• Ana Bailoni

The 5 must-have movements of every workout routine

Have you every gone to the gym just to look around awkwardly and confused, not knowing where to start? Or even do a great workout that was written by a professional and think, man these movements came together perfectly, what was it about this workout that felt so right?

The Fundamental 5

Every workout program at Rio centers around the 5 functional movement patterns. Why? It's how the human body is designed. Every movement we do - in life and the gym - fits one of those major patterns.

Our muscles don't work in isolation. Ever. Our skeleton moves through a complex system of levers and pulleys that allow us to jump, run, pick up our kids, climb a tree, get up from the floor, run up the stairs, carry a suitcase, blow dry our hair, and all the other things we do throughout our days. So you can't train your muscles in isolation and still get the full benefit of great movement.

Throughout the week, your workout routine should include:


  • Knee dominant

  • Develops quads, glutes, and adductors

  • Strengthens legs, knee stabilizers, hip stabilizers, low back, and core

  • Lower body push


  • Hip dominant

  • Develops hamstrings, glutes

  • Strengthens low back, posterior chain, lats, core

  • Lower body pull

PRESSES (horizontal and vertical)

  • Shoulder dominant

  • Develops chest, shoulders, and pelvic-lumbo junction

  • Strengthens chest, shoulders, triceps, lats, core

  • Upper body push

PULLS (vertical and horizontal)

  • Back dominant

  • Develops lats and other upper and middle back muscles

  • Strengthens upper and middle back, biceps

  • Upper body pull


  • Movement resistance

  • Develops deep muscles that stabilize the spine

  • Strengthens -- everything. Seriously

  • Core development

Each of those are large movement families, and they each have tons of variations:

  • single leg / double leg

  • load placement / equipment used

  • different planes of motion

For example, lunges are single leg variations of a squat! They're knee dominant and work all the same muscles, just in different sequences and degrees.

Hope this helps you understand how a thoughtfully created workout helps your body become better, stronger, and healthier!

If you're unsure of how to put together a great workout program that will give you results, or you want the accountability to get it done, we can help.

Schedule a free goal & strategy session with a coach or download our 8 Strategy Transformation Guide.


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