Functional Training Institute

WEDNESDAY WISDOM: Progressive Progressions – Changing the Base of Support

WEDNESDAY WISDOM: Progressive Progressions - Changing the Base of Support

If you missed the previous post on stepping out the box with ways to progress movements then scroll and check out how we can change tempo to level up strength, skill and difficulty in any strength exercise.

In this post we’re exploring another way to progress an exercise without having to go for the standard increase in reps or increase in load…


Adjusting our stance or body position in an exercise can have a drastic impact on the difficulty of a movement as it changes the demands on our coordination and stability, often forcing our core to work much harder to maintain our body position while completing an exercise.

Personally I love incorporating these progressions into my own training and into a lot of programs for my clients because of the variety it can bring and the benefits on coordination and core stability training that come with it.

We can adjust the base of support by changing the positioning of our feet and/or hands on the ground, by removing a limb from the ground or by decreasing the stability of the surface we are on with something like a stability disc.

Here are some examples of how we can change our base of support to level up an exercise:

Band Pallof Press:

Stand with your feet closer together to increase the demand on the core, stand on a stability disc or even stand on one foot to really up the ante.

Renegade Rows:

Set your feet wide to make it easier to make the exercise easier and hold the core and hips stable (remember there should be no hip shift going on in this movement at all), so to make it harder we bring our feet closer together.

Bench One Arm Row:

You can progress to a Two-Point Row (top image in the photo attached to this post), and even to a Bird Dog Row to boost the challenge more (bottom image in this post).

Suspension Pull Ups or Push Ups (hands in straps, feet on floor):

If you’ve never tried lifting one foot off the ground so you only have the support of one leg to hold your bodyweight, this is a great way to increase the challenge!

Of course you can also change a standing row, shoulder press or even a regular floor push up by standing on a stability disc or having only one foot on the ground while you do it too to really challenge the balance and stability!

We’d love to hear from you… What’s your favourite way to progress a movement by changing the base of support?

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