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8 Strength Movement Patterns for Athletes

Athletes need to build strength and often times are motivated to lift weights, however, aren't aware of the recipe to create a strength program, especially one geared towards athletes.


In their defense, it can be confusing. So many variables to consider from appropriate sets, reps, in-season v off-season considerations, sequence of exercises, rest intervals, eccentric v concentric focus, bilateral v uni-lateral, what type of strength - foundational strength? relative strength? maximal strength? speed-strength? strength-speed? static strength and on it goes....


To provide athletes a starting point, we coach them on following 8 movement patterns, not to be confused with muscle groups, ie bodybuilding style training.


After a warm-up, we always start with Rate of Force Development (RFD) exercise/s such as Jump Squats, Med Ball Chest Pass for eg. then proceed into lifting weights.


For sake of simplicity, for a general strength program, follow these 8 movement patterns and athletes will develop a well-rounded strength program. Complete the 8 movement patterns in a week, based on scheduling demands.

  1. Squat pattern

  2. Hip Hinge pattern (Deadlift)

  3. Movement with Load

  4. Omni-directional pattern

  5. Vertical Push

  6. Vertical Pull

  7. Horizontal Push

  8. Horizontal Pull


Listed below are examples:

(1) Squat Pattern shown below: DB Goblet Squats


(2) Hinge Pattern: Deadlift. Shown below, Single-Leg Barbell Deadlift


(3) Movement with Load. Single-arm Kettlebell Farmer's Carry


(4) Omni-Directional Pattern (Often missed in most programs). Important since there are so many odd positions athletes get into while competing.

Shown below: Kettlebell Turkish Get-up


(5) Vertical Push. Shown below: Standing BB Overhead Press


(6) Vertical Pull. Shown below: Chin-ups


(7) Horizontal Push. Shown below: Barbell Bench Press


(8) Horizontal Pull. Shown-below - Sled Pulls






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