ViPR has been around for over a decade now and still proves to be a relevant and dominant tool in the loaded movement training space. It's a tool that is very effective and versatile in the right hands. As with many tools, however, it can only reach its true potential with the correct knowledge and inspiration. For that reason, there are many facilities that house ViPR tools which are left lifeless and collecting dust. A training tool as varied and versatile as ViPR means the sheer volume of exercise options available can make it difficult to decide how to use it to best effect, often leading to indecision and avoidance. It's a little bit like flicking through your 600 TV channels and trying to decide what to watch – the choice can be overwhelming and sometimes you end up watching nothing at all. The purpose of this article is to provide that education and inspiration, and provide a starting point to pick up ViPR, to reignite your motivation to train with and coach others using ViPR, and to fall in love with the potential of such a fantastic functional training tool all over again. These are my top 10 ViPR exercises for beginners.

Did you know that the brand name ViPR is an acronym, standing for vitality, performance and reconditioning? The name itself alludes to the various applications of the tool and how that may differ from one user to another:

Vitality. Vitality training is for the user who wants to create strength for active living and a level of fitness that provides positive energy and vigour. This is your member or client who is a general gym user or recreational sports enthusiast, and is inclusive of anybody who wants to enjoy an active lifestyle.

Performance. Performance training is for the user who wants to become more competitive; this could be in sports, in fitness or just to go after that new personal best. This applies to your more elite members and clients who like to push themselves and see positive gains and progress.

Reconditioning. Reconditioning training is all about regaining full movement and function. This can be applicable to those who are new to – or returning to – exercise, returning from injury or just training to keep injury and pain at bay.

Throughout this article, I am making the assumption that the user is vitality based and already a habitual exerciser who is picking up ViPR for the first time or returning to ViPR after a break.

So, with a plethora of options, how do I whittle down thousands of potential exercises to my 10 favourites for beginners? The answer is that I create a set of criteria. A good ViPR coach won't just assign random exercises that look cool; they will specifically choose movements that have application and meaning to their client or member, always asking the question, ‘Why am I using this particular movement?’ Introducing you to my beginner criteria will help to give you an insight into how to make decisions on which movements to choose for your clients or members – it's the thought process behind the ViPR programming.

Firstly, to understand ViPR programming you must know that, as a tool designed to improve human function, ViPR has fundamental pillars that keep it authentic to everyday life and human movement patterns:

Gravity into ground loading. Gravitational force always acts from above so we drive into the ground to oppose it. ViPR always stays true to these fundamental forces.

Stretch to shorten. When moving efficiently, the body will always lengthen muscles before they shorten; this takes advantage of the elastic property of the myofascial system.

Multi-directional movement. We live in a 3D world and, therefore, we train our bodies in all three movement dimensions: sagittal, frontal and transverse.

Whole-body integrated movement. Physical tasks in the real world do not isolate specific joints or muscle groups but, instead, integrate the whole body as one effective unit.

Heart-rate variability. In life during periods of sustained effort, functional tasks do not maintain a steady heart rate but, instead, create a change of pace, variety in intensity and, therefore, a variable heart rate. 

The second consideration when using ViPR as a training tool for the first time is that it’s useful to get a full experience and insight into what the tool is capable of. A little taste of all the variations the whole package can give is more likely to whet the appetite for future participation. If you were offered a box of chocolates more than once, you wouldn't go for the same chocolate each time but you would want to experience the variety and flavours the box has to offer. A good box of chocolates offers something for everybody. A good induction into ViPR for beginners should include:

Training for a variety of fitness components. This could include flexibility, balance, strength and CV fitness.

A variety of ViPR holds. Different ways to hold ViPR include, for example, On Tube, In Tube, Neutral, Offset, Reverse Grip and more.

A variation of footprints and handprints. This refers to what the feet/hands are doing during an exercise and could include symmetrical, offset, wide, stepping, shuffling, running, reaching and more.

A variety of ViPR series. A ViPR series describes what ViPR is doing, for example, lifting, shifting, flipping, rolling and more.

A collectively balanced workout. The movements chosen for a first-time introduction to ViPR should train the whole body in balance and not, for example, just continually load the posterior chain.

Allow for successful execution with the option for a challenge. Not everybody has perfect balance and co-ordination, so using a tool like ViPR, which requires both, could be very difficult if introduced to complex and demanding movement patterns. Your aim is to make the user look good and feel good, so start with something simple and, if that appears too easy, be prepared to offer an additional challenge.

Here is my list of top 10 ViPR exercises for beginners. This can be used as an all-round workout or you can handpick exercises you feel are most relevant to your client or member. Each exercise is followed up with the progression for that extra challenge should you feel it's required. See chart below.



Role of ViPR


ViPR Stir The Pot

ViPR Supported Stork Stance

To reduce load on the spine and facilitate a long reach


 ViPR Woodchop

+ Sagittal Pivot Step

To create momentum in rotation


 ViPR Warrior Lunge

+ Forward Lunge/Backward Lunge

To increase load on the shoulder girdle and torso


ViPR Cylinder Squat

+ Side Step

To challenge reactive balance and proprioception


 ViPR Offset Shoulder Press

+ Opposite Side Knee Raise

To provide asymmetrical load on the shoulder girdle and torso


ViPR Thread The Needle

+ External Rotation Step

To provide momentum in the sagittal plane


 ViPR Shovel Drill

+ Side Step

To provide momentum in the frontal plane


 ViPR Down Ice Skater

+ ViPR Rotational Reach

To act as an external distance cue


 ViPR Sagittal Flip

+ Reverse Flip

To provide load and distance cue


ViPR Halo

+ Side Step

To act as a driver for spinal motion

Ultimately, the whole experience with ViPR for the first time should be varied, fun, achievable and with the option for an additional challenge. It should leave your beginner impressed, curious and hungry for more. 

As a ViPR coach, we have a responsibility to our clients and members to:

  • coach good movement, which has rhythm, flow and whole-body integration
  • share knowledge and expertise, including what to do, how it should look/feel and why it's good for us
  • provide motivation and encouragement to help others look and feel good.

Whether you’re new to ViPR or returning to it as an old friend, please use these exercises as inspiration to rediscover the capabilities of such an effective training tool and be inspired by its power to improve movement within yourself and others. Go ViPR!

Steve Tongue is Head of Education for ViPR and was first introduced to and trained on ViPR by inventor Michol Dalcourt back in 2011. Stephen’s passion for movement training and success as a Freelance Personal Trainer and Presenter led to him joining the ViPR Master Trainer Team at FitPro back in 2013. Stephen has remained a part of the team until this day as well as picking up Master trainer positions with other big fitness brands such as TRX, PowerPlate and MyZone. Stephen has regularly created content throughout his career for national and industry magazines, news bulletins, blogs and social media. His enthusiasm for ViPR training throughout his career has always kept him close to FitPro and he is delighted in his new role as Head of ViPR Education and keen to build on the progress made by the team thus far.