The Essential Movement Patterns
14 Sep

The Essential Movement Patterns

A well-designed resistance training program incorporates a variety of movement patterns to create structural balance. 

When an OPEX Coach sits down to write your lifting workouts, they take care to craft a delicate balance of Squat, Bench, Push, Pull, Single Leg and Core exercises. 

Depending on your experience you may do them all, a combination of two to three, or just one movement pattern in a training session. Put simply, newer trainees will typically benefit from a full body session, whereas advanced lifters closer to the peak of their potential may only hit the Squat in a session. 

Here are those six resistance training patterns, example exercises, and why you shouldn’t neglect them. 

The Six Essential Movement Patterns


  • Exercises: Back Squat, Front Squat, Goblet Squat, Cyclist Squat, Overhead Squat
  • Why: Stronger legs for long bike rides and standing up off your chair


  • Exercises: Deadlift, Kettlebell Swing, Glute Bridge, RDL, Cable Pull Through, Good Morning
  • Why: A powerful posterior chain for picking things up and a nice looking bum!


  • Exercises: Push-Up, Shoulder Press, Bench Press, Incline Dumbbell Bench Press, Tricep Extension
  • Why: The strength to put that box on the top shelf or throw a ball


  • Exercises: Pull-Up, Dumbbell Row, Lat Pulldown, Bicep Curl, Pendlay Row, Seated Cable Row
  • Why: Healthy shoulders, good posture, strong grip and monkey bar skills 

Single Leg

  • Exercises: Front Rack Lunge, Russian Step Up, Pistol, Reverse Lunge, Rear Foot Elevated Split Squat
  • Why: Stable knees and the ability to lunge for the ball during a game


  • Exercises: Plank, Farmers Carry, Pallof Press, Yoke Walk, Hanging Knee Raise, Side Plank 
  • Why: A healthy, strong back that can carry you through life and keep you braced while lifting

It’s common for clients to come to us with a clear preference for certain movement patterns and a history of neglecting others. For example, lots of ladies arrive with strong legs from years of squats, but they’ve been missing out on improving upper body pushing strength. Then there’s those guys who love training their upper body beach muscles so much that they seem to run out of time for their legs...

That’s where your OPEX South Lake Coach comes in. They will design a workout to help you find balance across the movement patterns, perfectly prescribed for your unique training history, preferences, goals and assessment results. 

Come Squat, Bend, Push, Pull, Single Leg, and Core at OPEX South Lake!

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