Physical Fitness Exercise

Train these movement patterns for better physical fitness.

Unconventional training with new tools (kettlebells, sandbags or steel clubs) and methods (gymnastics, calisthenics, strongman) is often seen as a fundamental way to better fitness and athletics.

As these methods and practices become more and more popular, the question is what added value they really have for fitness beginners who want to improve their strength, endurance and health. Might the methods need to be adapted to guarantee safety and benefits for athletes?

This article explores the rationale behind functional and unconventional training and introduces individual exercises and training approaches.

Let’s start with the different possibilities of conventional training in order to compare them with unconventional methods.

(Limited) possibilities of conventional training concepts.

Conventional training options for better health and fitness usually consist of the following components:

Machine exercises performed in a seated position with resistance.

A focus on aerobic exercises and on improving strength and functional movement.

A myriad of tools that control movement and keep physical and coordinative demands on the athlete to a minimum.

At this point one cannot deny the sense of such a training approach, especially for fitness beginners. In my experience, conventional exercises have very positive effects on the health and fitness of athletes.

Also from my experience in professional competitive sports, I can say that most trainers prefer this “risk-free” variant of fitness training. Of course also in my own interest, so that I don’t have to be responsible for my clients’ mistakes.

Nevertheless, this cautious and partly outdated approach often does not lead to the desired result. Especially in view of ambitious training goals.

A functional approach

Many new training methods are initially described as unconventional and innovative for pure marketing reasons. This has strongly influenced the fitness industry in recent years.

From a multitude of new methods, trainers and athletes must now distinguish between sensible and less sensible approaches. It is therefore all the more important to be clear about the desired results in advance.

What do you want to achieve with your training? How can unconventional methods help you?

If you decide to do a kettlebell workout or an intensive circle of self-weight exercises instead of a stepper or a normal strength circle, you have to ask yourself what you actually want to achieve with it. Often the goals are very simple. We expect from these unconventional methods a higher output in the form of strength gain and athletics.

It is all the more important for you to know where you want to go in order to constantly adapt your methods, equipment and exercises to your training level.

Personally, I think that especially fitness beginners should put functionality before appearance or aesthetics. This approach is definitely more sustainable and makes it easier to put together an effective training plan.

Exercises for each of the most important movement patterns.

As a basis you can concentrate on the following six human movement patterns.

You can customize them or replace them with similar movements. These exercises are an example of a training plan that trains the most important movements of everyday life with the appropriate exercises, making you fitter and healthier.

If you want to go one step further, you should take a closer look at Crossfit. One of the advantages of Crossfit is that you can train most of these movement patterns in one workout.

Lift out of your back

Classic cross lifting is not only an optimal exercise to train your lower back, but also one of the most common movements – for example if you want to lift something from the floor.

In addition, you can train deadlifting almost anywhere and all you need is a more or less heavy object that you can pick up. This movement allows you to adjust the range of motion and weight perfectly to your needs.


Whenever we sit down or get up, we make a knee bend. This exercise is one of the simplest movement patterns of our everyday life and you can train it optimally to prevent back pain or restrictions of the musculoskeletal system. For example, you can hold a kettlebell in front of your chest to increase the intensity of the knee bends.

Failure steps

Every person makes the lunge countless times a day. When climbing stairs, walking and picking up objects from the ground. Similar to knee bends and crucifix lifts, you can train this exercise anywhere, anytime and adjust your weight and range of motion according to your training level.


Push-ups simulate the most natural and frequent pushing movement of the upper body and are an effective strengthening and mobility exercise for in between. If you have just started exercising, normal pushups may be too demanding to achieve 20 to 25 repetitions. Alternatively, you can use your knees instead of your feet to support yourself.

It’s time to integrate functional movement exercises into your training plan.

For those who haven’t thought much of functional training so far, it’s time to rethink.

The added value of unconventional training methods lies above all in the benefits for your health, mobility and resilience. In addition, you can implement these exercises and training approaches at any location.

This makes these methods so interesting for fitness beginners and thus a large part of the population. Take a look at exercises and workouts. They already cover a large part of these movement patterns!


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