Another one of the many ways to classify weight training exercises is with regard to them. movement pattern.
You see, although there may be hundreds of different exercises, there are really only a few basic movements that the human body is able to do during an exercise.
For the most part, these movement patterns are:
- Horizontal thrust
- Horizontal pull
- Vertical thrust
- Vertical pull
- Quad Dominant
- Dominant hip / hamstring
- Elbow flexion
- Elbow extension
- Accessory movements
Now let’s take a look at each one and see what exercises fit with what type of movement, how it should affect your selection of exercises and why they all play a key role in preventing injuries and imbalances.
Horizontal pushing exercises
A horizontal push-up exercise is any exercise that involves moving a weight straight in front of you so that it moves away from your torso horizontally (think of the bench press).
Specifically, the most common examples of horizontal pushing movements are:
- Bench Press
- Low tilt bench press
- Refuse Bench Press
- Flat / inclined / inclined chest press
- It flies flat / inclined / declining
Horizontal shooting exercises
A horizontal pulling exercise is any exercise that involves moving a weight toward the torso horizontally, right in front of you (think in turn).
Specifically, the most common examples of horizontal firing movements are:
- Bent over the rows
- Layers of cables laid
- T-Bar rows
- Rows of cars supported in the chest
Vertical pushing exercises
A vertical push-up exercise is any exercise that involves moving a weight up vertically relative to your torso so that it goes straight over your head or at least in that direction (think shoulder press).
Specifically, the most common examples of vertical pushing movements are:
- Shoulder press standing above head
- Shoulder press placed above the head
- Lateral lifts
- Front lifts
- High tilt bench press
Vertical shooting exercises
A vertical pull-up exercise is any exercise that involves moving a weight down vertically relative to your torso so that you pull down from above your head (think of wide pulls).
Specifically, the most common examples of vertical firing movements are:
- Lat Pull-Downs
Exercises with four dominants
A dominant quad exercise is any exercise in which the main motor is the quadriceps (think about knee bends).
Specifically, the most common examples of dominant quad movements are:
- Frontal knee bends
- Split knee bends
- Foot press
Dominant hip / hamstring exercises
A dominant hip / hamstring exercise is any exercise in which the main motor is the hamstrings, buttocks or the back chain as a whole (think deadlifts).
Specifically, the most common examples of dominant hip / hamstring movements are:
- Deadlifts (all options)
- Gluten-ham increases
- Shooting by shooting
- Good morning
- Foot curls
Elbow flexion exercises
An elbow flexion exercise is any exercise that involves moving a weight toward you by flexing your elbow (think of the biceps curls).
Specifically, the most common examples of elbow flexion movements are:
- Curl biceps standing
- Biceps curl seated
- Preacher Curls
- Cable curls
Elbow extension exercises
An elbow extension exercise is any exercise that involves removing a weight from you by extending your elbow (think about triceps extension).
Specifically, the most common examples of elbow extension movements are:
- Deposition triceps extension (crushing skulls)
- Triceps Cable Pres-Downs
- Extension above the head triceps
The 8 types of exercises described above (especially the first 6) are considered the major models of movement and those that should attract the most attention. However, there are other minor movement patterns that I like to put together in a general “accessory” category.
This mainly includes the remaining isolation exercises that do not fall into any of the other categories. For example, leg raises, abdominal exercises, rotator cuff work, shoulder lift, and the like.
But why should I care about movement patterns?
Now, you may be wondering why the hell everything I just told you is important to you or the selection of exercises in your workout routine. I have 3 reasons.
For a start, you overall The weight training program should consist of exercises from EVERY movement pattern. If it is not, it means that you are missing something and you are not able to train your whole body correctly.
Second, certain workouts and workouts are designed in such a way that movement patterns play a major role in how you select the exercises for each workout.
For example, the most generic way to set up an upper body workout (as part of an upper / lower split) is by combining 1 horizontal push, 1 horizontal traction, 1 vertical push, 1 vertical traction, 1 elbow flexion. and 1 elbow extension. exercise. And just like that, the upper body workout is ready.
In case of a division of the whole body, you can do 1 exercise in each category of movement patterns for each workout.
Do you know what I mean? Depending on the exact routine you use, movement patterns may be a key part of your exercise selection process.
Even so, owning one is still beyond the reach of the average person.
Balancing opposing movement patterns to prevent injury
The third reason you should care about your movement patterns is to prevent the usual weight training injuries and imbalances caused by the typical selection of bad exercises. Let me explain.
If you “push” more than you “pull,” almost always something will end up tangled in one (or both) shoulders. This is extremely common because most people (good guys!) Are more interested in getting a big chest and huge shoulders than getting a big back.
This means that he tends to focus more on pushing exercises (chest / shoulders) than pulling exercises (back). And this lack of balance around the scapular girdle is a extremely common cause of shoulder injuries.
I was there personally and I did that too, so I know exactly how common (and not fun) it is.
I also now know that the way to prevent this is by balancing opposing movement patterns. How so? So…
- For everyone horizontal pushyou should have a horizontal pull (and vice versa).
(Example: for each bank press, you should have a line.)
- For everyone vertical pushyou should have a vertical pull (and vice versa).
(Example: For each shoulder press, you should have a pull up or a wide pull down.)
- For everyone elbow flexionyou should have a elbow extension (and vice versa).
(Example: for each biceps curl, you should have a triceps extension.)
It gets a little more complicated with the lower body because there is a lot of overlap between the dominant quad and hamstring movements. But in general, for every fourfold dominant movement there should be a dominant hip / ham movement as well.
And not only should the amount of exercises for each opposite movement pattern be equal, but the amount of volume (sets / repetitions) performed should be fairly close (if not exact) as.
This does not have to be balanced during each individual workout, unless your schedule is set up.
For example, if your workout routine is designed in a way that you YOU the training of the opposite movement patterns in the same workout, then the amount of volume and exercises for each should really be quite equal and balanced in that specific workout.
But if your training routine is designed in a way that you are NOT training the opposite movement patterns in the same workout, then the goal is to make sure that the amount of exercises / volume for each ends up being fairly equal and balanced during the week.
That is, if you have X sets of bench press at the end of the week, you should usually have X sets of rows as well. And air press sets? Then there should be Y sets of pulls / drops. You get the picture.
There are a few rare exceptions to all of the above recommendations, but for the most people, the most of time, here is the moral of this story:
Setting up the weight training routine in a way that ensures balance around the joints (shoulder, knee, elbow) and balance between different movement patterns (horizontal push / pull, vertical push / pull, etc.) is KEY to prevent injuries and build a balanced body.
Don’t ignore that.
At this point, there is only one way to classify weight training exercises, and this is in terms of the muscle groups / body parts they target. So, let’s move on …
A list of the best weight training exercises for each muscle group
(This article is part of a completely free guide to creating the best possible workout routine for your exact goal. Start here: Ultimate Weight Training Workout Routine)