Exercise Pool: Total Body

Updated: May 22

Joe Kenn | Vice President of Education & Performance



In earlier posts, we spoke and wrote about what makes up a Whole-Body strength training session and utilizing an Exercise Pool as the starting point to designing our program. Today, we begin the specific process of categorizing our pool in the first of our three main strength categories, Total Body Movements.


As we established a basic sample pool in last week’s blog (see below), this was just a simple task of listing all the exercises/movements that came to mind when choosing exercises based on these two questions, 1 – Can I teach it? As a coach, am I competent and capable of instructing an athlete to properly execute a specific movement in a safe and efficient manner? 2 – Do I have the necessary equipment to safely implement this particular exercise? It is now time to separate these exercises into specific movement categories.



The first category we will discuss is the Total Body Movement Category. This could be the most important category because most of the movements are derived from the sport of Olympic Weightlifting. These specific movements when done correctly allow for a coordinated movement pattern focused on triple extension. If you were only able to choose one exercise to do per week, it would be my recommendation that if would come from a variation of the Olympic Lifts or a traditional Conventional Deadlift.


Total Body Movements

The majority of Total Body movements will come from the sport of Olympic Weightlifting. The variations and accessory movements of the classical Snatch and Clean and Jerk are crucial elements in the development of the athlete. These movements are known for the development of “triple extension”. The synchronized extension of the ankle (plantar flexion), knee, and hip within the same movement are considered a crucial factor in athletic development.

Movements that also are hip hinge dominant and focus on hip extension are also categorized as Total Body Movements. Examples of these are, deadlifts, Romanian deadlifts, hip thrusts, and kettlebell swings.

For advanced athlete will also include jumps and standing throw into this category also.

Utilizing the Sample Pool lets specifically separate the Total Body Exercise from our pool.



As you can see as we have established our Total Body Pool, the large majority of these movements are from the variations of the Competition Olympic Weightlifting movements, the Snatch and Clean and Jerk. The movements shown in our sample total body pool is very common for the majority of programs that utilize versions of the snatch, clean, and jerk.


I will always remind you the coaches, that your pool is “your pool”. Do not let others position of exercises and how they are performed to influence your choices. You know what you believe is necessary, you know what you can teach, and you know what your athletes are capable of. Make your decisions wisely.

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