Four Exercise Movements – Great Way to Jump Start your Exercise Plan


Primal Paleo ExerciseAn important part to the Primal Lifestyle is exercising. The human species has been squatting, horizontal pressing, vertical pressing, climbing and using their torsos to resist pushing and pulling forces for millions of years. We’ve been running really fast for that long too. And we’ve been walking long distances at slow paces!

Unfortunately in the 21st century, movement has changed, or should I say it’s almost non existent. We have chairs, so we don’t need to squat. We have cars so we rarely have to walk. How many of you have taken your car out of the garage just to go to the conner store to buy something you need. We have elevators so there is no need to take the stairs unless it’s an emergency. The truth of the matter is that most of us lead a very sedentary live with very little movement if any at all. This together with poor eating habits is whats causing the health crisis we are facing worldwide.

The Primal Lifestyle focuses on three main components for exercising if you are a beginner. They are as follows:


All out efforts of 10 – 20 seconds of really fast running. Do this every 7-10 days when fully energized. Now this can become the biggest “bang for your buck” exercise. It’s brutally effective and highly efficient, promoting growth hormone release, fat burning and lean mass building. But you know why we really like sprinting? It’s over in 10 to 15 minutes… and you only have to sprint once a week!

Lift Heavy Things

Brief, Intense sessions of full body functional movements 1-3 times a week lasting 7-30 minutes. It is important to note that resistance training is the cornerstone of fitness. Stronger people live longer, survive hardships better and are able to enjoy life more fully than weaker people.

Move Frequently at a Slow Pace

This can include Walking, Cycling, Hiking, easy cardio with a 55-70 max heart rate and 2-5 hours per week. Slow movement is the foundation of fitness. Walking, hiking, gentle cycling—these activities aren’t about burning calories; they’re about maintaining the movement and the ability to move. Three to five hours of slow-paced movement a week is enough to keep your body and cardio pulmonary system in spectacular shape.

Put all of this together and you have about 4 to 6 hours of “exercise” a week total, with just about an hour of strength training, 15 minutes of sprinting and 3 to 5 hours of walking. You do that, and you’ll be in the best shape of your life.

Can you “sacrifice” a few hours out of your week to build muscle, improve bone density, and get stronger, fitter, faster and leaner?

I think you can!

Exercising for Beginners

The most challenging part of this exercise plan is “Lift Heavy Things” so the heavy lifting you are going to start with is your own body weight.

Let’s begin with four movements that are essential to our health and functionality. these are what Mark Sisson calls in his book “The Primal Blueprint” the Four Essential Movements. Check out the descriptions below to get started

1. Pushups

Simplified Progression 
  1. Wall pushups work your way to (Male 50 reps, Female 30 reps)
  2. Knee pushups work your way to (Male 50 reps, Female 30 reps)
  3. Incline pushups work your way to (Male 50 reps, Female 30 reps)
  4. Standard Military Press pushups work your way to (Male 50 reps, Female 30 reps)

2. Pull-ups

Simplified Progression
  1. Two legged chair assisted pull-ups work your way to (Male 15 reps,  Female 8 reps)
  2. One leg chair assisted pull-ups work your way to (Male 15 reps, Female 8 reps)
  3. Reverse pull-ups work your way to (Male 15 reps, Female 8 reps)
  4. Standard pull-ups work your way to (Male 15 reps, Female 8 reps)

3. Squats

Simplified Progression
  1. Wall squats work your way to (50 reps for both male and female)
  2. Pole squats work your way to (50 reps for both male and female)
  3. Chair squats work your way to (50 reps for both male and female)
  4. Standard squat work your way to (50 reps for both male and female)

4. Planks

Simplified Progression
  1. Hand/knee planks work your way to (two minutes both male and female)
  2. Forearm/knee planks work your way to (two minutes both male and female)
  3. Hand/feet planks work your way to (two minutes both male and female)
  4. Forearm/feet planks work your way to (two minutes both male and female)

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    • Heather on July 21, 2017 at 11:28 pm
    • Reply

    Thank you for your interesting article. I am in relatively good shape and always take the stairs when I can. I had never related exercise to Primal Paleo Lifestyle. I particularly liked your suggestion on doing the sprints for 15 mins a week, just to shake things up again. I am an avid hiker, and am considering how to incorporate those concepts into my current regimen. Good Information!

    1. Hi, Heather: So glad you enjoyed my post.  If only people can grasp the idea that they do not need to do strenuous exercise to keep in shape.  All they have to do is just move constantly.

