Posted on December 10, 2020 by Kate Halsall

It can often be overwhelming and confusing to say the least when it comes to planning a workout ready to hit the gym. With so many exercises out there it’s almost impossible to choose, let alone only choose a few to cram into a 60-minute session?! And then we have to decide what to train, whether that’s legs, upper, arms, abs or cardio. It’s honestly one of the reasons people choose a class or Personal Training over their own gym workout! Well, whilst there are no exercises out there that are a “must” to include, there are movement patterns which we believe we all should aim to include into our training. So it is these movement patterns which form our top tips for planning your training.

These movement patterns we’re referring to consist of 6 components and they prepare us for actions and activities that we perform daily. These are known as fundamental movement patterns and they are:

  1. Squat. When we sit and stand what is it we are performing? A squat! When you think about your daily actions you can start to deconstruct the movements and add them to your routine. Some of the exercises you could do are: BB squat, front squat, box squat, goblet squat, leg press, pistol squat.
  2. Hinge. The average person performs over 100 hinges a day, but the majority of those hinges are incorrect, increasing the risk of lower back pain. It now only makes sense to get better at hinging doesn’t it? By including a hinge movement like a hip thrust, RDL or deadlift in your program will allow you to master the technique, resulting in it being replicated into your daily life, therefore reducing the risk of injury! Other examples of hinges rope pull throughs.
  3. Lunge. Think exaggerated walking or climbing stairs! Examples of types of lunges to include in your training are: reverse lunge, walking lunge, step ups, Bulgarian split squat and cossack lunge.
  4. Push and Pull. Like picking up boxes, putting things away in the top of those wardrobes, opening heavy doors, pulling or pushing heavy equipment which also work to help shoulder strength, joint stability and range of motion. For pushes, try incorporating press ups, shoulder press, bench press, z press, or flyes. For pull try lat pull down, bent over row, dumbbell row, renegade row, or face pulls.
  5. Loaded Carry. Most of do this already when we carry shopping bags or babies/young children. From a gym side of things, consider incorporating a farmers walk, overhead walk, or goblet walk into your training.

Ultimately, always exercise with a purpose. Yes exercise allows us to look and feel great but think more deeply, and then think into the future – how will your training aid your daily life and your aging process. Getting strong and competent in the fundamental movements will result in a much better quality of life.

Beth x