The Eight Fundamental Movements

Did you know that all your movements can be broken down into eight fundamental movements? Sure, your movement gets more complicated than that but that’s the fun part of the body. You can move in several different directions all at once but every direction you move leads back to these eight movements. No one movement is more important than the other either. These are all movements that need to be trained and practiced. If you don’t do them you will lose them. If you have seen Wall-E you know what I am talking about.

Squats: Everyone knows a squat but a squat is a leg movement that requires you to bend your knees in order to lower your hips. Why is it so important? It allows you to sit and stand. More specifically your body needs to do this so you can go to the bathroom. Getting into a squatted position actually aligns your digestive organs to help with bowel movements. Exercises to help you get strong

Hinge: Also known as a deadlift but this movement requires you to be able to push your hips and butt back to lower your torso to the floor. Why is it so important? This is how you pick things up from the floor. Whenever you are reaching for something below you have to hinge to reach it and unhinge to stand back up.

Push: This is the act of pushing an object away from your body or pushing your body away from an object. Think of a pushup. You are pushing yourself away from the floor. Why is it so important? It allows you to do a number of everyday activities. One example is to pass food to someone sitting across from you. Push also allows you to throw objects which used to be an extremely important skill.

Pull: This is the act of pulling an object towards your body or pulling your body towards an object. Think of pulling a car door towards you to shut it. You are pulling an object towards you. Why is it so important? Same as push, it allows you to do a number of everyday activities. One example is taking food from someone who is passing it to you. Pulling is generally associated with closing objects like doors which lead to your protection.

Lunge: This is the act of having one foot in front of the other with the majority of the weight being on the front leg with the other leg behind you. Why is it so important? Lunges provide you stability through your whole body. They will teach you stability when you find yourself in unstable situations. They are good for preventing you from potentially falling.

Rotation: This is the act of twisting your torso while keeping your legs facing forward. Think of twisting your spine to reach for your seat belt in the car. Why is it so important? We don’t have eyes in the back of our head. We need the ability to easily rotate the body so we can see behind us without changing direction. It also allows us to change the direction we need to move in with minimal effort.

Gait: This is the act of walking. I would like to think this one is self explanatory on why it’s important but again you will understand if you have seen Wall-E. This is how you get from point A to point B.

Carrying: This is the act of holding something on your body. This means holding something in your hands or on your shoulders or on your back. You can pretty much hold something on all parts of your body. I would also like to think this is self explanatory to why this is important. This is how objects get transported using your other fundamental movements.

All of these movements can be traced back to human’s hunter/gather days and the things humans needed to do to survive. Take hunting for example. Your tribe is out hunting and you are trying to catch a buffalo. You see a buffalo and are hiding behind tall grass (squat). Your team approaches the buffalo (Gait). You prepare to throw your spear (rotation and lunge). Throw your spear (push). You get the buffalo and pick it up (Hinge) or drag it back to the village (Pull). Eating your well earned meal (carrying). I can do the same breakdown for a gatherer as well. These are movements that we adapted to survive. So keep practicing those eight fundamental movements.

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