    • W Tucker on July 22, 2017 at 7:42 pm
    • Reply

    You do a fantastic job of describing the four basic exercises and the four progressions for each one.
    I am a trainer and am inspired by your excellent videos that go through a detailed explanation as you do each exercise.
    I’m impressed by your knowledge and skill.
    I am going to steal some of your ideas to help my clients. Thanks.

    1. Hi W Tucker:  Greatly appreciate your input, please do feel free to share any information you find useful in this site since we all have a calling to help each other out in which ever way possible.  Please do drop by as often as you deem necessary.

  1. These are great exercises for everyone. Thank you for the great tips I feel I can do these anywhere and the videos on how to do them correctly so they are effective is great thank you for the inspiration

    1. Hi Rani: Thank you so much for your feedback, greatly appreciated. I’m very happy you have found value in my post and that it has serve as an inspiration to you. Feel free to drop by as often as you need since I’m alway posting interesting articles.

  2. Hi! Thank you for the information provided. I did not know about the Primal-Paleo Lifestyle, however, it seems really interesting. I am a college tennis player so I am very active and doing sports. I normally lift weights 3 times a week and run every day between 20 to 30 min, beside playing tennis every day. I am familiar with the exercises that you showed in your videos! they are great!

    Thank you 😀

    1. Hi Javiera: Thank you so much for dropping by, greatly appreciated. I’m glad that you were able to find value in my post. Keep up the hard work and please do feel free to drop by at your leisure.

    • andrejs on July 22, 2017 at 9:32 pm
    • Reply

    Thanks for really valuable and doable advice for better lifestyle exercises. The videos included are a great example of what and how to do. I as many of us tend to find different excuses not to DO but I found some kind of solution, I moved to live in the countryside. Garden, mowing, wood chipping blah, blah and I feel at least twenty years younger.

    1. Hi Andrejs: Thanks for dropping by and leaving your comment. That is all you need to keep yourself in shape. You do not need membership in a gym all you need is to be constantly moving each day and you will see the difference.  There is nothing like the country life to supply you with a great workout on a daily basis.

  3. These are great classic exercices ! It is good to be reminded that they are so simple and accessible. All I need is some perseverance to keep on doing exercices every single day, you inspired me! I am not comfortable in a gym setting, I prefer working out in nature or at home. Always in need of that extra friendly motivation, thank you ! Beautiful landscape in those videos !

    1. Hi Victoria: Thank you so much for your feedback, very pleased that I was able to inspire you with my post. If you just want to get in shape all you have to do is these basic exercises and you really don’t have to go to a gym. Please feel free to drop by at your leisure for more of my tips.

    • Dani on July 23, 2017 at 12:04 am
    • Reply

    Hi! Thank you for this great information. I’ve recently lost a bunch of weight following a paleo diet and now it is time for me to improve my strength and endurance as well. I cannot do all of these exercises without modification and I love the way you illustrate exactly how to work up to the full version of each of these 4 moves. The goals you provided are awesome; I am totally motivated to do these now!

    1. Hi Dani: Thank you so much for dropping by and leaving your comment. So happy that you have found value and above all inspiration in my article.  It’s all about moving and setting up realistic goals.  When I started out my goal was to do at least twenty reps of each and now I do all 50 and just add things to make it a little more challenging like wearing a weighted vest for example.

    • Trisha on July 23, 2017 at 12:59 am
    • Reply

    Well, I do regular cardio but I do not incorporate sprinting once per week so I’m going to try adding that and see how it goes. I also need to work in the heavy lifting as that is something I definitely don’t do. This is very helpful information and I like it because it seems so doable!

    1. Hi Trisha: Thank you so much for dropping by and leaving your comment. I’m glad you found value in my article.  The hard part is getting started and being consistent, once you get over this hurdle it’s a piece of cake.

    • JReese on July 23, 2017 at 4:12 am
    • Reply

    Great article! I agree wholeheartedly that we as a people need to start taking better care of ourselves! And stop getting in the car to go five minutes down the road. Thank you for the useful exercises. I do very much prefer at home workouts or walking/hiking to the gym. Look forward to reading more from you!

    1. Hi JReese: Thank you so much for the visit and your comments.  Totally agree, you definitely don’t have to go to a gym to get in shape to use machinery to lift. There are no excuses you can start at home or even in your back yard with these four basic movements. All you need is the desire to do the work.

    • Alejandra on July 26, 2017 at 12:08 am
    • Reply

    Hello Primo,

    Thanks for sharing this great article, you’re right when you say on century 21 we don’t move as we should be doing.
    Life has gotten so comfortable and it’s not good for health, have a nice lifestyle is nice but we need to move more.
    I like to listen to a doctor on YouTube and he also says “human used to walk a lot before, 9 kms daily for women”, today I don’t walk even 4 kms per day.
    I need to change my exercise routines and do more.
    Doctors here in Canada are asking to people to move more, about 3 hours per week, so I will follow your advice, and I will do more exercise.

