Movement is essentially the goal of all training. Whether you are looking to move faster, further, more efficiently or for longer, you’re looking to move. Because of this, it is vitally important that you get the basics right. Building strong foundations will help prevent injury and sustain progression. You can only muscle your way through an exercise for so long! When it comes to gm based training, movement is broken down into basic patterns. From here we can look to use various exercises to strengthen imbalances. Here is your guide to basic movement patterns.


Basic Movement Patterns

Essentially, all movements or exercises can be placed into one (or more) of these categories.

  • Hip hinge
  • Hip dominant
  • Knee dominant
  • Vertical push
  • Vertical pull
  • Horizontal push
  • Horizontal pull
  • Rotational and diagonal
  • Anti-Rotation, flexion and extension

While some exercises may be open to debate, most generally fall into one catagory. For a Rower, the primary movement pattern (in the upper body) is a horizontal pull. As a result a ‘horizontal pulling’ movements such as Bent over Rows may become an important feature within their training.


Exercise Examples of Basic Movement Patterns

Hip Hinge – Deadlifts & kettlebell Swings

Hip dominant – Straight leg deadlifts & flute bridges

Knee dominant – Lunges & leg extensions

Vertical push – Shoulder press & pretty much anything overhead!

Vertical pull – Lat pulldowns & chin ups (read more on chin ups vs pull ups)

Horizontal push – Bench press & press ups

Horizontal pull – Bent Over Rows & ring rows

Rotational and diagonal – Russian twists & woodchoppers

Anti-Rotation, flexion and extension –  Pretty much anything where you are bracing to keep the torso in a fixed position. This may range from a palo press to a front squat.


How These Should Influence Training

Keeping the body balanced is key to performance and injury prevention. Because of this it is important to include all of these movements in your training. Different sports may require some movements to be more dominant, so they will make up a bigger part of your programme.

As a Leading Personal Trainer in Twickenham, I have found warm ups to be a great place to practice and ingrain basic movement patterns. As well as making sure the whole body is prepped, it also highlights weaknesses without loading you! Think about your training, do you neglect some of the basic patterns?