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11 Movement Patterns For Full Muscular Balance

11 Movement Patterns For Full Muscular Balance

I believe a human can be split into 11 movement patterns to make sure there’s a balanced approach to our training. 

Types of movement with an exercise for each: 

Upper body

Horizontal pull exercises

  • Seated Row/Horizontal Row
  • Bent Over Row

Vertical pull exercises

  • Chin-Ups/Pull up
  • Wide Lat Pulldown

Horizontal push exercises

  • Bench Press
  • Incline Press

Vertical push exercises

  • Shoulder Press
  • Lat Raise

Elbow extension exercises

  • Lying Triceps Extension
  • Dips

Elbow flexion exercises

  • Cable Curls
  • Dumbbel Curls

Rotation exercises

  • Medicine Ball Ab Rotation
  • Cable Wood Chopper 

Lower Body 

Quad dominant exercises

  • Squat
  • Leg Press

Lunge exercises

  • Walking Lunge
  • Bulgarian Split 

Hip Hinge dominant exercises

  • Deadlift
  • Good Mornings


  • Traps, Abs, Calves

Training the majority of these patterns will most probably involve more than one joint. We call these compound movements. Isolation movements target specific muscles and single joints, such as a biceps curl.

I personally love compound training. As a teenager, I struggled to gain weight, so compound training helps me build mass with its multi-muscle building and testosterone boosting benefits. 

Some of the benefits of training all movement patterns include: 

  • More muscles are worked, for example, the biceps assist with the majority of back movements
  • Reduced risk of injury as there’s a balance between muscles. For example, for every vertical pull, there’s a vertical push. This can get challenging during leg days as there’s a crossover with muscles worked and joint movements
  • Furthermore, agonist muscles (prime movers) are evenly trained with antagonist muscles (which move in the opposite direction)
  • Builds the necessary strength to perform basic everyday activities such as pushing, pulling and lifting
  • Increases metabolic rate and strength
  • Increases hormonal release and motor skills

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