Fundamental Movement Skills

Below is a list of the 12 Fundamental Movements with basic information. For detailed information as well as assessments please view our Fundamental Movement Skills Resource.

Static Balance

Balance is an essential prerequisite of almost all movement skills.

A static balance is defined as being able to maintain a stationary position throughout the movement.

  • Stand still with your foot flat on the ground.
  • Hold your bent let (at 90°) away from your other leg.
  • Look straight ahead in front of you.
  • Stand up tall when you balance.
  • Keep arms stretched but drop/relax shoulders.

Sprint Run

The sprint run is a locomotor skill characterised by a brief period where both feet are simultaneously off the ground (called the flight phase).

The ability to perform a sprint run is fundamental to many games, sports and everyday activities.

  • Lift your knees high.
  • Bring your heal close to your bottom.
  • Look ahead.
  • Make you feet follow an imaginary straight line.
  • Don’t let your heels touch the ground.
  • Land on the balls of your feet.
  • Bend your elbows and swing your arms.
  • Run tall. Shoulders back and chin up.

Vertical Jump

The vertical jump is a locomotor skill that involves being able to jump as high as possible.

The vertical jump is related to a wide range of sports, games and physical activities. It is considered to be a more fundamental movement skill than the standing broad jump.

  • Look up.
  • Focus your eyes on where you want to go.
  • Get ready to explode up high, get ready to take off.
  • Swing your arms back and up.
  • Straighten your legs when in the air.
  • Bend your knees on landing.
  • Control your body and balance yourself when landing.
  • Land with feet shoulder-width apart.


Catching is a manipulative skill that involves being able to absorb and control the force of an object with a part of the body, preferably the hands.

The ability to catch proficiently is important to most sports and games that involve an object.

  • Watch the object move into your hands.
  • Cup your hands.
  • Move to the object.
  • Relax your hands.
  • Point your fingers up for a high ball.
  • Point your fingers down for a low ball.
  • Bend elbows to absorb the force of the object.


Hopping is a continuous rhythmical locomotor skill, characterised by taking off and landing on the same foot.

It is a good indicator of being able to maintain balance while moving, with is often referred to as dynamic balance.

  • Bend your legs to push off.
  • Land on the ball of your foot.
  • Find your rhythm.
  • Count in your head to 4 at the same pace.
  • Look ahead, with head and eyes level.
  • Use your arms together in rhythm to maintain balance.

Side Gallop

The side gallop or slide is unique locomotor movement skill where the individual is moving sidewards while the body and sometimes eyes are facing forwards.

  • Use light springing steps.
  • Take off and land on the ball of your foot.
  • Make your body and feet face the front.
  • Keep eyes straight ahead (or look over your shoulder).
  • Step, close, step, close… or step, together, step, together.

Overarm Throw

The overarm throw is a manipulative skill frequently used in many sports, such as cricket, softball and baseball.

The arm action is also used in athletics with the javelin, with the overhead serve and smash in tennis, volleyball and badminton, and passes in netball and basketball.

  • Look at your target.
  • Point to the target (with your non-throwing arm).
  • Stand side on.
  • Step forward with leading foot and throw.
  • Swing your non-throwing arm down and back as you prepare to throw.
  • Step, throw and follow-through down and across your body.


The leap is a locomotor movement characterised by a take off on 1 foot, a long flight phased and a landing on the opposite foot.

Although it is an extension of the sprint run, it differs in that it is a discrete skill with a clear beginning and ending point.

  • Look straight ahead.
  • Bend knee to take off.
  • Scissor legs.
  • Stretch your arms out.
  • Lean into the leap.
  • Land softly on opposite foot.


The kick is a manipulative striking skill charactised by producing force from the foot to an object.

The stationary place kick is the focus of this skill and involves kicking an object which is still.

  • Keep your eyes on the ball.
  • Start to the side of the ball, not behind.
  • Step forward, place your non-kicking foot beside the ball.
  • Swing kicking leg forward and kick ball with your instep or top of foot.
  • Swing the arm opposite to your kicking leg forwards and sideways as you kick.
  • Follow through.

2-Handed Strike

The 2-handed strike is a manipulative skill in which force is applied to an object using an implement, in this case a bat.

It forms the foundation to more advanced games and sports-specific skills.

  • Stand side on.
  • Keep your eyes on the ball.
  • Position your leading hand to be in line with your leading foot.
  • Use a big swing.
  • Step forward and swing.
  • Contact the ball with straight arms.
  • Swing and follow through.


The dodge is a locomotor skill that involves a high degree of balance and stability.

It is an extension of the side gallop and sprint run and incorporates dynamic, fluid and coordinated movement to change direction.

  • Look straight ahead.
  • Use the outside of your foot.
  • Lower body height down and then up when changing direction.
  • Use your knees to change direction.
  • Use only 1 step to change direction.
  • Lower body height and transfer body weight.

For more information, please contact:

Phil Robinson

Phil Robinson

School Coordinator

06 868 9943 ext 707 | 027 654 3234
Click to email