Foundational Movement Patterns Part 1

Throughout the day, we’re always moving. We sit, bend, stand, walk, and everything else in between. Every time we do something, we go through various forms of the foundational movements of the human body. Although our bodies may look different in many ways, our foundational movements are alike.

These movements are:

  1. Squat
  2. Hinge
  3. Lunge
  4. Push
  5. Pull
  6. Carry
  7. Crawl

​We’re just going to cover the 3 lower body specific movements today. Don’t think of these as “exercises”, instead, think of them as movement patterns that we can perfect by selecting various modes to strengthen the pattern.



 

​​For an optimal body weight squat:

-Feet straight forward, shoulder width apart

-Weight distributed evenly on mid foot
-Heel, big toe, and pinky toe always in contact with ground, never let arch collapse

-Knees in line with feet
-Drive knees and ankles out to create hip tension to fully activate glutes

 

-​Initiate squat by hinging hips back, not knees forward
-Squat down until top of thigh is parallel with floor
-Flat neutral spine from head to hips
-Okay for knees to go past toes if hips engaged properly


 

For an optimal hinge:

-Feet straight forward, hip to shoulder width apart
-Knees slightly bent, never locked out
-Push hips back, lean forward, shift weight slightly to heels
-Shins should be relatively vertical (knees don’t move forward)
-Flat back from start to finish
-Will feel stretch in hamstrings if pelvis is in proper position
-Felt in lower back if in a bad position


 

Lunge​
The lunge pattern is unique because it’s the only pattern performed with an asymmetrical stance. The proficiency of the lunge pattern will determine the ability to handle loads when our feet are in a split stance or when we’re on 1 leg. Every time we walk, run, change direction, jump off 1 leg, or walk upstairs we perform variations of this movement

 

For an optimal lunge:

-Feet hip width apart
-Front foot points straight forward
Weight distributed evenly on mid foot
-Heel, big toe, and pinky toe always in contact with ground, never let arch collapse
-Knee in line with foot
-Shoulder, hip, and back knee stacked on top of each other, with the hips in a neutral position to prevent arching or rounding of lower back
-From side view, back knee should not be in front or behind hip



Check back here next month to learn more about foundational movements of the upper body.