Foundational movement patterns are basic human movements that form the basis for more complex activities in various physical disciplines, including fitness. These are essential for functional strength, mobility, and overall well-being. Although there are many commonly recognized patterns in fitness, in this guide we categorize and explained further in detail the following 7 of them:

1.) Squatting:

  • Involves bending at the hips and knees while keeping the back straight.
  • Examples include bodyweight squats, goblet squats, and barbell back squats.

2.) Hinging:

  • Primarily involves bending at the hips with minimal knee flexion.
  • Deadlifts and Romanian deadlifts are examples of hinging movements.

3.) Lunging:

  • Involves taking a step forward or backward and lowering the body, typically with a bending motion at both knees.
  • Walking lunges and reverse lunges are common examples.

4.) Pushing:

  • Requires the extension of the arms against resistance, pushing an object away from the body.
  • Push-ups, bench press, and shoulder press are examples of pushing movements.

5.) Pulling:

  • Involves the contraction of muscles to bring an object or resistance toward the body.
  • Pull-ups, rows, and lat pulldowns are common pulling exercises.

6.) Core:

  • Stability and Bracing – Focuses on maintaining a stable spine and core during various movements (planks, Pallof presses, and anti-rotation exercises contribute to core stability)
  • Twisting and Rotation – Engages the core and obliques in rotational movements (russian twists, wood chops, and medicine ball rotations are examples)

7.) Locomotion:

  • Walking / Running – Involves transporting the body from one place to another while maintaining posture and stability
  • Carrying – Involves transporting an object from one place to another while maintaining posture and stability (farmer’s walks and suitcase carries are examples of carrying exercises)
  • Crawling – Involves moving the body close to the ground using a coordinated pattern of limbs (bear crawls and crab walks are common crawling exercises)
  • Jumping – Incorporates explosive movements and controlled landings. Other forms are skipping, hopping, shuffling, etc. (box jumps, broad jumps, jump squats, side to side shuffles are examples)

By incorporating these foundational movement patterns into a fitness routine, individuals can enhance their overall functional fitness, improve mobility, and reduce the risk of injury. It’s important to start with proper form and gradually progress in intensity and complexity. Additionally, a well-rounded fitness program often includes a combination of these movement patterns to ensure comprehensive training. The following modules will introduce each of them more in detail.