Fitness isn't just about lifting weights or running on a treadmill. It encompasses the ability to move your body efficiently and effectively in various ways. One way to achieve overall fitness is to master the five fundamental movement patterns: push, pull, hinge, squat, and loaded carry. These basic movements form the foundation of all human physical activities. By focusing on these, you can ensure a balanced and effective workout routine.
The following guide will explain each of these fundamental movement patterns and provide exercises that can help you master them.
Pushing is a natural movement pattern where you're exerting force to move an object away from your body. It primarily engages your chest, shoulders, and triceps.
Exercises to master push movements:
- Bench press
- Overhead press
Pulling is the exact opposite of a push. It involves moving an object closer to your body, and typically works your back muscles and biceps.
Exercises to master pull movements:
- Seated rows
Hinging is a movement where you bend at your hips while keeping your spine straight, like you're closing a door with your backside. This pattern mainly works your posterior chain, which includes your hamstrings and glutes.
Exercises to master hinge movements:
- Good mornings
- Kettlebell swings
Squatting involves bending at the hips and knees while keeping your chest upright. It's a functional movement we use every day, like when we sit down or pick something up. Squats primarily work your quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes.
Exercises to master squat movements:
- Air squats
- Goblet squats
- Front squats
Loaded Carry Movements
Loaded carries involve moving while holding a weight, and they're great for improving your strength, endurance, and stability.
Exercises to master loaded carry movements:
- Farmer's walks
- Suitcase carries
- Overhead carries
Here's a summary of these movement patterns and the main muscles they work:
By mastering these fundamental movement patterns, you can ensure a comprehensive and balanced workout routine. Not only will this help improve your overall fitness, but it will also help prevent imbalances, reduce the risk of injuries, and enhance your performance in everyday activities.