When your goals is to build a fit body that functions well there are some important, but often overlooked, aspects when building a training program. Most people who join a gym and start an exercise routine do so to improve how their body looks. But most people who train mostly for aesthetics ignore to cover all the basic human movement patterns in their training. This overtime can easily lead into an unbalanced body and physique.

Worst, and often common case is an injury that sidelines you from training and diminishes your hard earned, teeth grinding results. And even if you don’t get sidelined by an injury, unbalanced body can negatively affect your efforts in training, leading to frustration with the brother-iron.

Cover all the basic human movement patterns

In order to have a well functioning, fit body that’s ready to take on what life throws your way, here are the movement patterns to include in your training. These don’t necessarily have to be all covered within a single week, or even within a single training plan. But keep checking them to make sure you’re not losing any one of them as focus on other aspects of training.

As an example you might be going through a powerlifting style training phase that’s heavy on the squatting and hinging movements but less so on single leg and lunging. As an example, you could keep single leg and lunging as a part of an elaborate full body warm up and still get them covered without actually loading them.

Then once you are finished with your squatting and hinging phase you can put more emphasis on single leg and lunge. Knowing that your full body warm up kept them steady at the basic level while you built up your squat and deadlift.

Below is a list of each pattern followed by three examples of each going from simple to complicated. That being said, the end goal for everyone shouldn’t be to work up to the most complicated. The individual’s suitability for each movement comes down to training experience, body type and joint function, just to name few.

Not everyone has the hip structure to barbell deadlift off the floor or to squat ass to grass. Things such as the bony structure of the hip can be a limitation that can not be changed without invasive surgical intervention. In the same token, not everybody should overhead press because of poor posture, stability and so.

So keep in mind that there is not a single exercise that absolutely has to be done. Unless your sport is to barbell back squat as heavy as possible, there are always alternatives. There are differences between a basic movement and loading it.

The list of human movement patterns

These are not in an order of importance, as every pattern is equally important. This list is not all inclusive but a rough list from simple to complex.

Then there’s the additional stuff that is good to throw on top: groundwork such as the get ups; power and plyometric work such as medicine ball slams and box jumps. Which exercises are done comes down to the specific goals of the individual, their experience in training, as well as their movement quality.

As said in the beginning, not every single movement does need to be done every single session, or even during every single program. But, to achieve a balanced, well functioning and strong body that’s useful beyond of just the gym floor, it’s important to not ignore any one patterns for too long.