A complete, well-rounded training program has 7 components. This does not mean they must be done in every workout. Strive to get most of them in a given workout and all of them in a week, assuming two or more training days per week. Keep in mind that the aging adult will also include balance as an 8th component. Optimal exercise selection, however, can eliminate the need for adding balance as a separate segment into a workout.


  1. Push

    • horizontal
      • push-up
      • bench press
      • incline fly
    • vertical
      • overhead press
      • push press
      • lateral raise
  2. Pull

    • horizontal
      • seated row
      • single arm bent over row
      • inverted row
    • vertical
      • pull-up
      • single arm bent over lat row
      • straight arm pulldown
  3. Squat

    • barbell back squat
    • goblet reverse lunge
    • rear foot elevated split squat
  4. Hinge

    • single leg deadlift
    • deadlift
    • hip thrust
  5. Carry

    • pick up something heavy and walk around
    • pick up two heavy things and walk around
    • pick up one heavy thing and one less heavy thing and walk around
  6. Rotation

    • wide stance chop
    • alternating lateral medicine ball slam
    • woodchopper
  7. Anti-rotation

    • Pallof press
    • low plank single leg hold
    • low plank single arm hold



Pull twice for twice as much volume as you push. This largely stems from a postural correction standpoint since most people work a sedentary job and spend most of their free time sitting. Rounded upper back, rounded shoulders, forward head tilt, and low back pain are symptoms often found in clients who would benefit most from a 1:2 ratio of push-to-pull.
This ratio can be figured out in more than one way. I like to keep things simple (until I don’t have to) — it keeps client buy-in and adherence high — by making sure clients are pulling at least twice as many repetitions as they push.
An example of a horizontal push exercise is the push-up. In relation to your own body, you are moving your arms perpendicular to your spine, with the most difficult part of the exercising coming when your arms are extending away from your body. A horizontal pull exercise would be a bent over row and is most difficult when your arms are flexing toward your body.


Pull horizontally two to three times as much as you pull vertically. Looking at the entire workout, if you do four sets of push-ups then you would want to do eight sets of pulls with a minimum of five or six sets being horizontal pull and the rest vertical pull.


Different variations of the squat will target different muscle groups, but they will largely tax the glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, and core. For instance, the barbell back squat will primarily work the glutes while a rear foot elevated split squat will mostly work the quadriceps.


The hinge movement pattern works the lower back, glutes, and hamstrings extremely well for a full body exercise (when using resistance). 


Pick up one or two heavy things and walk around. This will work your entire body, build bone density, and improve cardiovascular endurance.


Core workouts don’t need to be long drawn out portions of a training program. A smart program will incorporate multi-joint strength training exercises that require lots of core activation. As long as you’re adding in some rotation and anti-rotation exercises in your workouts during the week, you’ll be fine.


Stick with a simple program that gets results through consistency and effort.