deadlift

Similarly to the Nordics, this exercise also allows us to strengthen the hamstring while it is lengthening. However, the added perk to this one is that we are doing so while balancing on ONE LEG, which is the key principle to understand with running and most athletic movements - we are always on one leg. Therefore with the SLRD we are able to replicate the position of the limbs during sprinting, forcing us to emphasise ankle, knee and hip stability, and there is research to suggest that the ability of this exercise to mimic running, makes it more transferable to athletes than the Nordic curl.

3. Glute bridge walkouts

The theme of strengthening while lengthening will continue to be a common theme here, and walkouts are a great exercise for a beginner who needs to work on this. Simply going into the glute bridge and shuffling the feet away from the body as far as the hamstrings can tolerate. The hard part of this one is digging the heels into the ground at the furthest point possible and clawing your way back to the start.

4. Glute Bridge Sliders

Very similar to the exercise above, however rather than the feet shuffling out in a motion that mimics the impact of running, the feet stay in contact with the ground resting on pads which slide along the floor. You slide both legs out simultaneously, keeping the hips off the ground so you remain in hip extension with the glutes activated, and again, pull yourself back to the start from the furthest point.

5. Swiss ball leg curl

The great thing about this exercise is that it offers a level of instability that we can really benefit from, as it changes the way our nervous system perceives the movement, and we have to develop new motor skills to adapt to carrying out the leg curl while balancing the ball at the same time. The exercise predominantly focuses on strengthening the hamstrings concentrically (as they are shortening), however you can create an eccentric workload on the way back by slowing down the extension of the knees and digging into the ball as hard as possible!

1. Edition 29: You Are What You Do -

Ask Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo how they are so ‘gifted’. How they are so fortunate to be blessed with the skills they have which set them apart into a different footballing galaxy from the rest of the world… chances are they will probably be quite annoyed. The idea that these freaks of footballing nature got to the levels they did by accident, by some ‘blessing’ or footballing gift, is naive at best. I’m sure they would be quick to explain the tens of thousands of hours of purposeful practice they have now accumulated over the years to master their craft. The endless struggle to be better, be flawless, the hours staying back at the end of training to practice free kicks, dribbling and finishing - the faintest suggestion of them achieving their dreams by luck seems outrageous to most of us.

Similarly, we can look at a legendary bodybuilder like Arnold Schwarzeneggar - somebody who has applied countless hours, double and triple training days for years upon end to master his craft and become a different type of freak of nature.

Imagine then, my incredulity and surprise (I know I should stop being surprised), when a person with no previous gym training experience tells me they don’t want to do weights because they ‘don’t want to get too bulky’! I’m even laughing as I type it. And yet sometimes, I feel like they don’t even believe me when I explain to them just how many hours, days, weeks and years of consistent, stressful, and intensely specific and carefully planned weight training and strict dieting it would take in order to get ‘bulky’, ‘ripped’ or even vaguely resemble the appearance of a bodybuilder?!

Trust me, unless you are training 6+ times per week you don’t have to worry about anything like that. As somebody who has been in the gym consistently for 18 years - achieving any kind of extreme athletic physique is only possible through extreme dedication and training. Arnie looked the way he did by training 10 times per week. Leo Messi can do the things he can do with a football for the same reason. It is not an accident. We are what we do, and it is important to remember that when pursuing our goals, whatever they might be.

If your goal is to be better at running, you need to get out there and run. You may then argue that your body isn’t ready for that yet - well guess what, you have to start somewhere. So maybe that looks like 3 x 200m slow jogs, separated by 2 x 200m walks (total - 1km), which becomes a straight 1km run the month after, which becomes 3 x 500m runs, separated by 2 x 250m walks (total - 2km), which becomes a straight 2km run the month after, and onwards, and upwards, regularly, consistently and hey - all of a sudden you’re a runner. You’re that person other people look at and say ‘I wish I could be a runner like them’.

If you want to be stronger, the same thing applies - you need to be prepared to lift relatively heavy weights on a regular basis. It is important that you find it difficult. If you can lift it 15 times it isn’t heavy. Doing this sensibly and progressively with a focus on technique and consistency provides you with the platform, and before you know it you are literally stronger!

Remember, you are what you do, so think about what you want to be, and begin heading in that direction :) good luck!

That’s all for this YEAR! Thank you so much for reading my newsletter in 2022 - I am delighted to have been able to provide you with content you both appreciate and (hopefully) find somewhat helpful. 2023 will be an important year of continuity for me - keep reading and spreading the word! Check out my Patreon channel for video episodes, on-demand workouts, training programmes, training guidance/advice and more!

Thank you,


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