The 7 Fundamental Functional Movement Patterns

The 7 Fundamental Functional Movement Patterns

The Seven Functional Movement Patterns Everyone Should Do

Writing exercise programs can get confusing. There are so many exercises and variations that it can be hard to choose which you or your client actually needs.

Thankfully in this week’s 10 Minutes of Fitness our founder, James FitzGerald, and Michael Philhofer layout the seven fundamental movement patterns. You can watch the full episode for yourself here.

Why do you and your clients need to move?

Before you can begin to write a program you must ask yourself why do we need to move? Asking yourself this question is a great way to center yourself back on the purpose of exercising.

So, before you get into programming establish your or your client’s functional goal aka what do you actually need to do in daily life.

A great way to determine this is by conducting an initial consultation and assessment with your client. Learn how to conduct both the consultation and assessment in this free coaching course. 

The Exercises You & Your client Should do at the Gym

All clients need to do the seven fundamental movement patterns.

Remember that you can forgo a movement or make it more complex if needed, it all comes back to what your client is capable of.

The Seven Fundamental Functional Movement Patterns

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The six fundamental movement patterns.

Bending – Deadlift, RDL, hip thrust, glute bridge, hip extension, kettlebell swing

Core – plank, side plank, front leaning raise, toes to bar

Squatting – back squat, front squat, box squat, goblet squat, cyclist squat

Pushing – push up, shoulder press, bench press, dip, push jerk

Pulling – pull up, lat pull down, prone row, dumbbell row, ring row

Single leg – split squat, pistol squat, single leg RDL, step up, lunge

(Bonus) Locomotion: the act of running

How to Begin Programming for Your Clients

When programming for a client you need to keep in mind what they are capable of. We are beating the horse here, but it is crucial to remember. As a starting point, James says that “beginners should do full-body movement patterns relative to what they can handle at their current state”. Feel free to leave out a pattern or progress one area quicker if the client warrants it.

Learn How to Assess and Program

Programs are just one part of working with clients. The differentiator that marks a professional coach is how they approach working with a client outside of the program. Take the first step to becoming a professional coach and learn how to consult and assess new clients in the free Professional Coaching Blueprint.


Fitness Assessments for New Clients