Hi guys! I am so excited to finally be answering all of your questions regarding workouts and to be creating a template that you can utilize on your own with these six basic movement patterns.

I know last week I chatted with you all a little bit about the 6 basic movement patterns {Hinge, Squat, Pull, Push Carry & Core} but didn’t go too in depth in explaining what they are/ exercise examples and in this post i’m going to do just that! Below is a bit of an overview into each movement pattern, how they will benefit you and exercises within each movement. Check it out and start adding the movements into the workout outline!

The Six Basic Movement Patterns

When I decided to create this workout plan I knew I needed it to be something truly sustainable, something that would yield results for people and something I 100% believed in. I had seen too many trainers come out with  workouts that didn’t have the clients best interest at heart, or just didn’t make sense to me! This workout template is something I hope you morph into a plan that works for you, not a list of moves that I like or a plan that is easier for me to create. This is why I explain in depth and give you the chance to choose for yourself what exercises make sense for your body and your current level of fitness.

Now you’re all wondering why are the six basic movement patterns important? Well it’s because these movements yield full body strength and, in the process, give you a “full-body look”. This is the look of a body that is balanced and healthy. Have you ever been to the gym and seen the guy/ girl that is built like an upside down triangle? His/her arms are so large and the legs look like twigs? I’m sure we’ve all seen him/ her {not trying to hate on anyones body type just giving a visual} and this body type is a result of only focusing on one muscle group during a workout. My goal is to change the way we view our bodies- to think of them as a cohesive unit, not a bunch of isolated muscles. This isn’t to say that you can never do isolation exercises but the majority of your workout should consist of full-body exercises. The reason is simple, these exercises produce the best results in the least amount of time.


The hinge movement is completed by bending your torso and hinging at your hips. This movement is important because it strengthens muscles that protect your spine and teaches you how to create full body tension {because it works your lats, glutes, hamstrings, spinal erectors, etc. instead of just one muscle group}. The hinge is often referred to as a deadlift shown in the photo below and has a bad reputation for it being bad for your back and spin but when done correctly {this is why form is so important} it actually strengths these spinal muscles and helps maintain lower body balance. A hinge can be done with a dumbbell, kettlebell, barbell or {my fav.} trap bar.

Form Tips: Keep your spin neutral, Keep weight close to middle of feet or center of gravity, think about squeezing your arm pits to activate your lats {this helps with keeping the bar close to your body}.

Exercises: Deadlift/ straight leg deadlift, Dumbbell Deadlift

BL Hinge Movement

Bl Hinge

BL Hinge


The squat movement is completed by planting your feet and lowering your body down between your legs while keeping your torso upright. This lower body movement requires deep knee and hip flexion and works the quads, hamstrings, glutes, calves & hip adductors/ abductors. Squats can be performed on 1 leg or 2. To start I would suggest a bodyweight lunge and if done correctly progress to something like a goblet squat.

Exercises: bodyweight squat, goblet squat, front squat, rear foot elevated split squat, airborne lunge/ true single leg squat.

squat movement pattern

squat movement pattern

Squat moves

Upper Pull

The pulling movement is completed by pulling a weight towards your body and can be done horizontally {Rows} or vertically {pull up}. The pull movement targets back muscles as well as biceps and works the shoulders/ core while stabilizing yourself. The pull movement also improves posture and upper back strength negating the effects of {computer hunch or rounded shoulders/ spine}.

Exercises: Vertical: lat pull down, assisted pull up, pull up, weighted pull up, Horizontal: ring rows & single arm dumb bell rows.

Bl Pull movement pattern

blissfully lively Pull movement pattern

bl pull up

Upper Push

The push movement is completed by pushing weight away from your body. This movement targets the triceps, pecs & shoulders. The staple move here is a push up. If you’re a beginner start on an incline such as a wall then move down bench push ups, making your way to floor push ups. Try not to lean on “knee push ups” as a modification and think incline push ups as your modification.

Exercises: Horizontal: Push Up {wall, bench, regular, decline, weighted}, Dumbbell bench press. Vertical: Overhead dumbbell press, landmine press.

blissfully lively push ups

Blissfully Lively Push movement


The Carry movement is done by picking heavy dumbbells up and quite literally carrying them around while you walk. This simple movement works your entire body, by forcing you to keep tension while walking. This movement improves upper back strength, grip strength, deep hip musculature, shoulder/ back health, the list goes on. This movement is definitely the most bang for your bucks there is, forget sit ups your core will be on fire after carrying around heavy weight.

Exercise: farmers walks {pick up 2 heavy dumbbells and walk up right until you can’t hold them anymore. Drop and then pick up again and walk until you can’t hold them. Repeat until you can’t go any more hahah}.


The primary benefit of your core is to stabilize your body {not to flex like we think is necessary in a crunch}. Your core is always working during full body movements and its main function is to resist extension and rotation.

Exercises: Deadbugs, planks, side planks, leg lifts, toe touches.

BL Core

Core Movements

I hope this post helped explain a bit more about what each of the movement patterns are and some examples to get you started. Each week now until February 15th I will be adding a post specifically centered around a certain movement pattern including specific exercises, essentially compiling a library of exercises for you to choose from. Check back as the list of exercises grows so you can begin trying them and adding them to your workout template if they feel right for you.



Feeling motivated to start right now?? Take a peek at the BL Thanksgiving Boot Camp Workout and head to your local gym!