The 4 movement patterns you need to know to be strong and fit


first published September 2015


Are you new to fitness? Maybe overwhelmed by working out? Or perhaps you could you use a review of the basics?

I'm going to break movement down to it's origin, and let you in on a secret:

there are four major movement patterns that you need to master for optimal strength and fitness.





If you have these basics on lock down, you can progress these exercises to more advanced variations for endless challenge, strength gain, and fun!


What are the four?

  • PLANK

  • HINGE

  • SQUAT

  • SINGLE LEG / LUNGE

But what about upper body! True, upper body exercises aren't listed here, per say. But, a plank easily becomes a pushup by bending your elbows and lowering your chest. A hinge becomes a row by adding two weights, and pulling your elbows to your ribcage. A push press in a way is a combination of a squat and a plank, since you need a strong engaged core at the top.


I'm not saying this approach is perfect or accounts for every exercise under the sun. But I can confidently say that if you can master these foundational movements like a boss, you are probably fit and strong enough to walk into a gym and try other progressed variations safely and effectively!


If you'd like free coaching on these basics, check out this video, where I explain how do do these four movement patterns like a boss.


In summary:


Mastering each of these major movement patterns is essential to developing strong coordination, increases mobility and stability, and lessens the risk of injury. We can add single leg variations, jumping variations, loaded progressions, or we can combine two of two movements together.


For example...

A plank could turn into into a mountain climber.

A hinge could turn into a kettlebell swing.

A squat is part of a burpee and if you’re on one leg, a pistol squat.

A lunge might become a jump lunge, and sets us up for strong step ups.


If you'd like to learn more advanced variations of these basics, consider joining Lift Lab!

It is an online monthly training program that delivers four unique strength-based workouts to your inbox, and it has helped over 300 people of all levels gain confidence and strength in the gym! Learn more here!

0 views
Elizabeth Stacey Ellis 

© 2020

DISCLAIMER: Content on this website is provided for general information only; website content does not, and is not intended to, constitute medical advice, diagnosis, or recommended treatments or activities. Consult a physician before beginning any exercise or weight-loss regimen.

follow me!
  • Facebook - Grey Circle
  • Instagram - Grey Circle
  • YouTube - Grey Circle