    1. Hi Alejandra: Thanks for dropping by and leaving your comment.  I’m very happy to have helped motivate you a little more to do exercise.  A good diet doesn’t cut it any more, it has to be accompanied by an easy to follow exercise plan as well.

    • Sylvie on July 26, 2017 at 12:59 am
    • Reply

    This article was very informative. I particularly enjoyed the visual provided by the videos. It is true that this type of interval training and strength training is the most effective way to stay fit and healthy. I believe that the many of primal/paleo concepts are very positive for your general health and well being, I eat mostly paleo myself.

    1. Hi Sylvie: Thank you so much for dropping by and leaving a comment, greatly appreciated.  You really don’t have to spend hours in the gym just to stay in shape unless you want to be a bodybuilder.  All you have to do is move frequently do some heavy lifting and some sprinting once in a while and you will be in excellent shape.

    • Amy on July 26, 2017 at 1:08 am
    • Reply

    I found it to be interesting to read and gravitate too. I love the videos. It really takes your exercise techniques that much further! I feel these exercises could be for anyone 😀 I normally just try to do sprints, but I can definitely see why I should take this a little further.

    1. Hi Amy: Thanks for your comment, greatly appreciated. Yes, you would have to add some heavy lifting and some walking or running to your routine.  You have to make sure you exercise every muscle of your body.

    • Piscesian Lady on August 2, 2017 at 7:12 am
    • Reply

    Thank you for your great tips! its a wonderful and easy steps to follow. I admit this days we become lazy due to all modern convenient technologies. I would love to share this with my others friends who love doing home exercise too! We don’t need to pay a membership to get fit anymore. Thanks!

    1. Hi Piscesian Lady: Thanks for dropping by and leaving your comment.  Most definitely, unless your goal is body building you really do not need a Gym membership.  You can get a great workout by just doing these simple exercises and working your way up the progression of each excessive. Once you reach the last progression you can buy a weighted vest and do them with that adding additional weight to the exercise.

    • Zbigniew on August 2, 2017 at 10:55 am
    • Reply

    Hi. Absolutely amazing. I’ve been looking for an effective way to get in shape again without having to do strenuous exercises too often. You know, time is a serious issue. the Sprint sounds especially interesting to me. Is it really enough to do this exercise once a week?
    Thanks for great tips!

    1. Hi Zbigniew: Thanks for dropping by and leaving your comment. To answer your question, yes, once a week is enough for this exercise since this is a strenuous exercise and your body needs time to recover.  One of the draw backs of strenuous exercise is that you tend to do them everyday, therefore not giving your body ample time to recover.

    • Amit Misal on August 2, 2017 at 2:08 pm
    • Reply

    hi Perez, just visited your site while surfing the internet.
    I was suffering from illness for about eight years.I paid so much of money on doctors bill and medicine and nothing was found to be useful.Finally, I decided to go for exercise and within just one month of physical exercise, I am a fit person again.I should thank you for motivating people for doing exercise.

    1. Hi Amit: Thank you so much for dropping by and leaving your comment. To be healthy you need to make sure your entire life is in synch, your diet, your exercise, your sleep habits and so on.  All these things together is what makes you a more happier, more healthier you.

    • Dustin on August 2, 2017 at 7:17 pm
    • Reply

    This post is a great reminder to stay active. Often times, I only feel like I get a good workout if I go to the gym, flare my chest around, grunt, and throw up a whole bunch of weight. But really just steady movement of walking, hiking, or even just taking the stairs instead of the elevator can really add up in the long run.

    1. Hi Dustin: Thanks for the visit and for leaving your comment.  There is a difference between exercising for health maintenance and exercising for body building.  In body building you will need to go to the gym and do various isolation routines, but if you exercising to be healthier all you really need is to wall, run, lift your own bodyweight and sprint once in a while.  The key is to keep moving to achieve the best physical and cardiovascular health possible.

    • lilywong on August 3, 2017 at 3:09 am
    • Reply

    Hi, Primo Perez, I really like the four exercises you mentioned that would fit a Primal Lifestyle. It’s simple, yet offers a good way to work all those muscles. The videos are extremely helpful to assist us in visualizing how a set can be done. Thanks a lot for sharing these!

    1. Hi Lilywong: Thanks for dropping by and leaving your comment. I am so glad you found this post so beneficial.

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