Foundational Movement Patterns

In our personal training sessions and group classes, there are staple exercises we see such as squat variations, bench, pull ups, to name a few. All of these exercises fall into one of the six basic movement patterns: Squat, Hinge, Lunge, Push, Pull, and Carry. What you will notice is that although the exercises vary, the goal is to train the movement patterns as effectively as possible through the exercise selection and distribution throughout the week. 

What are the foundational movement patterns?

The movement patterns are movements we should aim to master for an overall healthy, functional life. Our coaching goal, beyond helping our members reach their personal fitness goals, is to develop sound movement patterns and train all movement patterns through challenging training methods. Overall, this helps develop strength, build muscle, and prevent injuries.

The movement patterns are used in everyday life: we squat when we use the toilet, we carry our groceries in, we hinge when we pick something up from the floor, we lunge when we get on one knee to pet a dog. Training these movements allows us to move for overall function.

Exercises for each Pattern

There are a lot of exercises to train for each pattern, below are common group class exercises that we use:

  1. Squat– simultaneous flexion at the knee and hip joint; big muscle groups are glutes, quads, and hamstrings. 

    1. Front squat

    2. Back squat

    3. Goblet Squat

  2. Hinge- bending movement to flex/extend at the hip joint ; big muscle groups are glutes, hamstrings, and lower and upper back.

    1. Deadlift (sumo and conventional)

    2. RDLs (romanian deadlifts)

    3. Banded goodmornings

    4. Glute bridges

    5. Hip thrusts

    6. Kettlebell Swing

  3. Lunge– Lower body unilateral movement– only one side of the body is working at a time, which includes knee flexion/extension; big muscle groups are glutes, quads, hamstrings, back, and core.

    1. Walking lunge

    2. Split Squat

    3. Rear Foot Elevated Split Squat (RFESS)

    4. Front Foot Elevated Split Squat (FFESS)

    5. Reverse Lunge

    6. Forward Lunge

    7. Step Ups

  4. Push– Upper body movement that pushes away from the torso, either horizontally or vertically; big muscle groups are chest, shoulders, and triceps.

    1. Benching variations (incline bench press, flat bench press, dumbbell bench)

    2. Push ups

    3. Overhead press 

    4. Push Press

  5. Pull– Upper body movement that pulls towards the torso, either horizontally or vertically; big muscle groups are lats, rhomboids, traps, and biceps.

    1. Pull ups

    2. Gorilla rows

    3. Kettlebell rows

    4. Banded rows

    5. Bent over barbell rows

    6. Sled pulls

  6. Carry– grip strength, trunk/core control, full body strength.

    1. Farmer’s carry

    2. Suitcase carry

    3. Overhead carry

    4. Goblet carry

    5. Front rack carry

In a previous blog, we touched upon the movement patterns and how to train for longevity— for more, check it out here:

Whether you are someone looking for a good base of general physical preparedness or training for a specific goal, we can help you reach your goals with our sound programming and expert coaching. Click below to schedule your free intro!