It's All About a Good Foundation

September 27, 2017


If you're new to the Pippin Performance community, you'll quickly learn that our philosophy is to Be Strong - Be Mobile. These two pillars of performance work together to compliment one another, creating optimal well being for our clients. 


To get you to "Be Strong" you need a place to start. That's where our foundational exercises come in. These are the building blocks that need to be mastered before doing any movement in a workout. Everyone who currently trains with me, either in person or virtually, completes a modified version of these exercises during each session. Master these and you're on your way!




Think about it. What do you need to do before setting up for a heavy squat? Or even something less complex like grabbing the groceries out of the car? You'll need to make the following adjustments to your body before starting:

  • Chin tuck

  • Scapular depression

  • Ribs down

  • Neutral pelvis

  • Toes and arch engaged

  • Thoracic rotation


Why not do exercises that help make these adjustments become second nature? 





Below are the foundational exercises to help you strengthen the above movement patterns so you can do them instinctively before anything in a workout. The beauty of these exercises is that anyone can do them, no matter your fitness or pain levels. The more training experience you have, the harder the variation.


Doing one round will take less than 10 minutes and I'd recommend doing this before your workout so you can take this foundation and apply it to your lifting right after. 


Do 10 reps on each side (where applicable) and this is a progression, so it's best to do them in this order.


Level 1 & 2 Chin Tuck


  • Try and keep the rest of the body still

  • Make sure your pelvis is in a neutral position with your ribs down, fingers reaching toward feet, and your toes and arches engaged 

  • On the level 2 progression, only lift your head an inch off of the ground at most



Posterior Pelvic Tilt


  • Only move your pelvis, not the rib cage



Glute Bridge


  • Keep your chin tucked with ribs down, fingers reaching to feet, toes and arches engaged 

  • Don't lose the pelvic tilt throughout the movement



Level 1 & 2 Dead Bug


  • Keep your pelvis tucked, chin tucked, and armpits reaching toward your waist

  • Always press your lower back in to the ground the entire time



Level 1 & 2 Bind


  • Use your obliques to rotate, not your arm 

  • Don't go too far, make sure you can always breathe



Want more strength and mobility tips?  Check out my YouTube channel, Instagram and Facebook pages for more!




Matt is a Strength and Conditioning Coach and Level 3 Fascial Stretch Therapist with over 15 years experience in his field. After years of playing sports as a child, Matt gained an interest in health and wellness and decided to pursue a career in strength and conditioning. He graduated from the University of South Florida with a degree in Exercise Science in 2005.  During college Matt played rugby and interned as a Strength and Conditioning Coach with the football team.  

Post graduation, he worked with professional athletes as the Head Strength and Conditioning Coach for NFL Europe's Berlin Thunder. For 8 years, Matt worked in Chicago, IL at the East Bank Club as a Master Personal Trainer, Performance Coach and Fascial Stretch Therapist helping athletes and weekend warriors achieve their personal goals.  Inspired by the overall quality and active lifestyle that California is known for, Matt and his wife Jennifer moved to San Diego in the summer of 2014 and haven’t looked back!



  • NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist

  • Level 3: Fascial Stretch Specialist

  • Level 1: Institute of Motion Health Coach

  • Certified FRC Mobility Specialist (FRCms)



Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Please reload

Featured Posts

Holiday Gift Guide: Ideas For Health & Fitness Enthusiasts

November 14, 2019

Please reload

Recent Posts