The ultimate movement guide

by Ryan Wagner

So this post is the beginning of something rather ambitious.

I want to maintain a curated collection of all of my favorite fitness sources. From websites to books to podcasts, and everything in between. I’m calling it the Ultimate Movement Guide.

And this will be a living guide – things are going to change. More than likely the list is going to grow as I continue to track down new references that I find both credible and inspiring. Occasionally, I may remove items.

A good example of how things change in the fitness world is that historical crowd pleaser, the sit-up. There was a time when it was included in almost every training program you could shake a stick at. Now, mostly because of the work of Dr. Stuart McGill, we know that not only is the sit-up placing added stress on our spines, but that it isn’t even a natural movement pattern.

Consequently, there is always that chance that what we think we know in contemporary fitness may one day be flipped on its head. But everything you see on this list is currently the industry standard in training (in my opinion).

In short, this is the good stuff. Bookmark this page and come back to it whenever you need help.

Read it. Watch it. Listen to it.

Because learning never stops.


Ido Portal, home page

Ido has built quite a following and has turned out to be quite a savvy marketer. His philosophy on movement and an emphasis on “what can you do?” versus “how much weight can you lift” has attracted a very devoted bunch.

Movnat, home page

Movnat may be overshadowed by the Ido Portal philosophy these days, but that doesn’t mean it is any less relevant. Learning how to jump and land and climb trees is awesome. Although I don’t believe Movnat is a complete fitness program, it’s a great way of challenging your practical ability and pushing you to think in terms of patterns, not isolation.

Bret Contreras, the Glute Guy

Whether Contreras set out from the beginning to be the “Glute Guy” or it just happened naturally, we may never know for sure. But what we do know is that he has a significant amount of content on his site on a wide range of topics, not just the glutes. And although his training methods and articles are certainly going to help you build practical strength, much of his programming is slanted towards building that aesthetic muscle tone that we all want more of.


Functional Movement Systems: Screening, Assessment, Corrective Strategies; Gray Cook

Gray Cook’s book has become a standard in the movement community. If you’re at all concerned about your movement patterns and corrective exercises, you need a copy.

The New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding; Arnold Schwarzenegger

A door-stop of a book, Arnold’s take on bodybuilding is arguably the gold standard of muscle building. Although geared towards the competing athlete, I still find myself referring to it when I find myself asking the question “What would Arnold say?”


The Workout the World Forgot – Movnat

The video that inspired me to kick off my running shoes and climb trees, Erwan’s video remains one of the most inspiring YouTube videos out there. And it begs the question, how come he hasn’t done more?


Perform Better, Learn-by-Doing seminar series

The first Learn-By-Doing seminar I attended was in Denver last spring. I listened to Gray Cook, Alwyn Cosgrove, Todd Durkin, and Martin Rooney speak. It was only $100. Well worth it.

Fit Mornings

Forgive me my shameless plug, but I created Fit Mornings to offer free TED-style fitness talks in the Denver area. Videos are posted online and all are welcome.


T Nation: Build bigger legs, one at a time

This is an article I find myself referring to often. Written by Mike Boyle, a very practical and conservative (meaning he emphasizes safe training methods) strength coach, he has convinced me that unilateral leg training is a very powerful training tool for not only bigger, but stronger legs.


As I mentioned in the beginning, this list of references will continue to expand and contract as my fitness knowledge grows. Bookmark this page to stay in the loop.

By Ryan Wagner

The ultimate movement guide by