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Basic Movement Patterns + more

Posted: Mon Jul 29, 2013 8:32 am
by Maawen
First off, I know that this is a huge post, but I don't expect anyone to answer everything, and even a very short answer is appreciated.

Not a long ago I came across the philosophy of the six basic movement patterns on this site, and after searching the web, it seems to me, that there are some variations of this. The reason why I ask the following is, that I only want to go to the gym 2-3 a week where one of the sessions is a stretching-isolating-ish session. That means I have to maximize the number of exercises per session, but I don't want to be at the gym for more than one hour.

My goal is to have a balanced body with emphasize on good posture, a lower chance of injuries and being able to do daily activites with more ease. I am currently not going to the gym, but I want to do it in the near future. Also, I don't want to get big (from my experience I grow by just looking at the dumbbells) so I will probably go for an endurance minded workout.

The six movement patterns from this site - posted by Jungledoc:

Vertical push (i.e. press)
Vertical pull (i.e. chinups, etc.)
Horizontal push (i.e. bench, etc.)
Horizontal pull (rowing, etc.)
Hip dominant lower body/posterior chain (i.e., deadlift)
Knee dominant lower (i.e., squat)

But on other forums and sites they also use the following terms:

Elbow extension
Elbow flexion
Flexion (abs)

I will post my current chosen exercises, and then get on to the actual questions:

Vertical push: Dumbbell Shoulder Press & Barbell Military Press
Vertical pull: Pull-Up & Chin-Up
Horizontal push: Push-Up & Bench Press On Ball
Horizontal pull: Inverted Row & Bent-Over Row
Hip dominant: Straight Leg Deadlift & Leg Curls (On Ball)
Knee dominant: (Front) Squat & Lunges

I know I am not rotating in any of these exercises, but is that even necessary? I think I read somewhere, that you actually want to stop your body from rotating.
Am I working enough on my abs, obliques, lower back, triceps and biceps on these exercises, or should I do some isolating exercises for them?
Is there anything called vertical downward push and pull as a movement pattern? I would think that dumbbell raises, pulldowns and dumbbell curls are important in daily activities. What are your thoughts on that?
Am I still thinking to much about the muscle groups and not about the movements? Instead of making sure I'm working out every muscle group, maybe I need to accept, that whatever muscles are worked out in the six movement patterns, those are the muscles that need to be worked out?
I was thinking about exchanging the Chin-Up and Military Press (because they are so much alike the Pull-Up and Shoulder Press) with Twisting Standing Overhead Pull and Barbell Front Raise/Dumbbell Raise, but I'm not sure if those substitutes are correct vertical pushes and pulls?

I was thinking about doing the abovementioned 12 exercises, where one of each category is a part of a cyclus schedule. I will i.e. do Shoulder Press, Pull-Up, Push-Up, Inverted Row, Deadlift and Squat for some weeks and the switching with the other six exercises. I would do these twice a week and then have one more day per week for stretching exercises and maybe for extra exercises, like isometric core exercises and isolating exercises for the abs, oliques and lower back and isolating exercises for triceps and biceps (curls would maybe be good for the daily activity of carrying groceries).

What are your thoughts on strength training, when you are overweight? I currently weigh about 25kg. too much, and I have a feeling that lifting weights (even though they are light) will be bad for me. I have two examples to explain my point. 1. The other day I was told that the front plank is not good if you have a lot of belly fat (especially the inner fat), because you might end up pushing your stomach outwards and getting hernia. 2. If I do lunges with 25 extra kilos I think the center of gravity might be shifted, and that, that could be a bad movement pattern for me.

You don't need to tell me, if I'm overthinking things. That's almost a hobby of mine. :smile: And I also know that I probably need to just try things out for a couple of weeks to see, what works for me. But I also think that whatever feedback, thoughts, experience and knowledge I can get from others before starting at the gym, will make sure I have a better starting point.

