The 6 Fundamental Movement Patterns

Mar 22, 2019

It’s finally spring! A great time to get into a physical movement practice – if you don’t already have a routine in place. Here’s a common question we hear about fitness – what is Functional Movement.

Let’s look at the difference between traditional weight training and functional movement exercise.

Turkish Get Up

Traditional Weight Training vs Functional Movement Training

Traditional weight training is muscle focused. The exercises and movements are chosen based on muscle category like: biceps, pectoral muscles, triceps, etc

Functional Movement Training is based on movement patterns.

There’s nothing wrong with building individual muscles but functional movement training can be incredibly efficient by engaging multiple muscle groups into one exercise.

Functional Movement Patterns or “Natural Human Movement”

The six main movement patters are:

  • Squat
  • Bend
  • Push
  • Pull
  • Twist
  • Lunge


Here, you’ll keep your chest up and keep the movement to your hips and knees.

Goblet Squat


This exercises is also known as a deadlift. It’s a hingle at the hips while bending over – knees SLIGHTLY bent.

The bend movement focuses on the posterior chain (hamstrings, back muscles, glutes) which is a must for office workers who sit for most of the day. The squat focuses more on your leg muscles (glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings).



This is another lower body movement, with the lunge you’ll be in a split stance meaning, your feet wont be parallel next to each other. You might be stepping forward, stepping backwards, or side-to-side in a split stance.

Speed Skating


The push movement pattern can be found in exercises like bench press, push ups, and overhead press. This movement pattern uses chest, anterior deltoid, and tricep muscles.

Spiderman Push-Up


Anytime you’re pulling your hands closer to your body, you’re performing a pull. If you’re doing chin ups, rows, or pull ups you’ll be using your biceps, back muscles, lats, romboids, posterior deltoids and shoulder blades.

Lawn Mower Pull


There are two types of twist exercises. There’s a rotation which you’ll want to be careful with if you have any back pain and the resistance to a rotational movement (such as a one arm plank).

Controlled Russian Twist

Functional training is excellent for athletes or anyone interested in sports. It focuses less on getting bigger muscles and more on performance enhancements and general health.

The best exercise regimen is one that you ENJOY, can keep consistent with, and gets you to your desired results!

Have Fun,

The Live Well Team