The 4 Types of Movement


Picture ​It can get very confusing when it comes to figuring out what to do when it comes to fitness, exercise, and training.  So here ya go.


The 4 Types of Movement 
I was on a family trip recently and was talking with some family members about fidgeting.  You don’t think of fidgeting as having much benefit, but when it comes to weight control and health, it makes a surprising difference.  You only have so much time to formally exercise, and fidgeting, or moving around more on a daily basis, can add a lot of metabolic activity outside of more formal and planned movement.  Fidgeting would be a type of physical activity, albeit a very light one.    People who fidget more have higher metabolisms and are usually leaner.  
This brings me to a bigger topic.

When it comes to basic health, more movement of any kind is better than less.  Keep that in mind.  
We covered this before, in separate posts, but I want to reiterate something else really important.  
When it comes to human movement, there are basically 4 things you can possibly do:
The 4 Types of Movement
1)Physical Activity

Physical Activity– Any type of movement, such as fidgeting, strolling, cleaning the house, but also exercise, training, or sports.  There are countless ways to move.  

  • The 3 More Below are Types of Physical Activity

Exercise– Purposeful physical activity, done to accrue health or fitness benefits, like walking 3 miles, jogging, lifting weights, doing a spin class, or jumping rope.  There are countless forms of exercise.   Most of the time when you go to the gym, you’re doing exercise.
Training– Training is more specific than exercise, and has a physiological, adaptive or performance goal in mind.  If you are attempting to Bench Press twice your body weight, run 2 miles in under 12 minutes, hike up a mountain, or do a plank for a full minute, then ideally you will train specifically for that goal.  Most of the time, training is done to improve strength, speed, flexibility, endurance, or power.  Whereas exercise is usually for health, training is done to achieve a specific goal.  Keep in mind though, training does have health benefits, but these are not the primary focus. 
Practice– Practice is engaging in specific motor skills to try to improve your ability and performance.  Great examples of practice are golf swings at the driving range, drills on a tennis court to work on backhands, or shooting sporting clays with a shotgun.  
Exercise, training, and practice are all forms of physical activity and all activity has health benefits, but that’s not why we train or practice.  
Key Tips

  • People take functional training too far.  You can’t mimic tackling, golf swings, or tennis serves in the weight room.  When you train, try to get stronger, try to improve your flexibility, and your power.  When you practice, get in to your sport and practice and the transference from training will happen.  Trying to bring the sport into training isn’t smart, it’s a waste of time.  
  • For sports keep things separate.  To be better at a sport, you have to both a) Train and b) Practice.  One major mistake many athletes make is to conflate the two, but they are different and both are very important.
  • Exercise and physical activity are mainly done for health and for practical day to day activities, whereas training and practice have a specific goal.  
  • To be healthier move more, to perform better train and practice.  

 Major Takeaways

1) Practice your sport, if you have one.

2) Move more for health.

3) Train for specific things like speed, power, and flexibility which will
a) improve your physical fitness but also …..
b) improve your sport performance.  

And remember…there’s never been a better day than TODAY to make it happen!
Read Next: 2020 Update
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