7 resistance-based exercises that hit all the movement patterns

Crucial to a well-rounded routine are the seven fundamental movement patterns: vertical pushes and pulls, horizontal pushes and pulls, and hip-, knee-, and core-dominant exercises. Because there are infinite ways to execute these motions, Furthermore presents Fundamental Fitness, a series highlighting how Equinox experts interpret and implement them in their training

The expert: Matt Delaney, New York City-based national manager of innovation at Equinox 

The interpretation: Delaney takes a creative approach to the seven fundamental movement patterns with Powerbands. “I love using them in my training because they allow you to apply force from different angles and directions,” he says. 

Plus, the resistance progressively increases, so that the farther you push or pull the band from its anchor point, the harder you have to work to maintain control. Throughout any single exercise, there’s a constantly changing stimulus that forces your body to adjust how it responds. “Variable resistance and unconventional lines of pull create a dynamic environment that can lead to more diverse adaptations,” Delaney explains. 

For example, looping the band around one shoulder and one foot during a squat presents a unique anti-rotational challenge. Its versatility also makes it easy to move in all three planes of motion. Testing yourself in these unfamiliar ways builds a resilient body, Delaney explains, which is just as important for moving well in daily life as it is for fitness performance. 

The tool can provide these benefits anytime, anywhere. It requires very little space and presents a seemingly inexhaustible list of applications, he says. “I always pack one when traveling so I can train no matter where I am.” 

The workout: In the slideshow below, Delaney demonstrates seven exercises that hit all the movement patterns. Do them as a standalone workout a few times per week or choose a handful to add to your regular strength routine, he says. Aim for 3 sets of 10 to 12 reps if using a thinner band or 3 sets of 6 to 8 reps with a thicker one. (A trainer or coach can help you get familiar with the band and make sure you’re performing the exercises correctly.) 

Photography by Coty Tarr. Art direction by Kathryn Marx.