Re: Basic Movement Patterns + more

Posted: Mon Jul 29, 2013 8:58 am
by stuward
It appears that the purpose of the core muscles are to provide stability and facilitate the transfer of power from upper to lower body and vice versa. Therefore, any exercise that involves both upper and lower body, like squats, overhead pressing, etc, will engage the core. Likewise, if you incorporate single limb exercises you will involve anti-rotational and anti-lateral flexion stresses as well.

The best core article I've seen recently is this. ... training_1" onclick=";return false;

Exercises like farmers walks and Turkish getups are great core exercises and get the whole body working together like a unit. I try to include exercises like this as a finisher to every workout.

These last 2 exercises are examples of loaded carries and rolling and twisting exercises which should also be included regularly.

Re: Basic Movement Patterns + more

Posted: Mon Jul 29, 2013 9:13 am
by Dub
I like the plan. You're not overthinking too much, you just suffer from information overload. You've read lots of different things and think they should all be a part of your program or else it wont work. Many different programs work. It also depends on the goals. What we usually promote here is Dan John's split of movements. Those six basic human movements. They give work and stimulus to every muscle in your body. So you get the most bang for your buck with least amount of time.

Doing those 6 exercises in one or two workouts (you can split it even further: Workout A is Vertical Pull, Vertical Push, Hip dom. Workout B is Horizontal Push, Hor. Pull, Quad). Depends on the rep ranges and rest periods. Six big exercises can lengthen your workout too much. Focusing only on three or four will keep your workout closer to the 45-60min mark, or even below. Rotating the lifts every 3-4 weeks would sound optimal. It's not necessary, but it freshens the workouts and gives some varying stimulus. I think it's also harder to stall on the lifts if you vary them like that. Front raises I wouldn't rank quite as high as shoulder presses. They are good for shoulder size, but not that much for pressing strength. And I have no idea what that twisting overhead pull is.

The rest is just extra. Want to get more arm work? Do more arm work. Weak core? Do more core exercises. And so on.

I wouldn't worry about those movement mechanics. The only problem with being more overweight is the joint stress. Lunges can be hard for your knees. It's not always the case, but listen to your body. The center of gravity is not an issue in my mind. You ain't holding all that 25kg in front of you. And even if you would be, you'd just get extra back work on the side. If planks scare you (I've never heard anyone getting a hernia from plank tho.) , consider stuff like dead bugs or hanging leg raises, or reverse crunches for core work.

Re: Basic Movement Patterns + more

Posted: Tue Jul 30, 2013 12:20 am
by Jungledoc
I agree. Around here, this doesn't come close to overthinking! I pretty much agree with what Dub said.

Elbow extension Gets work with all pushing
Elbow flexion Gets work with pulling
Rotation/Twist You're talking trunk? Thoracic rotations for mobility are potentially useful, but not really a primary movement.
Flexion (abs) What Stu said.


Re: Basic Movement Patterns + more

Posted: Tue Jul 30, 2013 11:00 am
by robertscott
Although your routine covers the main movement patterns, you may want to consider adding direct work for the body parts that do not get stimulated fully from the compound lifts.

This is usually more of a consideration for physique conscious individuals, but is actually pretty important for injury prevention.

It doesn't take much to add adequate sets of rear felt flyes or whatever at the end of your workout

Re: Basic Movement Patterns + more

Posted: Mon Aug 12, 2013 11:58 am
by Maawen
Sorry for the late answer. Holiday time. :smile:

stuward: Thank you for the link. Interesting reading.

Dub: I don't want to go to the gym that often, which a split program requires, so I just have to try and see, how much time it will take me to do the exercises I have planned, and then refining the program as time goes.

Jungledoc: Yes, I was talking about the rotation of the trunk, but the link stuward posted agrees with you.

robertscott: I agree, that it would be good for me to do some varying isolating exercises, and like I told Dub, I just have to try the program and see, how much time I can add or have to subtract to/from the program.

All: Thank you for your answers - and link. It was very useful, and I'm glad to hear, that I am not overthinking things compared to others around here. :smile: